This week, a couple of stunning wines from the Mâconnais district in the south of Burgundy and the Duoro Valley upriver from Porto, along with a couple of well-marketed flops from Oregon and Vinho Verde.
2013 Elouan Pinot Noir Oregon $23
From the Wagner family (Caymus, Meiomi, Belle Glos) comes this Oregonian Pinot Noir sold as a wine from Oregon made in the California style. Tastes just like Meiomi, minus the cough syrup. Which is to say, extracted, hot, a little clumsy, and very extroverted.
2010 La Rosa Reserva Duoro $35
Profound and intense, but ultimately soaring in its reach and range. A wine that disappeared too quickly and which, regrettably, is in short supply here in the US.
2013 Domaine de Velanges Macon-Prisse Les Clos $15
A Chardonnay of staggering clarity and brilliance, especially at this price. Acidity and minerality are delivered in the same focused voice, making for a balanced, sophisticated wine most pleasingly on the modest side of the fruit spectrum.
NV Broadbent Vinho Verde $10
Clocking in at a lightweight 9%, this sprightly breakfast wine flaunts its simple fruit with a bit if effervescence that advertises its whimsy. Ten bucks is hardly expensive, but given that this is a non-vintage, mass-produced wine, it really should be selling for closer to $6 or $7.
2012 Sergio Mottura Orvieto $13
Classic Orvieto style with understated fruit and a strong, stony edge. If the fruit were just a bit more prominent, this would be a stunner. That said, it'd be a wonderful companion for a light shellfish pasta dish on a warm summer afternoon.