Before I get into tonight’s wine, if you read my review of the 2007 Amavi Cellars Syrah from Friday, you’ll know that I was musing about why the 2005 Amavi Syrah tasted so different from the 2007 when so many of the variables going into it were the same, and I vowed to take to Twitter to get some answers right from the source. Lo and behold, the Information Age is a wonderful place to be, and the good people at Amavi have posted a tremendous and thorough response to my Syrah-related queries in the comments section of the review. So to recap, I had a bottle of wine in Calgary and then posted a blog article and a Twitter question, and then someone in Washington State who I’ve never met went and personally asked the head winemaker at Amavi Cellars what the difference was between his 2005 and 2007 Syrahs!! There is very little cooler than that. Thanks Amavi!
Warning: drink with food or face the consequences.
I wish I could say that tonight’s bottle has spawned Amavi levels of inquisitiveness and interest, but not quite. I’ll get to that in a moment. Chianti is a well-known wine region located in Tuscany, in west-central Italy, that has seen its share of ups and downs in recent decades. Once regarded as one of the cream of the crop of Italian vinicultural areas, it then became the victim of shoddy production and overplanting and lost its reputation for quality, which it is only now starting to regain. The problem with Chianti is that a lot of it is still pretty bland, although some of the higher-end renditions from the Chianti Classico region (the historic heartland of Chianti, which forms a smaller sub-zone within the larger area of Chianti) definitely can make you stop and take notice. The main thing you need to know about wines labelled as Chianti is that they will be predominantly made using the Sangiovese grape, a varietal that shows best in Tuscany and isn’t usually seen that much elsewhere (though it WAS in the 2009 Abbot’s Table from Washington State, if you’ll recall…I doubt you’ll recall). Read the rest of this entry »
Yes, I drank the whole bottle before remembering to take a picture. Shoot me.
This is a Pop & Pour first: a review of a wine that has been previously featured on this site, just in a different vintage. I have very fond memories of the 2005 Amavi Syrah from Walla Walla Valley in Washington State, which bears the eternal distinction of being PnP’s first 90+ point wine (92 points) and which delivered layer after layer of complex, savoury, intriguing goodness when I had it back in March. Skip forward two harvests and you get to tonight’s wine, Amavi’s 2007 rendition of the same Syrah from the same region, which I’ve been eagerly awaiting to compare to its predecessor ever since I bought the bottle. The ’07 had big shoes to fill (I still vividly remember the ’05 three months later), but it definitely delivered, albeit in a very different way than I expected. Read the rest of this entry »
So I’m still sick, making this currently the most wine-free wine blog on the Internet. Since I can’t DRINK wine right now, I’m doing the next best thing, which is THINKING about drinking wine, and to pump up the anticipation for my triumphant return to vino I thought I’d get your input about what bottle I should crack on that illustrious occasion. I have picked four wines that have been tangentially featured or mentioned in previous PnP posts, and now it’s up to you to decide which one will get top billing in my next review…whichever one gets the most votes by the time my illness goes away (hopefully sometime this weekend if there’s any justice in this world) will be the lucky winner. Without further ado, the very first Pop & Pour Wine Poll:
Here’s a little additional info about each of the four contenders and their PnP history:
2008 Mercer Estates Dead Canyon Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon: I reviewed Mercer’s $30ish Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington State at the end of March (see the review here) and liked it (88 points), but to me it actually didn’t live up to Mercer’s own significantly cheaper $20ish Dead Canyon Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon. I’ve had the DCR multiple times before (I tend to pounce on wine that good for that price), but I’ve never written it up on the blog…yet.
2007 Amavi Cellars Syrah: I had the 2005 vintage of this wine in mid-March and absolutely adored it (see the review here) — I gave it 92 points at the time, and in retrospect I might even want to bump that up another point. It was everything higher-end Syrah should be: fruity, meaty, savoury, long, lingering and endlessly complex. I’ve now obtained the 2007 version of Amavi’s Syrah and am dying to see if it lives up to its predecessor.
2008 Enzo Boglietti Dolcetto d’Alba: I TRIED to review this wine once before, back in mid-April, but it only took a sniff and a sip to force me to change plans and write about how to detect corked wine instead — yecch. I saved my ruined bottle, and the Ferocious Grape was good enough to take it back and give me a replacement, no questions asked. I now sort of feel like I owe Enzo a mulligan and have been waiting for the right time for a take two on his Dolcetto.
2009 Loosen Dr. L Riesling: When I reviewed Charles Smith’s Kung Fu Girl Riesling in early April, I suggested that the only entry-level (sub-$20) Riesling that I’ve had that could go toe to toe with KFG was Loosen’s Dr. L, which is available at Superstores everywhere for around $15. At some point I will do a Dr. L vs. KFG head to head taste-off, but I figure I owe Dr. Loosen a starring role in a review first.
There you have it — I await your votes! I will readily admit that I have hesitated putting up any kind of poll on PnP before in fear that the ultimate results would end up being 2 votes to 1 or something equally embarrassing, so I am counting on you to keep this blog from looking third-rate…make it seem second-rate at least. Please vote, and please pass this on to anyone else who might want to weigh in! If you want any more info on the contending wines, leave a comment and I will answer ASAP. Cheers!
I promised a winner from Washington in my next review, and I have delivered and then some. There are lots of good wines out there, but to me a great wine is one that keeps you coming back to the glass for each new sip or sniff wondering what you’re going to find next. Great wines have depth, complexity and an interest factor, something compelling that latches onto you and won’t let go. This wine is great. Read the rest of this entry »