1998 Raptor Ridge, Pinot Noir Murto Vineyard:
Expansive black cherry on the nose; the same on the palate with good depth, evident structure and little complexity. This has the very clear stamp of its place and is delicious drinking but will never be contemplative or challenging – nonetheless, a fine accompaniment to dinner. Bought on close-out at $9; I’d pay three times that price for it if I could find it again.
1998 Jadot, Moulin-à-Vent Chateau des Jacques:
Decanted off substantial sediment; quite tannic and brooding with some black fruit and earth scents and flavors, good depth, a meaty texture and a long, albeit drying finish. Too early, I am certain, but I wonder if the fruit can stand this kind of tannin over the coming years. $20 on release and I would pay that price again.
2004 Dom. Saint Luc, Coteaux du Tricastin:
A little bacon on the nose and palate accents solid red fruit and earth tones; smooth, clean, lightweight, 12.5% alcohol, and medium length. Very nice with pasta with caramelized onions, peas and fried sage. About $9 and I’d pay that again.
1999 J. J. Prüm, Riesling Spätlese Wehlener Sonnenuhr:
So much better than a previous bottle (a month ago) that I suspect the prior bottle was off; great acidity influences both the nose and palate with clear, etched fruit and lively textures; perfect balance and a long, lasting finish. Unbelievably good with a salad of fresh arugala, figs, walnuts and Manchego cheese. $36 on release and I’d have to think twice before I spent that again.
(Just as good on day two with the same salad; maybe better. I think I owe a tip of the cap to Marshall M. and David B. for their comments about this wine.)
2001 Hirtzberger, Riesling Singerriedel:
Reticent nose with unripe pineapple, minerals and spice; powerful mineral and spice notes control the palate with vinous white fruit in the background; good acidity, complexity and balance but this is pretty closed and lacks the density (at present) I note in the 1999 vintage of this wine. ‘Needs time. Bought wholesale on release for $47; I’d buy it again at that price.
2002 Marc Angeli, Anjou La Lune:
To quote Rahsaan: “A bubble of slightly orange fruit with slight RS, a friendly rustic mineral Anjou, nothing to complain about, although nothing to stir my emotions . . .”
About $24 on release; I’d not pay that again.