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Diemed worthy

[diemersfontein]Diemersfontein “Reserve Collection” 2014 Pinotage (Wellington) — Not too much vinyl; more of an internationally-styled dark red, though the occasional peppery pinotage pong does come through. It’s a nice enough wine, though it needs flesh that’s been atop fire. (4/16)

Lytton foundation

[lytton springs]Ridge 1995 Lytton Springs (Dry Creek Valley) — While this site doesn’t produce the most graceful or complex of Ridge’s zin-heavy blends, it certainly remains the most stubborn among them. It’s the wine that makes one think, “I would have guessed it’s younger than that,” time and time again. Moreover, it often absorbs the perfumed oak that lays like dense humidity over wines like Geyserville, leaving the strong-willed fruit to do the enduring. So while there’s certainly been development towards the leathery oldberry character that is so often Lytton’s signature, the wine seems nowhere near senescence…and I would, indeed, have guessed it ten years younger than it really is. (4/16)

Where fools dert to tread

Coudert 2005 Fleurie Clos de la Roilette (Beaujolais) — Was there a Tardive in 2005? (Checks.) There was. And yet, this clings, and clings well. It’s not robust, it’s not vibrant, it’s not singing. It’s pale and wizened and rather beautiful. It’s a beloved memory, well-preserved. (4/16)

He is not a sandwich!

Truchot 2005 Morey-St-Denis “Vieilles Vignes” (Burgundy) — Almost carbonic, in the spiky freshness of the wrinkled cherry fruit. A hint of brett. But so, so vibrant and alive. (4/16)

This is the Awa has come

[te awa]Te Awa 2004 Syrah “Zone 2” (Hawke’s Bay) — Faded into generic dried blueberry leather innocuousness; in other words, tired syrah. I would have expected a slightly better showing.


[bedrock]Bedrock 2013 “Old Vine” Zinfandel (California) — Darker berries, blended with a pinch of black pepper. All about its fruit, but with just enough supporting acidity (and not too much oppressive alcohol) to make it more than simple fun. Though it’s that, too. (4/16)


[lytton springs]Ridge 2013 Lytton Springs (Sonoma County) — Surprisingly accessible for a young Lytton, which is usually heavily structured and/or laden with the coconutty oak that’s the house style. Lytton is almost always one for the long haul…I might, in a feisty mood, argue that it outperforms Geyserville for sheer ageability…but this is already so fruit-forward and delicious, I wonder if it’s not a medium-term wine at most. Still, there’s certainly no rush. (4/16)


IMG_8292Jean-Marc Burgaud 2005 Morgon Côte du Py (Beaujolais) — From magnum. The knock against Burgaud is that they start hard and stay hard. (Insert your own joke here.) That’s somewhat true, eleven years down the road, but then a Côte du Py should be structured. Still, it’s only somewhat true; the wine’s aromatically accessible, its darker reds softened to an early autumn sunrise, showing half gamay freshness and half pinot noir sophistication, with aged underbrush imbuing the fruit. Will it age longer? Almost certainly, though note the bottle size. Will it get better? I’d wager on another five years with confidence; after that, it depends on one’s taste. (4/16)

Let’s alope

[jackalope cellars]Jackalope Cellars 2014 Cabernet Franc Quady North (Applegate Valley) — There’s a tense moment of promise, as there so often is with aromatically forward cabernet franc, but then there’s a bewildering yet overwhelming lactic character that blankets and eventually consumes the wine. There’s little value in (my) speculation regarding the reason, though I’d hope the winery would address it…but whatever it is, the wine would be vastly better without it. (4/16)

Telmo more

Telmo Rodríguez 2013 Monastrell “Al-muvedre” (Levant) — The deep, musky, sludgy side of mourvèdre; but neither tarted up nor laden with artifice. It’s a fist to the palate (and each gulp is a repeat punch), but it’s entirely self-possessed and eminently drinkable…though it does require the usual grilled mastodon steaks as an accompaniment. (4/16)