Olliver 2005 Muscadet Sèvre & Maine Sur Lie Clos des Briords “Cuvée Vieilles Vignes” (Loire) — Just at the right point between saline and bones. Strong for eleven year old Muscadet. Delicious. (7/16)
A&P de Villaine 2005 Côte Chalonnaise “La Digoine” (Burgundy) — Faded and tenuous, yet the thin red persistence eventually convinces. It’s a bit too old, though. (7/16)
Thomas Perseval Champagne “Tradition” (Champagne) — Disgorged March 2015. Planar. Rinds, piths, crystals. (7/16)
Trimbach 1998 Riesling Clos Ste-Hune (Alsace) — The dreaded premature oxidation that has afflicted a number of turn-of-the-millennium wines from Trimbach rears its ugly head here. It’s far from total obliteration, but it’s persistent and dulls every bit of the experience. Behind the stale tin there’s a round, almost boisterous core of salty iron and fir needles, but among the other affects of the oxidation are an attenuated finish. The wine actually gains strength with time out of bottle, but the flaw never really goes away. A shame. (6/16)
Trimbach 1989 Riesling Clos Ste-Hune “Vendanges Tardives” “Hors Choix” (Alsace)
I don’t normally include tasting notes in the the blog’s main feed (they’re exiled here), because I feel that they’re one of the least interesting ways to talk about wine. (The worst are point or ranking systems, of course.) But this bottle overflows with personal meaning…both its past and its present…and to relegate it to a word-salad of descriptors was to do it, and me, a disservice.
I can only find four instances of Trimbach doling out the incredibly rare “Hors Choix” designation, though there may be more about which I don’t know. Two were for sélection des grains nobles bottlings that were/are so overwhelmingly sweet that finding a sensible occasion to open them is virtually impossible. (Not that they’re in any danger of fading; they may well be essentially deathless.) I own one of those — a gewurztraminer so dark brown with botrytis that I think even the richest possible pâté de foie gras might fade into nothingness — and while it’s unquestionably an extraordinary experience, it’s more or less the Sagrada Familia of wine: impressive to admire, to be sure, but what does one do with it?
Couche Champagne Dosage Zéro (Champagne) — 80% pinot noir, 20% chardonnay, disgorged 5 February 2015. Bones, empty rooms, and silence. In other words, showing one of the common failures of no-dosage Champagnes. I’m not feeling this. Will time help? Is there anything here that age might improve, or will it just grow more skeletal? (5/16)
Le Clos du Tue-Bœuf 2010 Touraine “Le Brin de Chèvre” (Loire) — Broad horizons slashed by invisible razors, four-dimensional sand crystals, fractal depths. The complexity unrolls in non-linear ways, and a few degrees of warming reveal a completely different wine than the one whose cork was pulled straight from the fridge. Exciting and fascinating. (5/16)