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Dale Williams

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WTN: I host SOBER- Burgs, CA, Piedmont, Tusc, Abruzzo, Champ

by Dale Williams » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:24 pm

Thursday it was my turn to host SOBER. Betsy had a dinner plan with her sister, but made the main course the night before, and did a lot of prep that afternoon. A nice group (SOBERites plus a fill-in from my Bordeaux group) gathered and met the hound pup. I had some snacks waiting as they arrived: lonza, bresaola, pate, white anchovies, and cheeses (McGrath Victoria, Jasper Hill Bayley Hazen, Ossau Iraty, and Montgomery Cheddar).

(not blind)
1990 Pol Roger Winston Churchill Champagne
Full and toasty,good acids, apples and hazelnut. One person thought this a bit advanced, I didn’t but while I enjoyed it wasn’t the wow wine I expected and hoped for. B+

NV Marie Courtin Efflorescence (Nov ‘13 disgorgement)

Dry and crisp, I liked but took no notes or real notice, was busy with next flights and food (and supplying the Bassett with a bone)

On to the blind flights, one white, four reds.

1988 Jadot (Duc de Magenta) “Clos de la Garenne” Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru

Chris immediately called white Burgundy, but initial guesses were Chablis (and much younger). Beautifully integrated oak, crisp acids and a real mineral core, good length. B+

1986 Ponsot “Clos des Monts Luisants” Morey St. Denis Vieilles Vignes

Also guesses were younger, around 2004, once in white Burgundy I had fun nudging people north into CdN and then revealing Aligote. A cheesy/lactic note at first blew off, leaving a funny mix of high acid and tropical flavors. This gets much better with some time, pears laced with limeade and a rocky/flinty finish. Great wine for blind tasting. B+/A-

Next up was a mixed mushroom crostini. First red course got Italy as first guess, but then group quickly got Burg.

1985 Trapet Latricieres-Chambertin

Alive, good fruit, but disappointing for a 1985 GC. Guesses were younger but way down the heirarchy. Red and black cherry, a little sandalwood, but modest finish and no real complexity. B-

1988 Faiveley Latricieres-Chambertin

A little burly at first, but opened up nicely, and by end of night showed elegance. Roasted meat and coffee over black cherry and plum. Cathleen got Gevry for both early, but took a while to get to Latricieres. B+/A-

Somewhere before we finished the Burgundy I served roast squab over lentils. I had ordered some squab (frozen) from D’Artagnan, thawed it, and that’s when I realized they weren’t dressed. A little extra time for removing viscera (and discovering they feed them corn). But I like game birds, it was worth it.

1977 Burgess Cabernet Sauvignon

Peppery, herby, tannins gone and living on acids, red currant fruit, fun and a good value. B/B+

1975 Ridge York Creek Petite Sirah
Initial guesses were Rhone (totally reasonable). Meat, bacon , red plum, a smokey note. Once I said Cali, Cathleen said Syrah, I said “a little” Guesses as to a blend, till they got my joke. Also thought much younger. Not super complex, but good. B+

Betsy had made lamb hunter style (from a Biba Caggiano book) with delicata squash and broccolini.

1975 Pepe Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
One of the more divisive wines, a couple disliked. There’s some VA (duh) but underneath a lovely wine in a masculine style- black cherry and raspberry, smoke, some coffee. Good length. B+/A-

1988 Montevertine Rise
rva
Red cherry and tobacco, a little leather, good acids, medium finish. B+/B

1971 Marcarini Brunate Barolo
WOTN for me. Group quickly got Piedmont, but younger Barbaresco were first guesses. Black cherry, smoke, herb, a little mocha/espresso note. No real tannin left , but acidic structure, and long finish. Gets better and better. A-

1974 Marcarini Brunate Barolo

Some disagreement here. 1 person thought maybe slightly heatdamaged, but I (and most) just thought a wine at end of lifespan. I think ‘74 was a great Piedmont vintage, but riper and shorter lived than say 71 or 78. The red fruit has a little roasted edge, there’s some herb, licorice, and soil. OK, but if I had been blind like the rest I might have guessed tired Brunello, this seemed more Sangiovese than Nebbiolo. B

Good night with fun crew. I like blind tasting, but it’s fun to be the one “in the know” sometimes. And then decide how to answer guesses. I was mostly happy with way wines showed. .

For record
Whites opened shortly before arrival.
All reds had been stood up for 2 weeks. Nebbiolos double-decanted at 1 PM. Pepe about 4:30. Others opened about 6, decanted before serving,

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C drinkable. 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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Jenise

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Re: WTN: I host SOBER- Burgs, CA, Piedmont, Tusc, Abruzzo, C

by Jenise » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:27 pm

I'm blown away by that Ponsot aligote. Really, an 86?? I actually own some from a more recent vintage, and have had one other. The wine just blows me away every time, but I would never, ever have guessed that it or any aligote I've ever had could have that kind of life span.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Dale Williams

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Re: WTN: I host SOBER- Burgs, CA, Piedmont, Tusc, Abruzzo, C

by Dale Williams » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:21 pm

Reading up I discovered that in 80s the Clos des Monts Luisants was mostly, but not all, Aligote. It included some old vine Chardonnay and Pinot Gouges (white sport of PN), but more recent versions are all Aligote. Coates at least believes they'll age just as well.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: I host SOBER- Burgs, CA, Piedmont, Tusc, Abruzzo, C

by David M. Bueker » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:27 pm

Fascinating
Democracy dies in the darkness
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Jenise

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Re: WTN: I host SOBER- Burgs, CA, Piedmont, Tusc, Abruzzo, C

by Jenise » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:52 pm

I could almost believe that of the first bottle I had. The next, same vintage about three years later from magnum but among the bottles I rescued from Premier Cru just before they collapsed, was much more advanced. Don't know if PC cooked them (they had them for about a year before I could get my hands on them, and they were bought and paid for a year before that!) or what, but am a little nervous about my remaining two bottles (also mags).
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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