Tag Archives: picpoul

Mini-reviews 77: Reinhold Haart, Piccini, Picpoul, Corvina

Reinhold HaartReviews of wines that don ?t need their own post, but are worth noting for one reason or another. Look for it on the final Friday of each month.

?Reinhold Haart Riesling 2014 ($35, sample, 7%): Gorgeous, honeyed white wine with sweet lemon fruit — and not the fake Sweet Tart kind common these days — that reminds you how wonderful German riesling can be. This is sweet wine the way it should be, made to be a sweet riesling instead of just being made to be sweet.

?Piccini Memoro Rosso 2014 ($12, sample, 14%): Very ordinary Italian red blend of no particular interest, with that ashy middle that often shows up when too much winemaking is going on. The poorly done oak overshadows too soft red fruit.

?Domaine des Cadastres Picpoul 2014 ($10, sample, 13%): Regular visitors know how much the Wine Curmudgeon appreciates picpoul, a cheap French white. Sadly, this isn’t one of them. Old-fashioned, but not in a good way, made with unripe grapes, almost no fruit flavor, and a too sour taste.

? Tenuta Sant’Antonio Corvina 2013 ($10, purchased 13%): One review of this Italian red made with the corvina grape (usually used as for blending) says it has tropical fruit, an interesting way to describe a red wine. Another way is flabby and soft, without any freshness or acidity. Very disappointing given the quality of the producer.

Wine of the week: F lines Jourdan Picpoul-de-Pinet 2013

Felines Jourdan picpoulPicpoul, the white wine made with the picpoul grape in southern France, is one of those summertime wines that most Americans, unless they write a wine blog, don’t know about. The catch, of course, is that given the way the wine world works, even if more of us knew about picpoul, we probably wouldn’t be able to buy it. The last time I checked, the retailers that bother (and even the good ones) carry the same picpoul.

Because it’s not chardonnay, and aren’t we supposed to drink chardonnay?

Fortunately, the Wine Curmudgeon is ever vigilant, and can report that the Felines Jourdan picpoul ($10, sample, 13%) is well worth knowing, buying, and drinking — lots and lots of it, in fact. Jourdan makes a couple of picpouls, which by itself would recommend it to the Wine Curmudgeon. That this version of the Felines Jourdan picpoul is so well done, and offers so much more than almost any other picpoul I’ve tasted, makes it that much better.

Look for the varietal’s trademark tart lemon fruit (picpoul loosely translates as lip-stinger in English), as well as something softer — peach? — in the middle and a little minerality on the finish. Again, not something that a lot of $10, one-note wines have or even consider having.

Drink this chilled on its own or with almost any combination of boiled seafood this summer (or in any of the other nine months, actually). Highly recommended, and almost certain to go into the $10 Hall of Fame in January.

Mini-reviews 68: La Scolca, Vina Decana, Santi, picpoul

wine reviews picpoulReviews of wines that don ?t need their own post, but are worth noting for one reason or another. Look for it on the final Friday of each month.

? La Scolca Gavi Black Label 2012 ($45, sample, 12%): Some producers still make wine that needs to age, and this Italian white is a prime example. Drink it now, it’s a well-made wine, but nothing special, and certainly not for the price. Let it sit for a couple of years, and based on past experience, it will blossom with white flowers and spice.

? Vina Decana Reserva 2009 ($7, purchased, 13%): Not the legendary $5 Decana that has all but disappeared from Aldi , but its more expensive sibling ($2 being more expensive for an Aldi wine). This Spanish red is a reserva, which means oak aging and more complexity. But not appreciably better than the $5 version, thanks to too much cabernet sauvignon and merlot in the blend. But it’s hard to beat the price.

? Santi Valpolicella Classico Superiore Solane 2011 ($16, sample, 13.5%): Delicious Italian red with every note in the right place — red fruit, richness, and acidity. The catch? That $16 is a lot to pay for Valpolicella, no matter how tasty.

? Moulin de Gassac Picpoul de Pinet ($10, sample, 13%): French white made with the picpoul grape is mostly on target, and price is fair, but it’s not quite it could be. This won’t stop you from enjoying its tart lemon fruit and touch of minerality, though.

Wine of the week: Ch teau Font-Mars Picpoul 2010

The Wine Curmudgeon has always enjoyed picpoul, a white wine from southern France made with the picpoul grape that is grown, believe it or not, in the Picpoul region. Which is a weird naming convention even for the French. Picpoul is cheap and food friendly, one of those wines that you can keep around the house in case you want a glass of wine and don’t want to have to worry about what you’re drinking.

The catch, of course, is that it’s difficult to find quality picpoul in Dallas. Those that I’ve had have mostly disappointed — either sweet or too citrusy or overpriced. Hence my delight in finding the Font-Mars ($10, purchased), which is everything picpoul is supposed to be. And I did I mention that it’s only $10?

It’s a simple wine, but not in the way that too many cheap wines are simple, with one flavor or characteristic dominating all. Look for apricot and stone fruit in the front and a very nice stony finish with acid to balance all. I drank it over the New Year’s holidays when I wanted something for dinner that wasn’t overwhelming, and I was truly surprised at how well made it was. It’s one of the early contenders for the 2013 $10 Hall of Fame, and highly recommended.

A personal note: The Wine Curmudugeon does not write about politics here; that’s what political sites are for. But I do want to mention the controversy surrounding two proposals in Congress that would limit Internet speech, the SOPA and PIPA legislation. Copyright is one thing, and as a writer I certainly understand that. But free speech is even more important than copyright, especially as the Internet changes the way the world communicates. The New York Times explains what’s going on today here. If you’d like to support those of us who believe that SOPA and PIPA are wrong-headed, you can sign this on-line petition.

Mini-reviews 28: Los Vascos, picpoul, Sledgehammer, Re Midas

Reviews of wines that don ?t need their own post, but are worth noting for one reason or another. Look for it on the final Friday of each month:

? Los Vascos Chardonnay 2010 ($10, purchased): Not what it once was, and can’t be the same wine that several readers suggested I try. Some green apple, but heavy and oily — not good characteristics in a $10 chardonnay.

? Bertrand Picpoul-de-Pinet 2010 ($10, purchased): Extremely disappointing picpoul, more like a white Bordeaux. Mostly citrus fruit without picpoul’s mineral character.

? Sledgehammer Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 ($15, sample): Big, fruity, unsubtle and straightforward. This is a simple wine that delivers chocolate cherries and caramel for those who like that sort of thing.

? Cantina di Soave Re Midas 2010 ($10, sample): Not much there, even for $10. Almost heavy, with little of Soave’s crispness or minerality. Made in more of a New World, chardonnay style.