Notes from last night’s dinner at Boston’s finest restaurant, with friends and business partners. As usual, the wines were extraordinary.
Aubry Champagne Rosé Brut (Champagne) – Soft but vivid strawberry and raspberry with a deep, throbbing undertone of mushroomy earth; much of the complexity of more aged Champagne is here, but paired with the lovely, elegant fruit of a young rosé. This is absolutely gorgeous.
Villa Bucci 2001 Verdicchio dei Castelli dei Jesi Classico “Riserva” (Marches) – More restrained than a previous bottle, at least at first, with a mélange of airy nuts, seeds and leaves only emerging from the oak’s dampening effect after a good deal of aeration. When they do, the wine shows rich, swirling complexities involving dried stone fruits, lightly-buttered whole wheat toast and freshly-ground grain; all silken-textured and ever-emergent.
Koehly 2001 Riesling Altenberg de Bergheim (Alsace) – At first opening, this is no more than a stiff breeze over corrugated metal sheeting, but in time it expands to show peach, crystalline minerality, a light dusting of coriander, and an even stronger, more steely mineral core with a delicate, non-intrusive sweetness balanced by firm acidity. Long, structured, and quite ageable; a terrific riesling.
Edmunds St. John 2001 Syrah Bassetti Vineyard (San Luis Obispo County) – Less forbidding but no less massive than the last time I tasted it, with exuberant leathery blueberries and a thick coating of mink-like tannin. It’s heavy, to be sure, but it’s structured and possesses a thudding, ponderous balance. All it needs is time, really, but in the meantime, when an aggressive yet food-friendly wine is required, this fits the bill.
Bologna “Braida” 2005 Brachetto d’Acqui (Piedmont) – Easygoing strawberry and red plum froth, with hints and suggestions of graphite powder and a better, more serious structure than this fun and delicious little number probably require. Just hints and suggestions, though; the essential joy of this wine remains intact.