WTN: Wines from Italy, France, Spain

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WTN: Wines from Italy, France, Spain

Postby Dale Williams » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:45 pm

With a chicken and soba noodle stirfry, the NV Renardat-Fache Cerdon du Bugey. Lightly sweet, lightly bubbly, light minerality, light (very light) alcohol.. Kind of defines “not serious” in a very fun way. Why don’t I do this more often? B+/B

With spicy flank steak,, the 2011 Clos Roche Blanche “Pif”. Juicy, good acids, cranberry fruits, none of the piney-ness that sometimes compromises my enjoyment of wines with a big Pineau d'Aunis component. B/B+

With steamed mussels, a lentil/rice medley, & asparagus, the 2012 Pepiere “Les Gras Moutons” Muscadet. Fuller and fatter than say the Briords, good acids, some floral notes over white fruits, quite nice. B+/B

With chicken, tomato soup, and pasta, the 2007 Felsina “Rancia” Chianti Classico Riserva. Big, fruity, some tannin, this was a very good wine but somehow didn’t move me- at moment I think I’d rather drink the regular Felsina. Needs time. For now B

Some friends of Betsy’s were in town from Boston working on a piece, so we gathered a nice group for dinner Saturday. While we were waiting for the composer and arranger to finish, we munched on olives and had a couple bubblies:

NV Moutard “Rose de Cuvaison” Brut Champagne: deep color, spice and blood orange flavors, large scaled, nice acids, fine mousse. New to me - will buy again. A-/B+

NV T. Germain “Bulles de Roche” Saumur Brut. Dry almost austere, zippy acids, I liked this but hard to show really well following the more giving Champagne. B

Cooking wine was the 2012 Defino Catarratto. Moderate acids, a bit dilute, ok for inexpensive Sicilian but (unlike Defino Frappato) not a re-buy. B-/C+

I had made a first course of shrimp and mushroom timbales, served with the lovely
2012 Pepiere “Briords” Muscadet. Full, briney, sprightly, just yum. A-

Main course was white beans and lamb, with salad with tahini dressing. The piece they were working on is based on St. Francis of Assisi, so went with an Umbrian wine , the
2009 Fongoli Montefalco Rosso. Red plums, a hint of vanilla, innocuous. B-

I had also decanted the 2001 Marcarini “La Serra” Barolo. With a couple hours air this showed nicely (and rebottled at end of night showed well Sunday). Black cherries, a little tar, some floral notes. Some tannin, good acids. B+
A guest had brought the 2008 Muga Riserva Rioja. This was probably table’s favorite, but not at my seat. Red fruit bordering on confected, strong vanilla note, this is a wine I’ve liked in previous vintages but this seems too ripe for me. B-/C+

Sunday we had Dave and Betsy’s sister with her family for dinner. Tuna steaks in a Sicilian (tomato, caper, olive) sauce with quinoa, salad. We tried several open bottles from the night before, as well as the 2012 Terre Nere Etna Rosso. Medium bodied, some slightly astringent tannin, red and black cherries, herby. B

Last night I made wine braised venison steaks, spinach, and sugar snap peas; wine was a
375 ml bottle of 2004 Ch. Lagrange (St. Julien). Cassis and cocoa, just a hint of the oak, medium to full bodied, fairly smooth tannin. Good and drinking well from small format, though a bit primary. B+.

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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Dale Williams
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Re: WTN: Wines from Italy, France, Spain

Postby JC (NC) » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:43 am

I think it might have been Jenise where I first heard Bugey Cerdon mentioned (or written about.) I tried a glass at Lepic Bistro in DC and was sold on it as a fun, refreshing drink. I've served it two or three times at wine tastings and have one bottle left that I probably purchased a year or two ago. Have you experienced it a couple years after bottling and does it hold up?
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Re: WTN: Wines from Italy, France, Spain

Postby Dale Williams » Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:34 pm

I've never aged one. I doubt a year would cause any damage, but can't see what aging would gain. I think I've always drunk within a couple months of purchase.
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Re: WTN: Wines from Italy, France, Spain

Postby Ian Sutton » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:27 pm

Hi Dale
A flying visit from me, but just to say I have the Rancia in the 10-15+years cellaring bracket from a decent vintage, from relatively modest experience, but every one in that window has pleased, and the 99 feels like it has plenty left to offer. I reckon I would also prefer to drink an 07 normale over the rancia at this point in time.
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