2004 Domaine de Cristia Châteauneuf-du-Pape Renaissance. Unbelievably good. Followed over the course of two nights. 70% old vine Grenache from vines planted before WW1. This has a depth, power and complexity that is really very special. Super balanced but I might have preferred a touch more acidity. Raspberry liqueur, cherry and dried spices on the palate. Finish goes on and on. And this has the legs to improve further, I believe. Stunner of a wine. #wine #vin #redwine #vinrouge #rhone #rhonesud #southernrhone #chateauneuf #chateauneufdupape #cristia #renaissance #2004 #grenache #syrah #mourvedre #latergram

2004 Domaine de Cristia Châteauneuf-du-Pape Renaissance. Unbelievably good. Followed over the course of two nights. 70% old vine Grenache from vines planted before WW1. This has a depth, power and complexity that is really very special. Super balanced but I might have preferred a touch more acidity. Raspberry liqueur, cherry and dried spices on the palate. Finish goes on and on. And this has the legs to improve further, I believe. Stunner of a wine. #wine #vin #redwine #vinrouge #rhone #rhonesud #southernrhone #chateauneuf #chateauneufdupape #cristia #renaissance #2004 #grenache #syrah #mourvedre #latergram

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Chromatic Guatemala El Socorro. I find this to have chocolate and nut flavors with a caramel finish. A bit lower on acid than I typically like and roasted a tad more than the Verve Guatemala of recent days. Still a delicious coffee, and one that REALLY benefits from being brewed by the Hario V60 over other methods based on my trials. @chromaticcoffee delivers yet again. #coffee #chromatic #chromaticcoffee #centralamerica #guatemala #diegodelacerda #elsocorro #wetprocess #fullywashed

Chromatic Guatemala El Socorro. I find this to have chocolate and nut flavors with a caramel finish. A bit lower on acid than I typically like and roasted a tad more than the Verve Guatemala of recent days. Still a delicious coffee, and one that REALLY benefits from being brewed by the Hario V60 over other methods based on my trials. @chromaticcoffee delivers yet again. #coffee #chromatic #chromaticcoffee #centralamerica #guatemala #diegodelacerda #elsocorro #wetprocess #fullywashed

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2003 Château Beausejour Duffau and 2004 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Chaupin

2003 Château Beausejour Duffau and 2004 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Chaupin to celebrate with our good friends Kiko and Ron on Saturday night. Both wines are just beginning to show well and have room for improvement. The Beau is a very typical example of the old school style of Beausejour before the recent change in the winemaking team. Shockingly high acidity given the ultra hot vintage and everything is in perfect balance. Amazing how they were able to make a wine with this much freshness. One that can and will continue to develop for years and even decades. The Janasse was the real star in my opinion. This is the old vines cuvee of theirs and it blew me away. Kirsch liqueur, sweet cigar tobacco and spices galore. But despite all that dark fruit, there was pretty acidity balancing things perfectly. I think this is drank as well as it possibly could.

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2005 Charles Joguet Chinon Franc de Pied Les Varennes du Grand Clos

2005 Charles Joguet Chinon Franc de Pied Les Varennes du Grand Clos. One of the greatest wines made in the Loire. Unfortunately, the vines that used to produce this wine had to be uprooted after the 2006 vintage because they had been ravaged by phylloxera. This is ultra deep and dark and shows pretty tobacco and black pepper to add to the inky blackberry flavors. Mid palate and finish for days. Too bad this was my very last bottle.

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Verve Guatemala La Candelaria

Verve Guatemala La Candelaria. I have been drinking this for a few days now and it is, as people say proverbially, “the good stuff”. I had been thinking of trying Verve Coffee for some time, but every time when I was close to placing an order, I ended up going with Chromatic or Ritual instead. I am slightly bummed I did not give Verve a try sooner. This is a super bright coffee and the Verve tasting note of lemon shortbread is right on. This blend of Bourbon and Villa Sarchi varieties has a nice creaminess to it and nutty flavors on the finish. Lovely and based on this, I would say Verve just catapulted into a tie with Ritual and Chromatic for my favorite roasters in the US. They all manage to roast the coffees to perfection to show off the beans’ character.

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2006 Fattoria La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino

2006 Fattoria La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino is an awesome wine. I have been a fanboy of La Gerla for many many years…ever since my old friend Ron Duncan introduced me to a 1997 La Gerla, as a matter of fact. And this vintage will be as good as that 1997 one day. It is approachable now but it has solid structure, beautiful acidity, supple and plush red fruit and plum, and a finish that is killer. It will pair with a variety of foods, but I am serving it with beef and summer grill onions tonight which will be a beautiful pairing. Fatty beef, the creamy and roasted flavor of the onion and the acid of the La Gerla to cut through all of it. Stupendous.

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2005 Bouchard Père et Fils Volnay 1er Cru Taillepieds

2005 Bouchard Père et Fils Volnay 1er Cru Taillepieds. I served this alongside the duck breast a l’orange, polenta cakes and french beans tonight. What a stunner this was. In an absolutely mind boggling place right now with plenty of power left, but super pretty red fruit and early stage tertiary flavors are front and center. Can go many more years but this is drinking as well as I can imagine it right now. If this doesn’t do it for you, Burgundy is likely not your jam. Wow.

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Hario V60

I have been experimenting with brewers lately. When I started making pour over coffee years ago, my favorite roasters (Counter Culture, Stumptown, Blue Bottle) seemed to all use the beehouse/bonmac and given that I was a novice, I decided to use that brewer accordingly. The beehouse does make a beautiful cup for sure. More recently, I have been enamored with coffees from other roasters (Ritual) who prefer the Hario V60. So I tested the two brewers side by side and I have come down on the side of Hario. The coffee takes a bit more care to get right, but I get citrus notes and more nuance more easily and it also brews a touch faster. There is no right or wrong, but for now, the Hario is my tool of choice.

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2007 Lisini Brunello di Montalcino

2007 Lisini Brunello di Montalcino. I have been following this for several days and I am slightly concerned. When I opened it, it seemed shut down. And while it opened up over the last three nights, the fruit remained thinner than what I would have hoped for. Almost Chianti Classico like in weight. It does have nice acidity and tannins, but it took 72 hours before it began to show some promise. I have 2 more bottles that will instruct me on how patient we will need to be with this…

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2014 Duhart Milon and 2004 Castilo Ygay Gran Reserva

2014 Duhart Milon and 2004 Castilo Ygay Gran Reserva with roasted lamb. Pauillac and Rioja with lamb is always a good idea. The Ygay is showing amazing right now. Still exuberant fruit, but the secondary flavors are beginning to emerge. The Duhart Milon on the other hand is way too young and had been decanted for 7 hours…but it was fun to try anyway as I was contemplating picking some up for longer term cellaring. The Duhart is certainly a good wine that will reward a decade or two of ageing.

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Chromatic Ethiopia Guji Sidama

Chromatic Ethiopia Guji Sidama is exactly as good as one could hope for it to be. Chromatic Coffee just absolutely nailed the roast on this batch. I am not sure I get exactly the same tasting note as described on the packaging, but it is close. To me, there is chocolate, lavender and spice. Quite an earthy coffee, too. Amid all that complexity the coffee projects a smoothness and effortless power. My son had a sip and said unsolicitedly “I like this better than your last one. It is smoother and has more flavor.” One of the better African coffees in a while.

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