Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Ropiteau Bourgogne Pinot Noir (2013) Wine Review

ABV (alcohol by volume), this is what caught my eye on the label of this week’s Wine Wednesday feature the 2013 Ropiteau Bourgogne Pinot Noir.

All wine labels display the percentage of alcohol by volume. What does this mean?  If the label says Alcohol by Volume 12%, that means if you were to separate the alcohol from the rest of the liquid in the bottle, 12% of it would be alcohol.  It is a good idea to be mindful of this when you are consuming wine or any other alcoholic beverage for that matter, because it does matter. My point here is not all wine is the same. There is a significant difference between a wine that is 11% ABV vs. one that is 15% ABV. The more experienced you become in tasting wine, you can usually detect those that are higher in alcohol. 

What caught my eye with this label is something that I don’t believe I’ve ever seen before.  They listed a range of ABV, 11% to 14%.  Does it vary from bottle to bottle? Interesting. For what it’s worth, my thoughts in this case or with this bottle anyway is that it was on the lower end of the spectrum.

In many ways this wine drinks to me like a Beaujolais (another region and different varietal) but I found it to be a light bodied red similar in style to a Beaujolais. This wine is fermented in stainless steel than aged in oak for 6 months resulting in light tannins.  On the nose, notes of cassis, blackberry, violet and cedar. 

The beautiful burgundy colored wine (from which the color takes its name) offered flavors of raspberry, blackberry and flint. I found it to be a very well balanced wine though with a shorter finish than I would prefer. We enjoyed this with Grilled Spice Rubbed Chicken Thighs one night and Italian Street Fair Crepes the next. Try also with quail or other game birds. Click the links below to print or save the recipe pairing suggestions.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Wine Review

Linear Acidity – a new descriptive I hadn’t heard before in a wine, but nevertheless, spot on with this week’s Wine Wednesday feature the 2014 Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc.

I love the backstory for this wine. For years I’ve purchased my share of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc – it makes a regular rotation in my wine fridge as my "go to" New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. When I came across Loveblock in the wine shop I had no idea as to the connection. I knew upon tasting it that Kim Crawford would soon be sharing the rotation with Loveblock. Both are delicious wines, though distinctly different. 

Now - the backstory. You see, in 2003 Kim Crawford and his wife Erica sold the brand that bears his name.  In the transaction they lost the commercial use of his name and for a period of time couldn’t make wine but could grow grapes. Loveblock marks their return to the industry.

On the nose, Loveblock features notes of tropical fruit (passion fruit), peach and sweet Ruby Red grapefruit. On the palate, pronounced peach, subtle minerality and citrus. 

The label uses the words “constrained” and “linear acidity”. To be honest the descriptive made the wine sound a little lackluster, but after tasting it, it strikes me as a more mature approach to Sauvignon Blanc. 

It’s not as zippy or acidic on the finish as Kim Crawford. The slightly rounder silkier mouthfeel is evidence of malolactic fermention. It's as if it's been reigned in a bit and that's not a bad thing. I think this wine has broader pairing appeal than Kim Crawford. The wide availability of Kim Crawford will likely seal it’s place in my rotation, but I won’t visit AJ’s Fine Foods without grabbing a bottle or two of Loveblock.

We enjoyed this with Steamed Mussels one night and Chicken Tortilla Soup another. To print or save the recipe pairing suggestions, click the links below.