Tastings This Thursday-Saturday!
Incredible Austrian & German new releases...plus a couple of other obscure suprises!
Thursday, April 12:
Bergerac Blanc, Domaine du Petit Paris 2010- $9.99/btl ($7.99 by case or mixed case): We at JWS are long-time fans of the wines of France's Sud-Ouest (Southwest), the region of cassoulet, foie gras and starchy things cooked in duck fat. And, the traditional reds of Cahors and Madiran have probably found their way onto your wine rack if you shop here regularly. Now, with warm weather approaching, here's the first of a group of sensational whites we'll be stocking: a very Bordelaise mix of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon from Patrick Geneste and his excellent Domaine du Petit Paris. It's crisp, racy, plenty long on the palate and surprisingly full and elegant, given its moderate price. This is another wine we'd heavily suggest for consideration as your "house white" for purchase by the case or mixed case, as we're hard-pressed to think of a better value for well under $10.
St Laurent, Wimmer-Czerny (Wagram, Austria) 2009- $17.99/btl ($14.40 by the case or mixed case): Here's the first in a series of German and Austrian bottlings we'll be featuring from the selections of Daniel Hubbard of specialty importer, DSWE. And what a great introduction to the underrated- and spectacular- red wines of Austria this is! Hans Wimmer's vineyards are all Demeter-certified biodynamic, and his natural approach to winegrowing results in bottlings that are utterly transparent in displaying both intense purity of fruit and the underlying minerality of his exceptionally-sited vineyards. In the case of his '09 St Laurent (think of the spice-inflected fruit of Pinot Noir), you encounter the loess (without getting too technical, it's alluvial silt from the Danube) underpinning the vineyard in both the aroma and the structure of the wine. We're dumbfounded as to how so much character, aroma, flavor and intensity can be packed into a red wine of only 12.5% alcohol, but that's the miracle of the finest Austrian reds. As you might imagine, this is one versatile wine as well; you can take it on a picnic or serve it with a crown roast of pork.
Friday, April 13:
Riesling "Quinterra" QbA, Kuhling-Gillot (Rheinhessen, Germany) 2010- $14.99/btl ($11.99 by case or mixed case): The estate of Kuhling-Gillot has been operated for years by the women in the family, and the current young proprietor, Carolin Gillot, has been in charge since 2002. In that short time, she has become one of Germany's leaders in natural/sustainable/biodynamic winegrowing, and her classic, dry Rheinhessen Rieslings rival those of Weingut Keller in the region's top rank of growers. As in almost all of Germany, 2010 is a vintage of extraordinary quality...but only for those growers with enough courage to resist the temptation to de-acidify and to allow the wines to make themselves. In the case of Gillot's 2010 Quinterra, that meant harvesting at almost Spatlese levels of maturity and fermentation to dryness. The result is a wine of massive richness, incredible structure, intense minerality (provided by red slate vineyards) and a quality we can only describe as "presence", as it literally demands your full attention. Of course, a little smoked trout and horseradish would help things along while you contemplate this gem.
Blaufrankisch "Classic", Anton Iby (Mittelburgenland, Austria) 2010- $17.99/btl ($14.40 by case or mixed case): When Daniel Hubbard poured this wine for us, he provided a great, short checklist of what constitutes great Burgenland Blaufrankisch: 1) it must have an intense spice-box aroma and flavor; and 2) it must smell and taste of the iron underlying the vineyards. No surprise then, that Iby's 2010 delivered in spades on both points! Then again, we'd expect nothing less from this quality-obsessed, organic, low-yields, hands-off grower. Much like Wimmer's St Laurent, this is another of those wines that will have you shaking your head in amazement at how "packed" a wine of only 12.5% alcohol can be.
Saturday, April 14:
Riesling "Stock & Stein", P-J Kuhn (Rheingau, Germany) 2010- $16.99/btl ($13.60 by case or mixed case): As much as we admire the wines of Germany, we also have to admit that the Rheingau is probably our least favorite German winegrowing region. In our opinion, there are far too many mediocre, tradition-bound firms bottling far too much flabby, orange soda-scented wine made in the old styles of sweet and sweeter. Be assured, however, that Peter-Jakob Kuhn's 2010 "Stock & Stein" Trocken (dry) shares nothing in common with its hidebound neighbors; it possesses the richness and power of great white Burgundy, a minerality which we've rarely encountered in the Rheingau and a subtle undercurrent of orange peel that must be an expression of the true terroir of the region. If you're one of those who gave up on Riesling years ago as being nothing more than sickly-sweet, viscous wine for spinsters, this one will change your mind.
Bourgogne Chitry Rouge, Giraudon 2010- $16.99/btl ($13.60 by case or mixed case): In keeping with this week's theme of red wines that are light in alcohol only, we introduce Marcel Giraudon's rare and exciting Pinot Noir from Chitry, the northernmost outpost of Burgundy. And, when examining wines from this area, the first things to consider are the mineral-laden Kimmeridgean soils (just like Chitry's close neighbor, Chablis). Not surprisingly, those soils are reflected in the racy, mineral-scented and limpid finished bottling, which also exhibits the unusual ripeness and intensity of the outstanding 2010 vintage in Burgundy. This vineyard might be far from the famous Cote d'Or, but one whiff and taste announce that this wine can be nothing other than Burgundy of the highest order!
Oceans of New Beer!
This may be the biggest, best week of the year for new arrivals and re-stockings of old favorites. When you stop in, the Wall of Beer and the cooler will be packed with these goodies (arriving on Friday). We are also awaiting a few more surprises (which we won't list right now) as it's up in the air as to whether they will arrive this week. Here are the ones that are certain to be here Friday...when they are gone, they are gone:
21st Amendment Monk’s Blood- 4 pk
Dogfish Head Sah’tea- 750 ml
Epic Copper Cone #24- 22 oz
Great Divide Denver Pale Ale- 6 pk
Great Divide Colette- 6 pk
Great Divide Chocolate Yeti- 22 oz
Great Divide Hercules Imperial IPA- 4 pk
Ipswich Summer Ale- 6 pk
Weyerbacher Blanche- 6 pk
Brenna Wine Queue
We have yet another week of diligent work ahead of us in weaning Brenna from her regular diet of Red Bull and glazed doughnuts. We also have to contend with her Bruins-induced playoff schizophrenia, but this challenging list of wines should snap her back to full attention:
Dao "Outaro", Alvaro Castro 2009- $11.99
Sauvignon di Toscana, Sesti 2010- $22.99
Jurancon Sec, Domaine Bru-Bache 2010- $17.99
Montsant "Ombra", Cova dels Vins 2007- $17.99
Patrimonio Rouge, Clos Teddi 2010- $26.99
Barbera d'Alba, Viberti 2008- $17.99
Pinot Noir, South (Tasmania) 2009- $23.99