PFAFFL – Gruner Veltliner, 2016

  • Basic info: PFAFFL, Gruner Veltliner “Vom Haus”, Niederösterreich, Austria – 2016
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $18 (? Weekly Tasting pack, so I’m not certain)
  • Look: Pale straw in color with minimal legs, even when warm.
  • Smell: Apple and vanilla. Not much smell to this one and I *think*  I got those two smells, but in retrospect I might have wanted to smell those.
  • Taste: Under ripe peach, salt, lime and white grape. (Yes, seriously, white grape)
  • Conclusions: This was a pretty amazing wine. It was light and clean tasting, but there was a lot going on in it. This was a wine you could drink and ignore as you sat and chatted (which is what we did the first night we opened it with a friend) or ponder as you sip it as I did the next time we had it.
  • Other notes: I think this wine goes on the list of favorites – right there with the Soter Pino Noir and Decoy or Haywood Zinfandels. It is that good.
  • From the bottle: “This classic, crisp and fine fruity Gruner Veltliner has a good pinch of black pepper. A great house wine that is incredibly versatile.” 12% alcohol by volume.

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Laurent Barth – Gewurtztraminer, 2012

  • Basic info: Laurent Barth, “Le Clos des Trios Chemins”, Gewurtztraminer, Alsace France, 2012.
  • Type: white
  • Price estimate: $17 (Chamber Street Wines)
  • Look: Deep yellow color. Lots of legs, even when cold.
  • Smell: lemon flower, honey, and orange blossom. Bob got peach and some fruit he could not identify.
  • Taste: Sweet. Round and full bodied with a crisp end when cold. Orange blossom, Chartreuse and vanilla flavors. Bob swore there was another flavor he could not identify and later said lychee. Nice finish – longer than expected.
  • Conclusions: Very cold, this wine is fantastic. It is sweet – no mistaking it for a dry, off-dry or semi sweet wine. It is complex and interesting and reminds me a bit of an oaked chardonnay in the texture of the wine. As the wine warms, the sweetness intensifies and it was a little hard for me to finish a glass.
  • Other notes: I am not a fan of rich, buttery wines or of sweet wines, so I was surprised that I liked this one so much. It had a lot going on in the glass and ice box cold, I really liked it. As the wine warmed (we were eating dinner) I found it harder to drink and the sweetness really started to coat my mouth. I’m not sure if this is a typical example of the varietal, but it is definitely interesting and I really want to try a dry version, and maybe one with just a little less richness in texture.
  • From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from Chamber Street, “This one has the perfect level of sweetness. It’s not cloying or sticky, but is instead balanced and fresh with white flowers and other classic Gewurz aromatics, a rich and textured apart, and great underlying acidity which lends well to the dreamy and majestic finish.” 13.5% alcohol by volume.

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Jonc Blanc – White Blend, 2014

  • Basic info:Jonc Blanc, “Les sens du fruit” white blend, France, 2014 (sauvignon, semillon and sauvignon gris)
  • Type: white
  • Price estimate: $11 (Chamber Street Wines)
  • Look: Pale yellow in color with no noticeable legs when cold. Few legs noticeable as the wine warmed up.
  • Smell: wine, maybe a little citrus. very little aroma.
  • Taste: Apple, lime, pear and a slight mineral taste part way through. Good acid, but not overpowering. Medium finish with a touch of lemon on the end.
  • Conclusions: I liked this wine a lot and found it surprisingly easy to drink. I had to be careful with this one as it didn’t taste like it had a lot of alcohol and was very smooth. I liked the citrus taste in this one – lemon and lime that were just sweet enough.
  • Other notes: We had a merlot by this same producer that was great the first day we opened it, but a few days later, I could not drink the wine as it had turned. The white lasted much longer and I’m not sure if it was the specific bottle or if whites just last a few days longer after opening. I was hoping for more stone fruit in this white, but I still loved the wine. It had character and that is hard to find at this price point.
  • From the bottle: The bottle was in French, so I have no idea what it actually said, but the description from the store, “fabulous aromas of lime-flower, orange peel, ripe pear, melon and since – really unique and lovely. Very complex fruit on the palate – pear and apple with citrus and mineral flavors backed by firm acidity.” 13.5% alcohol by volume.

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Domaine de la Roche Bleue – Chenin Blanc, 2015

  • Basic info: Domaine de la Roche Bleue “Jasnieres” Chenin Blanc, Loire Valley, France, 2015
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $19
  • Look: light straw color, some legs, but not many when chilled.
  • Smell: honeysuckle, lemon and melon
  • Taste: Lemon, salty. Crisp and clean, but with a little brine. Medium finish.
  • Conclusions: Good wine. Easy to drink and great on a hot day. Not something I will seek out again, but it was definitely a good wine.
  • Other notes:
  • From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from Chamber Street, ” The Roche Bleue 2015 Jasnieres shows pale bronze color with beautiful aromas of pear, lime-flower and peach with hints of stone, anise and citrus peel. The palate reveals almond, pear, stone and chalky minerals that continue in the ver long, tart, very mineral finish.” 12% alcohol by volume.

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Herve Villemade – Sauvignon Blanc, 2016

  • Basic info: Herve Villemade, Vin de France, Sauvignon Blanc, Loire Valley, France, 2016.
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $15 (Chamber Street Wines)
  • Look: translucent straw with medium legs
  • Smell: lemon, jasmine, granny smith apples. Bob got pineapple and pine.
  • Taste: Crisp, dry, diluted grapefruit with a touch of honey.
  • Conclusions: This is definitely a Sauvignon Blanc, but it is an excellent example of the grape. It will never be my favorite varietal, but this is one I could easily drink. The finish was good and it had the right balance of acidity and sweetness  even though it is NOT a sweet wine.
  • Other notes: I bought this bottle specifically because I wanted to try Sauvignon Blanc again. I tend to avoid Sauvignon Blancs as I’ve had lots that were more like drinking alcoholic grapefruit juice than wine. I know that is a style and flavor profile some like, but I don’t. However, with this one, I enjoyed the wine even if I didn’t love it.
  • From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from Chamber Street, “The wine shows lovely aromas of pear, melon, lime-flower and boxwood, really pretty, with pear and apple on the palate with stone and lemon confit – perfectly balanced and refreshing.” 12% alcohol by volume.

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Domaine Sainte Barbe – Chardonnay, 2014

  • Basic info: Domaine Sainte Barbarie, “La Perriere” Chardonnay, France – 2014
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $24 (Chamber Street Wines)
  • Look: Pale straw/medium yellow with interesting legs.
  • Smell: honeysuckle and apricot
  • Taste: dried peach and pineapple with a hint of vanilla. Smooth wine with a nice tang.
  • Conclusions: This wine falls into the “it’s okay” category. It was very drinkable, very easy to pair with food and was fine for a regular day. I do think one issue with it was that I tasted it along side a truly fantastic chardonnay that a friend brought over and it really paled in comparison. That first day we just tasted, and I had it with dinner the next night (or two) and it was good, but it isn’t a special wine at all.
  • Other notes: My biggest problem with this wine wasn’t the taste, but the headache I got after one glass. I thought it was a coincidence the first time, but after the second day, I realized that it had to be the wine itself. This is weird since wine almost never gives me a headache, and for a white wine to do that was highly unusual.
  • From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from Chamber Street, “The 2014 shows elegant, subtle aromas of dried pear, lime-flower, stone, melon, pineapple and honeysuckle. The palate is very mineral, with stone and citrusy acids, dense pear and herbal flavors and terrific length.” 12.5% alcohol by volume.

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Maldivinas – Albillo, 2015

  • Basic info: Maldivinas “Combate” Albillo, Spain, 2015
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $25 (Chamber Street Wines)
  • Look: Golden in color with long legs
  • Smell: honey/honeysuckle, mineral and a little citrus. Bob called oak on the nose.
  • Taste: Soft wine, but has a definite sour note. Some apple notes and just a hint of vanilla.
  • Conclusions: Bob liked this wine and thought it had a lot of character and was very different from anything we have tasted before. I agreed with the “different” classification, but I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. I wasn’t tempted to have a second glass, but I also didn’t shy away from having a glass the next night with dinner. Even after drinking it for a few days, I’m not sure if I like it or not.
  • Other notes: This was one wine that I was really excited to try for a few reasons. I’ve never had the albillo grape before and wasn’t familiar with it. The bigger reason to be excited is that this was an experimental wine from the vintner and they made only one barrel of it. Yep, one barrel. So whether I liked it or not, I got to taste something that is very unique and I will probably never taste again.
  • From the bottle: No notes on the bottle, but from Chamber Street, “… the fruit and floral are less cloying than Viognier’s, with intense earth and mineral expression across terrors.” 13% alcohol by volume.

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