Everyday Old World Wines

Lyrarakis, Crete, Assyrtiko, Vóila, 2021

There’s a warm, yet racy character here, full yet crisp, salty like lime and cheese. I forgot how good this wine can be. A gorgeous, complete wine. (Oct. 6, 2022)

Raul Pérez, La Vizcaina, Bierzo, La Vitoriana, 2018

Meaty, inky, bloody, spicy - darker and more brooding than other Mencia (the Bierzo red grape) I've drunk. Needs 4-5 years in the fridge, although not necessarily mine.(Oct. 13, 2022) 

Domaine de la Taille aux Loups, Montlouis-sur-Loire, Clos du Hochet, 2020

The development arc here is similar to the one I enjoy in the Bretonnière (the Vouvray demoted to VDP due to local laws, what should be the de facto flagship wine). It starts out with a yellow apple character, glazed with cinnamon and spicy pears, showing a decadent, wildly fresh side of Chenin Blanc. It's painfully young, is what it is. There's an undercurrent of minerals that grows stronger with air and a lithe curvature that I think will crystallize in two-three years. (Oct. 21, 2022)

Phillipe Alliet, Chinon, Vieilles Vignes, 2018

Half a year ago, it impressed me as the product of a warm, ripe vintage. Not flabby, not opulent (which wouldn't have been a bad idea), just not quite as a taut as a more classical Loire Cabernet. Now, however, it proves you can't dismiss terroir or winemaker. It shows the mineral, lead-pencil aspects of the archetypical red Loire appellations, the stink of terroir rather than the stink of brett, good acidity and rusty tannins. (Oct. 23, 2022)

Yannick Amirault, Bourgueil, La Petite Cave, 2010

The last of four bottles that I bought from Eldad Levy about a decade ago. It's sad to say goodbye, but seeing as how the wet cork broke and dropped into the bottle, maybe it was for the best. I still get some wood, same as in a Bordeaux or Rioja on the cusp of maturity, but mostly pencil shavings, iron, raspberries, a hint of mint. The body is medium plus, savory, very balanced. It has a decade in it, at least. (Oct. 25, 2022)

Weingut Hermann Ludes, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Thörnicher Ritsch, Riesling Spätlese, 1994

Rieslings can be immortal, but a twenty eight year old Spätlese is not quite that common. Especially when the moldy cork drops into the bottle, as this one's did. There's no sign of tattering, despite being on the delicate side. The nose and palate are nuanced and elegant. It's the kind of wine that requests a little exertion and concentration, not a lot, but you do have to come to it. (Oct. 30, 2022)