1994 Maximin Grunhauser Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett #8
This is a bit simple, sour, and excessively verdant on the first day, but there is a core of a tiny hard ball of sweet red fruit. On the second day it really comes into focus, is firmer and more detailed in a tiny ballet-like way that I seem to only find in MG. The flavors are gosh-darn-fun spicy cherry stones and crisp fresh cucumber, and the world is alright.
1996 Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg Riesling Spatlese #8
Nothing wrong with this wine. Sweet deep and golden but with great verdant freshness (is that terroir, overcropping, or both?), very firm, very poised, it lets you know it is an elegant wine. This could age and might have gotten better with air, but –gulp – I finished it too soon (the second day to be precise).
2004 Selbach Riesling Kabinett
The only drinkable white wine in a shop near a friend’s house, it shows more than adequate slushy lime rocks and matches very well with spicy lentils. Workman’s wine.
2004 Thierry Germain Saumur Champigny
The only drinkable red wine in a shop near a friend’s house, it is straightforward from the corkpull with fresh, firm, focused, yet fun and lively dark cab franc fruits. But it has a little mystery underneath as well, and maybe is not profound, but a tad more than a workman’s wine.
1999 Giamello Barbaresco “La Licenziana”
This was drinking well, soft and luscious yet delicate and floral. Gorgeous gorgeous nose, some sandy tannins. Overall nothing glorious, but a nice “little” Barbaresco.
2002 Domaine des Huards Cour-Cheverny
Tingling verdant astringency (is that tannin?), crisp minty notes, with an intensely-coiled iron braid underneath, and then all the broad white flowers and waxy romo musk on top. Not bad, not thrilling, but I’d be curious to try the higher-end bottling from these folks.
1997 Vieux Télégraphe Chateauneuf du Pape “La Crau”
Weird stage. Plummy red fruits without a lot of definition and not yet fully into the secondaries. Still, is enjoyable with lots of air, soft and lush, warm and funky.
NV Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut
My first taste of this wine, and it was very correct, ripe firm and bold but with an elegant razor mineral crinkle down the spine that makes it very attractive to a mineral slut.
2001 Tenuta Sant’Antonio Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso “Monte Garbi”
This did not thrill me. We had two bottles for my cousin’s graduation dinner, and maybe it didn’t get enough air in the restaurant, but the simple brick of vaguely raisin-ey flavors and dull texture did not really excite me. However it did please the other folks who wanted forward tastes.
2004 Cascina 'Tavijn Ruche di Castagnole Monferrato
Very nice. Starts off quite primary and grapey, but then the earthy under-notes kick in and it becomes a more complete wine, in a bold flavorful way.
2005 Clos Saron Carte Blanche
A CA blend of viognier, chardonny, and sauvignon blanc would not normally make its way into my glass, but, this Sierra foothills producer is supposed to be quite interesting and quirky, and the retail clerk convinced me by saying that if Jenny and François could import a wine from CA this would be it. However, I found nothing quirky, but rather simple boring slightly overoaked yellow fruits. There’s just no pleasing some people.