Tag Archives: 13th Street

Three Rieslings – The White Daily Slosh(es)

18 Mar

This day in music history – 1972 – Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” hit number one on the US singles chart. His only solo recording to make a top 20 slot.

Just a few quick white wine recos for the March 21st release.

I’m a member of a fantasy baseball league and part of the fun is sending smack emails to other team owners. It usually takes the form of taunting someone about losing their star to season ending surgery – cheering someone tearing their ACL seems wrong but it feels pretty good when it’s not your guy. Last week as we struggled to find a date for our draft, a fellow owner stated that he was quaffing a Riesling at that very moment. I’m not sure what exactly I said but it was clearly interpreted as being disparaging about Riesling. That’s not what I meant. I love Riesling. Editors Note: He knew exactly what he said – something about some sommeliers and their lazy recommendation of Riesling.

This release there are three local Rieslings that bear a look see. I had all three at the cellar door and that usually means that my notes aren’t quite as expansive – more experiential, less intellectual.

frcnvThe 2013 Flat Rock Cellars Nadja’s Vineyard Riesling #578625 $19.95 has pretty well been recommended here for each of the past three vintages and I usually make some reference to the surrealist Andre Breton but it is lost on my audience. The Nadja style is one of bone dry, taut minerality and high acidity. This year is no exception. Lip smacking and good now with food that has some pop or later after the fruit (apples, pears) is allowed to open out and show itself – requires some time in the cellar, perhaps. In fact, this label usually does quite well with a few years at least. My ‘go to’ Niagara Riesling. You can read about my visit to Flat Rock Cellars here.

vinelandelevatioSpeaking of time in the cellar, the 2012 Vineland Estates Elevation St. Urban Vineyard Riesling #038117 $19.95 is a definite cellar candidate. I opened a 2008 Elevation Riesling last year and it was just beginning to come into focus. Still crisp but starting to fatten up a bit. The 2012 seems to have even a better chance of improving over time. This label has some sugar – classified as ‘medium’ in sweetness – but I appreciate that it has enough spine to not come off as sweet or cloying. I’m big on this wine but let me quote Michael Godel at www.winealign.com “To purchase in increments of less than a case may be considered a crime against Riesling.” That’s pretty convincing. So I throw down to my fantasy baseball Riesling friend, “Michael, you had better get some of this, cellar it, and when I win in 2020, give me a bottle”.

13rieslingThe last Riesling brings a return to these pages of 13th Street. I featured one of their reds here. The 2013 13th Street June’s Vineyard Riesling #147512 $19.95 is the first Riesling that I’ve sipped from this winery. This is another dry one that has a definitely heavier feel to it than the Nadja’s. Not heavy – sweet, but heavy as in mouthfeel – fruit, chewiness? Anyway, an interesting wine and one that is pretty great now but will even be better over time. I had thought that, in Niagara, the kero that Riesling can develop over time was most likely found in wines up around Flat Rock Cellars and Sue Ann Staff but this one from a different appellation (Creek Shores) will, I bet, develop some of that yummy petrol over time. Just think the weight indicates that’s the way it will go.

Interesting observation: all three recommendations are single vineyard wines. It’s nice to see Niagara develop individual vineyard personalities and have the courage to make them. I’ve just realized that the best of all three of these will be experienced down the road a while. But, surely there’s something else you can drink while you wait for these three to reach their peak. They’ll be worth the wait. And, I need suggestions for wine for my fantasy baseball draft. I’ve pretty well stayed in Italy or Spain the past few years and haven’t won. So, it may be time to shake it up. Anyone?

 

Holiday Advice – Fini

22 Dec

I want to change gears for a bit. Maybe, like me, you struggle to find meaning in the beliefs, rites and traditions that are on full display at this time of year. What is their origin? What is their meaning? This short clip helps me better understand. I hope it helps you too.

This is the third and last of three posts offering some recommendations for wines a little out of the ‘daily’ range.

You can read the first installment (Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc) here; the second installment (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay) here.

When I wrote the first post, I had the brilliant idea to do three posts based on specific varietals and I began without truly scoping out the series. The problem is that there are too many types of wines to capture in the third installment. I can either turn the trilogy into a Diana Gabaldon style series (Outlandish Wines?) or I could just fill this last post with some good ideas that I haven’t mentioned yet. I’m lazy and the latter sounds best.

badiaChianti? Yes, please. What Italian red is the friendliest wine from the boot? Well, some may say Pinot Grigio but they’d be wrong. It’s Chianti. And, we are lucky that there are a few great vintages on the shelves right now. One wine that would impress your friends and family is 2009 Antinori Badia a Passagnano Chianti Classico Riserva #384552 $44.95. I enjoyed a bottle of Chianti with a friend this month and all we could talk about were the cherries that we could smell and taste. I know, it’s kinda weird. It was a fruit cake-with-cherries red wine – not sweet like fruit cake but the red fruits and yeastiness. Cherries are the predominant fruit in the Badia as well. Classic Sangiovese. More serious than your father’s Chianti – some heft – full-bodied. People I know make turkey chilli with leftovers. This is a perfect wine if the chili isn’t too spicy. Let it decant for a bit. FYI, wine-searcher.com has it at $69 a bottle in US.

If you picked up my recommendation of 2008 Ondarre Reserva #723452 $18.95, you’ll say that you that don’t have to sell the farm to taste great Tempranillo. It is indeed tasty (I bought a bunch – and am looking to buy a bunch more). But, this is a post about splurging a bit. So, why not pick up the 1998 Vega-Sicilia Único #230284 $829.00? Why murrietanot? It’s $829.00, that’s why not. I just wanted to see if you were paying attention. If not the Unico, then maybe the 2008 Marqués de Murrieta Finca Ygay Reserva #209148 $27.95? This is ready to drink now, medium-to-full-bodied and quite round in the mouth for a Rioja, softer. Great dark fruits. A beautiful sipper, a second glass wine getting better as you go. This too with the turkey chilli.

Ontario Niagara Riesling is making its mark with a good vintage in 2011, in particular for Cave Spring. I tasted the 2011 Cave Spring cavespringCSV Riesling #566026 $29.95 at the beautiful tasting room adjacent to On The Twenty restaurant. Have I told you just how good the food is there? This is a medium Riesling but it doesn’t finish as sweetly as that would suggest. It’s full of peaches – there’s citrus too that may be the counter agent to the residual sugar. Or, it may be the acidity. There’s some lip smacking on the finish. From old enough vines to provide a hint that petrol will emerge. Beautiful and age-worthy.

It’s hard to splurge on rosé and yet it is a great wine for celebration and a turkey dinner. Especially if it has some depth, for me, that means Tavel would be good as well as some local pinks. Tavels:

2013 Delas Frères La Comballe Tavel Rosé #374884 $21.95

2013 Domaine des Caribinieres Lunar Apogé Tavel Rosé #375626 $19.95 see my earlier review here.

Ontario rosés:

2013 Flat Rock Pinot Noir Rosé #39974 $16.95

2013 13th Street Pink Palette Rosé #275834 $15.95

Both of these pinks carry a bit more sweetness, while still remaining in the ‘dry’ category, in their profile than the Tavels which are bone dry.

taylorThis week (or maybe last week now) the #NWTW (New Wine This Week) was Port. Port is a great sipper to have around for the holidays and maybe the only time that I drink it. It is lovely to sit and sip a glass of Port while recounting the story of The Baby In The Manger while young children in appropriate costumes for their part in the story sit somewhat bewilderingly at Uncle Bill’s feet (sorry, couldn’t resist a totally inside family joke). Port is good any time but best after dinner. Read this post by Please Bring Me My Wine about pairing Port. My faves:

Taylor Fladgate 10 Year-Old Tawny Port #121749 $34.95 (always in my cupboard)

1995 Dalva Colheita Port #69930 $32.95 this is a nutty, spicy treat.

I have something to share with the group, “I don’t drink Champagne very often.” There, I said it and now I can deal with it. It may not work – naming the problem out loud, that is. It didn’t work very often with my re-offending parolees. Then again, getting off crack might be a little harder than popping the cork on a few more bottles of Champagne. All this to say that I hesitate to recommend a bubbly splurge. My advice is to spring for Champagne or at least a Cremant de Bourgogne – there really is a difference between Boone’s Farms Sparkling Shotgun and Veuve Cliquot. Or, Prosecco and Mumm’s. Then again, if you’re making Mimosas, as we do, Cava such as Segura Viudas will do. On dealing with my specific problem? I’m going to work hard at it over the holidays (I have a personal plan, prescriptive action items, and measurable goals) and, Doc, I’ll report back next appointment.

castellaniOh yeah, this started back in Part 1, with a request for an Amarone recommendation from our Concierge Service. What did I recommend? 2009 Michele Castellani Cinque Stelle Amaraone Della Valpolicella Classico #75127 $57.95. I have had earlier vintages of this wine but not the ’09. Typically, the style is large with many dimensions – quite dark and dried in the fruit department – scents of leather and compost. A very special wine with which to end the meal (and post).

Remember: Wine is groceries; not a luxury (thanks to Richard Betts for that perfect phrase)

Cheers!

Bill

 

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