Tasting Notes: Whole Hog 2010

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by Chris Ryerson

February 3 – February 6

SPARKLING

Chenin Blanc, Brut, Foreau, Vouvray, France NV
Structured and complex sparkling Chenin Blanc form one of the masters of the Loire.  Fresh lemon and nectarine flavors intermingle with brioche and a smoky minerality.

WHITE

Riesling, “Tradition,” Kuentz-Bas, Alsace, France 2007
Light-bodied, dry Riesling with fresh, green notes of honeydew melon and lime zest backed by intense minerality.

Kerner, Abbazia di Novacella, Alto Adige, Italy 2008 
Gorgeous high-elevation, aromatic white from an abbey of Augustinian monks founded in 1142. Soaring aromas of peach pit, ripe Anjou pear and honeysuckle greet you on the nose and carry seamlessly through the finish.

Friulano, Scarpetta, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Italy 2007
Friulano, a slightly less aromatic relative of Sauvignon Blanc, is the quintessential white grape of Friuli. Vibrant acidity and green-tinged fruits with a hint of bitter almond to add complexity.

Sylvaner, Garlider, Alto-Adige, Italy 2006
A richer-style white taken quite seriously in the northern reaches of Italy, this Sylvaner combines hints of apricot, apple skin, and subtle tropical notes with a refreshing finishing acidity.

Chardonnay, “Les Tâches,” Robert-Denogent, Macon-Fuissé, France 2006
Ripe, luscious apple and pear fruit with understated spicy oak notes.

Roussanne, “Saralee’s Vineyard,” Coterie Cellars, Russian River Valley, California 2007
Fragrant white with enticing aromas of apricot and delicate floral notes. These are an entry point to earthier elements of herbal tea and marzipan on the palate with a medium-long, slightly mineral finish.

RED
Schiava, “Elda,” Weingut Nusserhof, Südtiroler, Italy 2008
Light to medium-bodied with fresh grapey aromas contrasted by more earthy raspberry, dried plum, and smoky notes.

Nerello Mascalese, Di Giovanna, Sicilia, Italy 2007
Medium-bodied with enticing raspberry, red cherry, rose petal and baking spice notes backed by firm, dry tannins heading into the finish.

Pinot Noir, Big Table Farm, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2008
Young, sleek, vibrant Pinot Noir from a tiny producer in Oregon. Bright red cherry and plum complimented by a subtle floral component and just a touch of new oak.

Aglianico del Vulture, Grifalco, Basilicata, Italy 2005
Dark black cherry fruit, firm tannins, and a complex amalgam of mint, herbs, and dried tobacco make this a fascinating pair for many of the richer dishes on the menu.

Sangiovese, “Rancia,” Fèlsina, Chianti Classico Riserva, Italy 2005
A lovely, approachable example of one of Tuscany’s iconic wines, the 2005 Rancia has a lovely perfumed core of red currant fruit, spice and leather notes intermingled with hints of toasted oak and cedar.

Nebbiolo d’Alba, “Valmaggione,” Brovia, Piemonte, Italy 2005
Possessing a deft combination of power and elegant nuance, Brovia’s Nebbiolo offers subtle red cherry and plum fruit of great purity along with complex floral and earthy notes. Order early and decant!

Grenache, “Cuvée Classique,” Domaine Monpertuis, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France 2007
This classic “old-school” Châteauneuf-du-Pape delivers everything you could hope for: a dense mix of brambly red and dusty black fruits, dried herbs, licorice, leather and spice notes. Accessible right out of the bottle, but will open and gain complexity throughout your dinner.

WINE-IN-TIME SELECTIONS

Barbaresco, “Sori Paitin,” Paitin, Piemonte, Italy 1990