Betsy had an unusual evening rehearsal Wednesday, so I went to the park alone to meet friends at last river concert of the season. Others were mostly beer or AA people, so I just took a 375 of the 2002 Daniel Dampt Cote de Lechet Chablis. I think I get some must on opening, but on second sniff it's gone. Crisp steely mineral character, but the fruit I remember from previous bottles seems MIA. Once or twice I think I get that elusive mustiness, then it's gone again. This bottle seems subdued next to last, I'm guessing that this bottle might be mildly corked ("fruit-scalped"), with the TCA just under my threshold for detection. NR.
Thursday Betsy's rehearsal was running late, I said I'd make dinner. We had chicken thighs and creminis, a web search found this cacciatore recipe:
I more or less followed the recipe (good -Betsy, David, and his girlfriend all enjoyed). As it suggested Merlot, I went with their choice, and opened the 1999 Whitehall Lane Merlot (Napa). Chocolatey-minty notes on the nose, lots of warm black plum fruit on palate. Resolved tannins and a smooth texture. OK, it ain't Pomerol, but a pretty good example of Napa Merlot for under $20. B
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.