Quick Reviews

Bodega del Fin del Mundo Postales Malbec – Argentina – 2020

Clearly a fan of The Postmarks. I used to be a bigger fan of Malbec before I moved to Peru and got drowned by the stuff. This bottle (as well as this French one) reminded me of why I used to love the grape. Nose is cherry and olive with a hint of smoke. On the tongue it’s black cherry. Medium tannins and dry. Very nice. You have got to find the key somewhere to unlock the mystery, if you dare; time is nearly up for you to save the world.

Dr. Loosen “Dr. L” Riesling – Germany – 2020

Albino elephant is the most beautiful of the herd. Color is super pale, nearly white, but don’t let that fool you. Nose is honey, once guzzled it is more honey, green apple, slate. Lots of bright fizz hides the sugar, which is just right. Unlike some other Mosel reezes, this is not oversweet or heavy. Not labeled as such, but probably at the spatlese grade of sugar. Highly recommended. With Hugel off the map as a producer, Loosen is becoming my go-to source for reliable riesling.

Matayac Malbec – France – 2019

November spawned a monster. Nose has earth, soil, bell pepper and eucalyptus. Flavor notes include basement must, black cherry. Super smooth tannins shows just how France does Malbec as compared to California cousins of the same age. Witchcraft maybe? This is a fantastic wine, limited (for me) only because malbec itself always lacks oomph.

Casa Ferreirinha Vinha Grande Douro – Portugal – 2018

An art gallery in a glass. So-so red from Douro. Color is to die for, and car manufacturers wish they could replicate this deep purple. Otherwise, it’s standard red fare, some notes of black cherry and dark fruit, but a bit over tannic and bracing. But did I mention the color?? Grape is Touriga Franca.

Dr. Loosen “Dr. L” Riesling Dry – Germany – 2019

Yes, you can have fun at a chess club. Proof that dry Riesling doesn’t mean boring. Green apple dominates here, with some light fizzy bubbles to add fun. Loosen rarely fails to do reez right, and this is no exception. Pairs very well with even your spiciest fish dishes, but wouldn’t shrink from a steak either, if you’re a rulebreaker.

Baron de Lestac Bordeaux Élevé en Fûts de Chêne – France – 2019

Out of the bottle, this was a somewhat tasteless cab, but giving it 10+ minutes to sit in the glass improved it dramatically. Flavor notes include blackberry and smoke. Label says “aged in oak barrels” and it shows. Not as good as I expected, however, as the overall flavor profile was tepid. Paired OK with beef lentil dish but barely rose above it. Good, but I expected more. Grapes are Merlot and Cab Sauv.

Baron de Lestac Bordeaux Blanc – France – 2019

A trip down memory lane, and just as blurry. Candy notes, like SweeTarts minus the sugar. Melon and grapefruit. I couldn’t find any oak, but did pick up some mild vanilla. Wasn’t served at ideal temperature (glass was a bit warm) but I think the review still sticks. Nice but could be better. Grapes are Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.

Cave des Vins de Sancerre Les Champs Clos Sancerre Blanc – France – 2020

Upstarts don’t start, the old guys will finish you. The French can do little wrong with Sauvignon Blanc no matter how many New World countries try to unseat them. This is a fine Sancerre, but not the best of the breed. Nose is faint, maybe lemon if you can squint your nostrils. Flavor notes include usual lemongrass and flint but less biting than a New Zealand offering. Short finish will make this less memorable.

Philippe Dreschler Sylvaner – France – 2018

Minor league baller on the way up. Easy drinking but with 13% alcohol points to how mischievous those Alsatians can be. Nose is faint apple, tongue is a bit stronger of the same, but very, very subtle. Some slight citric tang, but only barely. Medium sugar. Very smooth going, but because it’s so flimsy, might not be memorable. Pair only with mild dishes, this one is too delicate to take on a strong cheese or spiced fish plate.

Château Ferrande Graves – France – 2016

That new politician has great oratory, but needs more time on the stump. Rich but still not as soft as it will be someday. Nose has some earth and leather, and palate is black cherry and slight wood. Reliable example of Graves region of Bordeaux. The grapes are Merlot and Cab Sauv.