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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 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 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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2000 Château Beausejour (Duffau Lagarrosse)…don’t mind if I do. I wanted to get something special out of the cellar to celebrate a recent birthday and to go with a braised pork shoulder I am cooking. And does this ever deliver…Lovely red and black currant fruit, earth and chalkiness. Incredibly balanced. Looong finish and a nose to die for. 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.
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2014 Julien Cruchandeau Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits Les Valançons is showing really well. Cherry, raspberry, black tea and peat moss. Still fiercely tannic, but pretty and elegant all at the same time. Finish for days. These Cruchandeau wines are just so delicious.
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2004 Pio Cesare Barolo is a winner. I have been drinking down my Piemonte inventory of late because I find many of these wines in my cellar to be too ripe. This one is different though. All sour cherry, eucalyptus and mint, it dazzles with its balance and finesse. Went beautifully with the steak I served it with and can rest in the cellar for quite some time and get better, still.
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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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Verve Coffee Roasters Ethiopia Yukro. I have been working on this for about a week and I really like it. I find this to be a particularly powerful coffee that is really dominated by dark chocolate and nutty flavors. Think chocolate covered walnuts. Very earthy and less overtly floral than I would have assumed, but no less enjoyable for it. Another home run from Verve Coffee.
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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 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 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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2015 Freie Weingärtner Wachau / Domäne Wachau Riesling Federspiel Terrassen is a solid wine for the money. It was $15 at Costco here in Austin and shows a pale color and has lemon, juicy nectarine, chalky mineral and faint hints of juniperberry on the palate. Terrific stuff from start to finish. The finish itself is bone dry and mighty persistent…just how I like it.
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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. 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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