2002 Terres Dorees (Brun), Beaujolais-Villages L’Ancien VV:
The funk is, indeed, gone but this bottle still shows very young and slightly disjointed with grapey flavors and aromas. Good now, better later. About $12 on release; I’d pay that again.
1999 Laderas de Pinoso, Alicante El Sequé:
Day one: this monastrell has dried out and the wood tannins are so overwhelming that the wine is all but undrinkable.
Day two: not as bad because the fruit is stronger but this is unbalanced.
About $20 on release; I’d not pay that again.
(This producer also has a lesser priced bottling (about $8) called Viñedos de El Sequé which I much prefer – apparently the lower price means less wood.)
2002 Bründlmayer, Grüner Veltliner Terrassen:
Not as thick as some wines from this producer but solid, authentic flavors and scents with lots of black pepper spice and mineral accents; fully integrated, beautifully balanced and a delicious and representative Grüner. Bought on sale for $8; I’d pay three times that again.
2004 Pepière, Muscadet:
Maybe bottle number 62 (well . . .); wonderful.
2001 Copain, Pinot Noir Dennison Vineyard:
From my favorite Anderson Valley vineyard; 14% alcohol; bright raspberry, red-fruit nose with spice and mineral accents and a freshness that is hard to describe; crisp and clean across the palate with ripe tannins, deep fruit flavors and an etched, layered profile; good balance, no heat, and very long. As good a pinot as I have had from California and every bit the equal of the better premier cru Chambolle producers in quality and complexity. A really superb wine with lots of development to come. About $42 on release and worth every penny of it and more.
2004 de Villaine, Bourgogne La Fortune:
Pretty much my ‘go to’ Bourgogne these days with a lightweight, brisk delivery of black fruit and some spice; nice balance and length. A fine ‘little’ Burgundy for $19; I’d pay that again.
1993 Vincent Arroyo, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve:
Ultimately, this bottle turned out to be slightly corked but upon first opening, it was clear evidence that California can make cabernet based wines that compete with the world’s finest; expansive nose with immense nuance and bottle bouquet; sweet fruit, layers of flavor and excellent depth – of course, little by little the TCA came to the fore – ah, for what might have been. $25 on release; I’d pay twice that again.