Last week, Wine Spectator’s Grand Tour event made a stop here in the oddly sunny San Francisco and brought with them over 200 of the world’s greatest wines. And with only three hours to taste as many of them as we could, this became the ultimate power hour of fine wine. But unlike my days in college, shotgunning beer cans was replaced by vigorous note-taking and frequent visits to the spittoon. But as I’d love to share my thoughts on all of these breathtaking wines, I’ll spare you the lengthy laundry list and present the six that I truly felt deserved a shout-out. And here they are!
NV Krug Brut Champagne Grande Cuvée
Like a wet dog rock climbing, this cuvee exemplifies its clear-cut minerality adjacent to apparent, however pleasant, musky elements. Featherlike in weight while sturdy in character, its zesty acidity is harmonized by frothy beads and notes of fresh lemon juice and unripe pear that finish off with a touch of saline.
As tranquil as hanging freshly cleaned linens over a garden on the island of Santorini, this wine displays tantalizing floral aromas of white roses, gardenias, lilacs, and dried lavender. Utterly refreshing with acidity and elegant in weight, the palate is further graced by hints of white peach, snap peas, volcanic mineral spice, and an ambiance of the island’s salty air.
This coastal pinot is simply mouthwatering and savory like a plate of prosciutto with a side of succulent raspberry and red cherry. Luminous acidity alongside a sleek and sophisticated tannic structure, the dusty rusticity is what gives this handsome wine its masculine edge. Sort of like when Prince Carl Philip of Sweden allows his beard to grow a bit. Yup, mouthwatering.
Like a sexy Johnny Depp wearing a bit of eyeliner, this wine’s slightly brawny structure yet sensual texture are well-expressed with nuances of roasted meat, dried sage and thyme. Its feminism reciprocates with silky smooth tannin and sassy acidity dolled up with notes of black raspberry, mulberry, bay laurel, and hints of oak spice to finish it off. And just as with Johnny, that’s certainly something to feast on.
2008 Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
A sunbathed garden with aromas of sultana, dried blackcurrant, rose, lavender, fennel, and a trickle of smoke. Voluptuous in body with its beautifully ripe and velvety tannin, the palate is upheld with its enduring acidity and notes of savory spices over a layer of candied fruit and black tea on the finish.
Illustrating just how wonderful a hint of VA can be, this luscious masterpiece flaunts a fruit medley of ripe peach, dried apricot, dried fig, sweet mango, and tangy marmalade. Rich and creamy texture that’s lifted by its zippy acidity, the palate indulges in tangerine peel, cinnamon, dried sage, and a long alluring finish of fresh honey.