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Briands, Briords, Brinots

[2002]Ollivier 2002 Muscadet Sèvre & Maine “Sur Lie” Clos des Briords “Cuvée Vieilles Vignes” (Loire) — Naked rocks that press finely-woven pollen tissue into the palate. This is why one ages great Muscadet. (4/16)

Brand identification

Boxler 2009 Riesling Brand (Alsace) – A little sweet, a lot heavy, a fair bit alcoholic. There’s still plenty of honeyed minerality and bronzed musculature, with the stone fruit and gold of the site evident, but it’s just too boozy for my taste, and I’m not sure this is a quality one will want to live with for long. I’d say I was surprised by this result, but a legendarily hot vineyard in a big year…unfortunately, I’m not surprised at all. Dismayed because of what it portends for globally-warmed Alsace. Disappointed that this came from an extremely reliable producer. But not surprised. (4/11)


Krug Champagne Brut “Grande Cuvée” (Champagne) – Rich and heady, but really not all that complex or interesting. It’s like gilding and jewel-encrusting a turnip, frankly; yes, it’s all shiny and sparkly, but what’s the real point? It’s still a turnip, and doesn’t want to be gilt. The wine’s elegant, and maybe the point is that one should feel elegant while one drinks it, but that’s really much more about the drinker than it is the wine itself. (4/11)

Bain capital

Alexandre Bain 2011 Pouilly-Fumé “Pierre Précieuse” (Loire) – Sweet, flabby, and more than a little bit insipid. I get that this is natural, but it’s horribly boring as well. Maybe it works as an apéritif. But it doesn’t even have the nervosity to be a German riesling stand-in. (11/12)

Time for a Trim

Trimbach 2008 Riesling (Alsace) – A powerfully appealing vintage that has not yet closed down (if it ever will; these négociant bottlings sometimes do, and some of those even come out the other end tasting better…2001 was an example, though it’s well past its prime by now). Vibrant ironfruit, perfect structure. If this all sounds like overenthusiasm, note that what it lacks vs. better rieslings is complexity; this is a direct shot right at the heart of varietal rieslinghood in Alsace, but there’s no ricochet. (8/12)

Loisium stade

Steininger 2010 Grüner Veltliner Loisium “Reserve” (Kamptal) – Restrained and a bit sweaty, leaving its green-hued, white peppery-fruit somewhat exposed to erosion. Finishes fairly long, but said finish is very linear. Just OK. (8/12)

Ajaccio number on the wall

Comte Abbatucci 2011 Ajaccio “Faustine” (Corsica) – 100% vermentino. Sticky citrus of the yellow/green/pink variety, with somewhat swampy herbs. I like it OK, but it’s a bit more tactile than I prefer. (8/12)


Királyudvar 2007 Tokaji Furmint Sec (Hungary) – Cold, pale minerality. Almost bony, but the bones are crushed, powdered, then liquefied, and the wet skeletal remains exhibit a sort of swashbuckling confidence. A delicious, utterly reliable wine.  (8/12)

Biancu Reeves

Leccia 2011 Ile de Beauté Biancu Gentile (Corsica) – Lemongrass, grapefruit, makrut lime, Granny Smith apple, and salt. Untamed and utterly delicious, though it pretty much begs for the fruit of the sea. (8/12)