Thursday, March 22, 2007

Spring is in the Air...

Finally. Its been a long winter. Specifically the last month or so. The ice. The sleet. The snow. And the wind. Now that I have shed my wool coat, it seems appropriate to break out the fresh and floral whites. And lately, I've tasted through an overwhelming array of interesting whites to whet the palate:

2005 Xarmant Txakolina, Txakoli de Alava, Spain--not sure if I've ever tasted a better sushi wine to be honest, bright with notes of banana, lemon citrus and a clean, crisp finish. Blend of Hondarribi Zuri, Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng, and Petit Courbu from the Basque region of Spain.

2004 Oremus Tokaji Dry Furmint 'Mandolás', Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary--this must be one of the most interesting wines tasted in a long while, aromas of sweet peach and white lilies, with hints of lavender and mango, round on the palate with a clean and floral finish. Reminds me a bit of Viognier, but more concentrated and floral. A must try!

2005 Cascina Bongiovanni Arneis, Langhe, Piedmont, Italy--delicate aromas of banana and mango with minerality and citrus notes, crisp acidity on the finish.

2005 Gabriel Meffre 'Laurus' Côtes du Rhône Blanc, Rhône Valley, France--blend of Roussane and Viognier with aromas of peach, mango and touch of almond on the finish, medium bodied with a rich and silky texture.

2005 Cline Viognier, California--whoa! This smells like a tutti-fruity fruit bomb with loads of tropical fruit aromas and almost sickly-sweet flavors. Why is it that California Viognier always seems to have overpowering fruit flavors plus residual sugar? This isn't supposed to be like White Zinfandel folks! Leave this one at the wine shop. Sad, as I tend to like Cline's wines.

2006 Bidoli Pinot Grigio, Friuli, Italy--normally I find Pinot Grigios to have a certain sameness, until this one rolled into my mouth--slightly herbaceous a la Sauvignon Blanc with lemon citrus and minerality and a lip-smacking finish. Aged on the lees for a bit of complexity.

2005 Alphonse Mellot 'Les Pénitents' Chardonnay, Vin de Pays des Coteaux Charitois, France--a beautiful chard from grapes grown close to Sancerre, green apple and straw notes with nice minerality, subdued almond notes on the finish, medium bodied.

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