Archive for Wines Revisted
Certainly one of the highly regarded estates of Chianti, with vineyard holdings just over 65 hectares at between 1000 & 1700 feet in elevation….with calcareous clay, pebble rich soils. The 2006 was rated 92 points by The Wine Advocate. It certainly displays the dried cherry/red fruit & autumn leaves nuances, one would expect from Tuscan Sangiovese with the pedigree & character would one expect from such a top estate. We were also glad to see the 2006 open up again, eventhough only slightly. The big question is…….is this wine worth $42 retail?
CABERNET SAUVIGNON–’07 Duckhorn; ’98 Hess; ’99 Artesa; ’97 Chateau St Jean “Reserve”; ’01 Philip Togni; ’06 Groth “Reserve”; ’08 Groth “Reserve”; ’96 Heitz “Martha’s Vineyard”; ’05 Palmaz; ’03 Caymus “Special Selection”; ’07 Caymus “Napa Valley”; Ardente “Atlas Peak”; ’97 Livingston Moffett; ’06 Ghost Block; ’05 Flora Springs “Out of Sight Vineyard”; ’03 Flora Springs “Out of Sight Vineyard”….PLUS–’83 Chateau Lynch Bages; ’03 Chateau La Gomerie; ’09 Kistler Chardonnay “Dutton Ranch” & ’09 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir “Sonoma Coast”.
There is always quite a bit of discussion on BYOB policies in restaurants, & rightfully so. As with all such potentially controversial topics…..for me……they just raise questions.
Why do I have to choose a side? Choosing a side can create polarization. I am looking for just the opposite–synergy.
Can’t there be a median? Can’t we look to meet somewhere in the middle? AND…then grow that common ground?
One such effort is what we call the BYOB dinner…..where we come up with a menu (often based upon a wine theme)….complete with wine style recommendations & then invite our regular customers. We set a price (& ask our regulars to leave a little extra gratuity for the staff).
Yes, it was a crazy kind of tasting last night in VINO, which was spearheaded by2 of the regulars. Interestingly, we all share a real appreciation for Napa Valley’s Ric Forman and his wines. (There is another post on this site with a picture or 2 of the vineyard itself).
Here was the “lead off batter”…..showcasing the same graphite/pencil lead/gravel character typically found in Forman’s red wines & therefore found in the bevy of Cabernets tasted later. This one has a little more plumpness in the middle. We were so impressed how remarkably youthful this wine still is.
As VINO regulars well know by now, we are HUGE fans of winemaker Fred Scherrer & his wines. Fred epitomizes the concept of artisan, handcrafted & boutique, as he is essentially a one man show.
Interestingly, we have found over the years, it is hard to find a winemaker/winery who excels at 1 grape variety…..much less Fred excelling at 5 or 6! Yes, his are wines to search out for…..AND they do get better with age…..even his Zinfandels.
Fritz Haag produces truly special wines, which combine power, breed & finesse with remarkable ethereal-ness, grandeur, amazing purity & impeccable balance. I try to buy them every year I can, as it is always at the top of my list in particular his Brauneberger Juffer & Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr wines.
Here is what a friend wrote, which better explains their sites–”The classified, top locations of Brauneberger Juffer and Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr extend for about 2 km on the steep, left bank of the Mosel opposite the village of Brauneberg. At present, the estate owns the largest and best portion of the Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenur. In addition, the estate also owns the best parts of the Brauneberger Juffer. All sites are 100% Riesling.
As VINO regulars well know, our 2 favorite Chianti wines year in & year out are produced by Fontodi & Felsina Berardenga. A few weeks ago we were treated to some of Fontodi’s wines, which finally came to the Islands (at least legally) after 30 years of trying. The wines made the wait seem worth it.
We were also able to get tiny amounts of Felsina Berardenga wines a few years back.
This iconic Chianti estate is located in the southeastern corner of Tuscany, on the edge bordering Colli Senesi. Their estate is comprised of many parcels, all roughly between 320 to 450 meter elevation with a complex matrix of rocky quartz, calcareous alberese, sandstone & small pebbles soils.
I distinctly remember visiting the Tuscan wine country back in the early 1980′s when Cabernet, Merlot or Franch barrique were not politically correct to talk about. Many vintners had them planted & made wines using all of the above…..they just did not talk about it so much publically. Fortunately for me…..on that particular trip…….our “tour guide”……..was superstar oenologist Vittorio Fiore, who gave us very practical, highly informative insight into this “quiet” wine revolution that was perculating down in the cellars underneath the otherwise peaceful, serene Tuscan countryside.
Last night was yet another wonderful opportunity to try some wines with a little bottle age to them. Here are some of the highlights.
Here is a yet another bunch of older wines we sampled in VINO.
2001 Arnaud Ente Meursault
Arnaud Ente is a relatively “new” star in Burgundy, where there are many stars, & lots of them coming from multi generational estates. He wasn’t one of the fortunate to inherit vineyards & has instead had to work hard, buy grapes & buy parcels as he goes along & when he can afford to. He is never the less, one heck’uv a winemaker with brilliance, passion & dedication & his wines show that. The 2001 Meursault AOC is very captivating–wonderfully& quite ethereal, minerally, majestically perfumed, so tasty & invigorating, all done with class, seamlessness, impeccable balance & brilliance. It really is drinking beautifully right now.