Wine Impressions - 5-19-19

(Aside: most of the wines with prices listed were from Total Wine. With my cellar in CA and me in FL, sometimes one must shop local.)

Bubbles:
N/V Ridgeview, Sparkling Rose - from Sussex, England; a Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot MeuniŤre blend; fruit driven with character, good bead, fine acids, pretty textures and real flavor (so many sparkling wines have very little flavor that I can discern). Pricy but quite nice.
N/V Monistrol, Cava Brut - Iíve had this wine many times and enjoyed it but this bottle is sulfurous and it ruins the experience.

Whites:
2008 Lopez de Heredia, Blanco Gravonia - starts out tight but opens over the evening, complex nose with an overall savory delivery, young on the palate but showing good complexity and finesse, medium length. Not as precise as the Tondonia bottling but still, a wine to sip with or without food; we had it as starter and then with both tuna tartar and pasta with pesto. Nice wine.
2017 Bougrier, Muscadet - screwcap; typical of the grape and place but slightly sour, not so much that you want to dump it but probably not drink the whole bottle. A glass for an aperitif is ok. $11. Not a re-buy.
2017 Greek Wine Cellars, Assyrtiko Santorini - dense and full on the nose and in the mouth, lovely textures, good acidity, full but structured; much more than expected, especially from a co-op. This place/variety deserve your attention. $20. Re-buy.
2016 Georgeís Vigouroux, Pigmentum - Cotes de Gascogne thatís 60/40 Ugni Blanc and Colombard; composite closure that was extremely hard to pull; deep golden color, white fruit nose with some cognac florals, fresh in the mouth with a part sweet (like the RS level of a Qba Riesling) and part dry delivery - a bit odd but in a good way and the freshness is engaging. $10. Probably not a re-buy.
2018 Eguren, Viura - light, clean, fruit-sweet, balanced, delicious and joyful. A no-brainer at $6. Re-buy a case.
2018 Saladini Pilastri, Pecorino - complete nose, viscous without cloy, bright, citric and long. Quite good and only $13. (This is the second vintage of this wine Iíve tasted and both are re-buys)
2017 Bellini, Orvieto Classico - commonplace but not objectionable; slightly bitter, crisp, with a nod toward citrus. I will say that as this warms from refrigerator temp. it gets much better because the bitterness dissipates. $10. Not a re-buy.
2018 Quinta de Azevedo, Vinho Verde - estate grown and with just a bit more aroma, flavor and elegance than the typical. Nice. $10. Re-buy.
2017 Casale Burgio, Catarratto - from Sicily; grapefruit skin marinated in lime juice aromas, more density and volume in the mouth than expected yet still lots of angles going on - a unique wine, very dry, odd but also sort of intriguing. $15. Not a re-buy.
2016 HermŤs, Moschofilero - plastic closure; aromatic, citric, not as delicate as this variety often is with some bass tones on the palate, good acidity and balance. Once this warms a bit, itís quite nice. Re-buy. $13.
2018 Scilio, Etna Bianco - 100% Carricante; a complete wine that is fruit sweet, bright, has some depth and definitely some finesse. ĎBecoming a fan of this grape when, like here, it stays toward the feminine side. $22. Re-buy.

Reds:
2015 La Sacrestia, Nebbiolo Langhe - typical Langhe Nebbiolo without tricks or undue oak. A touch rustic but balanced and nice fruit. Quite good with pizza. $17. Re-buy.
2014 Dominio de Tares, Baltos - 100% Mencia from Bierzo; lightly floral, soft edged dark fruit, licorice, dark semi-sweet chocolate and a light touch of freshly turned earth; medium weight, fleshy and a kind of loose deliciousness. Has an old vine density without being ponderous. Quite good. $15. Re-buy.
2015 Quevedo, Oscarís Red - a Port house makes Douro table wine; Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz; full fruit nose with earthy accents, great structure and depth with an intense, mouth-filling delivery and lots of sustain. A balanced and impressive rendition of this blend and appears to have what it takes to develop over time. Around $12-15. Re-buy.
2017 Jadot, Beaujolais-Villages - as usual, a clear, balanced expression of Gamay without artifice; as reliably good (but not great) a wine, year in, year out, as one can find at the price point. $10. Maybe a re-buy.
2017 Rilento, Nerello Mascalese - from Sicily; straight-forward, typical, a bit volatile but not such that it detracts, but has too much of a mustard aroma and flavor. $8. Not a re-buy.
2015 Saladini Pilastri, Pregio del Contíe - Montepulcino and Aglianico; there is nothing wrong with this wine - good balance, clear flavors, good tannin management, integrated - but I just donít like Aglianico. $18; no re-buy.

Best, Jim
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Jim Cowan
www.CowanCellars.com