The usual suspects contributed to What We Drank this week. I have to say, I'm really enjoying this new feature on LENNDEVOURS, it gives me a great opportunity to write about the non-NY wines that I'm tasting and it gives me a little insight into what the other contributors are drinking. I hope you're enjoying it too.
This Tolosa Edna Ranch 2005 Estate Pinot Noir was a gentle west coast pinot. Aromas of strawberry and cola set up a balanced mouthfeel that finished with a touch of spice. I got some heat from the finish but nothing I wouldn’t expect from a cool climate grape growing in a warm environment. While it was balanced and dare I say Burgundian in approach, there wasn’t any earthy qualities or minerality. Overall an interesting wine from an area I know absolutely nothing about.
Sometimes you don't need a wine to be spectacular or overwhelming. This wine is completely, utterly whelming, and there's nothing wrong with that. It was initially underwhelming; aromatically non-existent at first, it finally opened up after about 45 minutes, which surprised my wife and me. I love the concept of this wine -- no oak, allowing the fruit to speak clearly -- but I didn't get any of the herbs or earth that Lenn picked up in his review. Just lots of simple, bright cherry and raspberry and a strong finishing kick of black pepper. We were happily whelmed.
After working on the Samuel Adams Beer account while living in New York City, I came to appreciate the small batch, handcrafted and artisanal aspects of microbrews. My husband Rich was bitten by the craft beer bug at that time and seeks them out regularly. This weekend, we spent some time on our back deck with a local microbrew, Market Street Brewing Company's Barley Legal.
In the growler and the glass, the color is amber and on the nose, distinct toastiness and slight bits of green apple. Barley Legal is medium-bodied and smooth with a lingering finish on the back palate and notes of caramel. This is a beer we'll grab and take to family gatherings for easy-sipping.
I just got a chance to try the Li Bella 2008 Pinot Grigio, an alternate label at Shaw Vineyards in its second year of bottling.
I'm not always sure what to look for in a pinot grigio, but I must say I was impressed with this off-dry version. It had just a hint of very light spice, with a touch of sweetness, and a good mouthfeel showcasing its acidity.
The fruit was there, but unlike some other Finger Lakes pinot grigios I didn't think this tasted like a water-logged riesling. The wine had a subtle but complex melon taste.
Straightforward and citrusy, it features fresh, food-friendly acidity, and a slightly chalky mouthfeel that is a little rounder than many Touraines I've tasted. Once it gets to room temperature, there is a faintly piney-resiny note on the palate.
I only bought two bottles of this one and I wish I had bought much more. Would be great to have on hand for summer parties.