Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tasting Notes: Cal-Itals at JavaMonkey

Ugh, I hate the current trend to combine couple names with cutesy abbreviations. "Brangelina" -- bite me (or each other). "TomKat" -- cult favorite. "Those freaky-looking Twilight kids." Okay, that's not a couple combination name, but they're still annoying. So I approached the idea of "Cal-Itals" with much hesitation. If you're wondering, they're Italian grapes grown and made into wine in California.

Just from looking over my notes, this is a combo that works. Hollywood gossip columnists, take note. The wines:

2006 Monte Volpe Pinot Grigio (Mendocino, CA):
Light nose, floral on the palate with a little herb, mineral, and spice. Someone got butter. I think they were craving this with seafood.
Rating: Very Good, and it was a Pinot Grigio that Hubby liked!

2007 Monte Volpe Tocai Fruiliano (Mendocino, CA):
Nose of beach water (y'know, that sulphur-ish stuff that comes out of the faucet in Florida) and lemon. A little tangy, but not as much body as the nose promised, and a little funky on the end.
Rating: Okay

2006 Enotria Dolcetto (Mendocino, CA):
Enotria means "Land of Wine." Sign me up! Seriously, this one had a ripe fruit and oak nose that had a bit of alcohol on it. Smooth and medium-bodied with some smoke and a chewy finish.
Rating: Very Good

2005 Orfila Vineyards Sangiovese (San Pasqual Valley, CA):
Made by an Argentinian winemaker, this could easily pass for a lighter-bodied Zin, especially at 16% A.B.V. (that's alcohol by volume for those who are wondering, and 16% is heavy). Hot and sweet with cherry and dark fruit.
Rating: Good to Very Good

2006 Monte Volpe Primo Rosso (Mendocino, CA): Super-Tuscan* blend of Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Carignan, and Negro Amaro
Berry skin nose, a little butter with good cherry fruit.
Rating: Very Good to Excellent

2004 Peirano Estate Vineyards Barbera (Lodi, CA):
Earthy, fruity nose; not big, but some cooked mushroom notes. Where's the steak?
Rating: Very Good

*A Super-Tuscan is a blend that goes beyond the rules for making traditional Tuscan wines. I always picture a little Italian superhero with his chest puffed out and holding a bottle in one hand and a bread stick in the other. Anyone want to draw one for me? Just don't make him look like the Mario Brothers. I bet he'd kick Brangelina's butt(s).

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