Ca di Ponti Sangiovese a stone winner

May 7, 2012

Too much to cover today for this space, so let’s jump right in. Summer wine reviews are into their second week. Domaines des Grandes Perrieres 2011 is a terrific Sancerre that is going for less than $18/bottle This is a top QPR with the typical newmown hay nose with hints of lemon. On the palate lemon-lime and minerals ride a nice acid frame through a long crisp finish; 88 points.

Ca di Ponti Sangiovese, 2010 at $8/bottle is a stone winner; 87 points.  I was surprised at the cherries, raspberries and spice this wine provides. Good  balance and firm structure make for a wonderful table wine.

If you enjoy Chardonnay and you are feeling a little crazy, Mark Aubert just placed a bunch of his recent releases of single vineyard Chards on sale for  $119/bottle. Lauren Vineyard  2010, 96 points,  and Ritchie Vineyard 2009, 95 points - both Galloni ratings. I preferred his Hyde and Sons Vineyard Chardonnay 2009, although a little more cellaring is best. As you are aware, I enjoy the richer, rounder styles common to the late '80s and early '90s.

Hyde Vineyard approaches those. I thought of apricot, tangerine and peach with a floral wreath. Allow it to bloom in your glass to bring forth its delicate nuance. Approachable, but I think another three years in your cellar will bring it to its peak; 95 points.

The Reuling Vineyard 2010 was also very nice. Shows terrific fruit. It is also big, round and powerful. Apricots, spices and flowers continue through the finish. Many at the tasting were comparing it to the wonderful white Burgundies. It is drinking well now and should improve and hold through 2020; 96 points.

Folks, I’m sorry to say that as much promise as these wines have, they are just barely worth this discounted price. I will opt for a real White Burgundy,  Jos. Drouhin Clos des Mouches Premieres Crus Blanc 2008, rated 94 and priced under $100. My fav French Chard is usually more expensive - Corton Charlemagne.  The 2008 Mouche is close. Pale yellow color opens to pineapple, white lilac and rose petals. In the glass, with air, it becomes far more complex (here is where it outshines the Cali wine in my opinion). Hints of citrus, honey, nutmeg, roast hazelnut and almond shows. Some claim white truffle, but I have trouble with that, probably because I’ve only enjoyed them on two occasions.  Its rich texture is supported by plenty of acid verve and minerality.  Round, full, complex, long reverberating finish. Best after 2013 will cellar long time

The following web page provides an article, on aged Bordeaux. Greg dal Paz hits it out of the park. It was too well done to truncate or paraphrase. After reading to the last page here, go to for more information.
Every once in a while, I enjoy a very dry martini. For me this means three criteria. Very, very cold; please don’t take that melty ice from the top of your exposed to the air ice bin. Six to one ratio using at least Noilly Pratt (I prefer Dolin or Boissiere) and an excellent flavorful gin. Don’t shake it or stir it, just let it stand in the steel shaker. Pour Vermouth in first and one brisk stir before straining into a cold glass. I rarely order one of these in a restaurant for obvious reasons.

My el execellente reputation would deteriorate into that of a beeg yerk. This is to advise martini drinkers who enjoy Tangueray type gins, to search out Number 3 London Dry from Berry and Rudd. Italian juniper provides unmistakable gin taste of pine and lavender.

Orange peel gives clean, crisp citrus, and grapefruit peel provides acid verve. Angelica root brings an earthy quality and drying. Coriander seed brings lemon flavor and a spicy,  peppery finish and cardamom adds an aromatic and tart finish. The problem is these are so delicious you may think two is better. Usually a big mistake.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

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