Poverty Lane “Farnum Hill” 2006 Kingston Black Cider “Reserve” (New Hampshire) – This remains a serious, complex cider. This bottle shows more of the molten iron and lead components that sometimes lurk in the background, with the deep, rich apple flavors taking on a bronzed characteristic. And yet, there’s a bell-tone of loftier, more skin-derived flavors in the finish. Very, very good. (10/08)
Poverty Lane “Farnum Hill” 2006 Kingston Black Cider “Reserve” (New Hampshire) – Sweaty and deeply complex, showing skin bitterness, tart but modulating acidity, and a series of metal sheathes around the core of cold apple-osity. Unquestionably the best domestic cider I’ve ever tasted, though I haven’t tasted more than a few dozen. (10/08)
Poverty Lane “Farnum Hill” Kingston Black Cider “Reserve” (New Hampshire) – So many ciders start out dry and firm, but disintegrate into sticky insignificance on the palate. Not so this bottling, which retains a brittle, skin-like minerality throughout. This isn’t beginners’ cider, by any means. (1/08)
Poverty Lane “Farnum Hill” 2004 Kingston Black Cider “Reserve” (New Hampshire) – Striking raspberry and chalk with not-insignificant tannin. Minerality is cider is no less welcome than it is in wine. (10/06)
Apple: kingston black. Alcohol: 8.5%. Closure: cork. Web: http://www.farnumhillciders.com/.
Bott-Geyl 2002 Riesling “L’Exception Botrytis” (Alsace) – The strong palate impact of drying botrytis dominates this wine, and though there’s some obvious sweetness it’s a pretty well-balanced wine. There’s also iced peach skin, ripe (and slightly sweet) celery, and a long, candied/gingered orange finish sharpened by shattered crystalline acidity. It won’t be for everyone, though. (10/06)
Biodynamic. Grape(s): riesling. Alcohol: 13.5%. Closure: cork. Importer: Solomon/European Cellars. Web: http://www.bott-geyl.com/.
Leitz 2004 Rüdesheimer Klosterlay Riesling Kabinett 005 05 (Rheingau) – Big, sweet and fruity, with a steely banana core and sharp acidity underneath. Perhaps not so much of a kabinett, but a good, balanced wine with aging potential. (10/06)
Grape(s): riesling. Alcohol: 8%. Closure: cork. Importer: Theise/Skurnik. Web: http://www.leitz-wein.de/.
Bollig-Lehnert 2005 Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese 05 06 (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer) – Sulfur and mint with a faint spritz. Otherwise, it’s somewhat of a dead weight. (10/06)
Grape(s): riesling. Alcohol: 8.5%. Closure: cork. Importer: Carolina. Web: http://www.bollig-lehnert.de/.
Valckenberg 2004 Gewürztraminer 07 05 (Pfalz) – Roses with light peach and pear. Fragrant and medium-sweet. Gewurztraminer with training wheels. (10/06)
Grape(s): gewürztraminer. Alcohol: 11%. Closure: cork. Importer: Valckenberg. Web: http://www.valckenberg.com/.