|WINE & SPIRITS WITH PANACHE
Here are four wines selected from those that became available
in 2004 that are not only outstanding in their own right
but judged as bottles to be enjoyed now as well as over
the next 5 to 10 years.
2002 Acacia Carneros Pinot Noir
As cleverly noted in the movie Sideways, California Pinot
Noir is the Merlot of the 2000s – a complex, yet fruity,
easy-drinking alternative to dense, tannic Cabernet Sauvignon,
many taking a decade or more to enjoy. This wine was made
from 100-percent Pinot Noir grapes, the majority of which
were grown on the property surrounding Acacia's Napa
Valley facility. Winemaker Anthony King barrel-fermented the
grapes and barrel-aged the wine for nine months. It shows
a bouquet and taste of black cherries and cassis with hints
of herbs and marries well with barbecued ribs and rosemary
2002 Newton Unfiltered
This is a wine for those tired of overripe and over-oaked
California Chardonnays and outrageously overpriced French
white Burgundies. Initially introduced in 1990, it's
made from 100-percent Chardonnay grapes grown primarily on
hillside vineyards in California's Carneros region.
Winemaker and co-proprietor Dr. Su Hua Newton insists on using
only ripe grapes and fermentation with natural yeast. Barrel-aging
is for 24 months. The wine shows a golden color, a bouquet
of citrus and orange and a memorable well-balanced, dry lingering
taste of apples and butter. Try it with lobster, shrimp and
2002 Louis Jadot
Originally planted in the chalky soil of Chambolle-Musigny
by the monks of Vougeot in the 1200s, the Pinot Noir varietal
from this Burgundy region produces elegant, delicate wines
that can usually be enjoyed within a few years of vinification.
This product was blended by Maison Louis from 100-percent
Pinot Noir grapes grown on a number of small parcels, especially
a prized one-acre lot owned by André Gagey. The wine
shows a bouquet of berries and violets, has a satiny taste
of ripe red fruit and a touch of delicate tannin in the finish.
Mate it with beef, lamb or salmon.
2002 Bastianich Tocai Plus
Formerly lashed by complaints of little flavor, off-odors
and poor balance, Italian whites are now going through a renaissance.
At the forefront of this movement are the Tocais from the
northeastern Friuli region, well represented by this powerful
wine from proprietors Joseph and Lidia Bastianich (well-known
for their acclaimed NYC restaurants Felidia, Becco, etc.,
as well as Lidia's cooking shows and cookbooks). Made
from 60-year-old Tocai Friulano vines, 10 percent of the crop
is harvested late. The complex, fruity bouquet and taste of
ripe melons and pears with a hint of almonds pairs perfectly
with hors d'oeuvres or with fruit and cheese.
listed are suggested retail.