This is what our editors and contributors were drinking last week…
On a blind wine evening that included Barolo, white Rioja, Chablis, Cahors and Bordeaux, this wine snuck in and left a significant impression.
Still youthful and structured at 8+ years old, it was a very pleasant surprise.
Tasted blind, we hung on this one for a while. I settled timidly on cabernet franc and, pressed to identify a region, I said Long Island. That's a compliment.
I expect that 2011 will be the year when I learn much more about Virginia wines. I don't know anything about this producer; I don't whether it's considered among the finer wineries. But there's no doubt that Virginia can make good cab franc.
It's time to discover more of it.
Julia Burke: Umeno Yado Junmai Daiginjyo Sake
As we pored over the list, a couple of guys next to us announced they were treating the bar to one of the higher-end sakes on the list. We tried two other sakes as well that evening and I enjoyed them all, but this one was particularly smooth and an appealing introduction to this fascinating libation.
It tasted like cantaloupe and Rice Krispies. My coworker informed me that these two descriptors were textbook sake flavors; cantaloupe in particular, he explained, is "to sake what 'sour cherry' is to Tuscan wine."
The smoothness of the fruit, however, was really enjoyable, and I found myself digging it immediately. There was nothing stale or cardboardy about the rice aspect, either, just a very elegant sipper and great with octopus pieces.
I'm always up for cool new drinking experiences and this one was serendipitous.
Bryan Calandrelli: Shinn Estate Vineyards 2007 Wild Boar Doe (North Fork of Long Island)
I knew exactly what I was getting to when I uncorked this 2007 Shinn Wild Boar Doe. My palate was thirsty for a big New York red and this bottle didn't let me down.
Full and fleshy, this wine has new world ripeness with old world complexity. Rich tannins compliment its flavors of dark cherry, chocolate, earth and spice and the glass coating 14.6% alcohol is in complete balance.
Tasted blind, my sommelier friend thought it was Bordeaux. Great stuff from one of my favorite New York wineries.