<b>Vietti 1999 Barbera d'Asti "La Crena"</b>. Checking in on this after a few years is like revisiting an old version of my palate: toasty berry and cherry fruit overwhelmed at first by oak, which moderates with air. Solid but doesn't show as much varietal character as I'd (now) like; nevertheless, as I guessed, it has the bite and heft to hold up nicely to the season's first pesto, dressing a simply seared hangar steak.
<b>Terres Dorees (J.-P. Brun) 2002 Beaujolais, "L'Ancien," Vielles Vignes</b>. Early-season raspberries growing near a freshly fertilized field of lavender. And I mean that in the best possible way. The shit has gotten a little more shallow on opening, and the fruit behind it shows no signs of fading.
<b>Raymond Usseglio 2004 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc</b>. 100% Roussane. Andrea agrees with the waitstaff that it's "camphor," a descriptor for which i have no referent, cinnamon, and some citrus (I can join her on the last two); in any case it's an absolutely terrific wine, with the combination of density and litheness that I love, great balance, and a long finish. I've not had a lot of unblended Roussane but I feel I can recognize its signature pretty clearly from tasting it in Rhône(style) blends, and this seems like an excellent candidate for aging.
<b>J.-M. Brocard 2002 Chablis 1er Cru "Vaucoupin"</b>. Developing extremely well; relatively broad flavors but still well-focused by acidity and minerality, now showing some honeyed waxiness and a little spice on the finish. Long, rich.