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[raffault]Olga Raffault 1979 Chinon Les Picasses (Loire) — Genius wine in the full-throated prime of its life, and in fact so far from being on the downslope that it’s hilarious. Dark, leathery, peppery, and yet heavily-fruited. Kaleidoscopic soul. (5/16)

Still they’re Cazins, identical Cazins…

[cazin]Cazin 2000 Cour-Cheverny “Vendanges Manuelles” (Loire) — Dried pollen, wax, and amber. Like peeling open the pages of an old photo album, with cover sheets sticking together and faded pictures slipping their bonds and tumbling to the floor. (5/16)


[becker]JB Becker 1993 Wallufer Walkenberg Riesling Kabinett Trocken 010 94 (Rheingau) — I’ve had this at three different trade events over the last year or so, and the only thing I can be definitive about is that it’s highly variable; some bottles are totally oxidized, others are full of sweaty, almost meaty bass thud. This is one of the latter, and though there’s a brace of acidity helping it cling to the memory of when it used to be able to hit the high notes, this is definitely a band who’s had to take everything down a half-dozen steps. When it’s good, though…it’s OK. (5/16)

It takes a nation of deux mille to hold us back

[trimbach]Trimbach 2000 Pinot Gris “Réserve Personnelle” (Alsace) — Even when these aren’t fully dry (as I’d guess, due to the richness, that this isn’t), there’s so much acid and structure that they act dry. More pear and metal than spice — that will change over time — and still swaggering and vibrant. I can’t believe I’m writing this about a 16 year old pinot gris, but: while it’s drinkable, I’d hold it longer. (5/16)

Easter noir

Dupasquier 2011 Pinot (Savoie) — I suppose my first error here was thinking the region and expecting this to be one of those rock-driven, ungenerous mountain pinots. It’s not. There’s minerality, for sure, but it’s aromatically warm and enveloping, showing even more pinot noir than Savoie at the moment. I expect this will age, but I have doubts regarding my ability to stop drinking it while it does. (5/16)

Just one more thing…

G. Battista Columbu 2010 Malvasia di Bosa Riserva (Sardinia) — Outrageous texture, outrageous fog-blindness spice; like drinking a blizzard without the chill. Salty and pepper and full of citrus zest, this would be an overpowering wine…if it didn’t make me laugh out loud at the sheer joy of it. (5/16)

In front of the camel

Terre Rouge 1999 Syrah Sentinel Oak Pyramid Block (Shenandoah Valley) — This is the first (from a once-mighty stash) that I’d call fully mature, though I say that believing it’s a bit of an outlier. A thicker, pastier version of the classic Rhône “meat liqueur,” here more texturally hide-like than the norm. It’s in a really, really good place…or, at least, this bottle is. (5/16)

Knows down

Edmunds St. John 2002 Syrah “The Shadow” (California) — The crazy trajectory of this wine (ready, not ready, past ready, not ready, etc.) continues. This is the not ready version, and so the strappy, leathery tannin still battles with the deep bass throb of the fruit. I’d say time will tell, but it’s really that the next bottle will be completely different. (5/16)

A stone

de Moor 2014 Chablis Coteau de Rosette (Chablis) — Narrower than the usual broad de Moor style, but with plenty of verve and cut. Seems like it should age pretty well. (5/16)