Ron Blachman's Product Reviews

  • Rating:
    Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer 2012
    Style: Light & Crisp
    Pair with: Ham and smoked meats, Salmon, Dill-seasoned dishes
    Good cork. Pale lemon-straw, light-to-medium body, leggy. Medium sized nose, citrus and spice when still cold, a bit of apple as it warms up. Nice acid and good fruit to balance, dry but not austere; there is a hint of desirable bitterness and a lingering finish. There is just a tiny hint of CO2 and I don't know if this indicates a continuing fermentation in the bottle, ( the potential price of avoiding malo-lactic fermentation during primary fermentation). A lovely Gewurz, fresh and ready to drink but not to hold for long. I think it a bit expensive, though.
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  • Rating:
    Charles Smith Lawrence Vineyard Viognier 2011
    Pair with: Roast fowl, Charcuterie, Sweetbreads
    Quality cork. Medium straw-gold, medium bodied, leggy. Nice nose, pretty good size even when a bit chilled: spiced apple, cinnamon, cedar, a hint of smoke, with a bit of riesling; exotic and very nice. Good flavors and balance, pretty big and mouth-filling; good acid with fruit to carry it off; a bit of a lingering finish. Nice to drink now, could hold up to five years (good cork helps!). I don't expect a lot of improvement with time but no decline, either. This is a lovely, luscious wine. You can find wines as good for less money but if you love variety and can afford it I strongly advise you give this a try. It's still less expensive than it's French counterparts. I had it with sweetbreads and chantrelles and it was perfect!
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  • Rating:
    Condes de Albarei Albarino 2012
    Pair with: Veal Piccata or Marsala, Roast pig or boar, Paella, Tapas
    This is my second experience with Albarino from the Rias Baixas. This is firmer, less tropical than the Paco & Lola. The color is pale gold, medium bodied; legs form slowly; I think this has a high "total extract". The nose is medium sized, not a explosive as the P&L; notes of pear and spice, a bit riesling like but distinct. Big flavors, a dry balance with plenty of acidity but enough fruit to carry it. It is a big, firm wine, mouth filling with a long finish. this does not want to be overly chilled. This is, somehow a "serious" wine; I picture it being served by a tall, severe, slender woman of indeterminate years and impeccable posture dressed in black crinoline with a tall shell comb in her tightly coiled hair; she allows herself is only a glimmer of a smile when you try this with a nice, salty Jamon and olives. The style is not available on the pull-down menu, I'd call it big, stuffed but crisp. It might transform a bit with a few years in the bottle but it will be intersting at every point along the way.
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