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Maybe yes, Mabileau

[vineyard]Mabileau 2005 St-Nicholas de Bourgueil Les Rouillères (Loire) – Very structured (no one could miss this wine’s ageability), yet the raw materials take a while to emerge. On day one, this is thickly tannic and presenting only a wavering herbal darkness in response. Day two brings more fullness, and though thyme, bell pepper and freshly-tilled earth persist alongside cloudy tannin, they achieve greater balance and harmony amongst the whole. I think this will be quite good someday, but it’s a highly particular and difficult wine right now. Wait on it. (12/07)

Jolly old St-Nicholas

[label]Taluau-Foltzenlogel 1996 St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil “Vieilles Vignes” (Loire) – Three different wines in one bottle. The first is heavily dill-infused, sour with pickled acidity and yet weirdly compelling due to its pulsing, earthen bass line. The second is balanced and structured, with graphite-textured tannin, fine acidity, and dark black fruit loaded with morels and soil. And the third is reticent, dominated by its structure, and rather boring to drink. What does this mean, in terms of the wine’s progress along its aging curve? I have no idea…or, rather, I have three different answers depending on which of the trio is on current display. My guess is that it’s still not ready, based on the way it seems to close up after extended aeration, but that initial burst of nastiness must be considered as well. (9/07)