Apologies for the long delay between updates. Life called, and it wasn’t bearing a case of La Tâche. Why does that never happen, anyway?
Ollivier “La Pépière” 2004 Muscadet Sèvre & Maine “Sur Lie” Moulin de la Gustaie (Loire) – Fresh and lively sea-breeze and apple, with complexing saltwater sand notes and dried white flowers. Somewhat mossy, yet as vivid as you’d want. A really interesting wine. (9/06)
Grape(s): melon de bourgogne. Alcohol: 12%. Closure: cork. Importer: Louis/Dressner/LDM. Web: http://www.filliatreau.fr/.
Unckrich 2005 Kallstadter Steinacker Grauer Burgunder Spätlese Trocken 013 06 (Pfalz) – Simple, slightly acrid pear squeezings (heavy on the skins) and faded grapefruit/lime soda, with nice acidity and a chalky undertone. It seems interesting at first, but after a while the realization sets in: it’s a little boring if taken in quantity. But “boring” doesn’t mean “bad,” and in fact this wine is tasty enough. (9/06)
Grape(s): grauer burgunder (a/k/a pinot gris). Alcohol: 13%. Closure: cork. Importer: Boston Wine. Web: http://www.filliatreau.fr/.
Boulard Champagne Mailly “Grand Cru” Brut (Champagne) – This is an older release, perhaps 1999/2000 or so. Deep, almost animalistic red fruit and black chanterelle aromas with a spicy, bready, brown-toned aura of brooding antagonism. It’s as forcefully flavorful as a fine red Burgundy, stronger-willed than most Champagnes, and seems fully mature. Striking wine. (9/06)
French bottling. Grape(s): 90% pinot noir, 10% chardonnay. Alcohol: 12%. Closure: cork. Web: http://www.champagne-boulard.fr/.
Gresser 2001 Riesling Duttenberg (Alsace) – Minerals through gauze, showing too much restraint and a thick, somewhat clumsy texture at first. This all resolves after an hour or so of air, and the wine’s minerality sharpens, turning to fine particulate glass in an overcast mood. All this indicates is that aging is most likely required. (9/06)
Grape(s): riesling. Alcohol: 12.5%. Closure: cork. Importer: Ideal. Web: http://www.gresser.fr/.
Karthäuserhof 1992 Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Riesling Spätlese (auction) 9 93 (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer) – Warring between its youthful crispness and its mature creaminess, this is a gorgeous soda of acid-washed quartz and bubbly cocktail lime. Perhaps even a brief shot of gin? Terrific riesling just on the other side of its midlife crisis.(9/06)
Grape(s): riesling. Alcohol: 7.5%. Closure: cork. Importer: Old Vine. Web: http://www.karthaeuserhof.com/.
R&V Dauvissat 1995 Chablis La Forest “1er Cru” (Chablis) – Blended herbal tea leaves with blackened crystal minerality and old stone fruit dusted with a cabinet full of faded spices. There’s old wood here too – not oak, but the antique smell of a great-grandfather’s desk – and a gorgeous, almost milky texture. Stunning. (9/06)
Grape(s): chardonnay. Alcohol: 13%. Closure: cork. Importer: Haas/Vineyard Brands. Web: http://www.filliatreau.fr/.
Chapoutier 1989 Hermitage (Ermitage) “Le Pavillon” (Rhône) – Medium-well leather and slow-cooked meat in a silky, sensuous, almost creamy wine full of soft, mouthfilling meatfruit and Provençal herbs. There’s so little structure than the creaminess turns somewhat flouncy on the palate, and one longs for a little muscularity, or at least assertiveness. Perhaps more importantly, there’s nothing about this that suggests any of the masculinity of great Hermitage. It’s a very good wine, but I’m not sure it’s a good representative of its appellation. (9/06)
Ermitage is an alternative form of Hermitage. Biodynamic. Grape(s): syrah. Alcohol: 13.5%. Closure: cork. Importer: Paterno. Web: http://www.chapoutier.com/.
Chapoutier 1994 Châteauneuf-du-Pape “La Bernardine” (Rhône) – Corked. (9/06)
Biodynamic. Grape(s): grenache & syrah. Alcohol: 13.8%. Closure: cork. Importer: Paterno. Web: http://www.chapoutier.com/.