Some goodies from the cellar . . .
1999 Nigl, Riesling Hochäcker:
Several years ago, I visited Maroon Bells, a protected area just outside of Snowmass, CO. It was early morning; hundreds of rivulets wound down through the field of wild flowers that completely surrounded the dead calm lake below, immaculate. Reddish mountains hovered above. It was cold, you could smell the mountain flowers and water, and, everything was silent and crystal clear. This wine evokes those memories; alpine flowers, warming stones, cascading water and spice scents; silken textures and a clean, somewhat peppery palate that lasts. It is vinous, balanced, 13% alcohol and I can’t stop smelling it.
I’m guessing it’s in its infancy.
$18 on release; I’d buy it again at that price or higher.
1999 Gilles Robin, Crozes-Hermitage Cuvée Albéric Bouvet:
Continues to develop as a fine example of the northern Rhône with outstanding complexity, character and balance, captivating aromatics and a ripe, layered palate and finish that keep me coming back. Superb now and showing nothing to suggest it will fade.
$9, on sale several years ago; I’d buy it again at twice the price.
1999 Bruno Clavelier, Vosne-Romanée Les Beau Monts VV:
Closed at first but opens gradually to a structured, dark, deep, spicy wine that is not quite of one piece but has such captivating flavors that I can’t leave it alone. More density than a recent 99 Chevillon, Caignots, but not as integrated and developed. A great wine that needs another five years in the cellar, at least.
$60 on release; I’d buy one or two at that price, funds permitting.
2002 Dönnhoff, Riesling (Qba):
Bright, crisp, cherrystone and pineapple scents and flavors with a stony minerality underlying and a kiss of sweetness. Good complexity, balance and sustain. ‘Hard to beat for the price.
$18 on release; I’d buy it again at that price.
1999 Juge, Cornas Cuvée C:
Violets, olives, herbs, wood ash and mixed, bright red fruit – all woven together as whole-cloth; lightweight in the mouth with flavors that follow the nose, complexity, elegance, very fine and smooth tannins, juicy fruit, bright acidity, great balance and good sustain. Took a while to open – once it did, exquisite, integrated Cornas with some of the most layered and alluring aromatics one could imagine.
$35, purchased recently; I’d buy this again at that price.