Sunday, March 01, 2009

A Bottle of White, A Bottle of Red...

This week we had two wines worth blogging about that stuck out for being the opposites. One was white while the other was red. One was a value wine, the other not a value per se, but under $40. One was from the New World, the other about as Old World as you get. The two wines?

N.V. Sokol Blosser Evolution No. 9 (USA, Oregon) $13.99 (up to 16.99)

Bridge Wine

Our first encounter with Evolution No. 9 was at dinner with a group of friends and we wanted a cheap white with some oomph to get us through the first course where most had scallops, shrimp, or 3 cheese polenta. A Chardonnay was not going to cut it and I did not want a Sauvignon Blanc, steel or barrel fermented. To me this was a great “bridge wine”; it had to carry a bit more weight. We were drinking wine at a wine bar before hand: Cabernet, Zinfandel, Syrah, and our palates were broken in pretty well from those heavy wines. A lighter wine was not going to cut it to bridge our palates from the initial big red wines to the big reds we’d be having at dinner. We wanted wine, not water. The Evo 9 fit the bill perfectly! That was a few weeks ago and I finally went out and bought a few bottles to stock the wine fridge.

And then some...Notes

OK, this is somewhat of a guilty pleasure wine but it reminds me of Conundrum, at a lower cost (I only paid 13.99) and a bit more versatile as the touch of sweetness mid-palate can go nicely with spicier Asian foods.

Color: Pale straw
Nose: White peach, lychee, lemon zest and slightly floral
Palate: Juicy, mouthwatering blend of tropical and citrus fruits. Sweet lemon and peach flavors are pinged with floral and pineapple notes. The finish is dry and crisp drawing you into another sip or bite of scallop or shrimp!

2004 Poggio Antico Rosso di Montalcino (Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino) $24.00 (typically $35-40)

I swear this is my favorite Rosso no matter how many others I try. Classic aromas, flavors and finish! Lisa and I visited this winery on our trip to Italy back in the fall of 2005. We had dinner there and fell in love with their wines. They were so cheap, even with the Euro conversion. This is our last bottle, and unfortunately they are NOT cheap in the US. I found some a few years back and got a good bulk discount at $19/bottle. Because of weight concerns I only bought Brunello back from the trip as I figured the Rosso would be a steal back home. Unfortunately it’s double that price in stores, but it will definitely satisfy even the stingiest Italian wine critic.

A “Rosso” di Montalcino is made from the Sangiovese Grosso grape just like its big brother “Brunello” di Montalcino. But, for a “Rosso” di Montalcino the grapes and the juice are declassified and not bound for bottling as Brunello or in to a Super Tuscan.

Color: Dark red center changing to maroon and vibrant ruby edges
Nose: Cherry, crushed flowers, some leather, and aromatic spice and cedar.
Palate: Cherry, a sweet-tartness to the cherry, some cedar, great texture and mouth feel, perfect acidity!

Cheers and drink responsibly!

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