Saturday, September 17, 2011

5 Wines Under $25

One of my favorite wine stores of all time is back up and running. Weygandt Wines in Washington DC's Cleveland Park neighborhood is re-launching with a great new selection of under $25 wines. They still have their classic offerings from Burgundy, Rhone and Germany, as well as an incredible selection of Austrian rieslings and gruner veltliner's from one of my all-time favorite producers, F.X. Pichler.

I stopped by the shop and tasted through five wines, all priced at less than $25. There is serious value out there in Old World wines, and I was impressed at how well these wines showed. The three pinots were all great, which is quite an achievement considering their low price point. Anyway, here are some notes... Cheers! Remember: drink well; drink cheap.

2008 Domaine des Cassagnoles Gros Manseng Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne (France, Southwest France, Gascony, Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne)
this wine is made from 100 percent gros manseng. the color is very light straw. the nose shows grass, flowers and green pears. the palate shows fresh acidity and delicious, tangy lemon-lime flavors. at $12, this wine is a steal, and a no-brainer for scallops, light pastas or salads. (86 pts)

2009 Christophe Denizot Givry Domaine des Moirots (France, Burgundy, Côte Chalonnaise, Givry)
i was surprised by the amount of funkiness on the nose. it's matched with bright red fruit as well, so it's interesting. the palate is bright with acid, it has a solid tannic structure. rich cherry fruit and a distinct iron note. this is a complex wine, but it's also straight up delicious and showing very well right now. this is a steal at $24. (90 pts) 

2009 Gerard & Pierre Morin Sancerre Rouge (France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Sancerre)
this pinot noir is really exciting, especially at $25. it's gorgeous purple in color, and the aromas are great: flowers, red currants, plums and just a little bit of loam. the palate is rich with red cherry fruit and dark chocolate, but the iron-like minerality and the fresh acid make this a balanced package. i really enjoyed it, and i think this wine could please pretty much any palate. (90 pts) 

2009 Gerard & Pierre Morin Sancerre Rouge Bellechaume (France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Sancerre)
this pinot noir was much richer in style. the nose was full of flowers and dark cherries. i really liked the silkiness of this wine, and the rich cherry and cranberry fruit. (88 pts) 
this 100 percent carignan is a gorgeous purple color in the glass. it smells like plum cake and blackberry sauce. the palate is really dense and rich. the alcohol shows a bit at 15%. there's a lot of sweet blackberries and milk chocolate on the palate. if you like fruit bomb syrahs, this wine is for you. (87 pts)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tattoos - A Poem

“Tattoos” — Poem published in BloodLotus: An Online Literary Journal, August, 2011.

Blood Lotus is a great lit journal, and I'm thrilled they published this poem. I've pasted it below, but be sure to check out the journal because these people are doing great things with poetry and prose. Cheers!


a bright blue celtic cross
tattooed on my forearm
the first one, a dare

proud, green vines and
grapes etched into my leg
i thought i was finished

i fell down again, ended up
with a deck of cards on my hip
a salute to the will of chance

i almost lost my life, wound
up with nothing but a body
my wrist now says: vive la liberte

and a broken bone runs
across my arm, that one
just looked really cool

© Isaac James Baker