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2011 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Calderara Sottana is as good as I was hoping for it to be. Earthy and fresh with a dusty and rocky dark berry core. Plenty of grip and structure to boot. Just great stuff and if you’ve never had this, you owe it to yourself to give this a try. Incredibly delicious.
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2015 C.V.N.E. (Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España) Rioja Monopole Blanco is one of those wines that was en extremely lucky purchase. At $10 a bottle here at Costco in ATX, this rocks lemon, honey, custard and grass on the palate and is a fun summer wine. Did I mention this was $10? Silly value and great quaff for hot summer nights. A 100% Viura blend which makes it cool to this wine geek.
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2004 Parusso Barolo Mariondino is a freak wine and one that I find very problematic. It is actually not a bad wine in and of itself. It has pretty good fruit and balance and even complexity….but it is so atypical for its origin that making traditional food pairings is impossible. If you open this to go with some nice ravioli in butter sage sauce or even some ragu, forget it. This will obliterate anything in its path with its exotic fruit profile. It is a better match for really spicy or full flavored dishes like southern Italian pastas or even Fajitas etc because it tastes like Cannonau or Primitivo…no way I would ever guess this to be Nebbiolo. Because it is so atypical and borderline spoofed, I would personally not buy another bottle of Parusso. Avoid.
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Last night’s lineup of reds with friends over. The 01 Branaire was fantastic with beautiful cherry, cigar box and graphite and plenty of time left before peak drinking. The 04 Raymond Usseglio was superb as well. One of the most savory and backward and traditional wines from CdP that I have been drinking recently. Not a hint of dried fruit or anything else suggestive of high degrees of ripeness. On the contrary…almost a “cool” CdP that operates entirely with freshness, savory and salty blackberry flavors and an imposing structure that required hours of air before showing its best. There was also a bottle of 03 Chapoutier St. Joseph Les Granits that was deeply flawed by poor wine making. Secondary fermentation in the bottle pushed wine through the cork while I was opening the bottle and the wine was an acidic, volatile mess. I have had more flawed bottles of Chapoutier than all my other Rhone producers combined in the last few years. Make of that what you wish, but I will never buy another bottle of Chapoutier.
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2007 Domaine Charvin Châteauneuf-du-Pape is still a puppy. Incredibly young and backward, this took days before it began drinking well. Once it did, it was raspberries, plum, and dried herbs all the way. This is realistically a 15-20 year wait from the vintage date before it’ll drink at its potential. Very promising. 85% Grenache and 5% each of Mourvedre, Syrah and Vaccarese.
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2014 Feudi di San Gregorio Irpinia Rubrato was up with dinner tonight. I picked this wine to go with a Campania dish of pasta, san marzano tomato, ricotta and plenty of mint and lemon. The wine itself needed some air before it was ready to drink. Pure cherry and dark raspberry flavors with an animale kind of italian yellow jasmine. It is tannic, but not excessively and there is some black licorice in there. Really a pretty incredible #wine at $18.99 and the perfect companion for a weeknight pasta, pizza or otherwise simple dinner.
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2015 Ameztoi Getariako Txakolina during dinner prep tonight and it is singing. Very light and pale color, super grassy and mineral-driven and of course, slightly spritzy which makes it extremely appropriate to drink on a hot Texas summer night. I can never have enough of this at the house. $20 at Central Market here in Austin, but usually not many bottles available.
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Verve Amado Fernandez is a fine if slightly one dimensional coffee. I tasted mostly caramel, nuts and chocolate. Slightly lower on acidity than I typically like, but still very good. All in all, this still beats the pants off most coffees sold in the US (even among great roasters), but I have had better and I think I am beginning to understand that Honduras may not be my thing in coffee.
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2003 Château Malescot St. Exupéry with seared duck breast. Lovely food and wine pairing. This is riper and more velvety in texture than I would expect from more typical vintages, but in the context of 2003 in Bordeaux, it could actually be considered a constrained wine. Lovely balance and incredibly floral violets, cassis and cigar box. Almost reminiscent of St. Julien in its flavor profile. The wife and I both thought this was flat out delicious.
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2005 Domaine Robert Chevillon Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Bousselots with our sushi at Tomodachi in Austin to celebrate my daughter’s birthday tomorrow. This wine is absurdly good. Much bigger and brawnier than I expected. Came out of the bottle angry and packed with power but mellowed into a very pretty and silky texture as it got more air. Cherry, blackberry, earth, tobacco and some herb undertones gave this tons of complexity. Masculine in style and able to cellar for another 10-20 years in the case of my bottles. Awesome. Oh and the food wasn’t too shabby either😉.
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Yamazaki 12 Year to coast into the weekend. Crazy how expensive this has gotten. I bought this years ago when it was still relatively inexpensive…obviously the word is out. Cinnamon and maple syrup notes with a creamy texture. Pretty remarkable stuff.
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2013 François Raquillet Mercurey Vieilles Vignes. This is a super delicious and “gluggable” wine. Pure cherry and strawberry balanced by bracing acidity. Maybe a little rustic on the texture and finish, but I think that is more of a feature than a bug. Ultimately a crazy value and one that is easy to justify buying a case of.
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Verve Chelchele is a fantastic coffee. Incredibly floral, earthy, nutty and wild…borderline animale. Makes a very pretty and interesting cup and is also great for making ice coffee on hot summer days like these. This is made from heirloom varieties and the beans are tiny as is typical for heirloom coffes of Yirgacheffe like this one. What is impressive is how Verve Coffee managed to roast this so that one can really taste nothing but the purity of these beans.
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2003 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière is one of those wines that I expected to be good…but was even better than I could have hoped for. Despite the record heat in Bordeaux in 2003, Canon-la-Gaffelière made a beautifully balanced wine that is bursting with cherries, plum and spice and a pretty, velvety texture that veers into silkiness with added aeration. Lots of room to improve, but this nevertheless drank seemingly close to perfection. This follows the 2001 which is also outstanding and establishes a style of the property for me that I find charming. 55% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
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