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tasting notes

On the menu

[brin de chèvre]Le Clos du Tue-Bœuf 2010 Touraine “Le Brin de Chèvre” (Loire) — Broad horizons slashed by invisible razors, four-dimensional sand crystals, fractal depths. The complexity unrolls in non-linear ways, and a few degrees of warming reveal a completely different wine than the one whose cork was pulled straight from the fridge. Exciting and fascinating. (5/16)

Freemon

[guignier]Michel Guignier 2013 Morgon (Beaujolais) — Dark berries, ultraviolet light, dark stones. There’s a litheness to this wine that’s a little atypical for Morgon, yet it’s balanced and persistent. Drink or hold. (5/16)

Puppet show

[guignier]Michel Guignier 2014 Beaujolais (Beaujolais) — Gravel & berries. Light, not particularly lively, but it makes up for a lack of verve with a little more depth. Very appealing and very quickly gone. (5/16)

Sea you later

Bouchard Finlayson 2013 “Blanc de Mer” (Cape South Coast) — Fresh fruit (mostly peaches), fresh sunlight (mostly hazy), just a touch boozier than it wants to be. Party wine. (5/16)

Calon feral

[calon-ségur]Calon-Ségur 1993 Saint-Estèphe (Bordeaux) — Leather-textured, with fine-grit graphite soaked into the tanned flesh. Fully mature, leaning a bit hard and wizened, but as it airs it lengthens and gains dried-herb complexities. Finally, though, it finishes in a summer-breeze dusting of black pepper powder. (5/16)

VTGWT

Trimbach 2001 Gewurztraminer “Vendanges Tardives” (Alsace) — From 375 ml. Weak-kneed, lacking the intensity, richness, spice, or sucrosity one truly expects from this wine. The fruit hasn’t developed at all, it has just faded. It’s sweet, no question, but it’s one-note; from Alsatian VT gewurztraminer, I expect a body slam. This is a gentle tickle. No one’s heart is in it. (5/16)

Nebbish

[produttori]Produttori del Barbaresco 2012 Barbaresco (Piedmont) — Particularly…perhaps even unusually…approachable. Mostly crushed and dusted flower petals, with some soft earth. By general standards it seems beautifully in balance, which of course makes me wonder if it’s in nebbiolo-balance. In any case, it’s one that will be hard to not drink, because it’s so appealing right now. And finding nebbiolo that requires patience isn’t exactly difficult. (5/16)

Every tincture tells a story

Storybook Mountain 2011 Zinfandel Napa Estate (Mayacamas Range) — Not as hard-as-nails as I remember this being when young; has there been a regime change? It’s still structured, stony, fine-particulate zin, its darkest berries tight and glowering, but it’s entirely approachable with the right cut of flesh over enough fire. I feel like this property rarely gets the respect it deserves. (5/16)

A longer period, please

Dashe 2012 “The Comet” (Alexander Valley) — The thing I’ve always loved about Dashe’s wines is how they marry a considerable bit of Californian power with structure. I’d rarely call them elegant, but then that’s not really why I buy them. That said, this is a big thud of fairly anonymous fruit, and while it’s certainly not bad, it’s the least interesting wine I think I’ve ever tasted from this much-admired winery. Oh well. (5/16)