January 27, 2018

Winter In German Wine Dinner, PORTLAND STYLE!


1. 2015 Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes Hermitage Au Fil du Temps Rhone
Possibly the wine of the appellation & a true “wow” wine, offers sensational notes of cassis, toasted spice, vanilla & blackberry jam. Full-bodied, concentrated & polished, with perfect balance, it's a gorgeous, seamless beauty that ranks with the finest Crozes-Hermitage I've ever tasted. Rated 96 Jeb Dunnuck

2. 2014 Domaine Lafage Tessellae Carignan Vielles Vignes Cotes Catalanes Roussillon
A crazy value, (this wine) is one of the best examples of this variety from the Roussillon, & the fact that it sells for a song is just icing on the cake for the consumer. Coming all from schist soils & 70-year-old vines, raised 12 months in a mix of concrete tanks & demi-muids, it offers tons of black raspberry & black cherry fruit, licorice & dried spices to go with a super sexy, heady, seamless style on the palate that keeps you coming back to the glass. Rated 92 The Wine Advocate (WA)

3. 2010 Xavier Vignon Chateuneuf du Pape Cuvee Anonyme Rhone Valley
The powerful, rich wine reveals an off-the-chart level of extract, lots of glycerin & copious black cherry, blueberry, forest floor, lavender & graphite characteristics. Rated 95 WA

4. 2014 Chateau de Saint Cosme "Les Deux Albion" Cotes du Rhone
Soft, fleshy red plum & cherry are accented by hints of nut, toffee & cinnamon in this approachable Syrah-based blend. Ripe, chalky tannins & yielding acidity accentuate its rounded nature. A touch of granite lends elegance to the finish. Wine Enthusiast

5. 2014 Michel Chapoutier Bila-Haut Occult Lapidem Cotes du Rhone Villages
Another terrific vintage for this cuvee, the Syrah & Grenache-dominated (wine) was harvested with miniscule yields of 28 hectoliters per hectare. Completely destemmed & aged all in concrete tanks, its ruby opaque color is followed by complex notes of garrigue, leather, plums & violets. Medium to full-bodied, elegant & layered, with a great texture, this fruit-forward, balanced wine is already hard to resist, but will continue drinking nicely for 6-7 years. Rated 92 WA

6. 2015 Bastide Miraflors Rouge Cotes du Roussillon
This wine is almost too good to be true. A blend of 70% Syrah & 30% Grenache that was brought up in concrete tanks & demi-muids, (reminiscent) of a mini Syrah from California's Manfred Krankl (yes I just compared a $14 Syrah to Sine Qua Non). It's a ripe, sexy, heady beauty that exhibits a deep, purple color as well as killer notes of smoked meats, chocolate, blackberry & black raspberries. Deep, unctuous, open knit & layered, it continues to change in the glass, has a seamless & silky profile, & not a hard edge to be found. It's a sensational value that needs to be tasted to be believed. Rated 94 WA

7. 2006 Domaine Pierre Usseglio Cuvee de mon Aieul Chateauneuf du Pape
One of the top wines of the vintage, this is a quintessential Châteauneuf, boasting awesome aromatics of kirsch & blackberry liquor, garrigue, licorice & minerals. Both decadent & fresh at the same time on the nose, the wine is full bodied & balanced on the palate, showing a gorgeous, silky texture, good acidity & a very long, focused finish. This is delicious now, but I think it will be even better in 4-6 years, & then drink well for 15+. Don’t miss this wine! Rated 97 Jeb Dunnock

8. 2012 Chateau Puech-Haut Saint-Drezery Le Prestige Languedoc
The inexpensive wine is a blend of 55% Grenache (60-75-year-old vines) & 45% Syrah aged 12 months in concrete. It is a disarmingly juicy, complex, full-bodied, dark ruby/purple-colored effort displaying a sweet kiss of lavender, acacia flowers, pepper, black raspberries & kirsch. Round, generous & medium to full-bodied with elegance as well as flavor authority, this pure, & beautifully textured. Rated 91 WA