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Counter Culture Finca El Puente Gesha is my first foray into the vaunted Gesha variety. This was a present from a very generous person since I would be too cheap to spring for even a mere 4oz of this myself. That said, it is a marvelous #coffee that has tiny beans and in every way drinks like Ethiopian coffees (little surprise since the variety is from Ethiopia originally). I actually found this to be surprisingly powerful and sparkling citrus notes were ever present. What I did not really experience is the tea-likeness of this variety, but that doesn’t really bother me as I want to drink coffee when I brew coffee. @counterculturecoffee nailed the roast on this, too. Overall, while this was a real treat, I would buy a high grade Ethiopian coffee rather than this for a similar tasting experience at a 3rd or 4th of the price. That said…YMMV. #centralamerica #honduras #marcala #counterculture #gesha #geisha #fincaelpuente #varietyseries
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2014 Sven Klundt Birkweiler Kastanienbusch Pinot Noir just blows me away. Sven Klundt is such a genius. The wine is incredibly fragrant with earthy mushroom and raspberry notes and a palate that screams sour cherry, spices like cardamom and cinnamon and a sappy finish for days. This isn’t just great Spätburgunder, this is an emotional rollercoaster. Fass Selections sells a lot of Spätburgunder but this might be one of my very favorites. More nuanced than Möbitz, more powerful than Enderle Moll or Josef Walter and more complex than Ziereisen. In terms of balance, only Juliane Eller is in the same category among the Fass Selection wines for me. Mind. Boggled.
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2008 Später-Veit Spätburgunder “P” is a brilliant wine. If I served this blind and told people it was Chambolle, they would buy it…that’s how good this is. It has beautiful red fruit, minerality and laser focused acidity and spice on the finish. At age 9, this is firing on all cylinders. After trying this, I have to agree with @grapeylyle that the Mosel is prime real Estate for the future great Spätburgunders of Germany. Stunning.
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Verve Kenya Gakuyu-Ini. I know you are getting sick of my fanboying over Verve 😁, but this is another stunner of a coffee. The note on the label is spot on with the guava describing the soft, round texture and the tangerine describing the sparkling acidity. What is missing in their note is the milk chocolate/toffee note that runs through this coffee that gives it some earthiness. 👊
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2015 Joan D’Anguera Montsant Altaroses is one of my very best recent and local finds…100% Grenache grown biodynamically from vines between the age of 10 and 35 years old. It is a very soft wine that is all about the strawberry bomb that goes off in the glass along with clove and rosemary. The nose is initially reminiscent of rose champagne but mellows into something closer to a Pinot Noir in weight. Lovely, elegant and silky and $18 before case discount…silly good value. While this is definitely no Rayas or even Pignan in complexity…if you enjoy the lighter style of Grenache, you will love this.
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2006 Lisini Brunello di Montalcino is singing like you wouldn’t believe. Explosive nose of black cherry, eucalyptus and tar. On the palate, this shows powerfully tannic with layers of fruit, leather, tobacco and even some St. Julien-like pencil shavings. This is so incredibly good.
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Ruby Coffee Guatemala Rincon is a bit of a conundrum for me. While I personally find it roasted too dark for my taste, my wife LOVED it. She even commented on the coffee before I got to ask her what she thought. And that never happens. We have been working on this bag for two weeks and just finished it, so my impressions are not the result of a “hit and run” tasting of this coffee. Overall, I find it difficult to taste much other than caramel and bitter chocolate. The sweetness of the beans is lost with this roast profile and if it were for me only, I probably would not buy from Ruby again. But since my wife was a fan, I am going to order from them again for sure. If you want to order any of their coffees, you ought to make sure you like darker roasts based on my very limited experience. Or call/email them to figure out if there are coffes they have that get roasted more lightly.
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2012 Sella & Mosca Carignano del Sulcis Riserva Terre Rare is such an amazing wine foe the money. 100% Carignano from the coastal southwestern part of Sardinia, this shows both forceful and pretty with cherry, spice and a certain sandy/limestone/charcoal quality that I can’t quite explain. It also has a savory note on the finish that I love. $16 at Central Market here in Austin before case discounts…this is a case purchase if there ever was one.
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Been working on this Madcap Finca de Dios for the last few days and it is pretty good. Super powerful and intense, but lacking a little bit of elegance and slightly wild and rough around the edges. Looking at the beans and smelling the grinds, it feels like Madcap got the roast just right, but in the cup, I detect just a touch more bitterness than I like. I will retry this with slightly less beans/grinds to see if that addresses the bite on this one. Overall, I am still really pleased and can see Madcap becoming part of my rotation of roasters.
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2012 Domaine Richeaume Cuvée Columelle is just such a fun wine to drink. Started out hard as nails on night one with pure blackberry and blueberry and imposing tannins. On night two, and eventually night 3, the tannins had softened and the most amazing finessed earth, herbs and mushroom notes started to peek out from behind mostly brambly blackberry. Way too young, yet so fun to drink already. A blend of 53.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Syrah and 4.5% Merlot.
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2009 Podere Poggio Scalette Il Carbonaione Alta Valle della Greve IGT is a marvel of a wine. This is the best vintage of this that I have tasted to date. While it has that telltale Tuscan Sangiovese cherry fruit in it, it also has a Côte-Rôtie like beef blood, bacon fat and olive tapenade note. Staggeringly big and brawny, this should be able to age effortlessly for decades. What a monumental wine that completely blows away any preconceptions one may have of the ageworthiness of Sangiovese. Served with Bucatini alla Carbonara. Recipe from @mariobatali “Molto Gusto” cookbook. Perfect match.
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2000 Château Beausejour (Duffau Lagarrosse)…don’t mind if I do. I wanted to get something special out of the cellar to celebrate a recent birthday and to go with a braised pork shoulder I am cooking. And does this ever deliver…Lovely red and black currant fruit, earth and chalkiness. Incredibly balanced. Looong finish and a nose to die for. 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.
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2014 Julien Cruchandeau Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits Les Valançons is showing really well. Cherry, raspberry, black tea and peat moss. Still fiercely tannic, but pretty and elegant all at the same time. Finish for days. These Cruchandeau wines are just so delicious.
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2004 Pio Cesare Barolo is a winner. I have been drinking down my Piemonte inventory of late because I find many of these wines in my cellar to be too ripe. This one is different though. All sour cherry, eucalyptus and mint, it dazzles with its balance and finesse. Went beautifully with the steak I served it with and can rest in the cellar for quite some time and get better, still.
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