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Pierre-Marie Chermette, Fleurie (Beaujolais, Burgundy, France) Poncié 2016 ($26, Weygandt-Metzler)
 Pierre-Marie Chermette, a well-regarded producer in Fleurie, one of the cru of Beaujolais, focuses on terroir -- site specificity -- in keeping with the tradition in the rest of Burgundy.  Chermette produces two excellent, but very different Fleurie, this one from Poncié and one from a slope called Garants. What’s fascinating is that the soil is similar -- pink granite -- but the orientation of the slopes is different.  This Fleurie Poncié comes from a southeast facing slope, which, as a result of cooler morning sun, is floral and elegant with glossy tannins.   Unlike wines labeled Beaujolais or even Beaujolais-Villages, this Poncié, while still delivering bright red fruity flavors, highlights its mineral-y component.
92 Michael Apstein


Posted by Rich Cook on August 1, 2018 at 4:25 PM

A Savior for Leftover Wine Arrives at Last

I’m often greeted with a snicker or two when bringing up the discussion of how to handle leftover wine.  In fact, I think I can hear some of you right now: “Leftover wine?  What’s that?”  I realize that there are some among us that are serious practitioners of the “open means empty” ethos.  However, many other consumers wish to moderate consumption by not polishing off an entire bottle, or prefer to retain a portion for a future occasion when the wine might provide a good food match.  Yet, until now, the span during which a wine could be saved but held in good condition was pretty short, or the devices that could prolong the span were prohibitively expensive.  I’m pleased to report that the window has now been significantly and economically extended.

The repour™ winesaver is a stopper that--when inserted into a partially consumed bottle--purports to consume the oxygen in the air space, keeping the wine fresh in the same bottle until it is consumed, “even if taken glass by glass over days, weeks or months,” according to the packaging.   Having tested myriad systems and gadgets over the years, my personal favorite method has been to pour half of a 750 ml bottle immediately upon opening into a 375ml bottle, top the 375 with a shot of argon (“Vineyard Fresh” or “Private Reserve” are brands) and set aside.  I’ve had this method preserve a wine for about 30 days maximum, and probably for about two weeks on average.  Looking to extend that period, I put the repour™ through a real-world test that some might regard as rather unscientific, but which was nevertheless quite telling.

I took three bottles that I reviewed favorably that had been open for about four hours (resulting in three different fill levels) and sealed them with the repour™ stopper on April 17, tasting them a few times over the course of three months.  As of July 17, all three wines are still going strong after opening and resealing over that time.  In fact, my senses tell me that the device makes the wine go a touch anaerobic, meaning it closes up slightly.  A little swirl time in the glass gets some oxygen back in and reawakens the wine.  This occurrence is noted on the product box, and it rings true.  Bottom line: each of the three wines I used as test subjects are showing as fresh as the day I scored them.  The product is available in boxes holding 4, 10 or 72 stoppers, retailing between $2.25 and $1.67 per stopper, based on quantity purchased, at repour.com.

Possible uses for these stoppers extend well beyond the homes of consumer here.  A restaurant by-the-glass program could benefit greatly from them, potentially broadening the selection of wines that might be offered, and possibly lowering costs, which could be good for proprietors and customers alike.

If you’ve grown tired of pouring your favorite wines--and your money down the drain, try a box of these babies--you’ll be glad you did.

Dr. Michael
This Issue's Reviews
Steven Spurrier: British Hero of American Wine
Rebecca Murphy

Like many Americans, I first heard of Steven Spurrier when George Taber's story about a wine tasting in France made the cover of Time magazine published June 7, 1976. This cheeky Brit with a wine shop in Paris organized a blind tasting comparing California and French wines with a panel of French judges. Quelle horreur, California wines took the top spot for red and whites.
Caparone Winery: Cal-Ital Wines at their Best
Ed McCarthy

I know, I know…you've never heard of Caparone. Not many people have, including ardent wine lovers. Unless, that is, you happen to be a wine lover who lives in the Paso Robles region in the south-central coast of California, in which case you are probably already a customer.
Wine With
WINE WITH…Risotto with Red Wine and Mushrooms

Risotto is usually served as a first course (primi) in Italy, and is generally made with white wine. Substituting red wine makes this a much richer and more complex dish, one that can stand alone as a simple but very satisfying main course. Pair it with meat, poultry or fish if you like, but we find it to be very gratifying on its own, accompanied perhaps by nothing more than a green salad. You could add a vegetable such as green beans, though in truth the mushrooms are so meaty in flavor and texture that you don't really need anything else on the plate.
On My Table
Patagonia Pinot Noir Offers Vibrancy and Value
Mary Ewing-Mulligan

Patagonia is Argentina's southernmost wine region and one of its smallest, encompassing less than two percent of Argentina's vineyard acreage. But in a country where one region, Mendoza, dominates production with 70 percent of vineyard plantings and also claims nearly exclusive consumer recognition, Patagonia offers an exotic alternative of cool climate wine style. Patagonia is actually a huge area made up of four provinces, Neuquén, Rio Negro, La Pampa, and Chubut. The latter two areas are still frontiers for Argentine winemakers, and Neuquén is also a relatively new area. The original vine growing area of Patagonia, and its first GI (Geographic Indication), is Rio Negro, where the small Aniello estate is situated. The Rio Negro wine district in fact has two parts, the Upper Rio Negro Valley where vineyards stretch along both sides of the river and a smaller, less significant vineyard area near to the coast.