As I wade through the scrawled notes from the last couple of weeks, I see I've missed a few wines worth mentioning. From the Frederick Wildman tasting a week or so ago, some appealing and impressive stuff (in addition to the two new wines from Jolivet that I already blogged about):
2006 Castello Monaci Salice Salentino ($10) Negro Amaro with 20% Malvasia Nera. Tasty, inviting Salice Salentino for a very good price—lots of strawberry, plum and pepper. The grilling months are approaching...
2006 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc "Les Setilles" ($23) Almost always a good choice in basic Bourgogne Blanc, this cuvée comes from declassified Meursault and Puligny fruit. Light oak toast on the nose, and crisp, almost prickly apple & peach fruit. Simple, but charming. Getting a bit pricey, though. Regarding 2006, Patrick Leflaive says, "A very nice year for whites. The reds..." He ended with one of those Gallic shrugs.
2006 Re Manfredi Bianco della Basilicata Muller Thurgau/Traminer ($20) I don't know what these folks are doing growing Muller Thurgau and Traminer down in Basilicata, but as strange as that idea may be, based on this wine it's not a bad one. A sort of round, luscious, spicy variation on these northern Italian grapes. Pretty darn tasty, to get all technical about it.
2006 Nino Negri Ca'Brione ($34) An even stranger white: a blend of Incrocio Manzone, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and, to top it off, free-run Nebbiolo juice. Go figure. But it's a dense, viscous, fascinating wine, with citrus zest, red apple, melon, and a touch of wild berry, framed by some light oak spice. Some of the grapes are also dried for a few weeks before fermentation, apparently. Those crazy Lombardians! I love them.
2006 Château Fuissé Vieilles Vignes ($56) Says Antoine Vincent of Ch. Fuissé, "2006 was very round, and we had to pay attention to balance, not to have wines that were too fat. Which is why we used no battonage." Evidently a wise choice, because this certainly wasn't too fat; rather, it was focused and clean, with pretty green apple fruit and a touch of caramel, and a resinous note on the end sort of recalling the taste and texture of fresh-peeled apple skin. From 65 to 77 year old vines.