Last Week's Tasting Notes (4.5.19)
Von Donabaum Grüner Veltliner ($13.50)
From the producer:
"Volker Donabaum, the founder of Volker Wines, has been in the wine industry practically since birth. He grew up on the Donabaum family estate in the Wachau in Austria, where the family has been making wine since 1833. Volker worked several harvests in Austria before working as an assistant winemaker in California, France, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Oregon and Canada. In 2012, Volker moved to New York City, where he imports and distributes wines from around the world, including his Volker Wines.
Grüner Veltliner von Donabaum 2016 comes from a 25 year-old single vineyard in the Austrian village of Röschitz, which is located about 1 hour north of Vienna. The hand-picked and hand-sorted grapes are destemmed before crushing, and, after a cool fermentation in stainless steel, the wine rests for 3 months on its fine lees."
Grüner Veltliner mostly comes from Austria, and is a great alternative to either Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. This one is very dry with green apple on the nose and stony lemon on the palate, undercut by white floral notes. It is a zesty and refreshing wine that is perfect as an aperitif. I was lucky enough to meet Volker, whose wine I am pleased to support.
Tenute Rubino Negroamaro Rosato ($11.99)
Brindisi, Puglia, Italy
From the producer:
"Our heritage is made of the historical local varieties from Salento: Negroamaro, Primitivo and Susumaniello among black grapes, Malvasia between white ones (beside other international and ltalian varieties such as Chardonnay and Vermentino). Tenute Rubino has always cultivated its lands with respect towards the environmental sustainability. Nowadays Tenute Rubino is a company which deals with careful customers, aware of the values expressed by our brand in the production of quality wines from Salento. A single range of wines with many different approaches.
ALCOHOL LEVEL 12,5%
VINEYARDS LOCATION Brindisi
ALTITUDE OF VINEYARDS At sea level
AGEING 5-6 months in steel tanks
COLOUR Clear, intense and brilliant pink.
BOUQUET Pink and red flowers and fruits, roses to violets, cherries and blueberries.
TASTE Fresh, sapid, soft and pleasant.
CHARACTERISTICS Its attractive colour is validated by a soft, fresh taste and rounded off by a long and persistent finish.
FOOD MATCHES Focaccia and pink sauce canapés, friselle, pizza margherita, tomato-based first courses. It goes very well with stuffed squid, stewed octopus, roast veal and white meats."
I am a huge fan of this winery. Many of you have enjoyed their Oltreme Susumaniello, which is made from another indigenous grape. I admire their commitment to working with native varietals, so I'm thrilled to have this wine in the shop for the season. Negroamaro produces a rosato that is refreshing and drinkable, but that stands up to more substantial dishes. This might become your new favorite!
Domaine les Evigneaux Rasteau 2016 ($22.99)
Southern Rhône Valley, France
From the producer:
Benoit and Frederic Lavau have always been fans of Rasteau which became a cru in 2010, and they have been making it for many years. Because of their special fondness for these vineyards whose outstanding exposure they recognize and which they consider to be 'atypical,' they decided to acquire 10 ha in the appellation in 2014. their 12 plots are located in Rasteau’s most emblematic terroirs. these are ideal vineyards for their plans to create a wine capable of delivering all the complexity and power of this extraordinary AOC.
The Syrah vines are planted in the gravel and clay soil of the Quaternary terraces of Bellerive. Located in the south of the appellation, these are sunny and early ripening, providing the vines with perfect growing conditions. The Grenaches are planted to the north in cooler soil, accentuating the variance between day and night time temperatures and thereby enhancing the colour and aromatic intensity of the varietal. the pebble and gravel soil mixed with complex clay allows constant, even drainage and water supply.
'The nose is complex and of great depth, a mixture of blackcurrant, raspberry and vanilla extract. The palate is meaty and develops its intensity and power across the entire length of the wine. The tannins are robust and well integrated, promising a spectacular result after 3 to 5 years’ cellar ageing (if you can wait that long!).'"
Blend: Grenache 50% Syrah 30% Carignan 10% Mourvèdre 5% Cinsault 5%
Ageing: 12 months in new 228L barrels"
I've never met a Southern Rhône wine that I didn't like, and if pressed I admit that the region is, globally, my favorite. Rasteau is an appellation with which I was unfamiliar, so I was eager to try this wine. The blend of grapes is typical to the larger region, but the soil and exposure lend unique traits. This Rasteau shows some boldness of flavor, but its complexity makes it compelling. It's a wine to contemplate for a bit as you taste it. You can certainly enjoy it now, but do consider buying a bottle to lay down for a couple of years.
JB Neufeld "Two Blondes" Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 ($57.99)
Yakima Valley, Washington
From the producer:
"JB Neufeld produced its first vintage in 2008. The winery is the only of its kind in Washington, focusing exclusively on Cabernet Sauvignon within the Yakima Valley AVA. The winery was created by the husband and wife team, Justin and Brooke Neufeld. The goal of the brand is to not only showcase the diversity of the terroir found in the valley through its vineyard designate bottlings, but to use that diversity to build a more complex and balanced Cabernet Sauvignon by blending sites as well.
The Yakima Valley AVA has the most diverse terroir of all the AVAs in Washington. All the vineyards are located on south facing slopes created by a series of ridges that are oriented West to East, which is a geological anomaly unique to eastern Washington.
JB Neufeld's focus is to preserve not only the qualities of the wine, but also the place and time from which they were made. They aim to build a Cabernet Sauvignon that possesses multiple layers of complexity that reveal themselves as the wine opens up in the glass. JB Neufeld achieves this by having a winemaking style that is dedicated, thoughtful and precise to the terroir of their valley.
Elegant and floral on the nose while also showing rich fruit on the palate. Flavors suggest dried figs, cranberry, and sage. Focused and nuanced, this wine is a superb expression of it’s terroir.
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Fermentation: cold soaking with daily punching down and pumping over and macro aeration.
Aging: 22 months in 50% new French oak and 50% in neutral French oak Production: 1,220 bottles per year"
I'd had some good Washington Cab before tasting these wines, but JB Neufeld is in another league entirely. This wine is as bold as a Napa Cab with its own profile that, to me, makes it more compelling. The winemaker, Justin, has visited my shop, and he was a joy to talk to about his technique and his approach to wine. This is their single-vineyard Cabernet, so you get a great sense of terroir (and it's delicious). Especially if you aren't familiar with Washington Cabs, try this!
Scarbolo Campo del Viotto 2015 ($43.99)
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
From the producer:
"An intense deep ruby red color with pomegranate hues. Ripe notes of marasca cherries, sweet tobacco, dark chocolate and ripe wild berries.
Intense on the palate, with soft sweet tannins and spiced persistent finish.
Grapes: 100% Merlot
Fermentation: The first whole clusters harvested are dried out for about 20 days, then the fermentation occurs in small Oak Barrels. After the
fermentation, barrels are sealed and the wine remains in contact with the skins until mid December.
Aging: 2 Years in small Oak barriques; then 6
Months in the bottle prior to release
Production: 850 Cases"
Another wine from Scarbolo that flips the script. Hate Merlot? Think it's an unimpressive varietal? Try this wine. From the partial raisinating of the grapes to the long aging, this takes Merlot to the next level. Elegant and rich. This is the new vintage, and while it drinks beautifully now, it should be STUNNING in a year or two. Buy one for the cellar!
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