My dear friend Andre Tamers had his west coast representative in town and had me along for dinner. Holly was charming, affable, and full to the brim with knowledge and anecdotes. It just so happens that we know about 600 people in common and it is amazing we have never met (although I think we must have at some point). Bravo to Andre for bringing her on board. I was doing more socializing than real analyzing so keep that in mind; however, a couple of wines clearly shone or disappointed.
Dinner was at Vin Rouge in Durham and Matt provided excellent food as always and Michael was spot on with wine service, again, per usual.
2007 Domaine du Bagnol Cassis
Clearly past it’s drinking window. These need to be drunk fresh. The rosé is also much, much better. This is one of those pleasures that should probably stay in France.
2005 Domaine Ganevat Savagnin Côtes du Jura Sous la Roche La Combe de Rotalier
I liked the 2002 of this a great deal and was eager to try this version. Didn’t seem to have the same tension as the 2002, but had good weight and length and that intensity I like from good sous voile wines. For my personal tastes, Ganevat is clearly at the top of Savagnin producers. I still have no idea how this will age. I know it will hold, but how will it really change? Will it be glacial? I suspect. I’ve never cellared these wines, I tend to buy them and drink them. I’d love to hear from anyone who cellars these.
2008 Ganevat Côtes du Jura Pinot Noir Cuvée Julien
I don’t get the hype. I guess it’s a nice wine, but would be crushed by Barthod or Mugneret Bourgogne.
2005 Pépière (Marc Ollivier) Clos des Briords 1.5L
This was a great showing by this wine. Maybe it will come together. I was worried that the vintage was too fat and would never shed that baby fat to become what we recognize as Briords. Contrary to that fear, if this magnum was a leading indicator, it seems to be doing just that. Becoming more focused and mineral, it also seems to have absorbed some of the fat and turned it into some yellow fruits. This will always be on the bigger side and won’t be confused with 2002 or 1996, but it could end up being more interesting in the medium term than I suspected. I have a 750 at the house waiting to drink and will see if this is a one off phenomenon or a portent.
2005 Château du Cayrou Cahors
Even though this is young, I liked it a lot. I have a soft spot for both this and the Gamot and I don’t know why. There is a kind of regal quality to their rusticity, sort of like a country gentleman, and a real sense of density and place. I am not sure what the signature terroir of Cahors is, but tis is the type of wine I think of. Dark and almost black purple, sauvage aromas of black and blue fruits enveloped in leather, tree bark and 14 hour hung game (top that Schildy). There is also a nice minerality underneath everything else. I should own some of this. Was not wildly tannic, perhaps due to the merlot in the blend, but drank well the following day.
1996 Vietti Barolo Brunate
Astoundingly disappointing bottle. Decanted for several hours, this never really opened up. Seemed a bit dilute, which do0esn’t make any sense given how it showed as a young wine and where it should be. Maybe it’s in a dumb phase, I don’t really know.