1999 Belle Pente, Pinot Noir Murto Vnyd.:
On day one this is stemmy and very slightly reduced; not worth drinking. Put cork in bottle, set bottle on counter, return to bottle 36 hours later. Yep, better. Very Chambolle-like dark fruit, still a slight herbal scent but now its accent not lead role, good depth, nuance, character, balance and length. No good reason to open this any time soon. About $30 on release; I’d pay that again.
2004 Pepiére, Muscadet:
As wonderful as ever.
1992 Fieldstone, Port Staten Family Res.:
A domestic port at 19% alcohol made from petite sirah; quite something with very bright acidity that whips flavors of chocolate, fruit, spice and earth into a delineated and clean delivery across the palate; good depth and nuance, balanced and long. No heat from the alcohol and no raisin flavors. With a ‘cake’ made only of compressed figs and nuts, served with some Manchego cheese, simply stellar. About $30 on release; I’d pay that again.
Dinner with friends:
With deviled crab and boiled shrimp:
1996 J. Dauvissat, Chablis Vaillons:
Round in the mouth with the texture of satin and deep, clear flavors of white fruit and stone; nice aromatics, great balance, good length. A dream with the seafood and, for those interested, not the slightest hint of oxidation. Price unknown.
With wild mushroom lasagna:
1993 A. & F. Gros, Vosne Romanée Aux Réas:
Most tasters thought it past prime; I thought it fully resolved, elegant and delicious with a slight decay to the nose and palate, a silken texture and a lovely fruit-sweetness that is only developed by aging. Yummy with the food. Price unknown.
1989 Gastaldi, Rosso:
An entirely different animal; big, powerful, giving no indication of its 17 years; worsted texture with lots of grip, big black fruit, tar, spice and earth flavors, slight hint of VA and unbelievable length. A baby today but so good with the food that I forgot its size. $50 on release; I’d pay that again.
With almond tart, fresh raspberries and Asian pears:
N/V Nino Franco, Prosecco Rustico:
Bright, active bead, lightly flavored, bone dry and not only good accompaniment with the dish but also a palate cleanser after the Rosso. $13, I’d pay that again.