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2014 Clos Cibonne Tibouren Côtes de Provence Cuvée Spéciale. I had high hopes for this, but it just wasn’t good. Too warm on the palate and the fruit too thin. Not enough complexity to make it remarkable. Nowhere near the quality of their rose. Very disappointing and at $27 about as easy a pass as I can think of.
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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. 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 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 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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2007 Fattoria Galardi Terra di Lavoro Roccamonfina IGT. Had this a while ago but forgot to post the note. This was the first bottle consumed of the three I have. And 2007 is yet another banner vintage for Galardi. As always, it is very difficult to explain just how mind blowing these wines are. It is a blend of Aglianico and Piedirosso and has remarkable weight and concentration while simultaneously maintaining amazing balance trough equal measures of acidity and savory and earthy notes. I continue to say that Terra di Lavoro is one of my “island wines” because it pairs well with a wide range of foods and provides enjoyment early in its life cycle but can age for decades effortlessly.
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I have been enjoying this Counter Culture Finca Belgravia for the last few days. One of the better coffees I have had from Counter Culture Coffee in a while. This one is all about the nutty caramel notes and juicy feel to it. Has good acidity and power. This one is a blend of Bourbon and Tabi beans and it is noticeable right away that the beans are very small (as in African heirloom small). Lovely stuff.
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2011 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso Santo Spirito with my homemade Pizza. This wine is just awesome. Truffle, earth and plum on the nose and terrific structure on the midpalate and finish. Really the perfect companion for pizza, pasta and grilled meats. A treat on a weeknight.
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2003 Vietti Barolo Brunate because one can’t live off of English Sparkling wine alone 😁! Especially not with 4 adults at our house for dinner. As expected, this was the real deal and shockingly young for a 14 year old wine from a very warm vintage. Clearly, the winemaking here is top notch because despite the hot vintage, this is loaded with balancing acidity, eucalyptus and earthiness. If we were to judge a wine by how quickly it is consumed, this one scored top marks. Absolutely delicious and the perfect pairing with the braised lamb polenta plank I had cooked.
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N.V. Nyetimber Classic Cuvée. We had this on Saturday night and it was really nice quaffer. Apples and lemon zest. Not comparable in complexity with the Champagnes I like from Launois, but a delightful #wine that proves England has REAL potential and quality to make excellent Sparkling wine that can rival the French stuff. No wonder the French are buying vineyards in the UK.
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2014 Domaine Cruchandeau Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits Les Valencons was perfect with salmon tonight. It has generous fruit but manages to keep things lively with its sappy acidity. That acidity is what allows it to cut through the fat of the salmon filet. Another home run from Julien Cruchandeau that @grapeylyle snagged. Outstanding wine especially given its modest price tag.
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2009 Romano Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore. Crazy wine. Inky black color and packed with black fruit and black pepper. Nose, midpalate intensity and powerful finish for days. Should easily go 20 years in the cellar of one can keep one’s hands off long enough…
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2010 Château de Pibarnon Bandol. This wine is one of my perennial favorites, but in 2010, Pibarnon outdid themselves as it is even better than usual. This blend of 90% Mourvedre and 10% Grenache shows dark berries, cracked pepper, licorice and dried herbs. Awesome length on the finish. I know that many folks say this is on the modern spectrum of winemaking and while I can see where those comments are coming from (fairly dense and ripe fruit), I would add that it also shows a serious amount of rusticity and acidity to balance the fruit perfectly. Given that it is mostly Mourvedre, this can be cellared for decades, but I think it drinks beautifully already with some air.
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