Fratelli Levis, Piemonte Barbera
Starts sweet. Finishes bitter.
Touch of spice
My rating: 8.3
Frederic Mallo, Rosacker Vieilles Vignes, Alsace Grand Cru Riesling, 2010
Starts sweet, bitter, then sweet again.
I have a sentimental attachment to this particular vineyard for reasons I won't go into here but it's possible my rating is slightly inflated by bias. Even so, it is genuinely good.
My rating: 9.0
Stefan Meyer, Ein Liter Rhodt Red Blend
A little jammy but enough bitter to keep it honest
Finishes sweet, then bitter, then sweet.
My rating: 8.4
As I sort out my wine preferences (see here), I am finding one common element for both reds and whites: I like it sweet - not too much, mind you, but I definitely want it there. I love fruit and a grape is a fruit. I'm not looking for Welch's but I want to know I'm consuming a fruit.
With reds, the adjective I seek is "jammy," which implies a particular mouth feel along with the sugar, a pronounced sense of volume. Too much sweetness, though, and it wouldn't taste like wine anymore, just juice with a kick. For whites, Rieslings are definitely heading in the right direction. The German offerings, however, tend to be too sweet. The Alsatians like the example above, on the other hand, are just right. The Stefan Meyer listed above could have done with a bit more spice (indication of alcohol content) but the sugar level was good.