Friday, July 31, 2009

2007 Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County

In April I posted a blog about the 2006 vintage of this wine. This newly-released 2007 version is perhaps even better, reflecting the generally outstanding vintage enjoyed by wineries throughout northern California. This wine is medium-dark in color and has an exceptional balance of ripe tannins, acidity, fruit and extract, with broad satisfying flavors. It is drinking well now but a few years in your cellar would do it no harm.

The Wine Exchange in Orange, CA has this wine for an amazing $12, plus shipping. The Kansas City Lukas store at Stateline and 135th Street has it on the shelves for $15. I think this wine is easily worth twice that price. Why the low cost? Because of tough economic times wine consumers are still buying wine, but they are spending less per bottle. This wine appears perfectly positioned to do well in this market. The 2006 vintage bottling was very large so I suspect this one will also have widespread availability.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

2007 Odisea "Angele", Sueno Vineyard, Lodi, California

This winery produces a number of red and white varietal blends and this was the one that captured my attention. It is a blend of 35% Marsanne, 35% Roussanne and 30% Grenache Blanc. 25 years ago even a hardcore wine lover would probably not know how to find Lodi on a California map. A lot of wine has been produced in this area for a long time, but until recently most of the grapes ended up as anonymous components in inexpensive blends. This AVA has been steadily receiving increased attention and appreciation.

This dry white wine has good acidity and lively aromas of apricots and tea. Some oak is present in the nose but it does not intrude on the fruit. What is really interesting about this wine is how it has captured the rich flavors and viscous mouth feel of these full-bodied white Rhone varietals. This wine is a nice change of pace if you are tired of sipping on summer whites that have little personality. The price was $19 at the Kansas City Lukas store at 135th and State Line Road.

Ridge Vineyards may have been the first winery to source fruit from Lodi and give credit to this region on their label. Please take a look at my "Old Tastes." Scroll down to "Zinfandel" and click on the Lodi 1972 and L1D 1969 labels. I would appreciate hearing from you if you are aware of any earlier bottles of Lodi-identified wine.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

2005 Hopler Austrian Pinot Blanc

Sometimes finding a nice wine is just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. I bumped into a wine distributor friend at the Lukas wine store in Kansas City (Overland Park) and I was invited to sit in on a presentation by Mr. Hopler's son. His PowerPoint show was so interesting I purchased a bottle of this wine as I was leaving. I am glad I did. This is a delicious, dry and refreshing wine that possesses plenty of structure and flavor to stand up to rich and spicy dishes. The winery is located in Austria's eastern Burgenland viticulture area. Although I was suspicious that the wine, now almost four years old, may be fading fast,such was not the case. The cost was a very reasonable $15. The Lukas store on the other side of the state line has the 2007 vintage, which I have not tried.