Wine update

Farnese and Citra have both released the 2006 vintages of their inexpensive $7-and-change Sangiovese wines. We didn’t take notes on either of them (not that kind of wine…) but they both actually strike me as kind of similar: ripe, good fruit, noticeable body, both great value for money. I am not sure whether it is just me being difficult but I think I liked the 2005 Citra a bit better–had a bit of earthiness/woodsiness or something that is missing from the 2006. As for the 2005 Farnese, well as we said in January, the less said the better.

If you’re looking for a good reasonably priced Chianti the 2003 Colognole Chianti Rufina that we liked in January has been released again at Vintages. We didn’t immediately notice it was the same vintage so now we have two reviews of exactly the same wine. The reviews are basically consistent though I noted about the more recent one (I think *before* we realized we were reviewing the exact same wine…) that this one seemed prunier–if that’s a word.

Ottawa Magazine has an interesting piece this month on the increasing alcoholic content of wines–wines that used to be 10% are now more typically 12 or 13, and a surprising proportion of wine–especially in hot New World and New World-ish regions (e.g., southern France)–is hitting 14% and over. The upside to this is that since alcohol carries the aromatics of the wine you can wines with really great noses; the downside is that you can lose a sense of focus and elegance. Such is the case I think with a well-reviewed Aussie Chardonnay from the last Vintages release we tried on Friday, Yalumba Eden Valley Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2005 at 14% and $17.95. It has a very assertive, kind of interesting yeasty-toasty nose (hence the “wild ferment”) but ends up rather one-note and (the bane of many Chards with great noses) not especially interesting on the palate. Worth trying though to see if you like it–Robert Parker and Tony Aspler both gave it great reviews.

A less expensive Chardonnay that we both liked is the Lurton Chardonnay Reserva 2006 from Argentina at 13.5% and $13.95. This is from several releases ago and also got glowing reviews so I’m not sure whether there’s going to be any left at this point.