As wine connoisseurship evolves, I look toward developing ways to express the aspects of wine I love the most. I recognize that wine is a product of nature and science; my goal is as natural as can be: to help make the connection between joy of taste and the bountiful pleasures of life.”

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"Here...smell this!...."

Last evening I spent a few hours in a local eatery that’s recently opened in Atlanta's historic fourth ward. Modeled after all that is good about "comfort food", with an added splash of finesse and sensibility, the evening was full of tasty treats and rock solid conversation with a broker and the owner of a small Italian wine import company. Surrounded by epic selections, the range of character and personality was staggering. Three wines of mention all come with top recommendations if you are able to find either of the latter ,..go ahead and pat yourself on the back and fasten your belt.

2007 Torbreck, Semillion- geeze...what a wine! All that richness and suave fleshiness of a Marsanne or Rousanne or even some chardonnays but oh so light on her feet. Scrumptious aromas of tropical flowers, lemon oil, and nut skin pave the way for a seamless palate jammed effortlessly with a mountainscape of fine grained textural loveliness reminiscent of aged Alsatian PG or PB. acid just like i like it,...early in stride and naturally long and elongating!! Razor precision, impressive complexity and about as food friendly as it gets! holy smokes...and that’s the truth Ruth!

2001 Varaldo,“ Fantasia 420” =supa doopa, Piedmontese blend – when drinking a bottle like this you begin to realize and even appreciate what wine maturation is all about. This little mister, perhaps at its pinnacle and optimal window, week, or even night of consumption was simply sublime. While the history of crafty, outside the box winemaking in Piedmonte is relatively new compared to most Italian wine regions, the idea of blending a pissy, somewhat aggressive varietal like Nebbiolo with a few more giving, spry and perhaps welcoming counterparts makes as much sense and maybe even more in Piedmonte than it does anywhere else. Soaring aromatics remind me of the mud room of a hippie family that I visited as a small child. Wet earth still clinging to the bottom of a row of hiking boots, an old warped walnut floor made from reclaimed lumber, and the off gassing of the walls that have endured years of kitchen kettle steam, roasted meats, and countless packaged of nag champa, sandalwood, and patchouli incense all together find harmony amid a core of lush, and yes,..plush, plummy merlot-cab fruit. Tertiary and evolved, this wine was a sniffers paradise! Not to discount the palate and body which too was in above average shape thanks to well managed stationary cellaring by the one and only Ed Travis! Thanks to Vinlandia imports and Ed for this magical taste.

2004 Pax, Kobler RRV, Syrah – well, when someone talks about balance this one should be somehow wrapped into the sentence. Another stunning bottling from Pax Mahle ( former winemaker and founder of Pax wine cellars). This little beauty, from a biodynamic vineyard near the green valley ava of Sonoma county, was the closest thing to Crozes hermitage ive ever tasted from a domestic production. Clearly Syrah, but oh so lifted and integrated! WOW! Co- fermented with 10% Viognier, the aromatics, while extremely focused and narrow at the moment revealed acrobatic almost dreamlike levels of purple flower, white pepper, and iodine. Imagine harvesting 200 lbs of lilac, hyacinth, and violets, pureeing them in a two story Vita Mix and then passing the liquid through a chinios ( fine sieve)…yeah, sounds crazy eh??? Well its just like that…hints of beefiness, some plowed soil, manure, and tar emerged after about 45 min but the floral thing just kepton coming …amazing density and power with no suggestion of oak nor manipulation of any kind …truly a blessed wine …another sniffer….stunning yes…elixir of power and elegance. Sho nuff ! goodness! Go find some ….

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