How wines are aged can make a real difference in taste

March 2, 2020

If you know any high school female student-athlete wrestlers, please inform them there are quite a few college scholarships available which have not yet been applied for. Application processes are unique to each program, but the search is definitely worthwhile. Their coaches will be far more helpful than most other advisors. Proactive candidates can go to this inclusive site:

Oh boy! Free stuff that actually has value. This solicitation for the Wine Masters documentary series offered the first video free. I watched and wish to recommend it to all my wino pals. Go here: Be sure to type in 1 FREERENT and proceed. While I’m on it, Siri called me and leaked that a few readers, after reading my last links, rushed off without reading the entire paper. That is not acceptable. Even Google is not OK with that. Those who are confused concerning how best to read and comprehend wine labels may link to a comprehensive article by Marshall Tilden III in Wine Enthusiast:

My Cowardly Lion pass of the Kosher show in NYC resulted in missing a surprise dinner cheffed by Jean Georges Vongerichten. RAVE Caterers transformed The Fulton into a kosher venue for the one-night event. The menu and wine selection were off the scale. Next year, I’m tossing all care to the wind. Perhaps I can join Cowardly Lion compadres Jason Priestly and/or Jim Belushi at their table to learn where I may regain my heart. Sadly, Bert Lahr and Ted Ross won’t be in attendance.

Bodegas Bilbainas Vina Pomal Crianza 2017 is a decent wine in its $15 price range. That said, I would prefer to go upscale to their Reserva DOCa 2014, rated 90 points McD. I’m old school and still think of these as Tempranillo. Tempranillo named Crianza are aged 1-2 years with no or little oak exposure. They are normally fruit forward. Reserva are aged a minimum 3 years, one in oak. Grand Reserva must have 2 years on oak (obviously more oaky), and 3 in the bottle before release. GRs run around $33, and best recent vintage is 2010. A tasting employing each level would be an illuminating experience. The aging for whites requires different criteria. Bilbainas is in the Rioja Alta. I prefer this appellation because it is cooler, allowing longer ripening times most years and delivering more complexity. Barbara and I are evaluating the Crianza as I type. It is aromatic, well balanced with soft tannins, 87 McD.

A good pal, Donna White, took the time to introduce Loveblock PN 2018, produced of 100 percent PN, from the Someone’s Darling Vineyard. Regulars know I’m a pushover for romantic names, especially since Barb’s bday is Valentine’s Day. This year my Darlin and I unblocked the love with a bottle of this 92-point, under $28 bottle from Central Otago, New Zealand. Crimson with purple highlights, opens to black cherries, mushroom, violets and smoky barrel spice notes. Palate followed nose with cherries and plums, appropriate tannins and possibly tobacco. For avid readers, check out WS 93 points, WE 90 and SPW 95 reviews. One might think their reviews described three separate wines. Tip of the McD hat to Kim Crawford for this lovely, fairly priced production and for Erica’s holiday season notes. And especially to Donna for introducing me to a terrific Pinot Noir. This will cellar 10 years.

Let’s wrap it up with Charles Krug Peter Mondavi Family Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2019. Peter Mondavi, a pioneer Cali wine genius, has produced wonderful, fairly priced wine for many years. Although he passed on at age 101 in February 2016, RIP, his family is doing a great job of continuing his tradition. I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the next gen and their employees. It was obvious their success is driven, in part, by the decency of the family. Mondavi Family was one of the first stops we made on our first trip to Napa in 1977. Krug is the oldest winery in Napa. The 2019 SB was sourced from St. Helena Estate, cold fermented in stainless. The terroir and process produced an aromatic, medium-bodied lovely. Look for lime and grapefruit nose, citrus and passionfruit on the palate, and a food-friendly, clean, acidic finish, 89 points under $15. This is the new release. You will be equally happy with the ’16, ’17 or ’18. The 2016 actually won a double gold at the 2018 San Fran Chronicle Competition.