Zind Humbrecht 1997 Pinot Gris Rangen de Thann Clos Saint Urbain (Alsace) — Like an oloroso made by ferrets to which has been added stale bathwater and molten lead. Beyond undrinkable. (4/16)
Duplessis 2012 Chablis Fourchaume 1er Cru (Chablis) — Mineral salts, but whence the oxidative nature? It’s broadening at the moment, and thus pleasant, but I wonder if this isn’t suffering under a failed cork, because the note seems to surprise everyone who’s had or sold the wine. (4/16)
Trimbach 1995 Riesling “Cuvée Frédérique Émile” (Alsace) — From magnum…and let me say, for the record, that the John Holmes-ian stature of a Trimbach magnum is a sight to behold. Wielding this giant phallic symbol deftly enough to connect wine with glass is a multi-handed operation, yet the wine is far less forbidding than its pour. In fact it’s a fairly straightforward CFE, its iron and steel fully exposed but with the filigreed detail eroded. It’s lost none of its nerve nor its high-polarity lines of force, yet the overall energy feels diminished and buffeted. Perhaps catching it a bit younger would have been better? (Disclosure: this bottle was a gift from Jean Trimbach, from a 1998 visit to the winery.) (4/16)
Champalou 2002 Vouvray “La Cuvée des Fondraux” (Vouvray) — Very advanced for a 2002, soft lanolin and lotion and fluff. A pillow of a wine. That Kermit Lynch thinks this is the Vouvray he should import is a bigger story than the wine itself, frankly. (4/16)
Spreitzer 2007 Winkeler Jesuitengarten Riesling Spätlese 025 08 (Rheingau) — Biting metallic apricot, a spot of cream. Brace, but also weight. Very “Rheingau,” says the friend who brought it. I agree. Age it longer if you crave that sort of thing (and I sometimes do), but the midpoint here is fun. (4/16)
Wine is getting whiter. The ascendance of white wine as not only the most logical, but the default accompaniment to dining at any level is all but complete.
Sure, there are always exceptions. Some of them are establishment- or cuisine-specific, some of them are national or regional, and of course there are individual holdouts who find the thought of drinking anything they can see through utterly inconceivable. But in defiance of seasonality, and whether amidst gilded formality or tchotchke-littered casualness, wine consumed in quantity (that is, by the bottle) increasingly tends to be white. The reason: it makes a whole lot more sense as an accompaniment to the food.
Sheldrake Point 2013 Dry Riesling (Finger Lakes) — I can’t quite decide if this is flat or blocky. I guess the utterly boring formlessness means it’s flat. Finishes…well, “stale” is the best word for it. I sense the effort towards power, but nothing’s achieved.