By Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief
I'm taking this week off from What We Drank (mostly because everything I tasted over the weekend will be reviewed elsewhere on the site).
Luckily, some other team members are picking up the slack this week.
Petaluma hophead brewing superstar Lagunitas must've gotten really friendly with the band Wilco lately. The acronym "WTF" on this "Jobless Recovery Ale" seemed appropriate for my life: I returned from South Africa completely broke and am attempting to recover by working nonstop. Drinking on the job being a key aspect of the wine industry, I enjoyed this 20 oz. bomber with my coworkers while we dealt with drunk bus after drunk bus in the winery tasting room.I'm a sucker for malt bombs, and this self-described "Imperial Brown Ale" packs a sweet, roasty, chocolatey, butterscotchy punch. Only 7.8% ABV (small potatoes for this brewery), the obvious sweetness of this beer comes from a malt profile that would make a German brewer blush. I kind of want to pair it with Reese's peanut butter cups or put it in a brownie recipe. A three-finger head and snappy carbonation helped to balance that burnt-sugar-syrup mouthfeel.
The swift punch kick of hops that's present in the finish of any Lagunitas brew is there, to be sure, and provides some much-needed acidity. A great pairing beer, though a tad sweet, and thoroughly new and different for Lagunitas.
Bryan Calandrelli: Movia 2006 Ribolla
I need only one hand to count the number of jaw-dropping whites I've had in my life, but a recent tasting of Movia's Ribolla 2006 has convinced me that I may need to use both hands soon.
If I was literally blindfolded I might think this was a red wine from its weight, structure and viscosity.
The toasty aromas of almond and toffee are in perfect balance with the tropical citrus and pineapple notes. Its full body and dedicated persistence on the palate is something I don't experience much in a white.
Dr. Vino posted a question on his blog asking "What white wine would you give to a red wine drinker?" and this is my pick. I would also nominate it for sexiest white wine if there were an MTV style wine award show. It will also make you want to shout "Riiiiiibolllllaaaaaa."
Evan Dawson: Pellegrini Vineyards 2000 MerlotI realize that during May, the staff of the NYCR has been posting largely about riesling and rose. But really, truly, you must trust me when I say that this post is in the spirit of that theme.Okay, it's a stretch, but consider: We've been posting about quite a bit of older Finger Lakes riesling. Why not flip it, and post about an older Long Island merlot?I poured this blind for my wife. Young or old, I asked? Young. Domestic or foreign? Foreign. And you know what? I'd have guessed the same. It was beautiful and fresh, rounding into a superb form. I've seen a few Pellegrini bottlings show a strong dose of oak in the past, but this was a wine that integrated its wood seamlessly.I'm told 2000 was not an ideal merlot vintage on Long Island, which makes this bottle even more thrilling.