1998 Salomon, Grüner Veltliner Reserve:
Honeycomb, poached pear and new mown hay scents with some pretty citrus accents; viscous, mid-weight wine with flavors that follow the nose, good acidity and a touch of oxidation; medium length, crisp finish. A nice wine by itself but beside cauliflower soup with truffle oil, one of the finest pairings I have experienced. $8 on sale and worth three times the price.
1999 Clos de la Roilette (Coudert), Fleurie Cuvée Tardive:
I adore this wine. There is the wild strawberry, face powder stuff in the nose so typical of Fleurie but there’s also the smoky, old vine sap of dark fruit; there’s beautiful, deep, ripe fruit flavors but also a finesse that keeps the whole package from getting too intense, and a grip that makes the palate more simpatico with food, excellent balance and breadth; and there is fabulous, complex length. It’s not finished developing yet but it has come a long way in seven years and is about as good with mustard and bread crumb coated roasted chicken as any wine could be. A masterpiece; about $22 on release and I’d buy it again, many times over.
2005 Thévenet, Morgon:
I can’t keep my hands of this stuff; great dark fruit smells and flavors, lots of verve and depth, 13% alcohol, beautiful balance and good structure. It may last awhile in your cellar but it won’t in mine. About $23; I’d buy it again at that price.
2005 Quénard, Chignin Anne de la Biguerne:
Ah, the beauties of the jacquère grape when grown by talented and committed people in the Savoie; lightly scented with lime skin, rushing stream-water and stone aromas; mid-weight, slightly viscous with flavors that follow the nose and add some apple and grapefruit flavors, nicely balanced, 12% alcohol and a longer than expected finish with a mouthwatering bitter element. Charming wine that references crisp mountain air and bright sunshine on a cool day. Marvelous with homemade vegetable soup, corn bread and salad. About $10; I’d buy cases of it at that price (and did).