Browse Tag


Dr. Galea

[galea]i Clivi 2002 Colli Orientali del Friuli Galea Bianco (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) — Memory engraved in amber and then preserved in wax. Like drinking patina, bee-etched, cool stone slopes reflected the last bronze of a sunset above a field of sleeping vines. (8/16)

i Clivi 1999 Colli Orientali del Friuli Galea Bianco (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) — At first, this was so aromatically mute I worried it was corked. But it wasn’t. It blossomed and burled all night, and by the time I took it home it was singing a full-throated song of lanolin and bone echoing off the spine of a distant mountain. (11/16)

Prince’s ex

[kumeu river chardonnay]Kumeu River 2000 Chardonnay Maté’s Vineyard (Kumeu) — This was, I think, the last cork-finished vintage at Kumeu River, and it was somewhat amusing to not be able to just twist it open. It’s aged well, with the minerality it showed in its youth now fully fleshed, its brighter fruit turning to bronzed representations thereof, and yet all the lively structure still intact. Some complexity. Very, very well balanced. It could go a good deal longer, I’d think, and more complexity will undoubtedly result, but for my palate I’d think now to five years from now would be ideal. New Zealand can make world-competitive chardonnay, and Kumeu River is a proof of concept. (8/16)

Just one more thing…

[pieropan recioto]Pieropan 2007 Recioto di Soave Classico “Le Colombare” (Veneto) — Sweet cloudberries, crystalline minerality, finely honed acidity. A beautiful, beautiful dessert wine. Like drinking the palest most tranparent gold. (9/16)

Put a Hefeabzug in your ear

[nikolaihof hefeabzug]Nikolaihof 2001 Grüner Veltliner Hefeabzug (Wachau) — The dangers of pop-and-pour: the first taste, straight out of the neck, portended oxidation and weakness. After fifteen minutes, however, this was singing. Not full-throttle — it no longer has that much gas — but in pure, clear tones. Minerality, fossilized vegetation, plenty of nerve…and, surprise!…a lot of fun to drink. It disappears very, very quickly. (9/16)

Still butterfly

[dashe grenache blanc]Dashe 2014 Grenache Blanc Monarch Mine (Sierra Foothills) — My adoration for Dashe is so wide-ranging that I’m surprised just how boring I find this wine. Maybe time will help? There’s nothing at all wrong with it…perhaps a touch of heat, but nothing unmanageable…but it just sits there; grenache blanc in weight and palate density but not in aromatics. One of the more surprising, even absurd, conclusions I’ve come to over the years is that Paso Robles — quite possibly the least interesting region in California for my palate and preferences — is the source of the most interesting grenache blanc. And yes, I include France in that tally. (9/16)

Drawing out a blanc

[tablas creek blanc]Tablas Creek 2004 “Côtes de Tablas” Blanc (Paso Robles) — Dried honey, wax, amber, a bit thuddy (but then what does one expect from these grapes, in Paso, at age 12…even from Tablas Creek?), but elements of this wine have certainly rewarded aging. If you like it prettier, drink it earlier. I like both. (8/16)

Fréd, you’re late

[trimbach cfe vt]Trimbach 2001 Riesling “Cuvée Frédéric Émile” “Vendanges Tardives” (Alsace) — Soft steel dripping with dewsparkle and the sweet nectar of honeysuckle. Beautifully balanced, precise, yet the sweetness is a bigger factor than the heft at the moment. More age? Perhaps. (7/16)


[trimbach 2001s]Trimbach 2001 Pinot Gris “Réserve Personnelle” (Alsace) — Narrowed to a metal spine with a pear-scented patina, brushed by a passing fennel frond. (7/16)

Soft rock

[trimbach 2001s]Trimbach 2001 Gewurztraminer “Cuvée des Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre” (Alsace) — Tepid. Tinned lychee, light minerality, vapid rose. What happened here? (7/16)

Sorbée course

Vouette & Sorbée Champagne Extra Brut “fidèle” (Champagne) — Disgorged 9 October 2013. One of my absolute favorite Champagnes of all time, this is so vinous and delicately red-fruited, yet retains the essential dancing vivacity of Champagne rather than stomping into dark-fruited meunier-land. Brilliant, flawless, and the absolute best partner for Vacherin Mont d’Or you could ever possibly imagine. (7/16)