Monday, June 6, 2011

Chateau Pesquie Quintessence 2007

CĂ´tes du Ventoux, an interesting place in the southeast region of the Rhone wine region of France, has been getting quite a bit of press lately due to some good recent harvests that allow production of nice wines at even nicer prices. Chateau Pesquie's "Quintessence" is a blend of Grenache and Syrah (about 20/80 blend) with about one-third of the yield fermented in small oak barrels and the rest in tank, allowing for good control of exposure to tannins and it shows. This wine is deep, opaque ruby/purple in color with a gorgeous nose of blakcberry, cassis, hints of lavender, pepper, and touch of spice. The wine is medium/(+) bodied, dense, fine acid and sweet smooth tannins combine with the dark fruits in a medium/(+) length finish that is lip smacking good. A great find for about $18 a bottle. Drink now through 2013.

Number of wines reviewed in 2011: 27

Vine Cliff Chardonnay 2006

It turned a little warm and I was looking for something a little more cool than most of what is in my storage. With Chardonnay, especially one you don't know, it can be a gamble. Some Chardonnays are pretty heavy, oaked, spicy, nice but more of a "winter Chardonnay" to me. I was glad to find this lovely offering from Vine Cliff in the Carneros AVA in California. If you like Chardonnay with lots of fruit with just a kiss of oak then this is one to check out (though a little toward the top end of what I usually review when it comes to price, about $32 a bottle). On the nose I got nice lemon zest, a hint of pineapple, a touch of peach, and just the lightest hint of cinnamon. The wine is medium bodied, with nice acidity, smooth and delicious giving up flavors of pineapple, apple, and a little vanilla and caramel that all comes together in a medium/(+) length finish. This wine is peaking but should be quite fine through 2012.

Number of wines reviewed in 2011: 26