Friday, June 22, 2012

2009 Josmeyer Pinot Blanc

Alsace is a region in northeast France that has been fought over by the French and the Germans for centuries.  Throughout all the time the rights to this land has been contested, there have been growers and winemakers planting and working wonderful vineyards in this tiny little corner of France.  The more Alsatian wine I drink, the more I believe that this is what all the fighting has been about.  Who wouldn't fight for the right to make wine from the fantastic vineyards of Alsace?  Their dry climate and wide variety of soil types makes for some outstanding terroir for a number of different varietals.  Although Alsace is best known for Riesling, they produce wonderful expressions of many different white varietals like Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Sylvaner, Muscat, and the subject of today's post,  Pinot Blanc. 

The 2009 Josmeyer Pinot Blanc is a golden straw color in your glass.  The bouquet has elements of  Meyer lemon and peach, and in your mouth you get much of the same with an added element of pineapple.  Very good acidity tickles the tongue up front, recedes and then returns on a very nice and rather long finish.  The wine is medium in body and is crisp and quite refreshing.  It would be nice on a hot summer day, but this is not just an ordinary summer sipper.  At a price of about $17 its a fairly good value and something that I will be buying many more bottles of.

From a pairing standpoint, this would go very well with seafood.  We drank it with a fresh caught Mako shark steak on the grill finished with a tarragon butter and it worked beautifully.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

2009 Andrew Murray Vineyards Tous Les Jours Syrah

There is nothing like finding a wine that fits in your everyday price range that you really enjoy.  Lets face it, finding good wine is not that hard with an unlimited budget, but not too many of us out there are in that situation.  The rest of us must be able to find wines that are delicious and interesting that we can actually afford.  So the big question is how to find these value wines that drink really well. 

For me, I have two main types of sources.    The first is finding great retailers which is a whole subject in itself that I've blogged about before  The other way I find great wines and great values is by reading other wine blogs.  If you can find a small group of bloggers who just plain make sense to you after reading a few of their posts, then you should be able to find some nice wines through their posts.  Today's subject is a wine that I learned about through a blog that primarily focuses on everyday value wines.  Written by Jon Thorsen, another plain old wine consumer/lover like me, its a great source for everyday wines.  I also love that Jon doesn't just taste wines and write about them, he actually drinks them.  It's a subtle distinction but I think its important to the everyday wine consumer.  You can find his blog here   

The 2009 Andrew Murray Vineyards Tous Les Jours Syrah is deep purple in color.  The nose brings really pure aromas of blackberry fruit with a nice black pepper element and just a slightest hint of game to it.  On the palate you get the same blackberry fruit up front, but the fun doesn't end there.  Decent acidity and very smooth tannins provide just enough structure to set this apart from many other Syrahs in this price range, and what really makes it shine is a very long, peppery finish that is very unusual for a bottle that I picked up for only $16.  Unfortunately the 2009 is sold out, but the 2010 vintage is now available on the Andrew Murray website for the same $16 price.  I'm hoping it will be just as good. 

From a pairing standpoint, this would go well with grilled red meats, BBQ, and definitely with venison or lamb.  For a price of only $16, though, it works really well if you just pair it with a nice red wine glass.