2001 Jean Becker Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Froehn
This was very typical in flavor profile, fat plump rose florals and all, with nice clean elegant acid edges, although not too thick and only the slightest bit of oil running through the structure. If it were $5 it would be great fun to pour by the bucketful, but I see it priced $15-18, at which point it was mostly drinkable because the elegant-enough acid allowed the flavors to blend marvelously with the walnut shrimp and snow peas on my plate.
1992 North Berkeley Imports Private Label Vouvray Brut
I didn’t catch the grower on this, but was curious to taste the robust spicy yeasty fruit, a bit blocky and square in the middle with some boring fizz on the outside. Nothing really exciting. Do they still do this?
1997 Robert Weil Kiedrich Grafenberg Spatlese #02698
This has powerful explosive perfumes flying out of the bottle, and drinks best on day two when it is full of firm rich creamy exotic strawberries with deep-rooted depth, but then so controlled and lacy on the edges. Very nice wine. Great to hold onto. Fun to drink now. My only critique is that it’s a touch heavy and dull, but that’s only because it’s not a Screaming Saar, and is really quite fine for the Rheingau Idiom.
1995 Gilles Barge Cote Rotie “Cuvée du Plessy”
As with a bottle tasted a few weeks ago, this has a little bit of brett, a little bit of roasted fruits, a little bit of pork, and while there are interesting aspects to the porky red fruits, it is just a touch too roasted dark for me.
1999 Edmunds St. John El Dorado County Sangiovese “Matagrano Vineyard”
Starts off sweet hot ripe rich and indistinctive. With air it may become marginally more distinctive, but still too blobby and full of fierce acids at the same time to really ring my bells.
1997 Guido Porro Barolo “Vigna Lazzairasco”
This was more approachable than we expected, although maybe we just had ill-formed expectations? A bit fierce and tannic, but also soft focused lithe and firm, it did a lovely dance across the palate, silky texture and all. Still, while it provides a smidgen of pleasure, there’s no real need to open, as the dark hardness and gravelly tannins were still apparent, telling you to wait. So maybe our expectations were correct.
2004 François Chidaine Vouvray “Clos Baudoin”
This wine confused me, as it was so shy I couldn’t tell if it was corked. It didn’t smell musty or offensive, but it was just so damned shy. It seemed to have great firm structure going on, and cold steely mid-weightness, but then the flavors were just so pale and shy. I guess I need another bottle, unless any of you have experiences to explain?
2004 François Chidaine Montlouis sur Loire “Les Bournais”
Firm fresh quince-ey mineral fruit with some woodsy depth and richness, although still primarily light and crisp. Nice, but not sure what I thought of it. Need to drink it again. Interesting wine, reminding me neither of previous Montlouis tasted nor previous Chidaine tasted (Same issue for the above Vouvray). Curious to see what this new dawn will bring.
2004 Domaine de Bellivière Coteaux du Loir “Vieilles Vignes Eparses”
Another interesting wine. Rich exotic spicy orange kumquat apricot nose, but then crisp and austere white minerals on the palate. It has a lovely texture with a savory salty (dare I say 'capers'? or is that just what's on my plate) edge at one point and then a firm crystalline edge at another. Not a high class wine, but very fun and I was happy to drink it, although for my own price structure $29 was probably not the best QPR.