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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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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. 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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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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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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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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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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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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2004 Sottimano Barbaresco Cottá. I followed this over the course of three nights, as well, and I am not entirely sure what to make of it. For a wine of this age, it was shockingly primary. And I expected something silky and tertiary, yet what came out of the bottle was riper and brawnier than I was expecting. The good news that despite the ripeness, there was a fantastic menthol/eucalyptus note on the palate that really made this. Oh and what you see in front of the bottle are reverse-seared lamb t-bone steaks that were outrageous.
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2007 Mayacamas Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon always blows me away. It s what California is capable of in my opinion. The wine has this terrific tension between its parts…freshness in spades yet beautiful ripeness. Incredible depth of flavor yet silky texture. Old world charm/elegance and new world brashness. Blackcurrant and plum fruit playing against the backdrop of eucalyptus herbaceouness. This stuff is like a symphony in the glass. And at going on 10 years old, this is still a puppy. Glad to have 3 more left and one that I believe will truly reward 20+ years of cellaring. Stupendous.
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