Friday, December 14, 2012

Best red value?

2010 Texier Côtes du Rhône

Just a quick note on this wine since I’ve been through more than a case without posting about it anywhere. From grenache grown in Saint-Julien-en-Saint-Alban, this wine has a beautiful, translucent ruby color and a haunting nose of sour cherries with a mélange of herbs and other mildly savory notes as well as floral topnotes. I like to give it a bit of a decant as I find it helps the aromatics. I’m a bit of a sucker for Eric’s wines, but I think that this is a truly exceptional vintage for this particular bottling. A stunning value that I’m buying in caseloads. This may be the best red wine value out there if you have tastes similar to mine.

Earlier than expected

2011 Pépière Muscadet

With excellent Kumamoto (on the east coast, who’da thunk) and decent Malpeque and Blue Point oysters, its usual dominant self. Fucking Marc is a demi-god.

2010 Guy Breton Morgon Vielles Vignes

Another very pretty and delicious bottle of this wine. Perhaps a bit tighter than others. Whispy berryish fruit mixed with herbs and some purple flowers. A meadow. Should be even better in a couple of years. A wine that is often overlooked by Beaujolais lovers.

2002 Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot

I picked up some of these on a lark as it was a screaming deal and part of my auction bottom feeding for wines in or near a drinking window. While this is undeniably young, it showed superbly last night. Everything one could ask of a Clos Vougeot, dark, brooding, deeply pitched stony blue and black fruits. There was a whiff of bitter chocolate, but more like earth than torrefication, mixed with all sorts of sous bois notes underpinned by leather. I don’t think I’m doing justice to how deep the nose was. On the palate there was much more evidence of the wines youth. Very firm tannins that aren’t choppy but refined but have evolved past the spot where they cut the finish short. With rich winetry food, this was fantastic. I think that in another 5-7 years the tannins will soften enough to be in a great spot for me with fruit still there and the beginning of the earthy elements shading savory. For others, they may want to wait 15 years or so for the wine to fully resolve.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Maybe the kids are alright

1996 Giovanni Corino Barolo Arborina

Very pretty nose full of cherry compote and savory notes. I really dug the texture as well. Some of these modernist Barolo are really turning out nicely, if different from traditionally styled wines. This is good aromatically and the palate is heading towards resolution.  The tannin that remains is of the finer sort and compliments food nicely. Corino has always done pretty well for me. It has a Barolo headiness with the relative gentleness of La Morra. There are some nice spicey compliments to the normal fruit and savory notes, although not so much rose petal. This is lovely now, but should improve over the short term. Those who like Barolo with the fruit gone should wait longer, but you probably wouldn't own this wine anyway.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Well, I'll be...

2006 Château Pradeaux Bandol

I read a note on a wine BB that this was open for business and thought to myself, “That can’t be true.” I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind, so I grabbed a bottle from the shop and took it for dinner at Vin Rouge with my hachis parmentier. I’ll be damned if that wasn’t 100% correct. This was more open than any young Pradeaux Bandol I’ve ever had. Hands down. Full of leathery, dark red fruits with that typical tree bark woodsyness that I associate with this wine. Really and truly sauvage and animale, without being dirty or bretty. OK, so this is still Pradeaux Bandol, so it’s not without structure, but it isn’t a mouthful of sand. It opens to show some of the garrigue and lavender you’d expect and served a nice foil to the hearty simple food. Really a dynamite bottle that should easily improve for 5-10 years and last who knows how long. Well, the internet is good for  something I guess.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

St. Urban to the rescue

1999 Nikolaihof Riesling Spätlese Reserve Steiner Hund
Really pretty, very Steiner Hund nose right out of the gate. Something about this wine just screams alpine meadow with its floral bouquet and sunny disposition. On the palate the wine is more or less resolved and really feels natural, if that makes any sense. I’ve always felt that way about these wines, sort of like Clos Roche Blanche, they just have a texture that I associate with the best of natural wines as well as a outdoorsy wildness to the aromatics. It also has a note of OFF to it that I also, weirdly associate with natural wines (counter-intuitively, I find it very pleasant). A very good wine and one I think should be consumed in the next couple of years. I plan to.

1996 Weingut Knoll Riesling Smaragd Ried Schutt
My last bottle of what was my first Austrian wine purchased for cellaring. A challenging year, with all sorts of hail and rot and botrytis. This wine doesn’t show those things, with the exception of some botrytis. The color is a darker golden and the nose is a piercing and intense blend of rocks and grape skins. It just smells acidic, in a very good way. As the wine warms and opens, a whole bundle of other Riesling aromatics come out, with the thankful exception of diesel and lactic notes, neither of which appeal to me. The mouthfeel has a density and richness sliced through with penetrating acidity. With time everything sort of balances out without ever losing freshness. This was a great showing for an excellent wine from a great vineyard in a difficult vintage. Yet more evidence to producer and vineyard over vintage.