Camber Ethiopia Shakiso Mormora

Camber Ethiopia Shakiso Mormora is a marvel. I brew A LOT of great coffee from great roasters using great beans at my house. But this one is possibly the best I have tasted in a very long time. This coffee has it all. It is floral, shows citrus acidity, nutty flavors and a star anise and Christmas cookie spice component. The complexity of this coffee blows my mind and Camber Coffee hit a Grand Slam with this masterpiece. I am usually pretty disciplined about only making one carafe of coffee a day, but with this coffee, I have been making two the last several days…it is that good.

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2001 Delas Frères Hermitage Les Bessards

2001 Delas Frères Hermitage Les Bessards is such a disappointing wine. Second bottle and consistent with the one before. Hollow midpalate, short finish, weak fruit, slightly shrill acidity upon opening and not much other than some sour cherry, bacon fat and ground pepper on the palate…all of it kind of flabby to boot. This is not a good wine in Hermitage terms in any vintage. But to have made this from a banner vintage like 2001 just boggles my mind. Based on this and other Delas wines in the last few years, Delas has now joined Chapoutier (although for different reasons) as a producer I will not buy again. What a shame.

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Heart Ethiopia Yukro

Heart Ethiopia Yukro has been on deck for just over a week and I am glad I checked back in with one of the first roasters that helped me “see the light”. Glad to say not much has changed. The roast that Heart have put on this is absolutely perfect. Light but not too light and just enough to bring out the sweetness and nuttiness in this coffee. I think the only thing I am slightly surprised by is that the beans had just a touch less acidity than I was expecting, but that is really a minor quibble. It is a surprisingly round and smooth coffee that should quite literally be a crowd pleaser.

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2003 Château Lagrange (St. Julien)

2003 Château Lagrange (St. Julien) is a bit of a conundrum. It’s got tons of fruit, but it still shows a lot of vanilla (oak) when first poured, which I find obtrusive. After sitting opened in the cellar, the oak has faded some, but the plush, rich cassis fruit is still in a vanilla-shrouded state…it is better on day 2, but not what I think it should be. There is also some chocolate covered cherry flavor in here, but my personal preference is for the 2002 over the 2003. Still drinks ok, mind you…just doesn’t live up to its potential in my humble opinion.

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2011 Podere Poggio Scalette Il Carbonaione Alta Valle della Greve IGT

2011 Podere Poggio Scalette Il Carbonaione Alta Valle della Greve IGT is a huge wine. Every time I open one of these in their youth, I kick myself a little bit for not having more patience. This shows dark, brooding with insane structure, dry extract and acid and it is a monument of a wine. All blackberry, charred meat and camphor on the palate. It really needs 10-15 years to begin showing well and it will likely outlive me. Stunner, but stay away from it for now as it will reward you later.

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2004 Bouchard Père et Fils Volnay 1er Cru Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot

2004 Bouchard Père et Fils Volnay 1er Cru Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot is the biggest and ripest wine among the 2004 Bouchard wines I have had. I am pretty sure virtually nobody would guess this as a 2004 and many would even have trouble identifying it as a Burgundy. It is decidedly medium weight on the palate with oodles of black and red cherry and just a hint of tobacco leaf and forest floor aromas. But there is lots of flavor and dry extract in here to go hand in hand with a precisely balanced acid structure. It lacks a little elegance and there is no hurry to drink this at all. It drinks well with some air, but it is at least 5 years from peak and can last for another couple of decades with good storage for sure.

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Camber Coffee Honduras Pedro Moreno

Camber Coffee Honduras Pedro Moreno this morning. This is from a roaster that I had not tried before but their story is good (read about them online) and I wanted to give them a try. And I am glad I did. Camber Coffee got the roast on this just right. One can tell from the color of the beans and aroma that they really know what they are doing. In the cup, this shows quite a bit more powerful than I was expecting with the tasting notes on the label of cherry and red apple being right on the money. Overall, I like this a lot although I continue to only like, not love Honduran coffees. But that is a personal preference not Camber’s issue. I have a different coffee of theirs in the wings which should give me a second chance to evaluate a very different kind of bean soon.

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2015 Sven Klundt Birkweiler Kastanienbusch Riesling

2015 Sven Klundt Birkweiler Kastanienbusch Riesling is another success from the Klundt stable. It is really young…and I mean REALLY young. What stands out is the white peach fruit that is framed by bracing acidity. And the bone-dry-ness and sheer weight of the fruit being serious. It has palate presence in spades. Ultimately, this needs time to settle down and will reward patience. But there can be no doubt that this is a truly great wine in the making.

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Sweet Bloom Arnaud Causse Pichincha Ecuador

Sweet Bloom Arnaud Causse Pichincha Ecuador is mindblowingly good. The coffee is crazy intense on the palate. In wine terms, this is like a tannic Cabernet Sauvignon. It also has an absolutely stunning citrus acidity that is obvious when one drinks this black. And a pleasing sweetness that balances the coffee out. The roast on this is more or less identical to the roast in my other favorites like Verve and Ritual. My second homerun from Sweet Bloom Coffee in a row and also my second Ecuadorian coffee that I have liked in a row. I see a pattern emerging…

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