Arbois, Beaujolais, Cornas, Sherry:
2002 Overnoy/Houillon, Arbois Pupillon:
Slightly orange at the rim; wild strawberry, mineral, orange skin on the nose; light in the mouth with flavors that follow the nose, some flesh, bright acids and beautiful balance; medium length, intense finish. 12.5% alcohol and “nothin’ but net.” Superb. I’d definitely buy it again at $23.
2004 Terres Dorées (Brun), Fleurie:
Fresh raspberries dominate the nose; more diverse on the palate with red raspberry, mineral, red cherry flavors that have depth but come across light and lacy, good grip, silken texture and perfect balance; long, finish that tastes like I just ate a spoonful of fresh raspberries. This is glorious stuff; 12% alcohol and in no danger of falling off – but I can’t possibly avoid drinking another ASAP. The best $19 wine in the history of the world, the galaxy and the universe; if only it were still in the market. And with grilled chicken with potato, mushroom and escarole hash, just plain out of this world.
1999 Juge, Cornas Cuvée C:
The lighter side of the appellation with underbrush, black olive and red fruit elements on the nose; medium weight, a very alluring complexity as the elements of the nose expand into layers of earthy flavor, solid acidity and lovely balance; medium length finish. A wine of finesse and detail with an almost hidden structure. And maybe just a little closed, right now, as this has a sneaky concentration. If I could find it again at the $35 I paid, I’d buy a lot. ‘Wonderful with olive bread, toasted cheese sandwiches and a chunky, broth-based tomato soup.
Solera Bodegas Dios Baca, Sherry Amontillado:
Sautéed walnuts, dried fruit peel, slight yeasty tone; semi-dry in the mouth with flavors that echo the nose, an oily texture and an infinite finish. 18%, so I have to be easy with this stuff, but with appetizers or tapas, I can’t imagine it getting any better. I also tried the fino from this house and it is bursting with fresh fruit and yeast notes and mouthwatering. I will buy both of these again at about $18 per.