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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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2009 Weingut Battenfeld-Spanier Kirchenstück Spätburgunder GG is such a great wine…at age 8, it is still a puppy. Seriously tannic and backward, this just kept shape shifting for days and even after 3 days, it kept getting better. Cherry and spice is bouncing out of the glass and the length of this is really special. Of all the Spätburgunder I have bought from Fass Selections , this is the one that I believe has the longest ageing potential. I mean this isn’t drinking even near peak…maybe a 20-30 year wine. The perfect food pairing for this would be a nice backstrap of venison or some wild boar. Unfortunately my last bottle and I don’t remember Lyle offering this after that first offer I bought.
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Verve Coffee Roasters Ethiopia Yukro. I have been working on this for about a week and I really like it. I find this to be a particularly powerful coffee that is really dominated by dark chocolate and nutty flavors. Think chocolate covered walnuts. Very earthy and less overtly floral than I would have assumed, but no less enjoyable for it. Another home run from Verve Coffee.
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2010 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde is as good a bottle of entry-level/budget Côte-Rôtie one could ask for. Surprisingly ready to drink with round tannins and balanced acidity and fruit. On the nose it shows pretty violets, olive and black currants. On the palate the black currant fruit dominates with some cold smoke and cedar in the background. Finish is solid. Not sure this will make super old bones given how well it is drinking already, but with a little more age I suspect the bacon fat will become more pronounced which may be worth waiting for. Domaine Guigal nailed this one.
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2004 Pertimali (Livio Sassetti) Brunello di Montalcino tonight was the best bottle of wine I have had in years. The nose was insane. Perfumed fruit and flowers. Like hanging your nose into a bottle of perfume. On the palate, this delivered in spades, as well. Plum and berry fruit with herbs and laser focused acidity. Long finish and unbelievably layered. Not a rough edge to be found…all polish, finesse and elegance. When Pertimali is on, it can be a mind boggling wine. Unfortunately, it also has the reputation for pretty severe bottle variation, but this one was as complex as Bordeaux First Growths I have had. I hit the jackpot tonight.
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Verve Nicaragua Jaime Blandon Maragogype is the perfect antidote for the disappointing Chromatic coffees of late…and to spice up otherwise uneventful mornings. First impression is that these beans are HUGE. No small wonder that this variety is also referred to as “Elephant Beans”. The roast Verve Coffee put on this is absolutely perfect. Flavors of juicy fruit, walnut and savory pecan praline. Stunning stuff that I have been reveling over for days now.
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