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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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2015 Freie Weingärtner Wachau / Domäne Wachau Riesling Federspiel Terrassen is a solid wine for the money. It was $15 at Costco here in Austin and shows a pale color and has lemon, juicy nectarine, chalky mineral and faint hints of juniperberry on the palate. Terrific stuff from start to finish. The finish itself is bone dry and mighty persistent…just how I like it.
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This is the kind of post one hopes never to have to write. These are two of a total number of three bags of coffee I recently ordered from Chromatic Coffee. The one missing was a Burundi Kayanza. That was the one I drank first and while I didn’t love it, it was serviceable. These two though are just terrible. Both are overroasted hopelessly, hollow on the midpalate and simultaneously ashy tasting and insipid. It is so hard for me to wrap my head around how a roaster could go from what I have been used to from Chromatic, to this. In reaching out to my fellow coffee afficionado Paul Willenberg, he opined that stuff like this happens occasionally when big changes occur. So I did my research here on IG and noticed that this was my first batch since Chromatic moved to their new facility…and that the roasters are no longer the old school Probats but newer more industrial looking machines. I suspect that is what the issue is, but in the end, it doesn’t matter…a quality drop like this should not happen to a roaster with this kind of track record. This is thus likely my last post about Chromatic and I can no longer recommend their coffees if this is what is now being shipped.
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1998 Sottimano Barbaresco Currá. Burgers & Barbaresco (B&B) tonight and this wine is drinking at absolute peak. Cherry, plum, thyme, eucalyptus and rose water on the palate. Beautiful nose and beautifully vibrant and alive. We had its sister wine last night (1998 Cotta) and that one was decidedly past peak and beginning to show less than ideal. And if you think it is barbaric to have a wine like this with burgers…try it. You may be surprised.
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2004 Wittmann Westhofener Riesling Trocken ‘S’ is the kind of wine that reminds you why you collect and cellar wine in the first place. At age 13 it came out of the bottle in a gold color that looked like it was a vin jaune. But soon after it starts a total transformation. The color begins to look a little less yellow and the nose doesn’t quite feature as much diesel, and it develops into something that is almost like a white burgundy. It shows honey, pear, apple and hazelnuts and has a smooth but laser focused acidity that plays in the background. Mind bending stuff.
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2012 C.V.N.E. (Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España) Rioja Cune Reserva was the clear winner of the every day drinking wine contest. This is so much more polished than the Monsanto that preceded it, it isn’t even funny. Dark berry fruit with dried herbs, cold smoke and a hint of dill pickle (from the oak barrel) were consistent from nose to palate and this showed round and generously, but had plenty of acid to keep the tension alive. At $12 this is substantially less expensive than the Monsanto and a world apart in quality.
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2013 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva did not wow in a side-by-side battle of every day wines. It does have some decent cherry fruit on the palate and some woodsy underbrush and dried herb notes, but the acid seems slightly off and shrill. At $18 this is too expensive for what it is and lacks some typicity in my book. Still perfectly drinkable but somewhat uninspiring.
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2004 Mauro Veglio Barolo Vigneto Arborina with roasted lamb. My last and best bottle to date. Started off flabby and ripe on night one, then appeared bricking and brown on night 2, and finally drinking gloriously on night 3. Rosewater, tar, plum, and menthol. One of the best bottles of Barolo I’ve had in a while. Based on the phases this went through, I would guess that peak drinking window is still several years away, but at age 13 it is already drinking very well if given the right amount of air. If you open this and don’t like it, I suggest patience to let it come into its own before writing it off. It’s a temperamental one, this one. 😲😁
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2001 Domaine Jasmin Côte-Rôtie is a wine that is oddly advanced at age 16. Incredibly wild and animale with tertiary and barnyard aromas and flavors dominating. With some air, it mellows somewhat and a nice berry and olive tapenade comes to the fore, but in the end, this is a disappointing showing for a wine of this pedigree and especially from a vintage like this. I have one more bottle which will be opened soon.
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