A confession. Herein these pages there might seem to be the appearance of astonishing disorder. With music as a muse and a foil to wine, I prefer to look at it as an enjambment, or, as James Woods might explain it, as “the desire to get more in, to challenge metrical closure.” No form, structure or cohesion you think, you mutter, you say? Oh, well.
Over at WineAlign I share my February 20th VINTAGES release picks in the Buyer’s Guide, along with colleagues John Szabo, Sara d’Amato and a travelling David Lawrason. Here at Godello the list expands. First here, with seven whites for snow days and well, just snow. Look for the reds on Saturday.
Hugel Gentil 2014, Ac Alsace, France (367284, $16.95, WineAlign)
A bottle blend soft and inviting, teasing tropical fruit but grounded in the continental orchard. Warmth on the nose and cool effervescence on the tongue add up to a waxy, airy finish. This opens up, rises and elevates on the back end. Terrific aperitif out of 2014 with some legs to last through the night. Drink 2016-2019. Tasted February 2016 @FamilleHugel @HalpernWine @AlsaceWines @drinkAlsace @VinsAlsace
Creekside Estate Riesling Marianne Hill Vineyard 2014, Beamsville Bench, Ontario (443572, $19.95, WineAlign)
Like a gypsy boy, the idea of Riesling, winemaker Rob Power and Creekside Estates do not occupy overtly obvious territory so here, “come over to the window, my little darling. I’d like to try to read your palm.” In it the perfected Cohen lines of classic Bench Riesling, of stalwarts Thirty and Hidden Bench. Same stoic, non-gentrified possibilities unfollowed and new concepts surreptitiously proposed. Terrifically tart, dangerously darting and tasked for mouth watering righteousness. Such succinct lemon-lime continuous balance. Winemaker Rob Power may not have a storied history with Riesling but now that he has gone Marianne Hill he can’t go back. Drink 2016-2021. Tasted February 2016 @CreeksideWine @hobbsandco
Ilocki Podrumi Premium Grasevina 2013, Hrvatsko Podunavlje, Croatia (369421, $21.95, WineAlign)
Such potential from Croatia found, packaged and articulated in this bottle. Classic Furmint in Grasevina clothing, right along the wire where Pinot Gris looks over towards Chenin Blanc and says “let’s spend the night together.” Honeyed, unctuous, spicy and floral to the stones and back. For days when “I’m going red and my tongue’s gettin’ tied,” turning to white never tasted so good. You gotta try this. Drink 2016-2019. Tasted February 2016 @WinesofCroatia @RolandRussell
Greywacke (Kevin Judd) Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Marlborough, New Zealand (164228, $23.95, WineAlign)
From the town of bedrock, Kevin Judd’s Greywacke is a modern, stone-age Sauvignon Blanc. Grown out of vineyards in the Central Wairau and Southern Valleys in Marlborough, Judd’s exploratory to trailblazing SB announces its aromatic arrival like a pick struck on granite. Tannic from the get go and forged with precise angles and friezes, always tied by an indenture with texture. The vintage is a fruit first forward, neighbourly one and it takes a winemaker to keep things etched in stone. This one strikes me as one that could have got away but the reigning was accomplished in lope, guiding the fruit through a precise pattern of circles, spins, and stops. The success lies in the canter of acidity to extend the effect towards a turning and returning, again and again. Drink 2016-2022. Tasted February 2016 @greywacker @Greywacke @oenophilia1
Trimbach Réserve Pinot Gris 2012, Ac Alsace, France (971762, $29.95, WineAlign)
Immediately reminds of 2008 and will go down a similar, slowly turning and evolving path. So purposed and direct though there is a slight elevation in residual sugar as compared to the four four beat four years ago. Pinot Gris of pears and operas, with some spice on the finish. This will aria into something lovely at the age of seven and beyond. Drink 2018-2022. Tasted February 2016 @trimbach @WoodmanWS @AlsaceWines @drinkAlsace @VinsAlsace
Béjot Les Bouchots Montagny 1er Cru 2013, Ac Burgundy, France (438002, $27.95, WineAlign)
Tidy, tide and vine Chardonnay the way with oak it needs to be. Unobtrusive and just a sheet between fruit and acidity, enough for warmth and not too much to bring on the sweats. Snug, spruced, agitated, resplendent even. Drink 2016-2022. Tasted February 2016 @HannaNealWines @BeauneTourisme @BourgogneWines
Josef Chromy Sparkling 2010, Tasmania, Australia (393629, $29.95, WineAlign)
If 2008 has just recently settled into its low heat unit skin then the consideration here can’t yet touch the thought. So much lees and so much time, so little evolution and so little mind. Jeremy Dineen must be grinning from ear to ear with the thought of where this fizz will go, carrying so much wisdom in its autolysis and Tazzy vernacular in its mousse. Great citrus benchmark OZ outpost where the bubbles work hard for their money and offer up nothing but charm. Drink 2016-2023. Tasted February 2016 @JosefChromy @bwwines @Wine_Australia
Good to go!
WineAlign: Michael Godel