Wine Reviews Tasting Notes and Education for the Non-Snob, by Vino Joe, a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW)

Kim Crawford Pinot Gris

Kim Crawford Pinot Gris 2013 | Marlborough, New Zealand

kim-crawford-pinot-grisNose is wide open and expressive, with bright, delicious aromas of pineapple, ripe pear, peach, and apricot. In the mouth, the fruit is similar — really ripe, bright, upfront sweet pear, with a touch of residual sugar, but the fruit lasts through a lengthy, pleasant finish. The bright pear and peach flavors remind me a bit of Muscat / Moscato.

It’s aptly named Pinot Gris rather than Pinot Grigio; to me, “Pinot Gris” is what I associate with Oregon and Alsace, and in those areas, the grape tends to make wines that are less acidic and have a slightly oily mouthfeel (in comparison to Pinot Grigio from northern Italy). Toward that point, Kim Crawford Pinot Gris has some weight in the mouth, and is on the fat side — which makes it a wonderful solo sipper and, when pairing with food, is better with leaner meats and simply prepared, undressed / un-sauced vegetables. The back label suggests Asian and spicy cuisine, and I’d agree with that. This is a potential picnic crowd-pleaser.

Tuscany in Ten Minutes

Learn all you need to know about Tuscan wines in ten minutes by watching the video below, produced by the Guild of Sommeliers:

The Wines of Tuscany from guildsomm on Vimeo.

How You Pour Wine Affects Your Drinking

This information came out a few months ago, but it remains relevant: did you know that the way you pour your wine can affect how much you drink? [Continue reading]

Red Wine Review: Chateau Lassegue 2006

Chateau Lassegue 2006 | Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, France

chateau-lassegue-st-emilionYet another stellar example of right bank Bordeaux by brilliant winemaker Pierre Seillan.

Generous, open nose give opulent scents of ripe black fruit, earth, and mild hints of dark chocolate, tobacco, and something vegetal. On the palate it’s more restrained — really tight, not ready to offer the ample fruit waiting to erupt after a few years in the cellar. What you do get — after several rounds of double-decanting and allowing the wine to hang around in the open air — is complex layers of red and black fruit, earth, tar, and tobacco. What tips off the future greatness of this wine is its lengthy, perfectly balanced finish. No one element jumps out to be counted, but the subtle, complex flavors are preserved with appropriate levels of acidity and tannins. The finish goes on, in balance, for five minutes plus; even when it finally disappears from the palate, there’s no heat, astringency, nor bitterness taking away from the pleasure.

If you want a New World, fruit-forward, jammy ripe cocktail-hour wine that bursts in your mouth with upfront flavors right now (and goes better with a cigar than food), then stay away from this wine. However, if you prefer an understated, youthful, harmonic wine with structure to match with beefy or gamey dishes, then stock a case of this in your cellar, forget about for about five years, and start uncorking a bottle a year until it reaches its apex. It will be well worth the wait.

Find this wine at a retailer near you using Wine-Searcher

Disclosure: I received this wine as a press sample

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Pine Ridge Chardonnay


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Canadian White Wine: Peller Estates Chardonnay

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