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Dale Williams

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WTN: Mostly PN, Rhones, and Loire whites at la Sirene (JC)

by Dale Williams » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:53 pm

Last night a small group gathered to welcome out-of-towner Jane at La Sirene. No formal theme, though advance conversation led to mostly Loire whites, Pinot Noir, and red Rhones. Betsy and I were last to arrive (such traffic for a fall Sunday). The expanded restaurant felt spacious (especially by open windows), and service was very good. I enjoyed a watermelon/feta salad (a bit of a cliche, but I wanted something lighter feeling) and a pork with morels dish (as well as bites of Betsy’s beet salad and filet mignon). The wines:

2002 Huet “Le Mont” Vouvray Sec
Michael says some reports of PremOx here, not this bottle. Long, fresh, delicious, all honied quince fruit with citrus and wool. Great finsh. A-

2008 F. Cotat “les Monts Damnes” Sancerre
Full, ripe but plenty of acidic backbone, long, sure it’s infanticide but man this drinks well. A-/B+

2002 Cazin “Cuvee Renaissance” Cour-Cheverny
Great balance, less sugar showing than when young, minerally with bright fruits. A-B+

we’re on a streak, but then..

2004 Belliviere "l'Effraie" Coteaux de Loir
Wow, this is darker than I expected, and there’s a cidery oxidative thing going on. Little resemblance to the wine I loved at release. It actually gets a bit better with air, there’s wool/wax and apple fruit, some minerals, just a hint of sugar. Is this dying, or in a weird place? A little taste after I got home (I rescued bottle) seemed better than at restaurant. Perplexed what to do with remaining bottle. At dinner C+, last taste, B

on to reds
2007 d’Angerville “Champans” Volnay 1er
Drinking very well already. Fresh red fruits (cherry and cranberry), just a kiss of vanilla, nice balance, a pretty wine. B+

1999 Lafarge “Vendanges Selectionees” Volnay
Very nice nose- flowers, berries, and a kind of Dujac-ish sandalwood note. On palate it’s initially a bit closed, but shows better on revisit- black cherries, some tannin, full with a nice texture. B+/A-

2009 LaRue Pinot Noir
A bit fleshy, solid black cherry fruit with an edge of spice, decent acids. B/B+

1991 Williams-Selyem “Olivet Lane” Pinot Noir
This is a very good wine- unfortunately this is not a very good bottle. A Winebid purchase (after loving a bottle a couple years ago), cork was totally saturated and wine was madeirized. NR

1998 Levet Cote-Rotie
New name to me. A bit rustic, I thought a great nose of blackberry vines, meat, black olives, and tar. Palate wasn’t near as charming, but still a solid wine. B/B+

1989 Fonsalette Cotes du Rhone Reserve
I liked better than some. Solid dark fruits, aromas of meat, spice, and cedar, it’s about all I could hope for in 20+ year old CdR. B+

1995 Ch. Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape
I liked this better than some, too! Had to be careful handling this- when Cliff pulled the cork, the glass lip came with it (now that’s a seal). Classic funky blackfruited Beaucastel, deep and long. A-

2001 Cuvee du Vatican Chateauneuf du Pape
This bottle showed weirdly, though not corked or cooked. Very ripe, a bit volatile, initially I got some weird asparagusy note but that blew off, but I wasn’t too fond of what it left behind. Big, spirity, too kirschy for me. B-/C+

Too many wines! By the end I didn’t even note the vintage on a lovely Tempier Bandol that was the last to make the rounds of reds, though it was a tasty meaty example of a Provencal red. There was also a half bottle of 2007 Doisy Vedrines making the rounds, no note on that as well but I enjoyed it a lot.

Nice to see JC, to catch up with Diane, Cliff and Michael, and especially nice to have my wife with me (and her driving home). :)

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
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Salil

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Re: WTN: Mostly PN, Rhones, and Loire whites at la Sirene (JC)

by Salil » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:59 pm

A Levet Cote-Rotie? At a dinner with Michael Lewis? Color me shocked. :mrgreen:

Sounds like a good group and some nice wines.
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Diane (Long Island)

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Re: WTN: Mostly PN, Rhones, and Loire whites at la Sirene (JC)

by Diane (Long Island) » Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:55 pm

Dale - thanks for doing the organizing and posting notes.

The Tempier Bandol was 2006. For my palate, the 2 Burgs were the winners. I haven't enjoyed any 2007 red Burgs until last night, and a 1999 Lafarge is always a treat. My last one was a Clos des Chenes at Troisgros last year.

It was good seeing you and Betsy and meeting everyone else, and, as usual, I had to run out to catch my train.
Diane
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Dale Williams

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Re: WTN: Mostly PN, Rhones, and Loire whites at la Sirene (JC)

by Dale Williams » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:30 pm

Michael informs me the 98 Levet was La Chavaroche.

Diane, usually I'm the guy flinging cash at someone and dashing out door, another reason to love Betsy coming along (and driving home). Wines were good, company better!
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JC (NC)

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Re: WTN: Mostly PN, Rhones, and Loire whites at la Sirene (JC)

by JC (NC) » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:19 pm

Dale, thanks for planning and gathering a congenial group. I really enjoyed the evening and would definitely seek out the food at La Sirene again. I had the desk clerk at the Bedford Hotel check the street address for me and he asked the next day how I had liked the restaurant. I recommended it to him and he was intrigued that it was a BYOB restaurant. I enjoyed the Pinot Noirs from Burgundy and Sonoma Coast but was also impressed with the Cote Rotie and liked the Cotes du Rhone. Somehow I missed trying the Bandol--was probably onto the Sauternes by then. I have been a fan of Francois Cotat and Pascal Cotat Sancerres for some years and really enjoyed your contribution of the Les Montes Damnees. Glad to have another bottle of the Volnay Champans and two more bottles of the Doisy Vedrines. Will soon be receiving my shipment of two bottles of the 2010 LaRue Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir which I liked even better than the 2009. I just checked on CellarTracker and my Lafarge bottles are the 2006 vintage, a Beaune Greves and a village Volnay and the Volnay Selectionee such as tIhe 1999 we had at La Sirene. It may not be as good as the 1999 vintage or as long-lived but I look forward to opening it. Thanks for helping me secure a cab after dinner. I'm now back in North Carolina. Good to see you and Betsy and to meet the others. I've read (often with envy) Diane's notes for some time.

I hardly took notes during the offline but did jot down that the Volnay Champans had raspberry notes, was light-bodied with fine tanninsm and more ready to drink than I would have anticipated. If the wine shop where I bought the two bottles has any left, I may buy one or two more. The LaRue Pinot Noir was only 13.5% alcohol which is probably due to its cool-climate location. Received a personal e-mail from LaRue owner/winemaker Katy Wilson that she is shipping the 2010 soon.

I enjoyed attending two tapings of "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" on Monday afternoon. Ironically, a female employee of the Bedford Hotel was competing as a contestant at the taping the following day.
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Diane (Long Island)

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Re: WTN: Mostly PN, Rhones, and Loire whites at la Sirene (JC)

by Diane (Long Island) » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:45 pm

It was good to meet you, Jane. The Champans was surprisingly easy to drink, and as I said, the only 2007 that I have enjoyed, both in Burgundy last year and at home. The next time you come to NY, we should do a straight Pinot dinner.

I'm sorry you didn't get to try the Bandol, as I thought it showed nicely. I plan on having a glass with dinner tonight.
Diane

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