2002 Dönnhoff, Riesling (Qba):
So much better than on release with a bright, stony, cherry pit delivery and a vinous yet etched, riesling core. Still acid driven but such perfect balance as to make that edge a laser-like focus for the flavors and minerality of the wine. Really lovely.
2004 Palacios, Bierzo Pétalos:
YoUnG, big, layered, exuberant, rustic, grapey, intense . . . suffice it to say a good wine showing very primary with lots of potential. Fun now but I suspect its best days are a couple years out. Quality well above its price point (about $15).
2003 Giacosa, Nebbiolo d’Alba Valmaggiore:
Youthful, balanced, complex and ripe, leaving no doubt of its variety or pedigree. A wine of style and substance today or tomorrow. One of the few European wines from the vintage that seem to have not only survived but gained from the heat.
2002 Luneau-Papin, Muscadet Clos des Allées:
Giving up some of its cut now (but by no means, all) to breadth and texture across the palate; still beautifully scented and full flavored with lots of mineral complexity and a bright, stone driven tone that seems to ring through the wine like a bell. One delicious bottle of juice.
2000 Belle Pente, Pinot Noir Estate Reserve:
Bold, rich without being tiring, gently oaky and full of promise; this too is showing young while delivering an expansive but delineated fruit character and the earthiness that seems to be this producer’s signature. And even at this size, with 14.3% alcohol, no distortion – quite something.
2000 Nikolaihof, Riesling Steiner Hund:
Alpine meadow when the bright sun warms the flowers, the grasses, the stones and yet the air temperature is still nippy; cool well-water that has been infused with unripe pineapple, lime, green chili’s and just the faintest hints of fresh thyme, ginger and marjoram; the tarn below is crystalline, wholly still, endlessly deep and, in one glance, reflects the entire landscape, with the sky above patched by feathered cirrus . . . each sip.
God bless the stone dog.