With Larry Meehan, Lew Roderick and the Boston crowd at Jimmy’s Café.
2001 Christoffel Urziger Wurzgarten Kabinett Goldkapsel: This Christoffel was surprisingly advanced since the last time I had it. There was no sulfur obscuring the crisp apples slices that dominated the palate. Round acidity and excellent length.
1981 R Lopez de Heredia Vina Bosconia Gran Reserva Goldkapsel: Ahhhhhh, Larry knows what Papa likes! After ten minutes in the glass, this Bosconia (predictably) erupted with notes of licorice, mushrooms, leather, and old, wet, tree stumps. The palate was nicely proportioned and a bit meatier than the more acidic 76. I have fond memories of drinking through a number of the 81 Tondonia and Bosconia as a single, strapping, twenty-one year old stag. *Sigh* Of course, (way) back then I bought these wines for $30-something dollars a pop.
Where have the years gone?
1985 Barge Cote-Rotie Goldkapsel (this one’s for you, Mike): Fortune allowed me to taste this bottle once before, and it was one of my most profound Cote-Rotie moments. Unfortunately, this bottle did not have all of the impressiveness of the first one. The fresh notes of evergreen trees and juniper were lost in the nose and palate. As well, I wrote in my book that the wine “curiously disappeared halfway through the mid-palate”. Still, it was a decent drink and nobody much minded… until Mike threw in the challenge flag. “I’m challenging that this wine is corked” announces Mike. Collectively we all *Pfffffft* him as there were none of the typical forward TCA aromas in the nose. Sure, the palate was an enigma, but that doesn’t mean it’s corked. Disheartened, Mike retreated to his glass and mumbled to himself for a while. In the name of science, I took the rest of the bottle home (only one glass left) and sure enough, eight hours later there was no questioning that the wine was indeed corked. -You go, Mike-
1985 Contino Reserva Goldkapsel: This was a twenty-one year old Rioja that drank like… like… like some kind of red light district Rioja tart! Seriously. The nose was all voluptuous and in your face with slutty fruit notes, and the palate was far chewier than any decent Rioja had the right to be. I was stunned by how youthful it was; truly this wine needs more time. Mike, the chauvinistic fruit lover that he is, adored this wine. “Finally, a Rioja that I like!” he said to Larry who was equally moved. “Funny you should say that,” I began, “because this is also one of Plotnicki’s all-time favs.”
“Well, maybe it’s not that good..." agree Mike and Larry with somber, inflective, expressions.
2001 Lavradores de Feitoria, Quinta da Costa das Aguaneiras N. 06 Goldkapsel: Eh.
1996 Sandrone Cannubi Boschis Barolo Goldkapsel: Tight, as one would expect from a top-shelf 1996 Barolo, but still showing the stuffing that will take this wine through all the right moves. Despite my penchant for traditional Barolo, I like the cut of Sandrone’s jib.
2001 Bartolo Mascarello Barbera Goldkapsel: Oaky and clumsy, but some sweet plum tomatoes show through what would have been an otherwise anonymous wine.
1994 Voge Cornas Vieilles Fontaine Goldkapsel: Initially, this Cornas showed a bit of VA, but after swirling the acidity in the palate proved to be quite nice. Great typical Cornas notes, and a very nice wine.
1995 Lorentz Riesling VT Goldkapsel: Obviously, someone was fibbing, Mike or Lorentz, I can’t be sure, but this wine was certainly not a typical VT in terms of sweetness. It was alright, but not up to the usual acclaim of a Lorentz sticky (since it wasn’t).
2003 Müller-Catoir Gimmeldinger Schlössel Rieslaner Spätlese Goldkapsel: Making up for the Lorentz, this Muller-Catoir both smelled and tasted like a 7-11 Slurpie -- “No weezing the juice!”
The last wine of the night had a name like “Chateau Memories, Cuvee Cadillac Goldkapsel.” I’m not 100% on this one, Mike distracted me by spouting,
“Cadillac! You know, like the Clash… right? The Clash! Cadillac! Woo-aah!”
Both PMAC and I stared at Mike as if he had two heads, blinked a few times, then went back to discussing our favorite Goldkap of the evening.
With Yixin, his girlfriend Juliana, Mike, Carla, Bill, Lill and Amy:
2000 Gresser Wiebelsberg Riesling: Great nose, great palate. This tasty Riesling showed marvelous mineral qualities. Very pure and refined.
2000 Weinbach Schlossberg -L’Inedit: Yixin comes close to frothing at the mouth when he sees a Weinbach, knowing this, Mike couldn’t resist pulling one from his cellar. This bottle started with a hot nose and ended with a spicy finish. Heavy notes of melons and apple pie bellied the middle.
1994 Domaine La Pinte Chateau Chalon: I’ve never seen a Chateau-Chalon in the states that I can remember. At first taste, I was a bit overwhelmed, but I soon became interested and then infatuated with it. It wasn’t the most pleasuring wine, but it had a inexplicable ability to captivate my attention. I was reminded of a R Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Blanco, but more edgy and less creamy. Anyone know where I can source some without hopping the pond?
Sandeman Royal Corregidor: I brought this bottle of Sherry for perspective against the higher end bottles to follow. At $20ish, it (along with Byass’ Del Duque) is my go-to bottle of Sherry when I want something nice, but not too nice. Tonight was a normal showing with good acidity, medium length and a touch of sweetness.
Valdespino Solera 1842 Solera Oloroso: Wow, certainly a step up from the Sandeman, this Oloroso featured a small amount of PX in it, which gave created some wonderful tertiary sweetness. Notes of dates, almonds, molasses and toffee. This is one of those outstanding wines that I struggle with describing just how marvelous it was. I assume everyone has tasted dates, and most have tasted date-nuances in wines, but until you’ve tasted THIS wine you don’t know the potential for something so simple.
Lustau Almacenista Oloroso Añada 1918 Pilar Aranda y Latorre: They don’t make them like this anymore… literally… the Pilar Aranda casks were sold off in 1998. The Sherry world is the lesser for it, and as (both Yixin and Manuel informed me) this sold for $30-$40 about eight years ago. Currently, I’ve seen remaining bottles sell for between $100-$200! Gads. Price aside, the start to this wine was actually a bit too angry for me, but the finish was magnificent, lingering well over a minute. Powerful wine. I couldn’t decide which Sherry I liked better between this and the Valdespino. The notes of the Valdespino were unquestionably enticing, but the finish of this wine… I guess it doesn’t matter which one I like best as they were both exceptional.
1990 G. Borgogno Riserva: This wine showed how I expected it to, nice enough, but far too rustic and linear… something I’ve come to expect from 80’s and early 90’s Borgogno.
1978 Ceretto Prapo: The Prapo took a while to open up, leaning towards some notes of rust initially, but near the end of the night the palate came together and drank very well. It wasn’t crazy-good Barolo, but it was still quite good.
1994 G. Conterno Cascina Francia: I believe Mike cornered the market on ‘94 G. Conterno. I’m not sure how many bottles we’ve drank over the years, but every time we have one it’s “Mike’s last bottle.” Dramatics notwithstanding, I’m always happy to see Mike flourish another bottle, and sadden to think it might be our last. Despite the hard vintage, there is great Nebbiolo purity in the notes. The palate is a bit weak, and this showing wasn’t quite as focused as previous bottles, but still a great Risotto wine.
1995 Selbach Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese (Two Star): Insipid. Petrol-y. Something bad might have happened to this wine along the way.
1985 MönchHof Ürziger Würzgarten Beerenauslese GoldKap: Mediocre dessert wine with some nuances of passion fruit and honey.
With an assemblage of PMACian folks.
2000 Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve: Everyone else in the world should just stop using this grape.
2000 Chateau Fieuzal Blanc: This white Bordeaux was layered with notes of cut hay, clovers, lemongrass and more. Very dry and a bit “hither and yon” at the moment, this baby needs more time. The Sauvignon Blanc was a bit dominant at this juncture, as well. Certainly, Fieuzal is one of the best dry white wines being made in Bordeaux.
1990 Boillot Volnay: If Forrest Gump’s character was a modern Manhattanite, he would have said something along the lines of,
“Mamma said life is like a bottle of 1990 Burgundy - you never know what you’re gonna get.”
This here bottle of 1990 Burgundy had a surprisingly meaty nose (for Volnay) but it was as if all the density was sucked out of the palate and put into that nose; like a Twinkie with the cream sucked out.
Just like it.
*Ahem* There was still healthy acid and even tannin left, despite the hollowness.
1993 Tempier Tourtine: Thanks to a constant bombardment from Mike, PMAC, Rey and Trung, I have grown to appreciate the wines of Tempier - I’m not sure if I like them - but I can definitely see the attraction. This 1993 is entering a really good drinking window, where the tannin are less oppressive and the bramble/briar notes are coming through. Tempier is always very flavor-dense wine, and as distinctive as they come.
1996 Pierre Matrot Blagny La Piece Sous Le Bois: I’ve roughly translated the cuvee of this wine to mean “The Children of the Corn.” Wacky French. The wine itself tasted like bile and cigars.
1999 Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny: Tannic and masculine with notes of cherries and spice eking through the tightness. Nowhere near ready.
2001 B. Giacosa Barbera: Maybe it was the acid in the Blagny, but I was immediately flashbacked to the 2001 Bartolo Barbera. Oak, good acid, more oak, and nice fruit. Well made wine, but what more can be said?
1995 Sori Paitin Barbaresco: Closed at the moment, showing some nice balance despite the lack of expressiveness.
1989 Baumard Coteaux du Layon (not the Paon): This CdL may have been a bit passed optimal drinking as the finish was a touch drying. Still, nice notes of pears and some typical beeswax weaved throughout.
1983 Warres Vintage Port: Tim Tanigawa, the sadistic bastard, brought a vintage port to the restaurant within walking distance of his pad, knowing that we’d all be forced to drive home afterwards. Of course, none of us could say no… As to be expected, this was a delicious bottle of Port with loads of candied notes and relatively absent tannin.
(I think that catches me up on things)