Browse Tag


Moor or less

de Moor 2007 Bourgogne Chitry (Burgundy) – There’s aroma and flavor here, like strolling through a field of…something-or-other, but what marks this wine at the moment is texture: not rich, exactly, but well-lived and confident, rolling rather than tumbling. I’ve thought, considering previous encounters, that the wine was approaching a rest position, but based on this bottle I’m no longer sure. (2/12)


Brocard 2008 Chablis 1er Cru Vau de Vey (Chablis) – Chardonnay. By which I mean: yes, it’s ostensibly Chablis, but really it’s just French chardonnay with a restrained hand on the manipulative tiller, in the very tiny pond through which the captain of this wine is motivated to navigate. (11/11)

Grin & vers it

Luquet 2009 Saint-Véran “Vers Les Monts” (Burgundy) – Characterful…whether site or maker I can’t say (probably both)…with fulsome citrus aromatics and Makrut lime leaves, sweet tea, and a deft use of cooperage. (1/12)


Delamotte 1999 Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs (Champagne) – My long-standing preference for noir-based Champagne has taken a fairly major hit over the last few years from a passel of grower-producers doing unquestionably brilliant work, but this reminds me why I once held the preference in the first place. Grapey, lemony, gauze-wrapped apple, filtered and only lightly yeasty…I’m sure there’s more to come later in its life, but this is a sip-while-conversing Champagne that doesn’t hit any of my sweet spots. (11/11)


Alta Maria 2009 Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley) – Green fig, ripe tangerine. Good acidity and a deft use of wood. Long and solid.


Arcadian 2006 Chardonnay Sleepy Hollow (Santa Maria Highlands) – With the caveat that I rarely have much good to say about New World chardonnay unless it comes from Kalin, Rhys, or Varner/Neely, and with the corollary caveat that this is very much a New World chardonnay, there’s a lot here to like: the peachy fruit, thick and rich with roundness and polish, is fulsome enough to resist the minor trappings of caramel dip and buttery drizzle to which this grape is so often treated. Moreover, there’s acidity, and it’s well-integrated. It’s big – very big – and though I think the wine will develop and mature in a mostly pleasant way, I think that size will loom the greater as time passes. (11/11)

Roses for Jeanne, bulles for her

Bouchard 2005 Champagne La Bolorée Blanc des Blancs “Roses de Jeanne” (Champagne) – Difficult to know, difficult to like. I don’t mean that I don’t like it, at all…rather that my experience of it is more of an appreciation than something more visceral. It seems like it wants to be pretty, but there are so many rigidities and barely-hidden edges to it that it really can’t be, and instead what it ends up being is sharp to the point of aggressivity, and rather abrupt as well. There’s also a sense that it’s trying a bit too hard. If this note reads as a lot of vague characterization without anything in the way of organoleptic specificity, that’s because that’s how the wine expresses itself to me: no “fruit” as such, structure mostly just bite and snap, ultra-fine electric-shock bubbles, and quite a bit of attitude. (9/11)

We are the Champs, mes amis

Fèvre 2009 Chablis “Champs Royaux” (Chablis) – A pure expression of both Chablis and the Fèvre style, neither separable from the other, writ easygoing with inner complexities for tastes that run towards both drinkability and interest. Fresh yellowish-white fruit, lots of shell-game minerality, a touch of winemaking, all in excellent balance. It will age a little bit (and beyond a little bit I no longer trust white Burgundy, from anyone), and should be good at any point along that journey. (8/11)

Rully good

A&P de Villaine 2006 Rully Les Saint-Jacques (Burgundy) – Exquisitely balanced and poised, yet the wine’s more of a warm embrace than it is a chiseled statue or graceful ballerina. Supple fruit with swirls and shades of amber, copper, and silver floats in complete serenity amidst a deft collusion of acid and gentle, antiqued wood. This is breath-catchingly lovely. (6/11)


Domaine de la Cadette 2007 Bourgogne Vézelay “La Châtelaine” (Burgundy) – More advanced than I’d expect…maybe the dreaded premature oxidation, maybe a sign that the wine wasn’t meant to age, maybe just this bottle. It’s still OK, after a fashion, it’s just heavy and ambered in a way that doesn’t really suit the sharp-edged raw materials. Lemon still hangs about, tart and biting, but then there’s thus thud of bronzer.(6/11)

Domaine de la Cadette 2008 Bourgogne Vézelay “La Châtelaine” (Burgundy) – Salt-spicy but hollow, and a little metallic. There’s more water here than wine. Probably the worst bottle I’ve had yet, so it’s either closing or dying; I lack experience with the wine over longer periods to make an informed guess. (9/11)