Thursday, February 21, 2008

2004 Château de Riquewihr Gewürztraminer Les Sorcières: not so wicked!

Florence and Pierre, our friends from Chicago, decided to come and visit us for Presidents' day weekend. As usual, they arrived like Santa Claus, with suitcases full of great wines and goodies. Needless to say, we were eager to taste what they had brought and the first evening after their arrival, we opened a 2004 Dopff & Irion Château de Riquewihr Gewürztraminer Les Sorcières.

Dopff & Irion is a leading Alsace producer in the medieval wine village of Riquewihr, one of the most beautiful villages in France. The family owns the Château de Riquewihr, a 27 hectares estate with vineyards on the best hillsides near the village. The 5 hectare vineyard Les Sorcières (The Witches) is located on a site where witches were burned at the stake during the Middle Ages. It is solely planted with Gewürztraminer on clay, marl and limestone soils.

The wine showed a bright golden color and an expressive nose of litchi fruit and mango. The palate was slightly sweet, although fresh, lively, and racy, with aromas of stone fruits on the finish. We drank it à l'apéritif, with a chicken liver terrine made by our other friend and great cook Laurence. Simply awesome!

Technorati tags:

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Australian Pinot Noirs: how good are they?

In the past couple of years, I have come across several noteworthy New Zealand Pinot Noirs but what about the Australian versions of the wine? They are still not as easy to find in the US and therefore, it is hard to determine their quality. But I finally found one and so here I am, with a bottle of 2005 Kooyong Massale Pinot Noir.

Kooyong is a small winery located on the northern end of the Mornington Peninsula, 80km south of Melbourne. The Mornington Peninsula in southern Victoria has a cool, maritime climate that is particularly noted for Pinot Noir. The winery is planted to 30 hectares of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris vineyards, all north-facing to maximize sun exposure. The best sections of each vineyard are first reserved for the Single Vineyard bottlings, and then for the Kooyong Estate blends. The remaining sections are used to produce the Massale Pinot Noir and the Clonale Chardonnay.

Well, even if the Massale Pinot Noir is not the winery's premier offering, it is a very decent and reasonably priced wine. The wine has a deep garnet color and a nice Pinot nose with earthy aromas and notes of black fruits. On the palate, it is round and juicy with an aftertaste of smoke and cinnamon spices.

Mornington Peninsula: I wish I could find more wines from this region, even visit the place. Have you noticed how pristine the beaches are?

Technorati tags: