2002 Luneau-Papin, Muscadet Clos des Allées VV:
Rounding out nicely with good depth, balance and character. I drink a lot of this wine and have yet to have a bottle that was anything less than stellar. Bought on sale for $7; I’d buy it again at twice that price.
N/V Nino Franco, Prosecco Rustico:
Bone dry Prosecco; just what I’ve been looking for. Strong bead, citrus and earth flavors and well balanced. Good stuff. About $12; I’d buy it again at that price.
2002 Chidaine, Montlouis sur Loire Les Choisilles:
Not together yet but the pieces are very nice and the chenin complexity is obvious. ‘Needs several years. About $16; I’d buy it again at that price.
2004 Álvaro Castro, Dão (Vinho Tinto):
More complexity than expected from such an inexpensive wine with port-like flavors but none of the RS or alcohol of port; good body and balance; longer than expected. About $12; I’d buy it again at that price.
2002 R. & V. Dauvissat, Chablis:
Precise, authentic, supple, ripe, textbook Chablis with perfect balance and great sustain. Damn good wine. About $25; I’d buy it again at that price.
2004 Voarick, Corton Clos du Roi:
Very smoky (almost charred) aromas with young, stony red fruit; the same in the mouth although, as it opens, more fruit appears; breathtaking length – I can’t remember a young Burgundy with this kind of length. About $50; I’d not pay that again.
2002 Alain Michaud, Brouilly Prestige de Vieilles Vignes:
Penetrating black fruit nose with slight hints of smoke and herb; very deep and refined with clean black fruit and mineral flavors, very slight herb accents and remarkable balance; structured and long. About as good as the appellation produces and about $20; I'd buy it again at that price or more.
2002 Tamellini, Soave Classico Anguane:
Honeyed fruit on the nose and palate, depth, spice, balance, and a satin texture; a beautiful wine in its prime. About $16; I’d buy it again at that price.
2004 Dom de la Chanteleuserie, Bourgueil Cuvée Alouettes:
For the first 15 minutes this is plum jam with light herb hints and great grip; thereafter it turns “green” to the point of overwhelming the fruit with the herbal, bell pepper elements and becomes a DNPIM wine. About $12; I’d not buy it again at any price.
2001 Kumeu River, Chardonnay (NZ):
Burnt butterscotch and lumber yard on the nose and attack and then . . . it’s all about citrus and acidity and a nice clean mid-palate and finish. How does this happen? It’s two different wines and it stays that way throughout the evening. Weird. Price unknown but I would not buy it at any price.
2003 Dom D’Aupilhac, Coteaux du Languedoc Lou Maset:
Grenache based, simple quaff with little structure and no complexity. Not bad or flawed but completely forgettable. About $10; I’d not buy it again at that price.
1999 Hamacher, Pinot Noir:
Just beginning to open up; it has mellowed some so that the acidity is not as forward as it used to be but the concentration and tannins are just beginning to resolve; reminds me of a Les Amoureuses from Roumier; Chambolle aromatics, solid structure and good finesse despite its potency, but this also has an overlay of forward fruit more typical of domestic pinots. About $38 on release; I’d buy it again for that price or more.