January 2012 Wine Tasting Notes

I did a lot of reading in January, the corollary of which is that I sampled a lot of wine! In the evening, while reading, I often sip a couple glasses of wine.  It relaxes me, and allows a sharper focus on what I am reading. Here were my reading companions for the month. Nothing hugely collectible this month, mostly good values.

2009 Giuseppe Cortese Dolcetto d’Alba Trifolera (Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Dolcetto d’Alba):  Very enjoyable. Medium bodied, full of red and blue fruit, a bit more complex than normal for a Dolcetto. Would be nice to have a bunch of these just to sip on for fun, now and then. 91 points, recommended.  About $24.

2009 Domaine A. Machard de Gramont Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Aux Guettes (France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru): Very hard for me to believe this was around $20 for a red burgundy this good. Nice structure, some good years of growth ahead, nice red fruits, bits of spice and a mushroom like aroma. Really fills the mouth, and leaves a nice 20 second finish. Good acidity. Really impressed, will look for many more of these. I would give this a 90, and at only $20, a fantastic value for red Burgundy. Highly recommended.

2009 Giorgio Pelissero Barbera d’Alba Piani (Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Barbera d’Alba): Lots of blue and black fruits. Some floral notes. Good acidity. Well worth tracking down, very tasty. Wine Advocate gave this a 93, I would go 90+. About $25, recommended.

2006 Barba Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Vignafranca (Italy, Abruzzi, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo):  Solid wine, good qpr. Medium bodied, lots of substance. Rhubarb, balsamic and some spice, with good dark red fruits. ANother year or two would do it good. Food friendly. Wine Advocate gave a 91. I give it an 89.  $16, recommended.

2008 Château Guibeau Grand Vin Saint Emilion Grand Cru (France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Côtes de Castillon):  An absolute excellent bargain. Very nice Saint Emilion, lots of mineral infused, gritty cherry flavors. Medium bodied, good acidity, nice finish. Easy to drink, food friendly, should buy this by the case. I would give this an 89+. At $14, recommended.

2009 Château Arnauton (France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Fronsac): Not bad, in fact sort of good….just not giving much. Lots of acidity, good, but mellow fruit, hints of traditional Bordeaux aroma’s and flavors…just closed. Wine Spectator gave this an 89-91, Wine Advocate a 90-92.  I would say currently an 87. For $14, would recommend to buy a few, but store for a year or two.

2008 Saladini Pilastri Rosso Piceno Superiore Vigna Montetinello (Italy, Marche, Rosso Piceno Superiore):  Good for the price, with cherries, earthiness, herbs… though a bit too much charred smoke. Perhaps in a few years that would mellow? Wine Advocate gave this a 90, I would say 87. $14.

2009 Les Vins Jean Claude Debeaune Fleurie Clos des Quatre Vents (France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Fleurie): Nice, bright red fruit, decent minerality, easy drinker. Nothing too serious, has the good 2009 Beaujolais fruit, but there is better to be found at about the same price.  I would give this an 87. About $18.

2009 Maison Arnoux & Fils Vacqueyras Vieux Clocher Cuvee Jean Marie Arnoux (France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Vacqueyras): A bit thin and one dimensional…yet, still decent for the price. Earthy, good fruit, not over the top. Wine Advocate gave this an 88-90, I would go 87.  Around $16.

2010 Domaine de Creve-Coeur Côtes du Rhône (France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône): Good value. Dark purple. Nice nose of dark fruits and spice. A bit of minerality. Medium bodied. Nothing earth-shattering, but not bad for the price. I would give this an 87. About $17.

2009 Domaine Grand Veneur Lirac Clos de Sixte (France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Lirac): Disjointed. Some good fruit, but masked by a bit too much heat, and some occasionally slight bitter finish. Really strange, some sips pretty good, some not so much. Wine Advocate gives this a 91, I am thinking 84. $24, pass.

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