All posts by Staff Picks

Staff Pick: WineShopper – Chateau St Jean 2007 Reserve Chardonnay

Wine: Chateau St Jean 2007 Reserve Chardonnay

Reviewer: Kristin Balabanian

Rating: 5 stars

 

Wow! My first impression of the Chateau St Jean 2007 Reserve Chardonnay is its exceptional aroma: very distinct tropical notes but with an underlying creamy vanilla. While it isn’t a butter bomb a la Rombauer, it definitely hits some of those lush notes in a nicely balanced way. On the palate the nice viscous weight is impressive and what you would expect from a reserve Chardonnay from a quality producer like Chateau St Jean. The finish is strong and leaves you with nice bright fruit flavors and a touch of vanilla. While this wine is from the 2007 vintage, it tastes very fresh and lively!

 

Check out WineShopper tomorrow Feb. 15th at 9 am to purchase this 90 point Chardonnay for only $22.49 (50% off)!

 

 

Staff Pick: WineShopper – Barbi Brunello di Montalcino 2004 375ml


Wine Name: Barbi Brunello di Montalcino 2004 375ml
Wine Reviewer: Eileen
Wine Rating: 5 stars
Paired with: Nothing … I had this one just by itself


Wine Review: I bought two of these for stocking stuffers at Christmas, one for a stocking, and one for me and my partner. Yes, folks, we’re lightweights when it comes to wine. We find ourselves not opening a bottles when we know we won’t finish the 750ml. So these half-bottles are absolutely perfect … and I love that this wine is 93 Wine Spectator points under $20. So … on to the wine!

I enjoyed the mellowness of this wine and its medium body. Not as powerful as a Cab but not as light-bodied as a Pinot. Somewhere in the middle and elegant. As what I would expect from a European / Italian wine, the nose has a rich fruity bouquet and the flavors of dark cherries stood out. The mellow tannins were enjoyable for a nice soft grip. I sort of wanted to enjoy some cheese with it, but I declined and enjoyed my ‘special’ glass all by itself.

Something I’d recommend to share on Valentine’s Day or not, you’ll enjoy it either way. :-)

Barbi Brunello di Montalcino 2004 375ml

Read more of my reviews on my Wine.com community page.

Staff Pick: WineShopper Budini 2009 Chardonnay


Wine Name: Budini 2009 Chardonnay
Wine Reviewer: Eileen
Wine Rating: 5 stars
Wine Review: I was super excited to taste this wine because of the description of the wine, its high score, and low price … OK … mainly the low price. I tasted it very cold (right out of the fridge) which is actually not the best way to taste a wine, I learned. You're supposed wait about 20 minutes before drinking to enjoy more of the flavors. Apparently, you don't get all the flavors if the wine is too cold. But I figure that if I'll be sipping the wine for a while … it has plenty of time to warm up before I finish the glass. So on to the wine!

I tasted lots of nice pear and apple and I really enjoyed the minerality. It's a refreshing wine. I love crisp Rieslings and this is similar to that style of wine. I would drink this wine all year round. It's light and tasty enough to sip on its own without food. If you like light and crisp styles of wine … I'd stock up on this one. PLUS, and this is my favorite part … "A portion of all Budini wine sales are also donated to the Dominio del Plata Scholarship Foundation which was established to help fulfill the dream of a college education to winery worker families throughout Argentina."

It's a remarkable wine in every way!
Budini 2009 Chardonnay

Read more of my reviews on my Wine.com community page.

Staff Pick: 2009 Domane Wachau Federspiel Terrassen Gruner Veltliner

Wine Name: 2009 Domane Wachau Federspiel Terrassen Gruner Veltliner
Wine Reviewer: Matt Commins
Wine Rating: 4 stars

Wine Review:
I’m a relative novice when it comes to wine evaluation and tasting so no making fun ;0) As a wine newbie I’m always exploring something new, whether it’s a new grape, winery, or region. I’ve found this is the best way to expand my knowledge base and to branch out of my comfort zone. Knowing nothing about Austrian wine, the Gruner Veltliner (or GruVe if you want to be super cool) from Domane Wachau was a delightful surprise.

The first thing I noticed was how clear the wine looked as well as the spicy aromas of black and green pepper. My first impression was the soft rich texture.

The first sip was fantastic. It was full bodied and crisp with hints of green apple and peach. There was a tight medium finish with grapefruit. The wine would have been better served (pun intended) if it was accompanied by a meal than by itself. Overall, the wine was well balanced in term of its sweetness, acidity, and level of alcohol. You’ll be glad you gave this bottle a chance.

2009 Domane Wachau Federspiel Terrassen Gruner Veltliner Wine Review

Read more of my reviews on my Wine.com community page

Tasting the 2009 Vintage in Bordeaux

 

 

I have just spent three amazing days in Bordeaux tasting over 300 wines from the 2009 vintage. Mike and Rich joined up with Patrick Baugier and myself to see for ourselves what this much heralded vintage is all about. In a word it is AWESOME.

Patrick is a Bordelais with an enormous spread of contacts throughout the region. He drove us around and made sure we didn’t miss a thing. This explains why we managed to taste close on 400 wines. We tasted through all qualities – from Petits Chateaux of the Cotes de Bourg to Ch Lafite and Ch Margaux. We also tasted some quite magnificent Sauternes and Barsac. One thing that stood out was how immediately accessible these wines are. We were spitting throughout but it was often very difficult to do so, and nearly impossible with the sweet wines!

We started off on Monday, where we tasted a selection of over 50 Petits Chateaux from earlier vintages for possible addition into the Club Claret range. We have found ten or so which you will be hearing about later in the year.

From then on, we drove up and down the Medoc, calling in on the numerous tastings of the local commune wines, the Cru Bourgeois and finally the Cru Classé. Many of these tastings were in the Chateaux themselves where the hospitality of our hosts was exceptional.

The consensus of opinion about this vintage is that we are looking at wines that compare to 2000 and 2005, perhaps a shade better than the former and tussling for pole position with the latter. What was also fascinating to witness was the powerful presence of merchants and traders from China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and even India. This is a vintage that will sell out en primeur very quickly – be warned.

The daily visit to six or so tastings culminated in some very happy evening dinners, be they in Bordeaux restaurants, private homes or Chateau environments. Here we were able not only to talk wine but finally swallow a few glasses and remind ourselves, as if we needed reminding, how delicious mature Bordeaux wines are.

I had to return to England today, to collect my car, only to drive back to France tomorrow for a few days skiing with my grandchildren in the Haut Savoie. I am not complaining, except seeing Mike, Rich and Patrick heading off in the car to Ch d’Yquem, and then on to St Emilion and Pomerol, with Ch Petrus on the menu, left me with a frog in my throat!

Over the next few days, I will be more specific about the wines we tasted. In fact we will be putting together a shopping-list of the best of the bunch for you to think about. Till then, salut!

Anthony Foster MW