Birthday Wines, Part 2 - The Annual Co-Production With Rani (Jul. 24, 2013)

The Anne Gros was corky, read about the rest below
Rani Osnat's birthday is on the 18th, mine is on the 19th, so we wind up drinking each year with our mutual wine buddies. This year, we chose Elba as the venue, which Rani and I both love dearly.

Gaston Chiquet, Special Club, 1998

Sometimes my notes are terse, not because the wine in question doesn't deserve a lengthier exposition, but because the glass is drained too quickly. This terrific Champagne is a case study, so here we go, get your stopwatches ready: Yeast, citrus and nuts. Deep, saline and tasty. Special Clubs rock!

Donnhoff, Nahe, Niederhauser Hermenschole Trocken, 2007

Petrol, dill, slate on the nose: very complex and a virtual bedrock of minerals. The palate is vaguely Alsatian: green apples followed by spicy grapefruit on the finish. The acidity is very proper and well balanced, but it does lack the nervy fire of the best of Donnhoff and I believe it to be in a dumb phase.

Dominique Laurent, Pommard Premier Cru, Les Epernots, Vieilles Vignes, 2002

Gentle earthiness, slightly astringent tannins that make for a savory spicy finish when paired with food. An attractive nose that shows ever developing complexity. Tasty and classical.

Next a flight of Barolos, followed by yet another Barolo at its peak.

Aldo Conterno, Barolo, Bussia Soprana, 1999

Paolo Scavino, Barolo, Bric Del Fiasc, 1999

The Bric Del Fino is the more tannic wine, and still closed, very blatantly so.The Bussia has a warm, acid driven finish, very ready and typical.

Aldo Conterno, Barolo, Granbussia, 1997

Fresh and elegant, with silky fruit and rose petals. A top quality Barolo, showcasing the feminine side of Nebbiolo that is usually more up Barbaresco's alley.

Huet, Vouvray, Clos du Bourg, Molleux, Trie Speciale, 1996

Spicy honey on the nose. Fruit in the background, on the austere side, even. The nose is much, much better: complex and inspired. I'm not sure if the palate will improve, but the next day, a glass worth of leftovers show riper, vaguely quince inflected fruit. All in all, a lot of intellectual interest, less useful as a bona fide dessert wine.