The Cellar: Wines That Get Better With Time
Friday, December 26, 2014
When finances allow I like to buy multiple bottles of the same wine. I usually taste the first bottle over a three hour span and always save a few inches for the next day. I take some notes and wait a year before I open the next bottle. This is a great way of getting to know a wine and I encourage you to do the same, because getting to know a wine is very similar to getting to know a person; it can’t be achieved in one brief encounter.
The backstory: This week’s first review is of a red table wine from the Rhône Valley. It consists of 70% Grenache, 20% Cinsault and 10% Syrah, and is made by the world famous producer Château Mont-Redon. The first vines found at Mont-Redon date back to Roman times. They were planted at the bottom of a
The wine: I chose this wine because it is a great example of a wine that takes time to open up. The 2007 Côtes du Rhône vintage is regarded a sleeper and wine experts expect good examples to be able to age for years. Right out of the bottle, the wine was disjointed and tasted almost bitter, but after an hour or so it really opened up. This is a full-bodied wine filled with dark fruits and an earthy element and an acidity that is so characteristic of a well-made Côtes du Rhône. The next day the aromas had diminished a bit, but the flavors were still present. In fact they had turned jammy with hints of a smoky element, becoming even more full-bodied.
The backstory: The popularity of Californian Pinot Noir has exploded in the past decade. In 1989 Californian winemakers crushed approximately 37,000 tons of Pinot Noir, 10 years later that figure had grown to over 156,000 tons. The popularity of Pinot Noir means that virtually every winery now makes one and that they are available across most, if not all, price points. Kenwood produces its Russian River Pinot from grapes grown off River Road where the
The wine: This is a nice bottle of Pinot Noir. The wine has a clear, light garnet color. Two hours after opening the aromas are still tight, but I detect a nice earthy component with nice hints of red cherries. On the palate, the intensity is pronounced, especially on the mid-palate. There alcohol seems a little high in this wine. I can detect a little heat in the back of my throat, but it has gorgeous sour cherries, a little spice and a substantial minerality. The tannins and oak are integrated nicely and makes for finish that is clean and long.
Steffen Rasch is a Certified Sommelier and Specialist of Wine. Feel free to email him at [email protected] with any wine-related question or learn about wine in person by signing up for one of his tastings through the Providence Wine Academy.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on October 19, 2012.
Related Slideshow: Rhode Island’s Best Wineries
Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival, Newport
This is the Rhode Island festival that all others are judged against. Newport Mansions Wine and Food is in its ninth year of bringing together sublime food talent in a gorgeous Newport setting. This year is no different as the main headliners are Martha Stewart and Sara Moulton. They don't stop there though...imagine hundreds of wines to be sampled on the lawn of Marble House, tasty treats from lots of local restaurants, and appearances by local chefs like Champe Speidel preparing and serving their creations. You've got a bona fide classic! Tickets starts at $135. www.newportmansions.org
Newport Vineyards, Middletown
This vineyard was originally planted in 1977 with the goal of preserving the coastal land. Captain Richard Alexander planted 10 acres of French-American grapes in 1977 with the help of his family, friends, and neighbors. In 1988, in partnership with the Nunes family, Captain Alexander established his first winery. In 2002, the land was placed into perpetual preservation through a partnership between the Nunes Family, the Aquidneck Land Trust, and the State of Rhode Island.
Tours and tastings occur Sunday – Friday at 1 and 3 p.m. and hourly on Saturday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. $12 per person for 5 samples; $15 per person for 5 samples plus signature glass. 909 East Main Rd. 848-5161,www.newportvineyards.com
Greenvale Vineyards, Portsmouth
Located along the beautiful Sakonnet River, Greenvale Vineyards has been in the family since 1863 and is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Cortlandt Parker, the farm’s fourth generation, and his wife Nancy started to grow grapes here as a hobby in the 1960’s. In the early 80’s, the Parkers decided to embark on the development of a commercial vineyard. The focus is on conservation of open space, preservation of historic buildings and the education of its visitors. Tastings occur daily and cost $12 for 7 varietals; tours are daily at 2 p.m. and are *$15 per person for the tour and tasting. 582 Wapping Rd. 847-3777, http://www.greenvale.com
Langworthy Farm Winery, Westerly
Langworthy Farm was built in 1875 on the historical home site of Governor Samuel Ward. Owners Joe and Gail Sharry first planted vinifera grape vines in 2002 and produced the first barrel of Chardonnay in stainless steel that same year. They now produce more than a dozen varietals, including 7 reds. Alongside the vineyard is a Victorian farmhouse bed and breakfast that the Sharrys operate in season. Meals, of course, are always paired with house wines.
Tastings run daily from July 4 through Labor Day and are $7 per person for 5 wines. 308 Shore Rd. 322-7791, http://www.langworthyfarm.com
Carolyn's Sakonnet Vineyards, Little Compton
A popular and iconic Rhode Island vineyard, Sakonnet was founded in 1975 and for over 30 years has pioneered the production of ﬁne wines in New England. Several vinifera varietals including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Franc, and the unique hybrid Vidal Blanc are grown, and Sakonnet also produces an award-winning Sparkling wine. This is Rhode Island’s largest vineyard, producing upwards of 30,000 cases annually.
Tours and tastings occur daily between noon and 3 and are $10. There is also a café and outdoor seating. 162 West Main Rd. 635-8486, http://www.sakonnetwine.com
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