WTN: Many bottles

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WTN: Many bottles

Postby Florida Jim » Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:09 pm

Whites:

2010 Louis Michel, Chablis:
Textbook Chablis for the stainless steel crowd; delineated, fresh, some complexity and good breadth. Not deep or long or in anyway profound but distinctly Chablis (which all by itself, makes it preferable to 99% of other chardonnay) and only $20. Screw-cap.

2010 Chateau de Maligny, Chablis:
Much like the Michel with a bit less approachability and a bit more complexity. Charming now, reasonably priced (low $20’s) and has a future in the cellar. Nice.

2009 Edi Simčič, Rebula:
12.5% alcohol from Slovenia; rebula is also known as ribolla gialla; obviously, not a wine done on its skins this is mildly citric with almond hints on the nose and about the same in the mouth. Not much concentration or complexity and a wine that I won’t buy again; nothing really wrong with it but not much character; about $21.

Vilmart Champagne, Grande Cuvée:
Charming from the outset, strong bead, nuanced and floral. Pretty wine.

Louis Roederer, Champagne Brut Premier:
Fine bead, clean and representative of its place.

1999 Nigl, Grüner Veltliner, Piri Privat:
Exceptional; full, rich, bright, lively and complex; this wine is getting better and better. A long life ahead but superb now.

2009 La Casa, Rueda:
Light, correct and pleasant; a nice aperitif or back porch sipper.

1999 Buena Vista, Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos:
I’m not sure how an American winery gets to use this nomenclature . . . but there it is. In any event, the wine was rich, bright, not over-sweet and unctuous. I liked it.

Reds:

2001 López de Heredia, Rioja Tondonia Reserva:
One of the nicest surprises in awhile as I don’t often buy tempranillo/grenache/etc.; a little disjointed at first but over two hours integrated into a delicious, nuanced wine with grip and sustain. Complexity is its strongest point, youth its weakest; that is to say, in time, this should be even better. With grilled flank steak and frites, outstanding. About $34 (current price).

1976 Lopez de Heredia, Rioja Viña Tondonia:
Profound! Elegant, constantly changing in the glass, highly complex aromatics and flavors, lovely balance and great length. Over the course of the evening, it had multiple personalities, all of them fascinating. Certainly as fine a Rioja as I have had. Finesse.
The more I drink Lopez de Heredia, the more convinced I am that they are among a handful of producers worldwide that are utterly dependable.

2010 Montesecondo, Chianti Classico:
13% alcohol; 80% sangiovese, 17% canaiola, 3% colorino; biodynamic; “warm” red fruit smells with some dark notes and hints of chocolate; full in the mouth with significant tannin that is well hidden behind young fruit, a bit soft, but good length. I like it but won’t pay $26, for it again. (I hear nice things about the rosso from this house at a less expensive price and will look for some.)

1928 Chateau Lafite (375ml):
From the look of the label, this may be a forgery. Regardless, the wine itself is quite nice; starts disjointed and tannic but after thirty minutes it seems to find its stride and the Pauillac starts to shows. Well past it’s prime but more than simply interesting.

1947 DRC, La Tache:
Not only a rare treat but a birth year wine; substantial ullage. This bottle is also past its prime but the power in the remaining autumnal, savory beverage is remarkable. Little fruit but the nose is expansive and the wine fills the mouth; a paradox, to be sure. Lost little over the course of the evening and showed great character.

1978 Mt. Eden, Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz Mtns.:
Past it.

1984 Fretter, Cabernet Sauvignon Lucky Lake Vnyd. :
After time in the decanter, this is exactly what I would expect of a well done 1984 Napa Cabernet. A hint of scorched earth but amounting only to a level of complexity; balanced fruit and structure, not completely resolved yet but quite drinkable and resolutely Napa Cab. Good, not great.
(This is apparently a rare bottling with something like a case or two produced.)

1988 Champet, Côte Rôtie:
I nearly dismissed this wine when opened as the bottle stink was overwhelming. After air, it was wonderful; full of the ash, tar, violet elements so indicative of the AOC with solid, even expressive, fruit and great nuance. Almost, but not quite delicate, in the mouth; the grip keeps it from being too tender. Lovely wine, at peak.

1995 Tempier, Bandol la Tourtine:
Showing little and what was there was not particularly interesting. Perhaps, we are into this too early.

1997 Thunder Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon Bates Ranch:
Excellent; lively, juicy, almost playful in the mouth. Showing young but approachable. Easy to drink.

1999 Jasmin, Côte Rôtie (mag.):
Considerable brett and very closed.

1979 Chanson, Gevrey-Chambertin:
A pretty, slender wine with enough earth to relate it to the AOC and enough fruit to keep it interesting. Too much oak influence for me but others thought it very nice. A touch drying.

2007 Overnoy/Houillon, Arbois-Pupillin:
Not my favorite vintage from this producer (that would be 1996) but still a wine that is so utterly fascinating for its elegance, complexity and wild nature that it surpasses everything else on the table. Perfectly paired with a lentil and duck confit salad.

2005 Marcassin, Pinot Noir Three Sisters Vnyd.:
Over-ripe for my taste and still quite young. Plenty of stuffing but I can’t get past the cooked elements.

1973 Ridge, Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello:
Started tannic and angry but opened up over the evening and became a much more complete wine, albeit still not resolved. Others were more impressed than I but I didn’t throw my glass away.


1984 Ridge, Cabermet Sauvignon Monte Bello:
Whereas the Fretter (above) was quintessential Napa, there are no torrefied notes from this Santa Cruz Mountain wine. Complete, full, still young and without much secondary development but delicious, nonetheless.

2006 Lagier-Meredith, Syrah:
Always a strong, concentrated look at Mt. Veeder syrah, this comes across as balanced and nuanced. Maybe a bit young but still a pleasure.

1998 la Fleur de Boüard, Lalande de Pomerol:
Good, solid Bordeaux with enough merlot character to denote its AOC and enough character to be of interest. Rounder than expected but not flabby. Nice.

2009 Story, Zinfandel:
Red vodka.

2008 Hamilton Russell, Pinot Noir:
South African pinot that tastes like it; a bit dirty to my palate with a lot of whole-cluster character tending toward green. Not my thing.

Self Promotion:

2011 Cowan Cellars, Mourvèdre Rosé:
This started life pretty acidic and savory. It is softening slightly but the fruit flavors are really coming out and the wine is better balanced. I suspect that time in the cellar will be its friend. Went through ML so it’s pretty stable. Much better as it warms to room temp.

Best, Jim
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Re: WTN: Many bottles

Postby ChaimShraga » Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:47 pm

Maligny was the producer that made me fall in love with Chablis.
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Re: WTN: Many bottles

Postby David M. Bueker » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:07 pm

Now that's what I call getting caught up. Thanks for the notes Jim. I can at least take your Nigl note as some sort of proxy on the 1999 Nigl Gruner Alte Reben bottling. There's some of that Mourvedre Rosé laying around in the cellar, waiting for a real spring day.
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Re: WTN: Many bottles

Postby Lou Kessler » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:23 pm

I may not have drunk wine from every winery in Napa but I'm usually familiar with most of the wineries. Fretter not a clue, maybe I'm finally into total senility. Thunder Mountain that rings a bell but my experience with the cab you tasted has been varied from good to awful. Trying to remember the owner and winemaker of Thunder, jeebused with him a few times even sold his wines in our store. He died suddenly and too young. :(
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Re: WTN: Many bottles

Postby Florida Jim » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:27 pm

Lou Kessler wrote:I may not have drunk wine from every winery in Napa but I'm usually familiar with most of the wineries. Fretter not a clue, maybe I'm finally into total senility. Thunder Mountain that rings a bell but my experience with the cab you tasted has been varied from good to awful. Trying to remember the owner and winemaker of Thunder, jeebused with him a few times even sold his wines in our store. He died suddenly and too young. :(

Thunder Mountain was made by Dad and Daughter; Kira and Milan. Milan is since deceased.
No idea what Fretter is or was.
Best, Jim
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Re: WTN: Many bottles

Postby Florida Jim » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:59 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Now that's what I call getting caught up. Thanks for the notes Jim. I can at least take your Nigl note as some sort of proxy on the 1999 Nigl Gruner Alte Reben bottling. There's some of that Mourvedre Rosé laying around in the cellar, waiting for a real spring day.

The '99 Austrians were very highly touted on release. It is nice to find one that is so convincing now. I have a few others in the cellar so maybe I will get to them over the next year or so - reports to follow.
As for the pink wine, I have become so enamored of it that I think it is now "sold out." :)
Best, Jim
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Re: WTN: Many bottles

Postby Mark Lipton » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:08 am

Florida Jim wrote:
Lou Kessler wrote:I may not have drunk wine from every winery in Napa but I'm usually familiar with most of the wineries. Fretter not a clue, maybe I'm finally into total senility. Thunder Mountain that rings a bell but my experience with the cab you tasted has been varied from good to awful. Trying to remember the owner and winemaker of Thunder, jeebused with him a few times even sold his wines in our store. He died suddenly and too young. :(

Thunder Mountain was made by Dad and Daughter; Kira and Milan. Milan is since deceased.
/quote]

And Kira, it should be noted, is married to well-known WIWP Jon Cook.

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Re: WTN: Many bottles

Postby Rahsaan » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:10 am

Mark Lipton wrote:well-known WIWP Jon Cook.

Mark Lipton


How is he!?

I assume he's still drinking wine.

Just not posting on the internet..
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Re: WTN: Many bottles

Postby Florida Jim » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:59 am

Rahsaan wrote:
Mark Lipton wrote:well-known WIWP Jon Cook.

Mark Lipton


How is he!?

I assume he's still drinking wine.

Just not posting on the internet..

He was at the table when this was consumed.
Looks good, walks proper and drinks well. And, of course, he runs with Kira, so all is well in his world.
Best, Jim
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Re: WTN: Many bottles

Postby Steve Edmunds » Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:18 am

the 1984 Fretter was the last wine Travis Fretter produced from a vineyard that he and his father planted on Spring Mountain in the early '70s. The vineyard was actually called "Leaky Lake" (not Lucky Lake). After '84, for a few years, the fruit went to Duckhorn. (In '87 there was a small portion of the fruit that Duckhorn chose not to pick because its ripeness was behind the rest of the crop. The vineyard manager, who was Travis Fretter's uncle, offered it to me, and it became a piece of a blend I made that year that made the Spectator Top 100, a wine called "Les Fleurs du Chaparral.")

I crushed my first vintage in the same building where that wine (the '84 Leaky Lake Cab) was aging in barrel, on Camelia St. in Berkeley (since occupied by Eno, Tom Leaf, and Broc Cellars, and Harrington.) It's nice to know someone still has a bit of it. One Robert Parker responded to it quite enthusiastically back in 1988, if I recall correctly. It was definitely old-school in terms of the approach to winemaking.

I knew Travis originally from my retail days; he used to sell wine for a distributor in South SF; he was definitely a vivid character in the market at that time, and a fine person.
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