April 28, 2012

Pop-Up Wine Dinner, Salem, MA

2007 Hugel & Fils Classic Pinot Gris Alsace (France)
Hugel’s 2007 Pinot Gris Tradition – as with Muscat, there is no “regular” bottling of this grape below the “Tradition” level – smells of smoked meat and sauteed mushrooms, ripe peach and pungent herbs. It displays a striking combination of creaminess and clarity, in part no doubt attributable to a frequent Hugel procedure of letting some lots undergo malo-lactic transformation and others not. Toasted hazelnut, diverse herbs, mushrooms, and subtle suggestions of bitter-sweet liquid floral perfume inform a juicy subtly saline finish. This is going to make a terrific table wine over the next 8-10 years. Rated 91 The Wine Advocate

2010 Gassier Lou Coucardie Blanc Costieres de Nimes (France)
Even better is the blend of 50% Roussanne, 35% Viognier and the rest Grenache blanc, the 2010 Lou Coucardie blanc. Light gold, with intense honeyed, waxy, citrus blossom notes, hints of orange rind, lemon butter and white peach, extraordinarily fresh acids, a luscious texture, and a personality similar to Beaucastel’s famed 100% Roussanne cuvee of Chateauneuf du Pape, this is a stunning wine for the price and should drink well for several years. Rated 93 The Wine Advocate

2009 Primarius Pinot Noir (Oregon)
Bright and lively, with a hint of candy to the cherry and mint flavors, finishing with polish. Rated 88 The Wine Spectator Silky with layers of fruit that unfold on the palate, this Oregon Pinot Noir lives up to its name: Pramarius, Latin for distinguished. Sourced from high quality Oregon vineyards, Primarius speaks of the state’s idyllic climate for producing Pinot Noir. Winery

2009 Le Sciare Primitivo Apulia (Italy)
Sometimes you’ll hear a wine described as having “good juice“ and not be quite sure what that means. Cantine Due Palme’s “Le Sciare” provides an answer. Primitivo is so named not due to any feral, rough qualities but because the Benedictines who cultivated it noticed it as the first, or primo,a grape to be harvested, usually by the third week of September. This version is direct and uncomplicated, but not in any way a listless all-flavor-no-character wine. Scents of currants, dark cherries and blackberries with spicy highlights follow through on a concentrated texture of mouthfilling, jammy fruitiness that has loads of good juice – a balancing acidity and soft tannins. “Le Sciare” is the bottle you open for those who still are uncertain of Italian wines, a modern expression that never loses sight of its territorio. wineclass.net Rich, spicy & warming red with lots of that classic sunbaked southern Italian fruit. Yum! Uvawines.com

2009 Falesco Merlot Umbria (Italy)
The 2009 Merlot is one of the finest wines I have ever tasted from Falesco. It is a decidedly firm, vibrant Merlot that stands in stark contrast to the super-ripe, obvious Vitiano Rosso. Here the fruit is wonderfully precise and elegant. Jammy blueberries, blackberries, cinnamon, leather and crushed rocks are woven into a beautiful fabric. The French oak is layered very nicely, adding depth and flavor, but never overpowering the wine. This is impressive juice from proprietor Riccardo Cotarella. Rated 92 The Wine Advocate

Churchill’s 10 Year Old Tawny Port (Portugal)
Very subtle with custard, flan and hints of fruit and caramel. Medium-bodied, with a light sweetness and a nutty, light toffee aftertaste. Made for hard cheese. Churchill knows how to make very good Port. Rated 89 Wine Spectator