In a weeks time, I taste a boatload of wine (seriously). I lot of my friends think that I’m lucky. Well, they’re right, and I wouldn’t give this job up for the world. The only thing that makes my job hard, is my feeling of responsibility to taste the samples given to me as quickly as possible and to put my reviews either in my Moleskine, on my Youtube channel (Stan The Wine Man TV), or right here on Stanthewineman.com. Here for your reading pleasure, are thirteen wines that I have reviewed in my Moleskine (good or bad), this past week.
2011 Hooked Riesling Rudi West Selections (Nahe, Germany)… $10.
The label on this one is a little corny, but sometimes the package has to attract the folks who normally would not look for a Riesling when wine shopping. Forget the label though, this is a seriously good bottle of juice. It has everything I look for in a Riesling sans the petrol (sometimes you can’t have everything).
Aromas of wet stone, melon, peach skin and white flowers. It’s a wet stone/slate fest on the palate backed by notes of melon, peach, and white flowers. The acidity is not over-powering, but it is present and enough to keep the Riesling geek happy. It hails from the Nahe region of Germany, where a lot of good Riesling comes from. The label does not do justice to what’s in the bottle, so close your eyes, pour a glass and enjoy. (B)
2012 Esporao Alandra White (Alentejo, Portugal).. $8.
A blend of three Portuguese white grapes. Aromas of bananas, fig and melon with a touch of wet stone and orange blossoms. Very fresh on the palate with balanced acidity. A ton of white flowers on the palate with a touch of herbs. Figs and melons come through up front leading into a fresh finish with a touch of tangerine. At 12.5% alcohol you can drink this all day without getting hammered. Perfect match with shellfish or a garden salad or a summer day in the backyard. (B)
2012 Herdade Do Esporao Verdelho (Alentejo, Portugal)… $14.
Loads of crushed rock on the nose, with a trace of lemon and saline. Some peach pit notes come through with a little tangerine and coconut. Fairly rich on the palate with notes of apricot, tangerine, mango and honeydew with trace notes of crushed rock. It has some viscosity, but it doesn’t get heavy on the palate, retaining an appealing freshness. There is an interesting saline or seawater component that comes through on the long finish (don’t be afraid, it’s a good thing). If you haven’t taken a dive into the Verdelho category yet, I would strongly recommend this as one to try. For the money, it represents the varietal well. (B+)
2013 Doyenne Rose (Columbia Valley, WA)… $25.
Aromas of strawberries and sweet oranges with a little peach action going on. Cherries and strawberries with a touch of plum on the palate. Nice and dry like a rose` should be with enough fruit to put it in the delicious category with a cherry skin and mineral hit on the finish. (B-)
2013 Hahn Winery Pinot Gris (Monterey, CA)… $12.
Tangerine, mango and pear notes come through on the nose. Pears, mango and a touch of crushed rock come through on the front and mid-palate with a touch of banana. There is a little honey hit on the middle palate leading into a mango/peach/apple finish. Medium acidity and decently complex for a Pinot Gris at this price. (B-)
2013 Groth Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley, CA)… $21.
Aromas of melon, lemon, tangerine and honey. Round on the palate with notes of lemon pith, grass and a touch of Bazooka bubble gum. Some minerality shows up on the pithy medium to long finish. Groth is a great producer and this is one of the few Napa Sauvignon Blancs that I like although I think it is over-priced. (B)
2012 Undurraga Sauvignon Blanc (Maipo Valley, Chile)… $10.
Aromas of cut grass, petrol, a little arm-pit action joined by notes of grapefruit and lemon pith (it’s not as bad as it sounds). Notes of cut grass, melon and grapefruit pith on the front palate, leading into a finish of crushed rock and grapefruit pith. The acidity on this one is just slightly challenged leaving it a little flabby in the mouth. (C+)
2012 Cougar Crest Viognier (Walla Walla Valley, WA)… $15.
Viognier from Washington state rocks…Just saying. Apricots, tangerine, melon, mango and honeysuckle on the nose (a literal fruit salad perfume). This is a drier style Viognier with notes of tangerine and mango. There is a lemon and orange pith element that comes through on the mid-palate leading into a crisp, fresh finish. (B-)
2012 Lenz Moser Gruner Veltliner (Austria)… $10.
Aromas of pears, wet stone, white flowers, apple and a touch of honeysuckle. I was anticipating a more interesting wine in the mouth than I got. Very soft on the palate with little or no acidity. Pears and apples come through with a touch of wet stone and a hint of lemon and crushed rock on the finish. This is a very simple white (compared to other Gruners I have tried), but I do think there are a lot of Pinot Grigio drinkers out there that will like it. (C-)
Non-Vintage Gloria Ferrer Brut Sparkling Wine (Sonoma, CA)… $22.
Great nose on this baby with nuts, yeast and marzipan coming through. Bazooka bubble gum on the palate joined by notes of apples and pears on the mid-palate. Finishes dry with a little apple skin coming through. Gloria Ferrer does a very nice job with sparkling wine, this one consisting of 9% Chardonnay and the rest Pinot Noir. (B)
Non-Vintage Gloria Ferrer Blanc De Noir Sparkling Wine (Sonoma, CA)… $22.
Made from 100% Pinot Noir this definitely has a different flair than the Brut. Aromas of strawberries, bread dough, marzipan and honey. Strawberries, raspberries and a little citrus element comes through on the palate. The fruit notes expand on the mid-palate with the yeast and bread dough components joining the party. It finishes dry with cherry notes dominating the finish. Once again, Gloria Ferrer comes through with this sparkler. (B)
2012 Waterbrook Sangiovese Rose (Columbia Valley, WA)… $14.
This baby is very challenged on the nose with slight hits of herbs and watermelon rind coming through. Watermelon rind and herbs all over the palate. It gets a touch of baby fat on the mid-palate, but finishes dry and a little astringent. There is not a lot going on with this one except watermelon and herbs with just a hit of citrus. (C+)
2013 Maryhill Rose of Sangiovese (Columbia Valley, WA)… $10.
Nice aromatics on this baby with notes of watermelon, strawberries and a hint of herbs and rind. Good acidity on the palate, with fresh notes of strawberries, and watermelon with a hint of cherry on the back-end. It finishes bone dry with hits of watermelon rind and cherry skins. This strikes a nice balance of acidity and fruit and is very tasty. At this price it’s a steal. (B+/A-)
Stan The Wine Man