The middle part of my west coast tour (the first was documented on Wine Disorder) involved two nights and a day in San Francisco, the lovely city that it is. As luck would have it, plenty of friends were around and no visit would be complete without drunkenness at the stinky pig fucking haven down in Soma, Terroir. As always, great to see all my peoples out in the city by the bay. Maybe I'll have to move there some day.
Tuesday evening was fairly quiet. A couple tastes here and there, shooting the shit with Luc and Guilhaume. They still have some 2002 Huet Petillant, which is fucking brilliant.
2005 La Grapperie Coteaux du Loir Adonis
A bit brawny for Pineau d’Aunis after it opened up a while, but that is most likely the vintage speaking. Fragrant, peppery and full of snap and vigor. Very clean and stable for a Jenny and Francois wine. Not a producer I am familiar with, but then again, that’s why I love this place.
Wednesday day was languorous with a late morning and easy stroll and afternoon nap and then off to visit Mark at Slanted Door.
2000 Prager Riesling Smaragd Hollerin
Drinking this while chaos was breaking out in Mumbai, it was difficult to stay too focused. Very lean and linear, in the Bodenstein manner. In a sense, it is a rather expensive Marc Olivier wine, but with added richness. But seriously, the flavors reminded me of Clos des Briords.
Next stop was SFJoe’s crash pad. Joe was up to his usual shenanigans.
1988 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle
This was round, meaty, with a good hit of rubber meeting the road. I think it is drinking pretty well now. Would be great with a savory roast, a wine that seemed to call for wintry food. I don’t think this wine is made in the same style anymore.
1975 Château Magdelaine St. Émilion
I found this wonderful. Kind of everything I am looking for in a merlot. Good, precise structure with enough volume but retains prettiness and a sense of there being calcaire somewhere nearby. If I had it to do over again, I might have started hoarding wines like this years ago when they were cheap.
1991 Pichler Riesling Smaragd Kellerberg
This seemed to be universally liked. I got this peanut thing that threw me off, but it is always interesting to try some older Wachau wines, if only to get a sense where mine are headed. I may like them a bit more youthful, or maybe it is the combination of Pichler and Kellerberg that says that to me.
Wednesday evening was more rambunctious. Started at Terroir early, bought some bottles and went to dinner, returned to drink more. Had some great Vietnamese food at a place that sounds like pogrom or something. Whatever, Scott knows where it is. Dagan helped to pcik the wines for dinner.
2003 Vodopivec Vitovska
Another new wine to me and a killer one. I’m always on the lookout for new orange wines that aren’t bullshit also-rans. This fills the bill. It made a stronger impression than the Zidarich I had the last time I was here. This had really good structure and excellent length. Was simply wonderful with food, which is the great boon of orange wine to me. Probably my favorite wine of the whole trip.
2006 Királyudvar Tokaji Demi-Sec
According to the Terroir website, 70% Furmint and 30% Hárslevelu. Whatever the fuck is in it, it’s fantastic. Seems a bit sweet when it first opens, but then the structure comes out. Really amazingly chenin like, but perhaps more floral and less rustic. I'm definitely a believer, now i just need to find the cash to be a buyer.
2006 Domaine du Coulet (Matthieu Barret) Cornas Billes Noires
This was definitely good as syrah and approached Cornas. Not the semi-carbonic-total-terroir-destruction of Dard & Ribo. Dark, sappy and good to drink. Maybe lacked some seriousness, but it was new to me and I’m glad to have tried it.
Then back at Terroir. I'm missing lots of shit, I'm sure, but here are two that made the memory banks.
1996 Kalin Livermore Valley Semillon
Brought by VLM-TR lackey slaton. At first, it seemed like it might be fucked, but an hour or so later, it started to unfold. Not in the same league as the 1997 recently, but very good and unique wine. There was some concern about heat damage.
NV (2005) Peyra Côtes d'Auvergne SG
I didn’t even know this existed thinking 2004 was the last vintage. As always the boys come up trumps. These wines are not for everyone, but they strike a certain chord with me. They make me think of the wind-swept desolation of the Auvergne.