Wines from the Cellars…

2007.Aug.21 Tuesday · 0 comments

in Drink

 Nurse Fearing (uncovers dinner): “Lentil delight, dandelion salad, goat’s cheese.”

James Bond (opening his secret cache): “Beluga caviar, quail’s eggs, vodka, foie gras.”

– from Never Say Never Again

Buenos Aires – Over the last few days I’ve had the opportunity to taste some interesting wines, pulled out of one cellar or another. Just a quick round-up of thoughts on them:

  • Trapiche Malbec “Viña Fausto Orellana, 2005 – I can’t tell you how I got ahold of a bottle of this wine, in fact, officially, it doesn’t exist… yet. Trapiche has a line of single vineyard wines named after individual vineyard owners, but this one isn’t listed as part of the line. This particular version is a big, dark, almost jammy fruit sort of Malbec, though still retaining a good amount of complexity and elegance. The oak, while clearly a good percentage new, isn’t overbearing. The wine is well structured, has great classic flavors of black plums, cinnamon, and a touch of candied violets. I did decant the wine to let it open up, and the one thing I found is that it got a bit on the sharp side after being open for 3-4 hours, surprising, I would have expected it to mellow.
  • Keller Dalsheimer Hubacker Riesling Spätlese, 2003 – This, and the next three wines, were all tasted over an excellent dinner with a group of wine savvy friends at Don Julio, a parrilla that has, on subsequent visits, proven to be one of the better in the city. This bottle was put out on the table to enjoy pre-dinner and barely making it into appetizers of provoleta de cabra, chorizo, and morcilla sausages – a beautifully aromatic nose, hitting right off the bat with a nice dose of petrol, a hallmark of Rieslings of the Rheinhessen – plenty of apricot fruit, vanilla cream, and just a touch sweet. It made a great aperitif wine, and probably with a little more chill that would have helped bring out the acidity, would have stood up well to the entradas.
  • Michele Chiarlo Barolo, 1993 – Pulled out of my own cellar, I was a little concerned when I first opened it, there was an odd, almost sour note to it. “Bottle stink” as they say in the business, and it blew off quickly with some air. The wine probably should have been opened and poured a good half hour before we were ready to drink it, it really needed the time to develop. Old leather, red currants, maybe a touch of cherry, the oak long ago faded into the background. This being one of Chiarlo’s “basic” Barolos rather than a single vineyard or reserve, it was on the lighter side, which tends to be his style anyway. The wine still had great acidity and wonderful depth of flavor that was especially brought out when the steaks showed up, sizzling and juicy.
  • Miguel Merino Rioja Reserva, 1996 – A very elegant wine from one of the smallest wineries in Rioja. The wine, on its own, had a huge amount of deep, dark berry fruit, a touch of peppery spice, and a beautiful roundness to it. Put up against the Barolo with its bright acidity, the Rioja in comparison took on an almost syrupy, sweet sort of note… We stayed with the Barolo through the steaks and then drank the Rioja after dinner – it’s definitely a wine that stands on its own, and probably would have been a great choice to open with those sausages and grilled cheese…

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