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David M. Bueker

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Re: Wine Focus: Open that Bottle MONTH ,,, EXTENDED!

by David M. Bueker » Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:43 am

Tim York wrote:This was not only my last Rancia 99 but the last of a series of 90s Rancias starting from the 95 vintage, missing out 96 when I believe Fèlsina only made its basic CC cuvée. Rancia is one of my favourite Chianti Classicos. Luckily I still have a few bottles from vintages in the 00s.

1999 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia - Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Classico DOCG (18/07/2020)
This was the best but the last of my three bottles of Rancia 99. It showed dignity and class combined with savoury plum tinged fruit, minerals, touches of balsam, tar and leather as well as tangy acidity and backbone and added all the graciousness of the first bottle plus further complexity. Excellent.
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I do love Rancia. I blew through a case of the ‘97 way too quickly.
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Re: Wine Focus: Open that Bottle MONTH ,,, EXTENDED!

by David M. Bueker » Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:21 pm

It's in the Alsace thread, but it belongs here as well...last bottle. Orphans of good wines are always that bottle...

2004 Albert Boxler Riesling Brand - France, Alsace, Alsace Grand Cru (7/28/2020)
Last bottle of a pair bought years ago, and it brought the magic at 16 years old. Golden color, effusive aromas of dried pineapple, quince, warm hay and a touch of lychee adding a hint of exoticism all blended into a package that's lightly coated in fresh honey and toasted oats. There's a hint of sweetness on the palate, but not in sugary sense, more in a bottle sweetness manner that comes with age. Lingering spice on the back end hovers like a ghost. Delicious bottle, caught at the right moment.
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Re: Wine Focus: Open that Bottle MONTH ,,, EXTENDED!

by Jim Grow » Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:17 pm

2007 Sorella: this is the top shelf Bordeaux blend of Andrew Will Winery in Wash. State. I had been saving this wine for MoCool but it fit the focus so. Very black colored wine with no amber at the edges, the wine was full of herb notes on the nose with little else. The palate however was full of mostly sweet and a bit of sour cherry and more herb notes all coming together with modest tannins. This seemed like a 5 year old wine to me so given the lack of tertiary development I think the peak here is still 5-10 yrs. away. very enjoyable tonight but too bad this is my last bottle. abv of 14.2% and the fine cork needed an Ah-So and even then crumbled into pieces. 3 hr. decant back into the bottle.
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Re: Wine Focus: Open that Bottle MONTH ,,, EXTENDED!

by David M. Bueker » Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:38 pm

Do you have any more to test the aging theory?
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Re: Wine Focus: Open that Bottle MONTH ,,, EXTENDED!

by Jenise » Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:24 pm

Jim, '07 was a rather warm year here, but Sorella's made for the long haul. Hard to predict where a given bottle would be in its lifespan, but I'm surprised that yours was that tight. How did you prep it? Decant, if so for how long?
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Re: Wine Focus: Open that Bottle MONTH ,,, EXTENDED!

by Jim Grow » Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:38 pm

Jenise, I decanted into a wide-mouth carafe for 3 hrs. before serving back into original bottle. Lots of sediment as I recall. My last bottle as stated.
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Re: Wine Focus: Open that Bottle MONTH ,,, EXTENDED!

by Jenise » Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:25 pm

Jim, just went to CT and read thru the most recent notes on this wine (all 2019) and saw that most agree with your assessment. Others noted the green pepper thing--Washington state's notorious pyrazines--which are more prominent in coolish vintages like 2008 and more obvious to those that dislike green peppers than it is to us who love them. Your 07 was probably made by founder Chris Comarda; weird to say, but Chris has suffered from depression since he lost his wife to breast cancer and that sadness seemed to show in his work. Recently his son Will has taken over and is bringing a refreshing positivity to the line.
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Re: Wine Focus: Open that Bottle MONTH ,,, EXTENDED!

by David M. Bueker » Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:29 pm

  • 2007 Eric Rodez Champagne Grand Cru Empreinte de Terroir Blanche - France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru (8/14/2020)
    Spectacular showing with our lobster dinner. A blast of bright citrus gives way to a peacock’s tail of expanding presence and complexity, as swirling herbal, citrus, spice and grain elements dance across the palate and take turns playing lead on the finish. The brilliant acidity cuts through the butter on the lobster, and the citrus acts as a lemon squeeze, enhancing the lobster flavor. Then the last glass on its own reveals even more depth, and greater finishing persistence. It keeps dancing, as if the music never stops.
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Re: Wine Focus: Open that Bottle MONTH ,,, EXTENDED!

by Tim York » Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:31 am

In a sense this is a negative THAT bottle. I have had a series of disappointments with white CndP other than in its extreme youth with the result that I auctioned off a few of it several years ago when I was making a cull of excess bottles, mainly sweeties. I kept this one bottle back but have never felt tempted to reach for it. However I needed a Mediterranean white to match a certain fish dish and could only find this one. It turned out to be an agreeable surprise -

2001 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (19/08/2020)
At a tasting in its youth I found this wine so beguiling that I bought three bottles of it. The first two bottles (the latter 8 years ago) proved disappointingly dumb but this one had opened up at last. The colour was light gold. The first good point was that there was no oxidation (often present in ageing white CndP). The aromas were initially discreet but, with air and some warming, there emerged a delicious blend of pear, peach, apricot, walnuts and gingery spice balanced by some still fresh acidity and leading to a firm rich finish which, unlike my last bottle of Beaucastel VV, did not cloy. Very good.
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Last edited by Tim York on Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wine Focus: Open that Bottle MONTH ,,, EXTENDED!

by David M. Bueker » Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:10 am

I can count on a single hand (missing some fingers) the number of my excellent Rhone white wine experiences. Your bottle sounds lovely.
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Re: Wine Focus: Open that Bottle MONTH ,,, EXTENDED!

by Rahsaan » Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:48 am

David M. Bueker wrote:I can count on a single hand (missing some fingers) the number of my excellent Rhone white wine experiences. Your bottle sounds lovely.


Agreed! I have had a few excellent experiences. But they were difficult to replicate and I quickly gave up on in-depth exploration.
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Re: Wine Focus: Open that Bottle MONTH ,,, EXTENDED!

by Tim York » Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:29 pm

Rahsaan wrote:
David M. Bueker wrote:I can count on a single hand (missing some fingers) the number of my excellent Rhone white wine experiences. Your bottle sounds lovely.


Agreed! I have had a few excellent experiences. But they were difficult to replicate and I quickly gave up on in-depth exploration.


I attended a tasting of white Beaucastel, both basic and VV, from several vintages about 12 years ago under the guidance of Belgian Rhône expert, Pierre Ghysens. One of his observations was that white CndP often matures in an up and down fashion (dent de scie = saw edge in French) with closed and/or apparently oxidative phases interspersed with good phases. This makes it extremely difficult to plan serving one of them with confidence about its performance. The performance of those white Beaucastels was certainly very uneven.

My misgivings about white CndP also extend to white Hermitage, of which I also auctioned off several bottles getting prices north of €100 :D .
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Re: Wine Focus: Open that Bottle MONTH ,,, EXTENDED!

by Jenise » Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:15 pm

We opened this last night to go with a vegetarian risotto, and it's a good comparison for Tim's wine as it's deliberately in the CdP Blanc style:

2014 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Queen's Road White Walla Walla Valley White Rhone Blend
As it currently drinks, this wine is ridiculously under-rated, deserves much more than a 91 point average. Densely flavored with limestone-ish minerality, lemon peel, quince, yellow stone fruit, vanilla bean, white pepper and a Hawaiian pineapple finish. Undulating, mouthcoating body with lively acidity. Age-defying for a domestic white wine with no end in sight--should make 2025 handily. Am guessing that Marsanne is the primary grape. We oohed and ahhed to the last drop. Heartbroken that this is my last bottle.
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Re: Wine Focus: Open that Bottle MONTH ,,, EXTENDED!

by Rahsaan » Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:47 pm

Tim York wrote:My misgivings about white CndP also extend to white Hermitage, of which I also auctioned off several bottles getting prices north of €100 :D .


And don't forget Condrieu! Yet another frustrating appellation. It's a shame, because those are all such unique expressions. Maybe I'll get inspired next time I buy wine and see what's available. Although I doubt it!
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Re: Wine Focus: Open that Bottle MONTH ,,, EXTENDED!

by Jenise » Fri Aug 21, 2020 12:39 pm

Texier's Condrieu was the one that convinced me that viognier had merit. New world examples had failed completely.
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Re: Wine Focus: Open that Bottle MONTH ,,, EXTENDED!

by Tim York » Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:15 pm

I find that Condrieu can be fascinatingly delicious and original in flavour, provided it is not more than 3-4 years old and retains freshness. The difference with white Hermitage and CndP is that I can't recall any winelovers who claim that Condrieu ages well.

The only wine 100% from Viognier grown outside the N.Rhône area which I have enjoyed was from Domaine Gramenon made in Philippe Laurent's lifetime. That estate is located at the very north of S. Rhône. I have enjoyed some Roussillon whites with Viognier in the blend.
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Re: Wine Focus: Open that Bottle MONTH ,,, EXTENDED!

by Tim York » Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:32 pm

Cahors is an appellation on the roll with many new and more established producers pushing the boundaries of the Cahors tradition in (sometimes) exciting directions. IMO some overdo it with lavishly oaked and rich cuvées which are would-be Mendoza look-alikes, e.g. Lagrézette; others go in the same direction with rather more discretion and make cuvées which become more distinctive when with ageing the oak integrates and the richness calms down, e.g. Le Cèdre and Triguedina Prince Probus. Yet others are experimenting with maturing in amphorae, organic, natural and even a vegan approach. Here is my last bottle of a top cuvée from one of the remaining traditional producers -

2001 Clos St. Jean Cahors - France, Southwest France, Cahors (21/08/2020)
I visited this estate in the 70s or 80s when the late Jean Jouffreau was still in charge and well remember his juicy character and wise remarks delivered in a pungent South-Western accent. He was a quality leader in those days and the estate remains a standard bearer for traditional Cahors. This is the probably the best bottle I have had from them in recent times and I could have taken it for a mature GC or top rank bourgeois Médoc from a good year. It showed depth, still fresh red fruit, classy minerals, a discreetly fragrant overlay, fine matt texture and decently firm and long finish. I had to search a bit for Cahors typicity but think I found it in delicate notes of tar and earthiness. Very good.
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Re: Wine Focus: Open that Bottle MONTH ,,, EXTENDED!

by David M. Bueker » Sat Aug 22, 2020 2:24 pm

Thanks Tim. I enjoy Cahors, but almost always rather casually, as it reminds me of all the times I have visited one of our plant sites in Figeac. Order "red wine" and you get a basic, gutsy Cahors. I like that.
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Re: Wine Focus: Open that Bottle MONTH ,,, EXTENDED!

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Aug 22, 2020 6:18 pm

Good note on the Cahors Tim. Very poor selection in my area , some unknown names too.
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