Red Wine Lineup

Just to keep going with what I started the other day (or what we finished the other night, depending on how you want to look at it), here are the red wines—and two rosés—from the wine dinner Bruce Schoenfeld hosted on the Tuesday before the 2008 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. (Photo again by Jeremy Parzen.)

1997 Lopez de Heredia Viña Tondonia Rosé General agreement could be found around the table that this wasn't the most impressive version of LdH's rosé around; I was part of that gang. Nice enough, with a kind of old book-dried strawberry scent, watermelon-strawberry fruit and a creamy texture, but it didn't have the depth some other vintages have had.

2007 S. C. Pannell McLaren Vale Grenache Rosé All ebullient ripe raspberry fruit and not much else. I wrote at the time, "crisp, juicy and a bit idiotic."

2004 Sea Smoke Southing Pinot Noir Crunchy ripe raspberry and other berry notes wrapped with sweet spicy tannins. Very ripe Central Coast wine, but with a nice spice element to it. Sea Smoke's gotten a lot of culty praise; I thought this wine was very tasty, but not complex enough to justify raves.

2007 Emilio Bulfon Piculit Neri ($26) I completely rained on Jeremy Parzen's plan to mystify the whatsis out of me by having actually had this wine before—it's obscure as all get-out, but Henry Bishop (who used to run the wine program at Spiaggia in Chicago) once gave me a bottle, oddly enough. I liked it then, and I like it now. The aroma is floral and twiggy and reminiscent of a really good Dolcetto; the flavor is darker and sweeter than most Dolcettos, though, with lovely wild berry and plum notes, ripe but graceful. It's on, but strangely only available in Illinois. Go figure.