Wednesday, July 28, 2010


1996 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis 1er Cru La Forest
Pretty good. What I was worried might be oxidation, Eric clarified as something else, a bit of botrytis. That’s kind of interesting and I wonder if this is common in what people perceive as oxidized white Burgundy. Is all the later harvesting in the Côte d’Or contributing to rising levels of botrytis in the vineyards which the vignerons do not know how to handle? This led to a discussion of Thevenets wines and how they are able to manage the botrytis so elegantly. Always enlightening spending time with Eric.

2000 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis 1er Cru La Forest
A good bottle of this. Perhaps less bright and stone fruited than I would have wanted, but a good bottle nonetheless. I’d suggest going ahead and digging in. I think I liked this better a few years ago.

Is this what we’ve come to? I don’t mind drinking my chardonnay on the early side, I like the tension and the acids, but it seems to me that Chablis from top vintages from top producers need to be enjoyed for their youthful vigor rather than their tertiary qualities? If that is the case, maybe we’ll see prices drop to reflect this new reality.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Disappointing Truchot

These are some notes from last winter over dinner with my brother, my dad and André before the Carolina game.

2008 Emilio Rojo Ribeiro
Just landed recently and this most precious of Spanish whites is still a little clunky. Very one dimensional for a Rojo, but not surprising given it’s youth. There is some depth there and with some time, there will be complexity. Just not now. Try again in 6 months or so (I did and it is.)

2002 Domaine Truchot-Martin Morey St. Denis 1er Cru Les Blanchards
Started out showing pretty poorly so it was given a decanting. At the end of the evening it had started to open up, but was nowhere near the lacy, sappy wine that I had hoped to have. Bottles within a few years of release were lovely, so maybe this is just shut down a bit. I’m going to let the rest sleep for at least 4 or 5 years; although, given the recent run up in Truchot pricing, I might be forced to sell.

2006 Azienda Agricola Cos Nero di Lupo Sicilia IGT
This is a lovely wine. Fresh and lively with crushed berries and herby floral notes all over. This was sappy and vibrant and just delicious. You could drain an entire bottle and not even know it. Every bottle of Cos red I’ve had recently has been fantastic. Perfect foil for food as well.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Superior Valpolicella

With a friend at the bar at Pop's. Johnnie rolled out a nice thin pizza with all sorts of craziness on it.

2004 Monte Dall'Ora Valpolicella Classico Superiore La Stropa
I had a delicious, uncomplicated bottle of the 2006 Valpolicella recently and wanted to try the La Stropa, which is the more “serious” bottle. I didn’t pay tons of attention to it since I was dining with a colleague from out of town and we had a lot of business to attend to. Most definitely richer in terms of fruit and depth than the “regular” Valpolicella, but I’m not sure that it is more complex although it isn’t less complex. There doesn’t seem to be a structural reason to age it. I guess if you want to get rid of the fruit then do so. For me, it is spot on right now and seems like it has the balance to drink well for the next few years, at least.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ding dong the bitch is dead

Dinner out with my friend to celebrate the finalizing of his divorce from his whore ex-wife.

2007 François Pinon Vouvray Silex Noir
Very nice, correct and gentle for young Vouvray, but expected given the vintage. Interesting the difference between this wine and the Tradition. I wouldn’t cellar this for the long term, but drink it up over the next few years. Francois makes such lovely wines consistently every vintage, despute what weather is thrown his way. They are always marked by the vintage and he rolls with that and massages it rather than fighting it. Knowing the man, it fits perfectly with his personality.

1996 Hubert Lignier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Baudes
Like the Mugneret the other night, in an in-between phase, but still delicious after a couple of hours. I wish I had been able to open it much sooner, like 3 or 4 hours. It is notable different from recent 1996s from Mugneret and Barthod in that it is richer with more torrification notes, which is to be expected from Lignier I suppose. No overt wood, per se, but wood definitely played a part in the élévage. Some sappy dark red fruit on the nose with some smoke, cocoa, and espresso notes (the torrification) that don't dominate or overpower, but are still there. There is a jangliness on the palate where the acidity doesn't know exactly where to sit and shuffles about for a bit. This leads me to believe it either needs more air or better yet more time in the cellar. 3-5 years should do the trick and it ought to drink well for a while after that. Very good wine and my only remaining bottle.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Back in the saddle

Consumed with friends noshing on some stuff late into the evening.

1998 Müller-Catoir Haardter Bürgergarten Riesling Spätlese
My last bottle of this and I probably did it a disservice by not having it with food (I had brought it out of storage to take to J. Betski’s). That being said, it was delicious and although had started to have some brown sugar type bass notes to the normal riesling fruit compote. Has absorbed a bunch of structure and I like where it is now, even if I did like it better with more zip and other would like it better with more age. No sin to drink now, just be sure to do it with food, the wine deserves it.

2006 François Pinon Vouvray Brut Non Dosé
A bit looser this vintage than I remember from the previous (2004), which indicates lower atmospheres which is not a surprise given the warmth of the vintage. I quite liked this although not everyone liked it as much as I did. I rarely buy Champagne anymore due to the price and because there are producers such as Huet and Pinon that take such care in producing excellent sparkling chenin. I don’t see any good reason to age this as it doesn’t have the structure I normally associate with Vouvray Brut which improves with age. This would do very well at the table but we drank it without food.

2008 François Pinon Vouvray Cuvée Tradition
A delicious example of this wine from Pinon. In this vintage the total acidity was not off the charts, but the malic ratio was higher than normal, thus the perceived acidity is strong. You can barely sense the residual sugar, it is more of a background note than a demi-sec wine. Very good and should do well for several years or many, depending on what you like.

2006 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Cuvée Domaine
Quite simply fantastic. I can’t decide whether this or the 2004 is my favorite vintage of this wine. Unfortunately, I forgot to grab my case as I have been drinking bottles here and there and only have 3 or 4 left. This should be a case purchase every year for everyone. Really an astoundingly versatile wine that ages gracefully and grows in interesting ways over the medium term. I’ve been saying this for several years, but it bears repeating, Matthieu and Bernard Baudry are putting together as fine a line of wines as any vignerons anywhere. At the prices they sell for, they are a great bargain.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

32 Days

My post is up over at saignée.

Take a look and comment there.

There are several other fine pieces.

Will have new content tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hiatus almost over

If anyone is still out there this is an announcement that stating Thursday July 15 this blog will actually be up and running again.

Work and life got to stressful for a while back in February and as I am fairly ambivalent about blogging, I sort of let it pass. I've been planning on re-starting, but just couldn't find the little push that I needed.

Well, on Thursday I'll be participating in Cory's 32 days of Natural Wine and I figure if I'm going to give that SF hipster some content, I may as well start writing here again.

I'm going to try to commit to 2-3 posts a week. I think that is possible.

cheers, y'all.