Monday, June 29, 2009

[Wine Log] Mapreco Dão

Wine: Mapreco Dão
Year: 2003
Region: Portugal
Alcohol: 12.5%

Let it be known that wine is very pricey in New York City. In the little shop I found a few blocks from my hotel, this Dão was the only red wine under $10 I could find. It's a 2003, surely it can't be so horrible as that, right?

Anyway, the wine is one of the darkest I've seen - a deep dusky plum, edging more to the purple-brown end of the spectrum than the red. It is also very opaque and dark; I can't see through even a small amount.

The scent of the Dão is pleasant and rich - very much a "port" smell more than a standard red wine scent. Heavy brown sugar and caramel overtones at first, mellowing eventually into dark berries and currant.

The taste of the wine diverges hugely from the scent. The flavors in the wine are both sharp and dry, not at all heavy and sugary like the nose suggested. The most prominent flavor is a tart, lemony berry. At first I thought it was too sharp for me, but after breathing a bit it was quite drinkable.

I wouldn't seek this wine out again, but it will certainly do for an evening in the city - and being the cheapest bottle in the store.

Monday, June 1, 2009

[Wine Log] State Lane Orange Muscat

Wine: State Lane Orange Muscat
Vinyard: Goosecross Cellars
Year: 2007
Region: Mendocino
Alcohol: 8.7%

A recent Wine.Woot purchase rewarded us with four bottles of two different off-whites, one of which is the State Lane Orange Muscat. I admit that I bought this particular set just because I had no idea what an orange muscat would be like, and I was dying of curiosity.

Once this white is in a glass, I nearly think I wouldn't be able to distinguish it from a glass of water. If you stare at it really hard you can detect the slightest golden hue, but it's quite clear overall.

I had trouble categorizing the scents in the orange muscat at first, but once it was less chilled I had more luck. There are definite flowery notes, along with light fruit (citrus, banana, apple). There is also a vaguely spicy smell, like ground pepper - so subtle that I almost missed it, but it tickled my nose just enough for me to notice.

The flavor of this muscat is absolutely divine - I can already tell I'm going to be looking for a case. It is characterized by the muscat sweetness, but where so many wines edge towards "saccharine," the State Lane is just right. The spicy scent is definitely identifiable in the taste as well, and goes a long way towards balancing the sweetness and keeping it from becoming cloying. That spicy note takes on a sweeter note in the taste - more cinnamon spice than pepper spice. There are quite a few other bright flavors: a light honey flavor (honey suckle?), sweet lemon, and a very prevalent orange blossom and other flowers. It is wonderfully quenching to drink, and I can see it being great company on a hot summer afternoon.

Sorry, I thought I was done with this review, but I checked what the web site had to say about this wine... and I just had to gloat about how well my tasting notes lined up:
Vibrantly fruity and aromatic, it’s bursting with sweet orange blossom, honeysuckle, exotic lychee and fresh melon. An enticing sweetness accentuates the lush floral and tropical flavors, finishing with a mouthwatering kiss of citrus.
Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all decade.