Wine & Spirits - August 2012 - (Page 70)

IMPORTED NEW RELEASES Our blind panels tasted 112 new-release imported wines for this issue. Our critics rated 7 as exceptional (90+) and 11 as Best Buys. Joshua Greene reviews wines from Portugal and Slovenia; Tara Q. Thomas reviews wines from Cyprus, Lebanon and Morocco. Find a complete list of wines tasted and all reviews at C Y P RUS W H I TE 182615 | Vasilikon $ notes point to its maturity. Ready to pour with lamb kofta this winter. Broadbent Selections, San Francisco, CA RAVAN 183260 | Kabaj $ 2010 Pafos Xynisteri (Best Buy) This is ripe and nutty, with an almond tone to its baked apple fruit and a hint of white pepper from alcohol. Give it a chill and some grilled haloumi, a fennel salad on the side. Nestor Imports, NY PORTUGAL RED 182873 | Las Lilas $ C Y P RUS D E S SERT 182811 | SODAP $ Commandaria Saint Barnabas Xynisteri (Best Buy) Full of apricot and orange marmalade flavors, this is impressively fresh and not too sweet, the caramel notes offset by a woody, fenugreek-like spice. Serve it chilled, with vanilla ice cream. Fantis Imports, Carlstadt, NJ 2011 Vinho Verde (Best Buy) Red Vinho Verde may not be for everyone, but my last notes on this read, “I would buy this wine.” It’s an Atlantic red, with the freshness that implies: black-purple in color, almost neon at the edge, and reductive enough that the aroma doesn’t show much at all. Then it opens from that tight place into fresh plum skin flavors, juicy raspberry, iron and green peppercorn-scented tannins. It feels like it hasn’t been fussed over, and tastes like it’s ready for the crisp skin of roast suckling pig. The Artisan Collection, NY 2009 Goriska Brda Ravan Ravan is another name for zeleni sauvignon, which is [tocai] friulano across the border in Friuli. This one is golden in color and massively fruity, balancing its grassy, passionfruit flavors with a clean, tense line of acidity. It ends on a smoky note. A match for roast partridge. Blue Danube Wine Co., Los Altos Hills, CA RIBOLLA 183257 | Kabaj $ MO R O C C O W HITE 183666 SLOVE NIA WHITE $ | Thalvin 2009 Goriska Brda Rebula (Best Buy) Deep gold in color and smoky in its scent, this wine focuses on lees and tannins, holding juicy apple flavors underneath. The structure lends it a pleasing textural roundness, finishing firm, almost gruff. For braised dark-meat chicken. Blue Danube Wine Co., Los Altos Hills, CA PINOT GRIS 183270 2010 Zenata Cuvée Première du Président (Best Buy) Thalvin was founded in 1968, a brand from the vineyards of Domaine des Ouled Thaleb just outside of Casablanca. This blend of clairette and faranah is “sémillant,” which turns out to mean very lightly spritzy. Light and crisp, with sour lime-green pear flavor and a saline finish, it’s a good alternative to Vinho Verde—similarly palatewhetting with fish. Exotic Imports, Aspen, CO | Kogl WHITE BLENDS $ 183258 2010 Podravje Mea Culpa Pinot Gris (Best Buy) A pinot gris with clear flavors of the grape, this layers pear and whetstone scents with pale wheat. It’s lush and creamy while holding to freshness. Serve this cellar temperature with an oyster pan roast. Blue Danube Wine Co., Los Altos Hills, CA; TriWines, Inc., Shrub Oak, NY 183235 | Kabaj $ L E BA NO N RE D 178282 | Batic $ | Château Musar $ 2008 Bekaa Valley Musar Jeune (Best Buy) A sort of second wine for Château Musar, this blend (formally known as Cuvée Rouge) comes off the estate’s younger vines. Based on cinsault with 20 percent each syrah and cabernet sauvignon, vinified in cement vats with ambient yeasts, the wine is bigger than the diminutive name suggests. It’s lush with cherry preserve flavors underlined by dark, earth notes. Scents of sumac and cranberry lift its complexity, while caramel and nut 2009 Vipavska Dolina Pinot Gris The color is a rosé tawny, the grape flavors edging toward red as well, with a hint of cranberry and tangerine. This is austerely dry, a meaty, full-bodied, flinty white to serve with roast veal. Blue Danube Wine Co., Los Altos Hills, CA; Tri-Wines, Inc., Shrub Oak, NY 182706 2007 Goriska Brda Amfora Fermented as whole berries in buried clay amphorae, this rests and clarifies in the sealed vessels for ten months before racking to oak tanks for another year. The blend is primarily ribolla along with malvasia and friulano, coming together in something grand. The texture is juicy, the structure tannic and tight, the flavors more meaty than fruity, somewhere between halvah and the crown roast of pork with which it would be delicious. Blue Danube Wine Co., Los Altos Hills, CA 183271 | Kogl $ / L | Simcic $ 2010 Goriska Brda Pinot Grigio (Best Buy) A creamy, gentle white with nutty flavors, this has a slight, radish-like bite of alcohol. Chill it for aperitifs. Dark Star Imports, NY 2010 Podravje Belo (Best Buy) Equal parts riesling, sauvignon and chardonnay, this packs floral scents of lilies into a crisp white with spice to match its vibrant acidity. For afternoon sipping. Blue Danube Wine Co., Los Altos Hills, CA; Tri-Wines, Inc., Shrub Oak, NY 70 W I N E & S P I R I T S A U G U S T 2 0 1 2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - August 2012

Wine & Spirits - August 2012
Editor’s Note
Fined & Filtered: Lou Bustamante on cocktails aged in cask and bottle
Spirits: Tonic + Gin Reviewed by Lou Bustamante
North American Riesling
Tapas in the Capital of Cava
Prosecco + Prosciutto
Cirò & La Cucina Calabrese
Summer on the Road in Sonoma
Extreme Values
Tastings Overview
Summer Sparklers
US Riesling
Rías Baixas/Vinho Verde
Greek Wines
Northeast Italian Wines
American New Releases
Imported New Releases
Joshua Greene on moscato’s sweet disruptions

Wine & Spirits - August 2012