Friday, October 22, 2010

Bad news for 2002 Beaujolais

In the past two weeks I have had both of the wines below and found them to be fading hard and losing their middle. I am surprised by this turn of events.

2002 Michel Tête Juliénas
Shot from the word go. Browning at the edges, dried out.

2002 Coudert Fleurie Clos de la Roilette
Upon first opening, the smell of the cork and the aroma right out of the bottle was promising. In the glass it was also hollowed out in the middle. Damn.

I’ve got a Desvignes Côte du Py on deck. If it’s toast, I’ll be pissed.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Al fresco with saignée

These notes are very impressionistic and don’t include many wines that were sampled. This was from a really fun evening of dining al fresco with two guests from opposite coasts: Cory Cartwright of saignée and Sophie from Chambers St. It was a potluck of sorts and everyone chipped in with food and wine and general good spirits. The pork shoulder that Will braised was especially good. My braised short-ribs were subpar, like most of my exes, they needed more liquid and attention.

2009 Peter Lauer Ayler Kupp Riesling Senior Faß 6
Beautiful wine. Like rainwater with floral essence and stone pit fruits. Gentle, balanced, and composed. The Lauer wines jumped out at me the first time I ever tried the MWM portfolio and every bottle I’ve had since falls completely in line. Although I preferred the liveliness of the 2008 version, this wine is fantastic. Drink your own body weight fantastic.

2009 Reinhard & Beate Knebel Winninger Brückstück Riesling Feinherb
In comparison to the Lauer, this is a bit bigger and more fruit driven. I don’t want to give the impression that this was indelicate or imprecise in any way, it’s just in comparison to the ethereal Lauer. This showed more stone notes to balance the deeper fruit tones.

N.V. Equipo Navazos Jerez-Xérès-Sherry La Bota de Fino "Macharnudo Alto" Nº 18
So I’m working through some sherry these days in an attempt to get my head around it before heading to Spain in March. This is my second La Bota and it is an excellent Fino. Full of almond skin and minerals with the autolytic esters. I’m not sure that I like this more than the El Maestro Sierra Fino. It was hard to really concentrate on it with all the hubbub. I’ll try another bottle on a more quiet evening with a bottle of the Maestro Sierra for comparison.

1998 Mugneret-Gibourg Ruchottes-Chambertin
Whoa. This was totally outlandish. The nose stank of candied rhubarb. I’ve never smelled anything quite so singular. There were a lot fo other Gevrey type things going on including that sort of animal mineral quality that I associate with Gevrey wines. There was some leather, woodsmoke, spice, and cherry, but the rhubarb thing was so dominate it was crazy. This is texturally getting to a much better place than my last bottle in early 2009. Wow, I wonder where this is headed?

2001 Forey Echezeaux
This was a controversial bottle. There was a burnt rubber and gunpowder presence that overshadowed the nose that I associate with reduction, but that Cory and Will insisted was Brett. In any event, I was interested to see if the oak that Forey wines have when young would still show. It did. There were some brambly Echezeaux notes in there, but the reduction made it hard to get too. Oh well.

1998 Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Now this has a diaper thing that I associate with Brett. On the downslope, I guess. Some faded grenachy fruit. Doesn’t peak much interest. Who cares, right?

2000 Antichi Vigneti di Cantalupo Ghemme Collis Breclemae
Didn’t get much of a read on this. More delicate than the Pora. with a granitic note to the fruit. Some earthier elements coming out. Nice texture.

2001 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Pora
Leathery with dried cherries and earthy richness. There was a brothiness to the wine that had a distinct savory quality.

2003 Baudry Chinon Les Grézeaux
Well, fuck me. In the midst of so many more important wines, leave it to a Baudry Grézeaux to come in and make you wonder why you bother with anything else. Pristine notes of black and red fruits buttressed by the inimitable stone and dark earth notes of Grézeaux. A mouth of fruit and gravel with a tangy snap. Showing really, really well. A different version than the 2002 from a week ago, but no less compelling.

2005 Edmond Vatan Sancerre Clos la Néore
Great showing. Rich, but not over the top. Nice to know Cory was suitably impressed by his run in wi9th this wine. I’ve said it many times, Vatan transcends grape and is a sui generis expression of Chavignol.

There were some other wines, but I cannot for the life of me remember them. More importantly, there was a lot of great food and conversation shared with great friends. Everyone should do this kind of thing more often. I mean, this is the whole point, right?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Late September through mid-October is a hopelessly busy time for my day job. Mix in a little health scare and, well, something has to give.

Fear not, I have a good amount of back notes, including Cory Cartwright's recent visit in which we battle to the death over Brett vs Reduction.

Keep the faith.