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Dale Williams

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WTN: A week's worth of (mostly good) wines

by Dale Williams » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:31 pm

With teriyaki salmon, rice & nori, baby bok choy with oyster sauce, broccoli with sesame, the Brulees “L’Erebe” (2010, VdT from Loire). Juicy black fruits, fresh, just a fun and delicious wine, it’s like an adorable puppy. . B+

Wednesday we went to some friends for dinner- tasty meatloaf, broccoli, salad, baked squash, mashed potatoes. Wine was a Gnarly Head Zinfandel (didn’t see a vintage) that I liked more than a bottle a few years ago - wild berry fruit, light tannins, enough acids, nothing compelling but fine to accompany meatloaf with old friends. B-/C+

Thursday I had sesame noodles for dinner before a board meeting, but when I got home joined Betsy for sopressata and a glass of the 2005 Ch. Greysac. A bit tannic, midbodied wine with light black currant fruit and a bit of cedar. Could probably age a bit more (though it did not do well overnight. B-

The cooking wine over several nights was the 2011 Bella Vita Pinot Grigio (Veneto), which was worth sipping as well, very good for an $8ish price point. Crisp, fruit almost with a SB profile, clean, I’ll get more at this price. B-/B

With Bittman’s “1 hour bouillabaisse”, the 2009 Biondi Etna Bianco. Good acidity, fairly large bodied with a bit of oily texture, reminds me of a CdP Blanc but with more acid. Very interesting, though I think I like Biondi’s Etna Rosso more. B

With chicken paprikash and egg noodles, the 2010 Stephane Magnien Morey St. Denis. New producer to me (not a fan of the other Magniens), but the CSDenis was recently recced to me, got a couple for cellar, decided to try village wine to see if I had made a mistake. Pretty tight at first but blossoms through the night, pretty red frujited with with a bit of soil and smoke. Fairly delicate, lacy. B+/A-

A St Paddy’s Day dinner at some friends. Some assorted appetizers were out, along with the 2011 Maxwell Creek Rose (Napa). 13.7 abv, tasted hotter than that. Fat, clunky, with maraschino cherry meets red Delicious fruit. . C

While the dogs enjoyed bones, the people enjoyed corned beef & cabbage, plus a few wines:

1975 Langoa-Barton
Carried as a “Wild Goose” wine for the Irish connection. Fully mature, still some solid plum and cassis fruit, a little chocolate with the cedary finish. Not deep or complex, but pretty good example of mature claret, with no excessive 75 tannin, best bottle of this I’ve had. B+

2009 (I think) Baron de Ley Rioja
Cherries, a little vanilla, quite clipped on finish. C+

2011 Steinmetz Brauneberger Juffer Kabinett Feinherb
Much better match with the corned beef and cabbage than the reds, plenty of acidity but with enough fruit to balance, orange-ginger tea over apples, good length, like a lot. B+

The following night assorted leftovers with the 2011 Franck Balthazar Cotes du Rhone. Lovely again, fresh Syrah with a lot of bounce, dark berry fruit with smoke, meat, and pepper. B++

With dal with spinach, samosas, lentil salad, & naan, the 2010 Stein Aldegunder Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett Feinherb. Just the tiniest hint of sugar, vibrant acids, citrus and green apple, I’ll buy again. B+
Last night was skate in black butter/caper sauce, green beans sauteed in goose fat and then tossed with aioli, plus rice. Wine was the 2010 Pinon “Les Trois Argiles” Vouvray. I’ve liked this wine before , but totally blew the match on this. Not sure exactly why, but the caper sauce and the wine were at war. Double yuck! After dinner I liked the wine much more- apples, apricot, and honied notes, sec tendre, nice length. C- with dinner, B+/B later.

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: A week's worth of (mostly good) wines

by Salil » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:50 pm

Thanks for the notes.

Agreed again on the Balthazar CDR. Popped another bottle this week which was lovely. That really is a very nice wine, and a ridiculous value.

Nice to see more praise for Stephane Magnien. Out of curiosity, where are you sourcing the wines? I've heard good things about them from some palates I trust on Burgundy, so curious to try myself.

Glad to see a positive comment on the Stein. I've found some producers' 2010s rather extreme and acidic for my taste (or overly sweet and heavy, on the other side of the spectrum entirely), and I didn't buy Stein's wines that vintage, but the Kab feinherb sounds very nice.
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Rahsaan

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Re: WTN: A week's worth of (mostly good) wines

by Rahsaan » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:14 am

Salil wrote:Nice to see more praise for Stephane Magnien. Out of curiosity, where are you sourcing the wines?


You may already know these sources, but CSW had a bunch several months ago and then Garnet had some recently.

I also enjoyed the cuvees I tried, but had some of the 2010 1ers that were a bit tight. All in all, seems like someone to watch/buy.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: A week's worth of (mostly good) wines

by David M. Bueker » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:43 am

I opened a bottle of the 2011 Franck Balthazar Cotes du Rhone last night, and the first thing that struck me was the black pepper!
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.

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