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Mini-reviews 70: Ponzi, white Rhone, lemberger, pinot blanc

Reviews of wines that don’t need their own post, but are worth noting for one reason or another. Look for it on the final Friday of each month. • Ponzi Vineyards Pinot Read More »

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Great quotes in wine history: Sgt. Schultz

Sgt. Schultz has just discovered that Col. Hogan and his men have devised the most ingenious plan ever to make wine accessible and easy to understand for anyone who wants to drink Read More »

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Wine of the week: Caposaldo Chianti 2012

Who thought the Wine Curmudgeon would ever have anything nice to say about an Italian wine made with merlot? But that was before I tasted the Caposaldi Chianti. This Italian red from Read More »

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Winebits 378: Box wine, South African wine, nutrition labels

• Bring on the cartons: Box wine, since it’s too awkward for most store shelves and because consumers are confused about its quality, has been little more than a niche product in Read More »

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Will cheap wine kill you?

Yes, “Will cheap wine kill you?” is a great search engine headline. And no, it’s not a plot by the the Winestream Media to return us to the good old days before Read More »

Mini-reviews 70: Ponzi, white Rhone, lemberger, pinot blanc

winereview

wine reviews PonziReviews of wines that don’t need their own post, but are worth noting for one reason or another. Look for it on the final Friday of each month.

Ponzi Vineyards Pinot Gris 2014 ($17, sample, 13.2%): Needs more time in the bottle, but when this Oregon white is ready in a couple of months, it should be classic, elegant Oregon pinot gris — fresh tropical fruit, rich mouth feel, and long finish.

• Dauvergne-Ranvier Côtes du Rhône Vin Gourmand 2012 ($15, purchased, 13.5%): Uninspired white French blend that was overpriced and lacking in anything to make it interesting. A hint of viognier (peach?) and not much else. We do this kind of wine much better in Texas.

Weingut Schnaitmann Lemberger 2012 ($15, sample, 13%): Unfortunately for those of us who like lemberger, a red grape that’s hard to find, this isn’t the answer. There’s lots of red fruit, but this German wine is disjointed and needs something more than just the fruit.

Rudi Wiest Dry Pinot Blanc 2012 ($12, sample, 12%): This German white was delightful, with candied lime fruit, fizzy acidity, and just a touch sweet. It was everything I hope it would be; the catch being that availability is limited.

Great quotes in wine history: Sgt. Schultz

great quotes

Sgt. Schultz has just discovered that Col. Hogan and his men have devised the most ingenious plan ever to make wine accessible and easy to understand for anyone who wants to drink it. (And also because every man of a certain age still has a fond spot in his heart for “Hogan’s Heroes.”)

A tip o’ the Wine Curmudgeon’s fedora to the Dedoimedo website; this post is based on his “My reaction to — ” series. The video is courtesy of ToastedGerbil via YouTube,

Wine of the week: Caposaldo Chianti 2012

wineofweek

Caposaldo ChiantiWho thought the Wine Curmudgeon would ever have anything nice to say about an Italian wine made with merlot? But that was before I tasted the Caposaldi Chianti.

This Italian red from the Chianti region in Tuscany is a brilliant example of traditional Italian style combined with modern winemaking techniques. The Caposaldi ($10, purchased, 12.5%) is dark, earthy, funky, and full of delicious sour cherry fruit, yet it isn’t too heavy or too harsh in that old-fashioned and not missed way. And much of that is because it’s a blend, with the traditional sangiovese complemented with 10 percent cabernet sauvignon, 10 percent merlot and 5 percent malvasia, a white grape. The cabernet adds some heft, the merlot adds freshness to the fruit, and the malvasia softens the sangiovese. The result is amazing.

In one respect, this isn’t new, since blended Chianti, even with white grapes, has been allowed for decades. But this style of blend takes a different approach from those who use the cabernet and merlot to make a wine more New World in style — fruitier and less dark. Here, though, the two grapes reinforce the Caposaldo Chianti’s Italianness. This makes it perfect for any food that has pork, tomato sauce, beef, noodles, cheese, or any combination thereof.

Highly recommended, and a candidate for the 2016 $10 Hall of Fame — another example of what a winemaker who wants to offer the best value can do when value and quality are what matter most.

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