US & Worldwide Articles
How to Pronounce Bordeaux like a pro!
Wine Shopping Outside the Twin Cities
Looking at the wine selection outside of the Twin Cities is not inspiring and the prices tend to be high. No worries as John Glas of Wineglas will point you in the right direction with some of the best wine shops in the nation that can ship wine direct to your home. As the only wine educator that promotes good wine and prices you will save a ton of money and drink superior wine than the "hole in the wall" shop around the corner.
Simple Rules on shipping wine:
1. Find out the cost to ship before buying.
2. Don't ship when it is warm (70 degrees and above or too cold below 32 degrees).
3. Don't buy cheap wine as you can find it locally for around the same price.
4. Don't buy a case of the same wine without trying it first. Get a variety of different wines.
The Top Shops
J J Buckley
This is one of the better wine shops in the nation. They have a lowest price guarantee and if someone else beats their price they match the price and give you 10%. For more serious buyers their private client offerings are amazing.
One of the more complete wine shops in the country. We have nothing like this in Minnesota. Prices are good and email blasts offer some really good deals.
K & L
Another California based operation with a solid overall selection and good service.
This might be the best option for the average wine drinker. You will get a lot of emails daily but just following the scores from Wine Spectator and Robert Parker when making decisions. Do not trust the scores from Jonathan Newman as his palate over rates the wines about 3 to 10 points.
The best deals tend to be on Champagne, Spanish wines and some American offerings. Customer service is the best on damaged wine and they will refund you 100%. Free shipping if you buy their minimum offer.
The Cote Rotie
As I plan for one of the biggest tasting events for 2012 I stumbled across a world class video from the king of the Syrah grape: Guigal. Check out this 3 part series on the unbelievable attention to detail that goes into making world class wines.
Entitled Four Seasons at Guigal
More coming along with the tasting notes from our event.
The Wines of Patz & Hall
I t talked with the Eastern US Sales Manager Kevin Hinchman at an industry tasting about the Patz & Hall lineup. I was amazed during the 30 minutes or more of talking with him how few people stopped by to sample the wines.
Nice wines overall with good character throughout. While oak is used they did not go over the top and I liked the pineapple and apple quality in many of the wines.
- 2008 Patz & Hall Chardonnay Sonoma Coast - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
A nice wine with pineapple, apple, oak, vanilla and mild spice. Medium finish and good acidity. (90 pts.)
- 2009 Patz & Hall Chardonnay Sonoma Coast - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
A little better than the 08 with carmel, pineapple, minerals and sour apples. A nicely balance wine and the oak is integrated into the wine. Medium finish. (91 pts.)
- 2009 Patz & Hall Chardonnay Dutton Ranch - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
Lemons, minerals, apple and toasted oak come together to create an enjoyable Cali Chardonnay. Medium finish and balanced overall. The wine improved when it was closer to room temp. (91 pts.)
- 2009 Patz & Hall Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard - USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros
Smoke, oak, vanilla, pear and minerals. The wine should improve with some age as the oak will settle down. Medium finish and a food wine for sure. (92 pts.)
The Pinot Noir wines are solid and age worthy. They should cellar well for five plus years.
- 2009 Patz & Hall Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Nice effort overall with strawberry, minerals and spice. Good use of oak and drink now or cellar for a few years. More elegant in style. (89 pts.)
- 2010 Patz & Hall Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
A bit primary but a lot of potential here. Cranberry, strawberry, spice and minerals. A bit more complex than the 09 and should start drinking well in six months. This was just recently bottle. 90-92. (90 pts.)
- 2009 Patz & Hall Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard - USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros
More complex than the Sonoma Coast offerings. Cranberry, forest floor, spice and under brush. The palate shows more earth character and has a solid medium finish. Good acidity and this should drink well for five years. (92 pts.)
- 2008 Patz & Hall Pinot Noir Pisoni Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands
One of the best in the Patz's lineup. Spice, floral, earth and cinnamon. The fruit is there but more of a earth based wine. This wine needs some cellaring and should drink well for ten years. (93 pts.)
The Wines of Villa Maria
Murray Cook of Villa Maria was in town and poured from his portfolio. The wines showed really well and the 2007 Villa Maria Pinot Noir Single Vineyard Taylors Pass was the best New Zealand Pinot Noir I have sampled to date. I highly recommend the Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc as it has been a favorite for years.
2008 Villa Maria Riesling Private Bin - New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
Really nice New World offering with mineral, floral, orange peel and very flavorful. Clean and refreshing wine with a short to medium finish. (89 pts.)
2009 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Cellar Selection - New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
One of the better Sauvignon Blanc wines I have sampled from New Zealand with grape fruit, orange, flint, and floral notes. Really aromatic and great acid profile. Medium and concentrated finish. (91 pts.)
2009 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Taylors Pass - New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
Not as concentrated as the Cellar Selection from 09 but more elegant. Grapefruit, lemon, stone and floral notes. Medium and elegant finish. Drinking really well solo or pair with light seafood fair. (91 pts.)
2009 Villa Maria Pinot Gris Private Bin - New Zealand, North Island, East Coast
My least favorite of the white lineup but solid. Better than almost all the Pinot Grigio in the same price point I have sampled from Italy. Subtle nose with mineral and apples. On the palate it is a light style wine with minerals, apples and pear. Shorter finish than the S.B. (87 pts.)
2007 Villa Maria Pinot Noir Single Vineyard Taylors Pass - New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough, Awatere Valley
A really fun wine with vibrant aromas of blueberries, coffee, floral and cherry. On the palate it shows some sweet fruit, cranberry, subtle oak, floral notes. Medium finish and a bit more concentrated than Willamette Valley Pinot's.(92 pts.)
2007 Villa Maria Cabernet-Merlot Reserve - New Zealand, North Island, Hawkes Bay
A bit off for typical Cabernet/Merlot blends from other parts of the world. A little to sweet on the palate for my tastes. Cola, black fruits and spice blend together to create an easy drinking blend and it has a medium finish. (88 pts.)
Champagne & Sparkling Wine 2010
Most wine experts will tell you Champagne is from the Champagne Region in France. I will tell you that over the last 2 months the better Sparkling Wines for the money are made right here in the US (That's California and Oregon).
My Picks that are on Sale
N.V. Louis Roederer Champagne Brut Premier - France, Champagne
Another good showing on this wine with apple pie, floral, lemon and minerals. A touch of sweet fruit on this one and a medium finish. A nice N.V. for $34. (91 pts.)
Morelli's in St. Paul $33.33
2001 Mumm Napa DVX - USA, California, Napa Valley
This is amazing stuff from the US with lemon, orange peel, chalk and minerals. It has a creamy texture in the mouth and medium finish. Very pleasurable and no flaws. (92 pts.)
1999 Mumm DVX is on sale at Winestreets North Oaks $29.99 (Sale through Saturday, December 18)
1996 Henriot Champagne Brut Millésimé - France, Champagne
Another nice showing for this wine with dough, mineral, lemon, apple and good acidity. On the palate some candied fruit and really good mineral streak. Should improve with cellar time. (93 pts.)
Winestreets North Oaks $59.99 (Sale through Saturday, December 18)
N.V. Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut - France, Champagne
Much better than the last bottle which I am sure was a previous N.V. which is why I hate the way Champagne does N.V. as you can never know which one you are drinking and as we all know they vary a lot. Nice aromas of dough, minerals, lemon and floral notes. A great acid profile and very nice finish. One of my favorite N.V. Champagnes. (90 pts.)
Haskell's $29.99 (Sale to December 31, 2010)
2000 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon - France, Champagne
For the price I am not a buyer and this is really young but the Henriot Vintage from 96 is better and half the price. Chalk, orange peel, minerals, and dough on the nose and palate. There is a creaminess on the palate and has a medium finish. (92 pts.)
Morelli's in St. Paul $118.88
N.V. Moët & Chandon Champagne Brut Impérial - France, Champagne
Drinking well right now with lemon, yeast, golden apples, and minerals. On the palate there is a fresh fruit explosion and good acidity overall. Nice wine. (91 pts.)
Morelli's in St. Paul for only $27.88 (Plus Mail in Rebates!)
2007 Schramsberg Vineyards Blanc de Blancs - USA, California
Very nice and it is fun to see my wife like a Sparkler under $50. Lemons, mineral, spice and good acidity combine to make this an outstanding value for $25. (91 pts.)
Haskell's $24.99 (Sale to December 31, 2010)
Germany "More than just Beer!"
Extra Facts from the City Pages Blog
*Germany along with France are the 2 oldest quality producers of fine wine
*Germany is the farthest Northern Quality Wine Region in the world
*The number one grape is Riesling
*Riesling quality is categorized in terms of Qba (everyday wine) and Qmp (higher level wine) The Qmp categories are listed below
*The Mosel and Rhine Rivers play a big part to the success of wine in Germany
*Terroir is important here
*Great Vintages 2005, 2001
*Good Vintages 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002
The Grape Varieties
Reds: Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir)
Whites: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Rulander, Silvaner, Muller-Thurgau
QbA Wines- Quality Wine
This category is quality everyday wines. Most all Rieslings with the QbA rating on the bottle are good values.
Pradikatswein or Qmp Wines (Categories)
*Note in 2007 Pradikatswein replaced the QmP Category
These categories are a measure of the ripeness of the grapes at harvest. The higher the sugar the higher the category. The acidity balances out the sugar levels in all these wines.
Kabinett- lightest wine
Spatlese- Late harvest
Auslese- Hand selected clusters of late harvest grapes
Beerenauslese- Selected individual berries of late harvested grapes
Trockenbeerenauslese- most concentrated
Eiswein- most concentrate and grapes are picked once the temperature hits freezing
*The best wine region in Germany
*Steep slopes produced the best wines. The soil is slate based which reflects the sun off of the river to warm and ripen the grapes. Best vineyards face South.
*Bottles are green based on traditions
*Great recent vintages: 2005, 2001
*Price varies with Kabinett wines costing $15 to $20 and Eiswein wines costing as much as $800 for a 375 ml bottle
Bernkastel, Brauneberg, Erden, Graach, Piesport, Urzig, Wehlen, Zeltingen
Bockstein, Doctor, Goldtropfchen, Himmelreich, Juffer, Pralat, Sonnenuhr, Wurzgarten
Christoffel Erben, C. von Schubert, Dr. Loosen, Egon Muller, Fritz Haag, Joh. Jos. Prum, Selbach Oster, Willi Haag, Willi Schaeffer, Zilliken, Robert Eymael
Key Wine Terms
Botrytis cinerea- A mold that is referred to as Noble Rot. This mold attacks the grapes and the shrivels them up to allow the water to evaporate. This leaves concentrated sugar and creates the best sweet wines from Germany.
Gold Caps- Gold cap separate the wines from the estate. A winery might have 3 Auslesen wines and the gold cap will separate the sweetness and quality of the wine. An upgrade from Auslese
Gutsabfullung- Estate Bottle
Halbtrocken- Half dry. Less sugar has been fermented then a trocken wine
Liebfraumilch- Inexpensive white blend that is popular in America
Mittelmosel- middle Mosel location and produces some of the best wines in Germany
Nahe Wine Region- Good everyday wine with the exception of Herman Donnhoff wines which are really popular
Sekt- Sparkling wine in Germany
Slate- The best Rieslings have a slate soil base on steep slopes
Trocken- Very dry wine
Vintage- Year the grapes were harvested. Almost all recent vintages from Germany are outstanding
Vitus Vinifera- The bulk of all wine is under this species of grape. All the major varieties are labeled vitus vinifera such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay, etc.
Weingut- A wine estate in Germany
Wehlener Sonnenuhr courtesy of Ernst Loosen
A featured article on my City Pages Wine Blog on Chilean Reds. Since the completion of the article I added a few new wine reviews on a few of the bottles which showed even better the second time around.
2006 Viña Siegel Gran Crucero Limited edition - Chile, Central Valley, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley (6/9/2010)
Even better this time around! Medium purple in color and aromas of raspberry, floral, chocolate, and plums. Nicely balanced on the palate and good acidity. Highly recommend this wine! (92 pts.)
2008 Viña Siegel Cabernet Sauvignon Crucero - Chile, Central Valley, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley (6/9/2010)
Spice, cherry, cranberry and plum. A very clean and fresh wine. One of the best QPR wines out of Chile and it sells around $8. This bottle was even better the second time around. (89 pts.)
Meek Family Estates is a newer winery out of Yakima Valley, Washington. Michael Meek a local resident of Minnetonka is the owner and wine maker and is crafting some of the best wines in America under $30.
St. Innocent Tasting
The Rock Star Offline!
Edina Country Club
St. Innocent is one of my favorite Oregon Pinot Noir producers. Mark Vlossak is one of the top wine makers in Oregon and his Pinots are wines to age in your cellar.
- 2003 St. Innocent Pinot Noir Anden - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
Medium purple. No decant but previewed. Brilliant nose with strawberry, perfume, forest floor and raspberry. On the palate forest floor, chalk, raspberry, cherry and strawberry. Medium finish and medium tannins. Still a lot of life in this bottle of wine. (93 pts.)
- 2003 St. Innocent Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
Dark purple. Nose of perfume, violets, charcoal, and spice. On the palate this wine amazes with spice, blackberries, cranberries, mineral, and cedar. Medium finish and concentrated wine. Still some life left and should age 5 plus years. (94 pts.)
- 2006 St. Innocent Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
Color medium purple. Nose of raspberry, cherry, smoke and coffee. The palate shows dark fruits, cherry, oak, vanilla spice and earth. Medium finish and concentrated wine. Should show well for 5 plus years. (93 pts.)
- 2007 St. Innocent Pinot Noir White Rose Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
Medium purple. Nose of funk, floral, cranberry, and clay. On the palate this rocks with spice, cherry, white pepper, and roses. Good acidity and concentrated wine. Really balanced and for an 07 maybe the wine of the Vintage for Willamette. (95 pts.)
- 2007 St. Innocent Pinot Noir Cuvée - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
Medium purple. Nose of raspberry, floral, cherry and spices. Light concentration on the palate but nice with spice, floral, cherry and forest floor. Medium finish and a bit of oak and vanilla emerge. Solid overall and it might improve a few points. (92 pts.)
A few more recently reviewed this past fall:
2007 St. Innocent Zenith Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Chalk, bitter, wood, and some fruit trying to emerge. Not my style of wine and the weakest of the lineup. 87 points
2007 St. Innocent Shea Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
I always enjoy the Shea wine and this should blossom down the road. Medium purple with raspberry, mineral and floral notes with a solid backbone. Cellar five and come back to it. 90 points
2007 St. Innocent Justice Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
This was the best right now! Five years no clue but this is drinking well right now. This wine features smooth tannins, raspberry, and mineral, smoke and light oak. The finish was medium and full of flavor. 92 points
2007 St. Innocent Anden Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
A wine that needs some aging. Solid fruit and earth components that needs some serious time. 88 to 92 points
2007 St. Innocent Temperance Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Light wine with strawberry, raspberry and a little bitter. I think with some time in the bottle this will improve. Currently 89 points
A Great Wine Blog
Locally we are not blessed with wine blogs. The ones we have are not real accurate and don't offer great info for the consumer. As a matter of fact a local wine educator has the nerve to promote terrible wines on their blog and really doesn't offer much in the line of education. While I would love to have an interactive blog I don't have time at the present and with the new Internet Radio Program: Don't Fear the Grape my time will be spent improving the quality of each show and allowing the listener to learn the world of wine. Expect great things in 2010 from the Radio Show.
In the meantime do check out Dr. Vino. He is a hard hitting, straight to the point wine blogger who has important wine related information. I also like the extensive following he has and the fact he is not afraid to challenge Robert Parker himself.
Check it out at www.drvino.com/
Eric Levine of Cellar Tracker
Eric Levine is one of the most important people in the wine world right now. He has develop software to keep track of your cellar and write tasting notes to share with the world. Many of my wine reviews end up on Winestreets Sales trying to move their wine. Check out the website at: www.cellartracker.com
A great article on the importance of Cellar Tracker from Jancis Robinson
A Sample Review from Cellar Tracker
2006 Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley - USA, California, Napa Valley (2/12/2010)
Medium purple. Nose with cherries, oak, and vanilla. On the palate classic toasted oak, vanilla, cherry, plums, and spice. Tannins are well represented here and paired with steak it was perfect. Really nice finish and it adds a floral element. For $15.83 on a case purchase a non brainer to have as an everyday Cab. Only the Waterstone 05 is better for this price point in the last year for me. (91 pts.)
Don't Judge a Wine on Day One
The other day I opened a 2000 Domaine De La Terre Rouge Ascent Sierra Foothills Syrah and the wine was hot (heavy alcohol sensation). It was a mess to say the least.
I left the bottle on my counter on day two and went back to retry on day 3. What a big difference this made. The alcohol blew off and the wine is revealing Northern Rhone Syrah qualities.
My review on day 3:
2000 Domaine De La Terre Rouge Ascent Sierra Foothills Syrah
Color: Dark purple
Nose: Bacon, charcoal, minerals, raspberries
Taste: Spices, charcoal, cranberry, raspberries, minerals
Finish: Medium and concentrated with earth character
Evaluation: This wine is still young and will benefit from cellaring 92 points
If I were to review this on day one it would have been an 82 point wine. A lesson to all is to experiment over the course of a few days with your red wines. Too many people consume the wine to quickly and never get the benefit of the evolution over a few days.
The Wines of Zaca Mesa
In the fall of 2009 I had the privilege of sampling the wines of Zaca Mesa. These Rhone inspired wines from California are amazing and are reasonably priced. We also did a Zaca Mesa Wine Dinner at Muffuletta in November and the guests really enjoyed the wines. This is one of my favorite new finds of 2009.
Location of the Vineyards
Zaca Mesa is the extreme northern section of the Santa Ynez Valley appellation in Santa Barbara County, California. We are at 1500 feet elevation and about 30 miles from the Pacific Ocean, so we have plenty of cool sunshine which is great for growing grapes.
We farm 200 acres of vineyards on our 750 acre estate.
Depends on Mother Nature, but usually around 30,000 cases.
Who is the wine maker?
Eric Mohseni has been our winemaker for the last year and a half. He started with us in 2001 in the lab and has worked his way up.
What year were the vines planted?
We still have vines dating back to 1973 when we were established. Over half of our vineyard is less than 10 years old.
What inspired the Rhone wines and other then Chardonnay did you produce non Rhone varieties?
Based on experience. We had Cabernet, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Merlot all planted on our property at one time, but they were not as good as our Syrah, Grenache, and Viognier.
What outside influence was the most important for Zaca Mesa success?
The Syrah surge in the 1990’s helped a lot as has the consumers’ increasing sense of adventure to try new varieties (outside of the usual suspects) from new regions.
What is the future vision for Zaca Mesa?
More Rhône’s all the time from our estate.
The Wine Reviews
2005 Zaca Mesa Estate Bottled Roussane
This is a beautiful wine which features lemon, floral and mineral notes. On the palate there is a touch of sweetness. Pair this with seafood or enjoy as a starter wine at your next party. 90 points
2007 Zaca Mesa Estate Bottled Santa Ynez Viognier
This wine is big and showcases floral, honey suckles, lemon and ripe peaches. A complex finish and very balanced. 89 points
2007 Zaca Mesa Estate Bottled Santa Ynez Chardonnay
The non Rhone grape variety but was a crowd favorite at one of my events. Light gold with aromas of lemon, minerals, and apple. Very clean wine and light oak flavors. Very drinkable for the average wine consumer. 88 points
2006 Zaca Mesa Estate Bottled Late Harvest Santa Ynez Viognier
Light gold and is sweet. Apricots, floral and tropical fruits dance around in your mouth. It is priced right and under $20. 88 points
2006 Zaca Mesa Estate Bottled Santa Ynez Z Cuvee
The least expensive of the reds this wine is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsaut. A try Rhone Blend and features spice, raspberry, floral and earth. Needs some food as it is a bit tannic. 87 points
2003 Zaca Mesa Estate Bottled Z Three Santa Ynez Rhone Blend
A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre
You would not guess 03 on this one. There is a ton of life left. Aromas of cranberry, spice, floral and cinnamon. Balanced and concentrated on the finish. Enjoy with a big meat dish. 92 points
2003 Zaca Mesa Estate Bottled Santa Ynez Syrah
Nice aged bottled with floral, spice, meat and leather. The finish is short/medium and this wine is ready for final consumption. 88 points
2005 Zaca Mesa Estate Bottled Santa Ynez Syrah
Much more fresh then the 03 and has aromas of meat, blueberries and cinnamon. A concentrated wine and shows good structure. 90 points
2006 Zaca Mesa Estate Bottled Reserve Santa Ynez Syrah
A really dark wine with power. The aromas dance out of the glass with floral, blackberries, spices and plums. Very concentrated wine with a long finish. A super effort from the best vineyard sites. 93 points
2005 Zaca Mesa Estate Bottled Black Bear Syrah
The flagship wine from Zaca Mesa and a top 10 of 2009 from Wineglas. Black and super fragrent. This showcases the best land at the Estate and aromas of floral, blackberries, spice, raspberries. The mouth is working to taste all the concentrated fruit. A long finish and really balanced. If you don't like this Syrah you don't like Syrah! 95 points
Great Wine Videos
Everything you need to know about Bordeaux:
A great video on Port:
Winestreets Does Joh. Jos. Prum 2007
April 9, 2009
A nice tasting from Winestreets and it was enjoyable to compare notes on the ripeness levels. While I enjoyed the Kabinett wines I was much more impressed with the Spatlese wines and my wine of the night was the 2007 Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese. As everyone agreed these wines need some serious cellar time to truly show what they are capable.
It will be hard to shell out the money for these wines as I have found several options priced far less then the Prum line.
2007 Joh. Jos. Prum Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett
Light gold. Slate, apple, and pear dominate the nose and on the palate this wine shows good acidity with some spice emerging. A medium finish with plenty going on. 91 points
2007 Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett
Light gold. Petrol and honey on the nose with a floral note on the palate. This had the shortest finish of all the Prum’s we sampled. It just lacks depth. 88 points
2007 Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett
Light gold. Big peach cobbler nose with some heavy sulfur. After five minutes the wine opened up and revealed slate, petrol, and ripe peaches. Sweet up front on the finish and showed some consistency across the board. 90 points
2007 Joh. Jos. Prüm Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese
Light gold. Spice, slate aromas. This had the most spice of the Spatlese wines and showed a solid finish. 91 points
2007 Joh. Jos. Prum Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Spatlese
Medium gold. Slate, petrol and pear aromas. Finally some honey on the palate along with slate, petrol, apple and minerals. Again another nice Spatlese wine from Prum. 92 points
2007 Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese
Light gold. Golden apples, peach and candied fruits. The palate showed a domination of beautiful fruit flavors and really lingered on the finish. A well made wine. 92 points
2007 Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese
Light gold. Peach, pear and slate aromas with a multi layered mouthful of slate, minerals, peach and pears. This wine was rich and showed a consistent finish. Very nice wine. 92 points
2007 Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese
Light gold. Aromas of honey and floral. Slate, floral and honey with a rich taste. Not the intensity of the Wehlener Auslese but a solid, medium finish. 93 points
2007 Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese
Light gold. Wow what a nose with peach, slate, and honey. Rich taste and multi layered pleasure throughout this wine. Classic slate, honey and peach qualities. This shows a long finish and was the best of the 3 Auslese wines on this day. 95 points
2007 Joh. Jos. Prum Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Auslese
Medium gold. Nose of spice, peach and slate. Taste of honey, green apples, honey and mineral. A spritzy quality on the finish and shows good acidity. Well made. 93 points
Only a select few people who attend my Minneapolis Wine Club Events were invited to this stellar tasting.
Kilikanoon is one of the top producers of Australian Wine. They make good wines under $20 and represent powerhouse wines over $30. These wines are readily available at a number of wine shops throughout the Twin Cities so they are worth check out.
Visit their website at:
Germany Fest 2008
Germany offers some of the best wines in the world. There is a myth that the wines are sweet however good quality wines (QmP Level) offer an incredible balanced, mesmerizing wine. The links below offers great information on learning German Rieslings.
Check out this link for regions, terms, and great producers.
Brian Harlan National Sales Manager for Loosen Bros. was in town and another wine expert and I sampled their product line. Click on the link for all the reviews.
Great Interview Series:
"Three Days in the Rhine" is a 3 part series of exploring great wineries from the Rhine River Regions.
German Wine Institute: www.deutscheweine.de
Wines of Germany: www.germanwineusa.com
Latest German Reviews:
2006 Urban Mosel Saar Ruwer Riesling QBA $$
Color: Pale yellow
Nose: Intense, mineral, straw, pear
Taste: Sweet, mineral, straw, little spice, Balanced acidity
Finish: A balance wine with mineral, sweetness, straw on this medium finish
Evaluation: Well done and a great everyday wine. 87 points
2006 St. Urbans Hof Ockfener Bockstein Kabinett Riesling $$
Color: Medium gold
Nose: Floral, mineral, honey suckles
Taste: Sweet with floral, honey, tropical fruit, mineral, and the acidity is well balance
Finish: Medium and sweet with floral, tropical fruit and mineral
Evaluation: Balanced wine that pairs really well with smoked gouda cheese. 88 points
Sample March 08
Color: Dark gold
Nose: Honey, mineral, floral
Taste: Well balanced between acidity/sweetness. This is a thick wine with honey, mineral, tropical fruit, and floral notes
Finish: Medium with pleasing character
Evaluation: This wine has improved since the last sample in 07. 91 points
2006 St. Urbans Hof Ockfener Bockstein Spatlese Riesling $$
Color: Dark gold
Nose: Mineral and honey suckles
Taste: Thick wine with honey, floral, and mineral notes
Finish: Balanced wine with a satisfying finish.
Evaluation: A solid example of a Spatlese Riesling. 87 points
2006 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Himmelreich Auslese $$$
Color: Medium gold
Nose: Honey, must, slate
Taste: Sweet with golden apples, intense floral notes, honey, minerals
Finish: Short and light
Evaluation: Not the most impressive Auslese as the finish is weak 87 points
2006 Dr. Loosen Wehlner Sonnenuhr Spatlese Riesling $$$
Color: Medium gold
Nose: Mineral, honey, apple
Taste: Slate, honey, nice acidity, crisp
Finish: Medium with slate, honey, sour apples
Evaluation: Slate as in Terroir here. A great before dinner sipper or try with some fresh fish. 92 points
2006 Dr. Loosen "Dr. L" Estate Riesling $$
Color: Light gold
Nose: Slate, honey
Taste: Crisp, acidic, honey suckles, apple
Finish: Medium with a nice balance to the wine.
Evaluation: Buy a six pack for your next party. 88 points
2006 Polka Dot Pfalz Riesling $
Color: Light not the best clarity
Nose: Mineral, honey
Taste: Sweet but the sour component is disjointed. Not concentrated
Finish: Mineral and unbalanced
Evaluation: A very poorly made wine. 78 points
2006 Urban Mosel Saar Ruwer Riesling QBA $$
Color: Light gold
Nose: Peach, mineral, pear
Taste: Sweet with mineral, pear, and peach
Finish: Medium and balanced
Evaluation: Summer time wine. 88 points
2007 St. Urbans Hof Ockfener Bockstein Spatlese Riesling $$
Color: Medium gold
Nose: Straw, honey, pineapple, slate
Taste: Sweet with mineral, peach, honey, pear, straw
Finish: Complex but short with a variety of pleasing flavors featuring peach
Evaluation: Great Vintage and another solid effort from Urbans Hof 93 points
2007 St. Urbans-Hof Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Piesporter Goldtropfchen Kabinett Riesling $$
Color: Medium gold
Nose: Floral, slate, Petrol
Taste: Sweet, slate, floral, petrol, peach
Finish: Short with a heavy slate quality
Evaluation: Not in the same league as the 07 Spatlese from Urbans 87 points
2007 Dr. Loosen "Dr. L" Mosel Riesling $$
Color: Light gold
Nose: Apple, pear, mineral
Taste: Apple, pear, slate, honey
Finish: Great acidity with peach, pear, slate, honey
Evaluation: Wonderful wine! 90 points
2007 Paul Anheuser Kreuznacher Scheurebe Riesling $$
Color: Light gold
Nose: Mineral, peach, honey
Taste: Semi sweet with peach, slate, and graham cracker
Finish: Medium with slate, peach, and a nice, crisp acidic quality
Evaluation: Solid everyday Riesling 88 points
John Glas of Wineglas is the most important wine critic in Minnesota. No one benefits the wine consumers like John as he does not sell wine for a living. This past Spring John was able to bring in 2 exciting wineries from Washington State. Click on the link above to see the reviews.
To learn more about Washington State Wines go to www.washingtonwines.org.
Tom and Deb Mortimer (Twin Cities Locals) are living their dream with their winery in Oregon. Enjoy the article and you must track down some of their Pinot Noir Cuvees'!
2003 Tim Smith Barossa Valley Shiraz is still currently the second best wine I have reviewed (97 Points).