2012 Sella & Mosca Carignano del Sulcis Riserva Terre Rare

2012 Sella & Mosca Carignano del Sulcis Riserva Terre Rare is such an amazing wine foe the money. 100% Carignano from the coastal southwestern part of Sardinia, this shows both forceful and pretty with cherry, spice and a certain sandy/limestone/charcoal quality that I can’t quite explain. It also has a savory note on the finish that I love. $16 at Central Market here in Austin before case discounts…this is a case purchase if there ever was one.

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Madcap Finca de Dios

Been working on this Madcap Finca de Dios for the last few days and it is pretty good. Super powerful and intense, but lacking a little bit of elegance and slightly wild and rough around the edges. Looking at the beans and smelling the grinds, it feels like Madcap got the roast just right, but in the cup, I detect just a touch more bitterness than I like. I will retry this with slightly less beans/grinds to see if that addresses the bite on this one. Overall, I am still really pleased and can see Madcap becoming part of my rotation of roasters.

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2012 Domaine Richeaume Cuvée Columelle

2012 Domaine Richeaume Cuvée Columelle is just such a fun wine to drink. Started out hard as nails on night one with pure blackberry and blueberry and imposing tannins. On night two, and eventually night 3, the tannins had softened and the most amazing finessed earth, herbs and mushroom notes started to peek out from behind mostly brambly blackberry. Way too young, yet so fun to drink already. A blend of 53.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Syrah and 4.5% Merlot.

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2009 Podere Poggio Scalette Il Carbonaione Alta Valle della Greve IGT

2009 Podere Poggio Scalette Il Carbonaione Alta Valle della Greve IGT is a marvel of a wine. This is the best vintage of this that I have tasted to date. While it has that telltale Tuscan Sangiovese cherry fruit in it, it also has a Côte-Rôtie like beef blood, bacon fat and olive tapenade note. Staggeringly big and brawny, this should be able to age effortlessly for decades. What a monumental wine that completely blows away any preconceptions one may have of the ageworthiness of Sangiovese. Served with Bucatini alla Carbonara. Recipe from @mariobatali “Molto Gusto” cookbook. Perfect match.

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2009 Weingut Battenfeld-Spanier Kirchenstück Spätburgunder GG

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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2010 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde

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

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

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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Chromatic Quality Problems

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

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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