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ribera del duero


[bottle]Pagos de Quintana 1999 Ribera del Duero (Castilla & León) – Restrained fruit, herbs, earthen mushrooms, and dried black pepper powder. Well-oaked, for sure, but pleasant to drink, even if it’s not really all that interesting. Drink it in haste, however; an hour or so of air turns the wine to raw oak, dill, and scratchy nastiness, and after a few glasses we end up pouring the rest down the drain. (10/06)

TN: Clearing the cellar

A “clear the cellar” (a/k/a “make room for more wine”) tasting with friends in Connecticut. One addition: the mini-vertical of Clos des Briords (posted elsewhere) properly belongs among these notes.

Chateau des Charmes 2004 Gamay “Droit” St. David’s Bench (Niagara Peninsula) – Faint sweet cherry with a dry soda aspect and spiky acidity. The texture is all aspirin and baby powder. I don’t care for this at all. (8/06)

Mugneret-Gibourg 2002 Bourgogne (Burgundy) – Lovely and balanced, with strawberry seeds the dominant characteristic. (8/06)

[St. Innocent]St. Innocent 1999 Pinot Noir Seven Springs (Willamette Valley) – Gorgeous black cherry soda on the nose, with a rougher, more tannic brew of raspberry, strawberry, plum and grey earth on the palate. Just starting to round into form…though a few more years will bring superior harmony. (8/06)

St. Innocent 2004 Pinot Noir Shea (Willamette Valley) – Woody, showing layers of coconut over raspberry, with lots of thick tannin. Full and almost fat, but structured. Opened way too early. (8/06)

Téofilo Reyes 1996 Ribera del Duero (Castilla & León) – Caramel nougat and thick, dark, sticky fruit. It’s not as awful as it sounds, but it’s sludgy and one-note and, ultimately, pretty boring. (8/06)

Lopez de Heredia “Viña Tondonia” 1976 Rioja Gran Reserva “Viña Bosconia” (Center-North) – Dill and smelly feet, with crabapple tartness and a hot finish. (8/06)

Edmunds St. John 1999 Syrah Durell (Sonoma Valley) – Leather, blueberry and powdery tannin, with all sorts of yummy, earth-and-herb-and-sweat characteristics starting to bubble to the surface. The future looks promising. (8/06)

Müller-Catoir 1996 Mussbacher Eselshaut Rieslaner Spätlese 04 97 (Rheinpfalz) – Clumsy tropical fruit with searing, tongue-scalding acidity. (8/06)

Wittmann 1999 Westhofener Steingrube Spätburgunder Beerenauslese 23 00 (Rheinhessen) – Intense to the point of being overwhelming, with grass, red-toned melon, and pomegranate with huge acidity. Bizarre, and I can’t quite decide what to think of it. (8/06)