Palate Press Wine of the Week

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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2008 Whitman Cellars Viognier

Clear, bright, medium straw yellow; Clean nose with medium intensity white flowers, candied citrus rind, apricot, sweet hay, yellow apple, and hotdog water (not bad! this is a classic Viognier marker for me!); Dry on the palate with medium-full body, medium acid, medium alcohol, medium flavors of yellow apple, peach skin, honeysuckle, candied lemon; rich texture and a medium-long finish. Pair with pan seared tofu glazed with spicy peach preserves. Highly recommended.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2009 Ponzi Vineyards Pinot Noir Tavola

Cherries and some cola and caramel show up on the nose, along with a little more burn than you would expect from the 13.7% alcohol reported on the label. On the palate the wood speaks loudest, in vanilla and caramel, followed by dark cherry and Dr. Pepper. A bit of allspice and white pepper appear on the palate, but none of it breaks through the wood. Drink with baked chicken, the dark meat if possible. No recommendation.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2006 Produttori del Barbaresco

Co-ops are usually the volume-first, quality-second institutions of the wine world. Not so with Produttori del Barbaresco, a group of 19 producers in the Barbaresco appellation who work together to produce some of the best wines in all of Piedmont, and at remarkably reasonable prices. Italian wine expert Charles Scicolone, in an interview I had the chance of doing with him last year, told me he considered Produttori as the best Barbaresco producer, bar none, and after tasting a few of their bottlings, I tend to agree. The 2006 “regular” Barbaresco (as opposed to their single vineyard bottlings), is clearly built for the long run, with fine but significant tannins, loads of great tart cherry and tobacco leaf aromas, a fine acidity and a terrific, clean, precise finish. The color is the clear garnet of traditional nebbiolo, free of oak (why would that grape need it?), fine and well-defined. Buy every bottle you find and drink them slowly over the next twenty years. Also look for their Langhe Nebbiolo, a simpler, fun expression of nebbiolo that is a real deal at less than $20 CDN. Highly recommended.