2004 Garlider Sylvaner ($19.99) Born in 1974, Christian Kerschbaumer is a rising star in Valle Isarco and Alto Adige viticulture, with about 5 acres of vineyards (15% red and 85% white grapes). We are proud to introduce you to his wines. The Sylvaner has a rich bouquet and shows a juicy palate with green apples, citrus and minerals and almost a little saltiness on the vibrant finish. Try with hard cheeses or a tomato, basil and mozzarella salad. 2004 Garlider Muller-Thurgau ($18.99) Both of this and the Sylvaner above received 2 Full Glasses in the 2006 Gambero Rosso. The Muller-Thurgau is probably one of the best I’ve tasted in a long time. Spicy, with a white peppercorn, flint and slate mingling with white fruit and herbs. This is a very dynamic wine that will marry well with a cold tomato and garlic soup or dishes featuring avocado. 2004 Dorigo Pinot Grigio ($17.95) This wine was made in all stainless steel, and extended contact with the lees gives this a richness few Pinot Grigios have. The palate will bring you that classic Friulian terroir with green apples, a touch of almond and that great 2004 acidity. The perfect wine for your Mother’s day brunch. 2004 Dorigo Cabernet Franc ($15.99) Yes cab franc from Italy! It has been grown in Fruili for centuries. Forget about this grape varietal from France or California! This is a GREAT example of what cabernet franc is all about: spicy, blackberries, blueberries and cassis with black pepper and a hint of mint on the finish. Throw a steak on the barbeque. —Mike Parres
As I write this, I am just back from two weeks in Burgundy. It was a good trip, where I had the chance to taste hundreds of 2004 Burgundies, both white and red. The 2004 White Burgundies are less variable and easier to evaluate. They are charming wines, with a clear sense of place. Perhaps not the perfect vintage for aging for more than a decade, but that long a time frame is hardly a problem for most whites (or for most of us). The vintage has a sense of sweetness on the palate, even for those wines with no hint of residual sugar, which makes them delightful. 2004 Red Burgundies are more variable, and the skill of the winegrower and careful cellar work are critical. I tasted some wonderful wines in Volnay, as well as Chambolle, so there is no generalization about Cote de Beaune versus Cote de Nuits that I can see. However, this is a vintage to talk to your wine merchant about how individual producers fared, and pick your wines well. If you do, there are some wonderful things to be found, and you will be delighted to have them in your cellar. Á Santé. —Keith Wollenberg
It’s a good time to be a white Burgundy enthusiast. Currently on our shelves with have plenty (a relative term) of 2004s. This is one of the better vintages in current years to celebrate the dirt of Burgundy. By this I mean that these wine practically scream their terrior. A fun and interesting way to approach this would be wines from these two producers, Denis Barraud and Paul Pernot. The wines, like the men who make them, come from two very different worlds. The first is a small farmer, the second one of the very largest land owners in the Cote de Beaune. 2004 Pouilly-Fuissé, Les Chataignieres, Domaine des Nembrets, Denis Barraud ($18.99) The Domaine des Nembrets is a small hold that Dennis has been able to put together by sharecropping and leasing. The entire holding are on the slopes of the Roche de Vergisson, a giant basalt monolith, surrounded by complex and folded rocky, well-drained soils with limestone outcroppings. It is these limestone outcroppings that are home to Pouilly-Fuisse, and it is only the vines planted in this area that can be called so. This is not Saint-Veran or Macon. The wine is bright and fresh, showing cool yellow fruits with hints citrus and a stony mineral undercurrent. This wine sees a little new oak, which serves to frame and accentuate the fruit. 2004 Puligny Montrachet, Domaine Paul Pernot ($39.99) In spite of having some of the largest holdings, this estate never produces much wine, selling almost 80% of their grapes. What they do keep (the best fruit, naturally) is reflected in their wines. They are not one of the superstars of Burgundy but the have a solid, quiet following. Preferring to have the wines speak for themselves, very little new oak is used. And speak they do! For young white Burgundy they are very approachable with lots of juicy, ripe stone fruits, citrus and the classic Puligny minerality. This wine has an open knit texture but never loses it focus and it betrays its intensity. It is almost like you’re getting away with something at this price. Drink now or hold onto it for a few more years. —Kirk Walker
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