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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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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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2009 Tenuta Grillo Piemonte Cortese Baccabianca. If this doesn’t move you, nothing will. I followed this for three days and it comes out of the bottle with a cloudy tangerine gold color bordering on brown. I expected it to be totally oxidized or madeirized but it wasn’t. It is chock-full of hazelnut and tea-like flavors and while it is dry and in a slightly oxidative style, it manages to have plenty of juicy fruit. Great wine that was even better with food than on its own. 100% Cortese and one worth buying more of.
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Ritual Coffee El Angel La Casa. This is the third and final item from the most recent batch of coffees I ordered and this one falls smack dab in the middle of the prior two in terms of my preference. I find it more complex and charming than the La Pinona, but not quite as interesting as the Nelson Ramirez. But I find I can get a very nice cup from brewing this.
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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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Ritual Coffee Nelson Ramirez should – on paper – be a lesser coffee than the La Pinona the other day. In this case though, I like the underdog. While I am having a hard time tasting the components as I left the house this morning, it feels like the coffee is, as a whole, more complete and rounded out than the other Honduran. Really nice stuff and I can highly recommend this.
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2007 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape with dinner tonight. Kirsch Liqueur and dried herbs dominate in a towering structure and massive tannins. Somewhere underneath, there is some raspberry coulis and minerality. Serious wine that may reward serious ageing. That said, perfectly fine to drink now with flavorful foods and some airtime.
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Ritual La Piñona this morning. I think the tasting note from Ritual is pretty much spot on. A very powerful coffee that I think warrants a little less coffee relative to the amount of water…especially if you like your coffee on the smoother side of things. @ritualcoffee roasted this one pretty much on the money and I continue to be impressed with their ability to let the bean shine without putting their roast imprimatur on it.
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