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WTN: not-Germany

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Patchen Markell

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WTN: not-Germany

by Patchen Markell » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:39 am

I have absolutely nothing to report from my week in Berlin, having consumed a lot of Jever Pils, a lot of unidentified Italian white wine at dinners hosted by the university, a solid Kerner by a producer whose name I forgot, and, IIRC, some nice Brundlmayer Grüner at Cafe Einstein with my meal of Spargel, Schnitzel, and Strudel (who, coincidentally, will also be representing me in my future business dealings). But vintages and producers escape me, and it wasn't really a hunt-down-the-good-wine-lists kind of trip. No Berliner Weisse, Hoke, although I was tempted by the Waldmeister sirop just to see what it tasted like.

Back home, though, a few items worth noting:

La Clarté de Haut-Brion 2010 Blanc. Continuing our slow exploration of various expressions of Sémillon; this has 83% in the blend. Also about 60% new oak, which is present but not overwhelming. The wine, though, is fairly discombobulated. The Sémillon hovers pleasantly between grassy and waxy on the palate, but is then sideswiped by an astringent grapefruit-peel flavor before dropping off a cliff. I picked up two bottles of this and won't touch the other one for at least five years, if not more, to see whether time brings harmony; but I think this may cross the line beyond which certain wine writers start saying things like "you can taste the pedigree." Thanks, that's great, but now I need some Carbonnieux to wash the taste of pedigree out of my mouth.

Ingrid Groiss 2015 Weinviertel Grüner Veltliner, "In der Schablau." Terrific, one of the best Grüners I've had in a while, very focused, razor-sharp wine that still feels concentrated: ripe fruit kept in bounds by characteristic greenness, with a very long spiced finish that just keeps unfolding.

St. Innocent 2002 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, "Seven Springs." A while back I posted a note about an Evening Land and commented how much we'd liked various expressions of the Seven Springs Vineyard, and Jim commented that he'd had a bad experience with a batch of this specific wine, although I think the final bottle then proved more satisfying. Well, a couple of these came up at what seemed like a surprisingly low price so I grabbed them. Fairly intense style, tart cherry and dark plum fruit, lightly inflected by balsamic on first opening, but that note evaporates and the wine then seems pretty fresh throughout the meal. Deep, minerally midpalate and a dose of remaining wood on the finish. Not a very complex wine, seems more about the display of tightly channeled power than expressive aromatics, but solid, and might still unfold, I suppose. Will drink the other bottle within 3-5.

Herve Villemade 2014 Cheverny Rouge. Pinot and Gamay. Strawberry blossoms and a little slightly funky cured meat. Energetic, vivacious, delicious. Yum, yum, yum. Yum. Yum yum. Did I mention it was good?
cheers, Patchen
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TomHill

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Yup...

by TomHill » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:30 pm

Yup...all of the Ingrid Groiss wines I've tried have been outstanding. We had a great visit with her at her family' Herigure last Oct.
Tom
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Jim Grow

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Re: WTN: not-Germany

by Jim Grow » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:47 pm

Hey Patchen, yah that was me posting about 2002 Seven Springs. I was a Parker Score Slut back then and that bottle was given a score of 95 by Pierre Rovani. I gobbled up four bottles in D.C. for what I thought was the amazing price of 25$ per. The first two I hated as WAY too tart. The third one I sold to Tom, of the famous Noland Bros. Finally I drank the last one a couple years ago and liked it but was not blown away by it. Pinot Noirs that do blow me away, and are rarely encountered, are more about fresh turned earth, mushrooms and just a touch of fruit. Glad you have joined the group. I enjoy your postings.
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Patchen Markell

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Re: WTN: not-Germany

by Patchen Markell » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:20 pm

Thanks, Jim, and likewise!

I'm on the same page as you about on the elements of Pinot that attract me -- and I'd add "floral" to your list. I think I'd previously avoided St. Innocent because the descriptions I'd read made it seem like it wouldn't be my style, but I'm always trying to learn new things and test my prejudices, and these bottles were "only" $35 each -- 15 years after release, seemed pretty reasonable and worth a shot.

I just saw a conversation here about 1999 St. Innocent that made me wonder whether I should squirrel the other bottle away for more like 5-10 years rather than 3-5. It will never become something it's not, but it might be interesting...
cheers, Patchen

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