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Mike Filigenzi

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Real Wine Assault on San Francisco

by Mike Filigenzi » Sun Mar 26, 2006 3:50 am

For those of us out here in the hinterlands of Northern California, Louis/Dressner wines are a rarity and a treat. I've seen a grand total of two bottles of these wines for sale in the Sacramento area, so the idea of not only tasting a bunch of them but also getting to meet Joe Dressner as well as a number of the vignerons who produce the wines was too good to pass up. Accordingly, my pal Ray and I left Sacto at 11:00 this morning, headed for K&L Wines in San Francisco and the Real Wine Assault.

The event was great. 12 producers pouring all kinds of fascinating wines from various regions of France. I didn't take notes, but there were several wines that were really memorable. Among them:

- A vertical of Pinon Vouvrays that was absolutely amazing. They were pouring their Cuvee Tradition from 2004, 1992, 1988, and 1976. This was a one-stop lesson in how Vouvray can age. I have a hard time describing them as the flavors and aromas were pretty unique in my experience. The 1988, in particular, was just stunning. The '04 was listed at $17, and it was apparent that your $17 and some patience will give you something very special. This was the highlight of the tasting for me, and a real revelation.
- The '99 Pepiere Clos des Briords Muscadet - Yum +++ and priced at an astounding $16.
- The Fleuries from Alain Coudert - He poured a very fine 2004, that was recognizably gamay, but with much more body and complexity than I usually associate with that grape. He also poured his 1999 that was marvelous. It was almost pinot-like in its flavor profile, with a bit of smoke on the nose. Still beautifully balanced with plenty of length, it was one that kept you wanting more. Red wine of the day.

There were a bunch more that included wines from Domaine du Closel, Eric Texier, Clos Roche Blanche, and more. Only disappointment for us was that we missed out on most of the food (provided by the Slanted Door, the Cheese Board, and the Hog Island Oyster Farm). This was partly our fault, though, for getting in a little late and then spending our time obsessing on the wines.

On the WIWP end of things, it was great to meet Walt Nissen and the one and only Joe Dressner. Also met (on his way out the door) Bill Futornick and got to talk to Larry Stein. Overall, a really great event and a rare treat for us Left Coast types. I'm finally starting to get some idea of what those New York people are talking about. Now if someone in Sacramento would just start carrying these wines.....

Mike
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futornick

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Re: Real Wine Assault on San Francisco

by futornick » Sun Mar 26, 2006 6:07 am

Mike, It was really nice meeting you as well, although I'm sorry we didn't have more of a chance to talk. I hope we can get together soon and pull some corks- futornick@gmail.com for when we have stuff going on here, or you're in the area.

Oh, and you didn't miss much on the food front- there really wasn't a heck of a lot outside of the cheeses and the oysters, if you eat those.

As long as you caught the '88 Pinon Vouvray and '99 Coudert Fleurie, you were there in plenty of time. And of course CRB, Brun, Closel, Pepiere,....
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Robin Garr

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Re: Real Wine Assault on San Francisco

by Robin Garr » Sun Mar 26, 2006 9:50 am

futornick wrote:futornick


Hey! There's a name we haven't seen for a mighty long time! Good to see you back, Bill ... we've kept your bar stool reserved for you.
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John Tomasso

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Re: Real Wine Assault on San Francisco

by John Tomasso » Sun Mar 26, 2006 10:34 am

Mike Filigenzi (Sacto) wrote: Now if someone in Sacramento would just start carrying these wines.....

Mike


Mike, the good news is, Chambers Street Wines will ship these wonderful wines to you - at a cost of about $3 per bottle - a mere bag of shells, my friend.

My traveling schedule didn't allow me to attend the assault, either here on the west coast, or the east coast. I would've given one of my eye teeth to have been at that tasting.

Sounds like quite a lineup.

JT
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Larry Stein

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My take on the Cult of Joe

by Larry Stein » Sun Mar 26, 2006 3:33 pm

I didn't take notes (Walt Nissen did).

Here were my favorites:
'04 Muscadet 'Cuvee Eden', Pepiere (putting Marc next to the Hog Island Oyster stand was a stroke of genius)

'04 Coteaux-du-Loir VV Eparses, Belliviere
'04 Coteaux-du Loir Rouge-Gorge, Belliviere
'04 Jasnieres Rosier, Belliviere (however at $29, too pricey)

'04 Clos du Papillon, Closel

'04 Cuvee Tradition, Pinon
Special mention and thanks to Francois and Suzanne for bringing 3 old vintages of Moelleux: '92, '88, and '76. The '88 was absolutely astounding (white WOTD). Just a hint of sweetness, superb texture, touch of beeswax, very full and rich.

All the '04 Clos Roche Blanche wines (Sauvignon, Gamay, Pif, Cot). I gave a slight nod to the Cot of the 3 reds.

If one has to drink Chardonnay, it might as well be the Brun '04. '04 L'Ancienne was excellent.

Next to Brun was Roilette. '04 Fleurie was excellent. Completely different stylistically than the Brun. Alain also brought '99 Fleurie which was the red WOTD.

The 2 wines I didn't much care for were the Bois de Boursan '03 CdP. The regular cuvee has typical '03 issues (roasted fruit, too tannic, I didn't notice the alcohol level as being too high). The Cuvee Felix took that equation and added new oak. 'Nuff said about that wine.
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Steve Edmunds

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Re: Real Wine Assault on San Francisco

by Steve Edmunds » Sun Mar 26, 2006 5:38 pm

I'll be attending a dinner this evening at Bay Wolf, featuring Brun, Texier, Olivier, among others. Wonder if I'll see any of you there? :D
I don't know just how I'm supposed to play this scene, but I ain't afraid to learn...
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Re: Real Wine Assault on San Francisco

by wnissen » Mon Mar 27, 2006 1:55 pm

Hi Steve,

Alas, the tasting was the only part of the assault in which I participated. Not having had essentially any Dressner wines before, I wanted to try as many as I could. Please let us know what they served at Bay Wolf and how it was.

I'm working on notes, which will be brief (I'm a slow taster and writer, compared to the facility of some here), but for me there were certain highlights. The Pinon Vouvrays were certainly at the top, in terms of quality and weirdness. The 1976, particularly, had some truly odd aromas of those rubber wall-walker toys, but there was so much going on that it all came together in a magnificent piece. My glass, once emptied, kept the aroma for several minutes while I nosed it.

This was a great event, and practically an offline with all the folks who showed up. Plus, I believe I now have the world's broadest collection of Bugey wine outside of Bugey: 3 Vin de Bugey Cerdons from different producers, the 2004 Peillot Altesse, and a 2003 Bugey Gamay. :)

Walt
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Re: Real Wine Assault on San Francisco

by futornick » Tue Mar 28, 2006 3:10 am

Robin Garr wrote:
Hey! There's a name we haven't seen for a mighty long time! Good to see you back, Bill ... we've kept your bar stool reserved for you.


Thanks, Robin!
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Gregg G

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Re: Real Wine Assault on San Francisco

by Gregg G » Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:15 pm

I'm bummed I missed this. I'll be in No Cal this week. The Vouvray vertical sounds amazing. The '99 Briords has been somewhat controversial with polarizing opinions. I had one last summer and loved it. The '04 is stunning and I hope I can keep my hands off...doubtful.
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wnissen

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Re: Real Wine Assault on San Francisco

by wnissen » Tue Mar 28, 2006 3:56 pm

I found the 1999 Clos de Briords a little flat compared to the sparkling beauty that was the 2004 Cuvee Eden and to a lesser extent, the regular bottling. Is that the nature of the controversy?

Walt
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Rahsaan

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Re: Real Wine Assault on San Francisco

by Rahsaan » Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:32 pm

wnissen wrote:I found the 1999 Clos de Briords a little flat compared to the sparkling beauty that was the 2004 Cuvee Eden and to a lesser extent, the regular bottling. Is that the nature of the controversy?

Walt


Flat, maybe.

From what I've followed the 99 Briords nay-sayers find it roasted and cheesy in line with the hot year, while the yea-sayers find it pure and crystalline. Sounds like two different wines to me, but I've always gotten the funky cheesy side, so maybe bottle variation explains it and I've just been unlucky..
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Re: Real Wine Assault on San Francisco

by Rahsaan » Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:34 pm

This did sound like a great event, and I was quite sorry to have missed it myself..

Spent Saturday trotting my mother around the East Bay, dinner at Chez Panisse wasn't undelicious, although we weren't with Wine Guzzling people so the list was only Superficially Approached..
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: Real Wine Assault on San Francisco

by Mike Filigenzi » Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:39 pm

Rahsaan wrote:
wnissen wrote:I found the 1999 Clos de Briords a little flat compared to the sparkling beauty that was the 2004 Cuvee Eden and to a lesser extent, the regular bottling. Is that the nature of the controversy?

Walt


Flat, maybe.

From what I've followed the 99 Briords nay-sayers find it roasted and cheesy in line with the hot year, while the yea-sayers find it pure and crystalline. Sounds like two different wines to me, but I've always gotten the funky cheesy side, so maybe bottle variation explains it and I've just been unlucky..


I'd have to consider myself in the pro-Briord category. The Eden was a beautiful wine, but I thought the Briord more complex and interesting (although maybe a bit less lively).

Still can't believe they were charging $28 for a magnum of the Eden.

Mike
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- Julia Child

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