Here's just a sampling of what our editors are drinking, another all-wine edition:
This was the choice of our guest-of-honor at dinner in Rochester this weekend. I don't typically seek out Australian wine, so I was at least curious.
Strangely, there is very little in this wine that smells or tastes like a beverage made from grapes. To say that it tastes like chocolate is to say that McDonald's french fries taste like salt.
This wine is so overwhelmed with milk chocolate that I thought I was drinking a candy bar. I suppose some maraschino cherry made a cameo, but by that point the message was clear.
It had me wondering, though: Which forms of oak are more likely to bring that heavy chocolate, compared to the toasty vanilla that is also so often prevalent?
It seems to vary. I welcome any theories here.
Tom Mansell: San Pietro 2007 Lagrein, Alto Adige
This wine distinguished itself amongst a flight of whites and a flight of reds from the Tre Venezie at the Cayuga Chapter meeting of the American Wine Society.
It's fruit forward, yet complex with dark berries, black cherries, and a hint of citrus.
The oak influence is subtle (aged in 50 hectoltire casks)... much more so than the small cask, Slovenian oak regime of some of the other reds we enjoyed.
It maintains an acidity that keeps the finish going. A great value at $15. If you're looking to add a new grape variety to your list, check out this Lagrein.
Ten wines were poured during the Channing Daughters wine dinner I attended at Per Se last week, but the one I wanted to call out for WWD is yet another of winemaker Christopher Tracy's unique wines -- Pazzo, which means "mad" or "crazy" in Italian.
I have known about this wine for a little while, first smelling it at TasteCamp about a year ago.
In a nutshell, it started as a 2004 merlot that was hand-harvested and crushed by foot in small one-ton bins. The wine was fermented dry, then fortified to 18% alcohol with neutral grape spirits and put outside in barrels for five years -- somewhat mimicking the process employed for traditional Madeira -- minus the boats and cross-ocean trips.
Before bottling, they added a bit of fresh, sweet merlot juice to get it up to 1.6% RS.
Is it Maderia? No, but it's reminiscent of it in its nutty, oxidized qualities. It's also surprisingly lithe and delicate. Just barely sweet, there are clear hints -- most dried cherry and cranberry notes -- that this is made from merlot.
Very unique, interesting wine. Of course experimentation isn't anything new to Tracy. Oh, and they only bottled half of the wine sitting outside. The other half will be bottled after another five years exposed to the elements.