Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Taking Care Of Business (Apr. 2017)

Most of April was spent on a family vacation in the States. The wines fall into three wine geek categories. The first group is a bunch of wines tasted on a trip to Sonoma and it merits its own post.

The second group is a whole bunch of hipster friendly wines from around the world, bought at various wine shops and drunk with family and friends.
The best of the hipster wines I had in the Big Apple

Domaine Grosbois, Chinon,  La Cuisine de ma Mère, 2015

This is a new producer for me - and probably for just about everyone likely to be reading this in Israel -  but I diligently googled the domaine. They produce four Chinon cuvees and this one is comprised of the youngest vines, about 15 years old. It is extremely succulent and lithe, all about fresh berries embossed with lightly pungent streaks of earth and tobacco leaf. The finish has fairly decent length and complexity, driven by acidity rather than the soft tannins and its friendly salinity makes it very accommodating to bistro fare. The organic certification and the quaintness of the label will give the hipster sommeliers something to tempt the hipster clientele with, although in an ideal world, its tasty moreishness would have been enough. (Apr. 1, 2017)

25 USD.

Daniel Bouland, Morgon, Delys, Vieilles Vignes, 2015

I can tell it's Gamay, but at 14.5% ABV, there are moments when its fat, spicy demeanor reminds me of Carignan, or some other warm weather grape. Let's just to forget this happened. (Apr. 2, 2017)

30 USD.

Pierre Gonon, VDP de l'Arche, Les Iles Feray, 2015

I don't know if this is a declassified Saint Joseph or sourced from the wrong side of the tracks, but it plays at major leagues level, and close to the best young Syrah I ever had. Violets, bacon, the works, on a smooth body that doesn't bother to smother every edge and rough spot. At 25 USD, this is an amazing value and if this is any indication, the actual Saint Joseph will be incredible. (Apr. 3, 2017)

Bodegas del Palacio de Fefinanes, Rias Baixas, Albariño d Fefinanes, 2015

Citrus fruit with an edgy mineral streak and a salty finish driven by powerful acidity. and remarkable focus! (Apr. 3, 2017)

30 USD. This is a must buy if you ever run into it, same as the Gonon.

Marcel Lapierre, Morgon, Raisins Gaulois, 2015

The young version of the Lapierre Morgon is a funkier version of the more expensive wine, but I may actually like it more and it's way better, not to mention more typical, than the Bouland. The funk doesn't feel like dirty brett, more like meaty rusticity, a farm boy mooning the prom.(Apr. 10, 2017)

15 USD.

Arnot-Roberts, Medocino County, Alder Springs Vineyard, Syrah, 2007

A serious wine, almost too serious for its own good. Brooding and sexless, all iron and black pepper, as somber and unrelenting as an off vintage Hernitage or Cornas, barely yielding its secrets even after a few hours. Still, I'm glad I had a chance to taste it. It's challenging and made me ponder about the burly side of Syrah. (Apr. 11, 2017)

About 40 USD.

Domaine du Haut Bourg, Muscadet Cotes de Grandlieu Sur Lie, Origine Haut Bourg, 2005

I don't see that this is a particularly interesting product of cellaring. Not that this isn't a good wine. It's a very pretty wine, with delicate white/yellow fruit, mellow nuttiness and hints of flint. And it's decently complex and quite lovely to drink. All I'm saying is that seven years in the cellar would have been quite enough. (Apr. 15, 2017)

About 20 USD. Decent value despite my reservations. 

Domaine de l'Ecu (Guy Bossard), Muscadet de Sevre et Maine, Taurus, 2012

This is more like it. Different producer, of course, and a neighboring AOC, but at five years of age, it shows vibrancy and complexity, a mineral cut, interesting saline flavors. Like a a minor league Chablis Premier Cru making up in beef broth and funk what it lacks in pedigree per se. Actually, I'm pretty sure it would age and improve for a decade. (Apr. 16, 2017)

About 40 USD - totally worth it.

And now for the final category, which I call Wine Craps and it is the outcome of a couple of evenings spent in the company of a Reno Casino resort's wine machine.

Kumeu Village, Chardonnay, 2014

Excellent. This would be at least village level in Burgundy. Apples, matchsticks, minerals, terrific vibrancy.

McNab Ridge Winery, Sonoma County, Russian River, Pinot Noir, Family Reserve, 2013

Definitely not a winery or wine that seeks to emulate Burgundy. The nose is ripe and alcoholic but at least the only damage it can mete is a an aesthetic one. The palate, which is also ripe and alcoholic, is capable of physical damage.

Flowers, Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir, 2014

This is much better and truer to what Pinot is supposed to be all about: fresh red fruit, cherry in this case, easy on the tannins and alcohol without loss of structure or depth, even when the weight is not massive. It's not especially complex, though, but rather its pedigree is carried in its lithe shape.

Chateau Simard, Saint Emilion, 2005

Eventually I tired of the New World and returned to the fold. Classic, yet unassuming, archetypical claret from a Saint Emilion property totally off the map, tobacco, cedar, just a light hint of stink.

Domaine Perrot-Minot, Chambolle-Musigny, 2012

Very typical for the appelation: rotting flowers, rotting leaves, suave fruit. 

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