Category:Red wine

Wine of the week: Dufouleur Pere & Fils Nuits St. Georges Premier Cru Les Saint Georges 2002

image Regular visitors here know that the Wine Curmudgeon does not put much stock in expensive wine. Even when it ?s worthwhile, these wines often fail the 10 times test: Is a typical $100 wine 10 times better than a typical $10 wine?

This red Burgundy (what the French call pinot noir) is from a 400-year French wine family and it does pass the 10 times test. The 2002 vintage, meanwhile, is one of the best in Burgundy in decades. Even better, the wine is only about $30 (though I can ?t guarantee availability outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth area). This is classic red Burgundy, with zippy tannins and a pleasantly rustic feel and taste. It isn ?t especially fruity, so if you drink a lot of New World pinot noir you may be disappointed. Try it anyway.

I drank most of a bottle of this on the porch, enjoying a pleasant fall afternoon. It will also pair with almost anything you can throw at it for Thanksgiving, and it has lots of aging potential. How often can you say that about a $30 wine?

Wine of the week: Garnacha de Fuego 2007

The Wine Curmudgeon has never been a huge fan of this wine, mostly because it cost as little as $6 and $7 in other parts of the country, but as much as $12 and even $15 in Dallas. Lately, though, the price in this area seems to have settled closer to $10. That makes this Spanish red a fine bargain.

Garnacha is a grape that produces very fruity wines with little in the way of tannins. This one has a lot of red fruit, but it's not especially heavy, which is a testament to Spanish wine making skills. The wine magazines adore this wine, and I've never quite been able to figure out why. One reason, probably, is that it's imported by Jorge Ordonez, who is one of the best at bringing Spanish wine into the U.S.

Drink this on its own, because it's light enough, or with pizza or similar casual food. It will also be more than adequate with Thanksgiving dinner (and don ? tell anyone, but the non-wine drinkers might even enjoy it chilled).

Wine review: Masi Campofiorin 2005

image Italy, being the most complicated wine region in the world, really doesn ?t get a fair shake in the U.S. There are so many wines, and they are made with such odd grapes, that most of us opt for what ?s easy ?- Chianti and sangiovese blends, poorly-made pinot grigio, and the odd Barolo or Montepulciano.

So, when the Wine Curmudgeon gets a chance to taste something off the beaten path, he takes it. And when the wine is well done and not especially expensive, like the Masi (about $15, though availability may be limited), it ?s a treat. It also helps that most of Masi ?s other wines are, four, five and even 10 times more expensive.

This red wine is a blend, made mostly with a Veronese grape called corvina, grown almost nowhere else. It ?s partially dried, somewhat like a raisin, before crushing. This gives the wine a darker, deeper flavor, though it isn ?t particularly fruity. Serve it with red sauce, as well as roast meat, including chicken. It would also make a terrific chicken cacciatore.

Wine of the week: Colonia las Liebres 2007

image Argentina is best known for malbec, which it has turned into the country ?s national grape. Wine drinkers associate malbec with Argentina in the same way that people associate shiraz with Australia. But that doesn ?t mean the country ?s winemakers don ?t produce other interesting wines.

The las Liebres (about $10) is made with an Italian variety called bonardo (by Italians in Argentina, apparently), and it ?s worth a taste. The wine is fruity and ripe, with lots of blackberry, very little in the way of tannins, and no oak. It ?s a heftier, darker version of Beaujolais nouveau. Drink this with with any tomato-based Italian dish, grilled sausages or barbecue.

Wine review: Bonny Doon Bien Nacido Syrah 2005

image This is an intriguing, almost quirky wine that ?s difficult to describe. It doesn ?t much taste like a California syrah, because it ?s not nearly as ripe or jammy as most. It doesn ?t taste like a French syrah, because it ?s too fruity. And it certainly doesn ?t taste like an Australian shiraz, because it ?s too subtle. Plus, it ?s $40, and what is the Wine Curmudgeon doing reviewing a $40 wine?

Mostly because it ?s made by Randall Grahm, and he almost always gets the benefit of the doubt. So here ?s what I suggest. Buy it as a holiday gift and put it away for two or three years. Seriously. Come back to it in 2011 or so, serve it with steak frites, and marvel at how unique, unusual and well made it is. If you have to drink it now, decant it for at least 30 minutes before serving, and have it with food. If you drink it by itself, you ?ll wonder what I could possibly be going on about.

Texas, French wines in a blind tasting

The Wine Curmudgeon likes blind tastings a lot, and it ?s not because I always get them right. It ?s because they are a humbling, necessary experience, something to remind me that I don ?t know nearly enough about wine.

Which brings us to last week ?s Texas-Beaujolais blind tasting, where I correctly identified three of the six wines. And I was happy to do that well.

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Wine of the week: Sunset Winery Moon Glow Merlot 2004

imageBruce and Birgit Anderson run Sunset Winery out of what is more or less a house in suburban Fort Worth, so the idea that their 2004 Moon Glow Merlot can win an award seems kind of fantastic. Burleson is not exactly Napa.

Nevertheless, the wine tells the story. The Moon Glow (about $20, available from the winery) won a bronze medal at the prestigious Dallas Morning News competition earlier this year. It ?s a warm, rich wine that is isn ?t as big or as jammy as most California merlots. Plus, it doesn ?t have any of the excess acid that characterizes so many poorly-made Texas merlots and cabernet sauvignons. Pair it with red meat dishes, and especially lamb.

I ?m not necessarily sold on merlot as a grape that needs to be grown in Texas. But the Andersons and grower Neal Newsom, who supplied the grapes, show what is possible.