Stay apprised of the Oregon, Washington State markets

February 10, 2014

Just had a very nice deal come across my screen. Dr. Thanisch, Bernkasteler Riesling Cabinet, Muller Burgraeff, Badstube, 2011, which I rate 90 with two price points is on sale at $240/case. However, prudent shoppers can find some for $18.50/bottle. In the glass, pale golden colored with a slightly sulfurous opening aroma that needs to be swirled off. (This is fairly common in German Riesling.)

On dispersal, a pleasing floral note opens to a bouquet of apple and lemon zest with a spicy, smoky nuance. The palate is dense with apple, honeydew, chamomile and caramel flavors. I do think the wine could have been improved with a bit more acid, but it does finish clean and a very good PQR when priced under $21. Will cellar well into 2020s.

E. Guigal, Crozes Hermitage Rouge, 2009 is a bargain when priced under $20. The Rhones were lost in the shuffle when the 2009 Bordeaux scores came in. The Crozes was rated RP 92, Tanzer 91 and McD 91plus two price points.

One hundred percent syrah, it emits a complex bouquet of black olives, licorice, hamburger, spring flowers and currants On the palate, ripe raspberry, blackberry puree, juicy, medium body, There is a bit of oak and some garrigue on the finish. A lot of Rhone wine for $20

Avoid Merry Edward Klopp Ranch Pinot Noir (PN) 2010. Although I am normally a huge fan, the 2010 is disappointing. It is still 87 points, but at $70-75 you can do much better. Go here for a very long alphabetical listing that shows scores and pricing for recent release California PN Please keep in mind my suggestion you stay apprised of the Oregon and Washington State markets.

One I have been keeping an eye on is Ayres Vineyard. They initially planted in 2001 and winemaker Brad McLeroy has done a nice job  Their website has a great four-selection, 12-bottle case priced under $360. Another rising star is Scott Paul Wines The winemaking brains are supplied by Kelley Fox. You owe it to yourselves to locate some of their wine

Torres Celeste Crianza, Ribera del Douro, 2010 is a nice rendition of the “new” style Tempranillo. I’m reviewing because other world famous critics rated it from 85 to 92 points and I was curious about the wide discrepancy. All agreed the wine had licorice notes and was juicy, but they couldn’t agree on its color; one said blackberry colored, or if it was black cherry or blackberry nose. One claimed minerality, another spices and a third black peppercorn. Was it persistent and full-bodied or very fruity with ripe tannins?

I went back to read the reviews because I thought I had messed up my notes. I think priced under $20 it deserves 90 plus two price points. This is a lovely cherry colored Crianza. The bouquet is pie spice, licorice and black pepper. The wine is juicy and a tad austere, due to its youth. However, it is balanced and ,with some coaxing, developed black cherry, rich and ripe tannin flavors. Finishes long, juicy and full-bodied with a floral hint.

Wise buy alert for Port drinkers. You will be aware that many are touting Croft Vintage Port 2011, 95 points “on sale” at $75. Please shop my friends. The 2003’s 96 points can be had at the same price, without much effort; 2003s ready in 2018, 2011 ready in 2030. True wise guys and gals will buy a sixpak for $330.

The Polar Bear Plunge in Rehoboth was another success. Talk about a stroke of luck, global warming kicked back in just in the knick of time, with temperatures soaring into the 50s. My daughter Marguerite and her friends Jessica and John have been participating for several years and have raised several thousand dollars.

Today they decided to take another plunge after the crowd had dwindled and WBOC came by, took some footage and interviewed them. Said it would be on the evening news. We sat around sipping some chilled IPAs Maggie and John had brewed last month while watching the film. We had a few good laughs at the coverage. The IPAs were delicious.