Jadot 2004 Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy) – Light, clear pear and faint dried orange with a thin layer of spice. Decent, quaffable, nothing special. (7/06)
My father-in-law’s favorite wine. Why? I have absolutely no idea. It’s recognizably white Burgundy, but beyond that…I dunno. Alcohol: 12%. Closure: cork. Importer: Kobrand. Web: http://www.louisjadot.com/.
Banfi 2004 Pinot Grigio “San Angelo” (Tuscany) – Light lemon-grapefruit juice with a sticky, palate-deadening texture. Off-dry? This is cocktail wine, totally unsuitable for food, and just reeks of industrialism. (7/06)
This is the pinot grigio style that has made it the most popular imported white wine in the United States: simple fruit, simple sugar, absolutely no complexity. There’s really not much to say about wines like this. They are what they are. Alcohol: 12.5%. Closure: cork. Importer: Banfi. Web: http://www.castellobanfi.com/.
Ridge 2002 Zinfandel Ponzo (Russian River Valley) – Big, almost explosive fruit and oakspice with a particulate leather texture, black earth, and an utterly compelling and enjoyable presence on the palate. Delicious and not yet fully mature, but drinking incredibly well now. (7/06)
96% zinfandel, 2% carignane, 2% petite sirah. This isn’t a vineyard Ridge has been vinifying separately for long (it used to go into a Sonoma blend), but the results so far have been highly promising. Alcohol: 14.4%. Closure: cork. Web: http://www.ridgewine.com/.
Ruffino 2001 Chianti Classico Riserva “Ducale Oro” (Tuscany) – Roasted strawberry-encrusted game and white-peppered earth, but overly restrained, as if tasted through gauze. Very matter-of-fact, with a simplistic finish. (7/06)
85% sangiovese, 15% “other.” A Riserva should be a masterwork of sangiovese and the terroir, but this wine has slid year by year into a sort of comfortable mediocrity. It’s a shame, too, given its ubiquity in the marketplace, as many people will get the incorrect idea that this is what Chianti Classico Riserva is about, and all it can achieve. There’s a lot of underachieving wine in Tuscany, and this is a sort of poster child for the underachievement. Alcohol: 13%. Closure: cork. Web: http://www.ruffino.com/.