2004 Parusso Barolo Mariondino

2004 Parusso Barolo Mariondino is a freak wine and one that I find very problematic. It is actually not a bad wine in and of itself. It has pretty good fruit and balance and even complexity….but it is so atypical for its origin that making traditional food pairings is impossible. If you open this to go with some nice ravioli in butter sage sauce or even some ragu, forget it. This will obliterate anything in its path with its exotic fruit profile. It is a better match for really spicy or full flavored dishes like southern Italian pastas or even Fajitas etc because it tastes like Cannonau or Primitivo…no way I would ever guess this to be Nebbiolo. Because it is so atypical and borderline spoofed, I would personally not buy another bottle of Parusso. Avoid.

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2001 Château Branaire (Duluc-Ducru) & 2004 Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Impériale

Last night’s lineup of reds with friends over. The 01 Branaire was fantastic with beautiful cherry, cigar box and graphite and plenty of time left before peak drinking. The 04 Raymond Usseglio was superb as well. One of the most savory and backward and traditional wines from CdP that I have been drinking recently. Not a hint of dried fruit or anything else suggestive of high degrees of ripeness. On the contrary…almost a “cool” CdP that operates entirely with freshness, savory and salty blackberry flavors and an imposing structure that required hours of air before showing its best. There was also a bottle of 03 Chapoutier St. Joseph Les Granits that was deeply flawed by poor wine making. Secondary fermentation in the bottle pushed wine through the cork while I was opening the bottle and the wine was an acidic, volatile mess. I have had more flawed bottles of Chapoutier than all my other Rhone producers combined in the last few years. Make of that what you wish, but I will never buy another bottle of Chapoutier.

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2014 Feudi di San Gregorio Irpinia Rubrato

2014 Feudi di San Gregorio Irpinia Rubrato was up with dinner tonight. I picked this wine to go with a Campania dish of pasta, san marzano tomato, ricotta and plenty of mint and lemon. The wine itself needed some air before it was ready to drink. Pure cherry and dark raspberry flavors with an animale kind of italian yellow jasmine. It is tannic, but not excessively and there is some black licorice in there. Really a pretty incredible #wine at $18.99 and the perfect companion for a weeknight pasta, pizza or otherwise simple dinner.

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2003 Château Malescot St. Exupéry

2003 Château Malescot St. Exupéry with seared duck breast. Lovely food and wine pairing. This is riper and more velvety in texture than I would expect from more typical vintages, but in the context of 2003 in Bordeaux, it could actually be considered a constrained wine. Lovely balance and incredibly floral violets, cassis and cigar box. Almost reminiscent of St. Julien in its flavor profile. The wife and I both thought this was flat out delicious.

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2005 Domaine Robert Chevillon Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Bousselots

2005 Domaine Robert Chevillon Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Bousselots with our sushi at Tomodachi in Austin to celebrate my daughter’s birthday tomorrow. This wine is absurdly good. Much bigger and brawnier than I expected. Came out of the bottle angry and packed with power but mellowed into a very pretty and silky texture as it got more air. Cherry, blackberry, earth, tobacco and some herb undertones gave this tons of complexity. Masculine in style and able to cellar for another 10-20 years in the case of my bottles. Awesome. Oh and the food wasn’t too shabby either😉.

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Verve Chelchele

Verve Chelchele is a fantastic coffee. Incredibly floral, earthy, nutty and wild…borderline animale. Makes a very pretty and interesting cup and is also great for making ice coffee on hot summer days like these. This is made from heirloom varieties and the beans are tiny as is typical for heirloom coffes of Yirgacheffe like this one. What is impressive is how Verve Coffee managed to roast this so that one can really taste nothing but the purity of these beans.

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2003 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière

2003 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière is one of those wines that I expected to be good…but was even better than I could have hoped for. Despite the record heat in Bordeaux in 2003, Canon-la-Gaffelière made a beautifully balanced wine that is bursting with cherries, plum and spice and a pretty, velvety texture that veers into silkiness with added aeration. Lots of room to improve, but this nevertheless drank seemingly close to perfection. This follows the 2001 which is also outstanding and establishes a style of the property for me that I find charming. 55% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.

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2015 Weingut Gold Cabernet Sauvignon Großheppacher

2015 Weingut Gold Cabernet Sauvignon Großheppacher. I really want to like this. I have tried it multiple times now and no matter how, when and how many times I try, it just doesn’t grow on me. Not that there is anything obviously wrong with it…it just feels too one-dimensional and frankly rough around the edges (almost rustic) and with a shrill and wild kind of acidity. One of the VERY few wines in the Fass portfolio that I just don’t like.

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