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Patchen Markell

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WTN: D&R, Failla, Grasso, Rieussec

by Patchen Markell » Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:23 am

A few nights' worth of good stuff:

Dirty & Rowdy 2014 Yountville Semillon (the regular, not the skin-contact concrete egg one). This has the rich, pungent grassiness of really good butter, but without any of the oily heaviness (or malolactic creaminess) that implies; it’s actually a surprisingly light-bodied wine for a Semillon. Pleasantly sharp vegetal finish.

Dirty & Rowdy 2015 Amador County Mourvedre, Shake Ridge Ranch. Deep, dark, anise-laced fruit lifted by flowers; crazy depth of flavor on an impossibly delicate frame. Excellent.

Failla 2015 Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir, Seven Springs Vineyard. This is Failla’s first wine from Seven Springs (and from Oregon). I have a soft spot for this vineyard, but this wine was a little disappointing -- though it may simply need more time. 30% whole cluster and 20% new wood, but right now, the structure and concentration of the wine can’t bear the wood treatment gracefully, and the vanilla remains distracting throughout, though it doesn’t completely shield the characteristic rose-petal aromas or the bright cherry fruit and earth, and things come closer to being in balance over the life of the bottle. I think this needs 2-3 years of bottle age—but I also don’t know that it has the stuffing to age for too long.

Elio Grasso 2001 Barolo Gavarini, Vigna Chiniera. Stunningly aromatic: like a floral sachet; no, like a tea-shop; no, like a licorice factory. Vibrant and open for business, with a texture that has plenty of glyceric richness but never tips into the kind of heaviness that would weight down these aromas. Becomes deeper and darker with each glass, and shows enough tannin to suggest it will continue to develop a bit -- but it’s terrific now.

Château Rieussec 2014 Sauternes (from 375ml). I feared this might come across as much more sharply acidic now, but it’s surprisingly accessible in its youth. Roasted apple and bright stone fruit with a substantial amount of botrytis, expressed here as fresh and candied ginger, a little white pepper, and honey. Complex, evolving, and delicious.
cheers, Patchen
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Jenise

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Re: WTN: D&R, Failla, Grasso, Rieussec

by Jenise » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:49 am

I didn't realize Failla was making wines from Oregon grapes. In fact, I didn't realize that Evening Land was now selling their grapes to anyone else. Hard to imagine an SS that wouldn't be ageable based on the St. Innocents I've had dating back to 1991.
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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Patchen Markell

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Re: WTN: D&R, Failla, Grasso, Rieussec

by Patchen Markell » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:46 am

This was their first vintage doing so — and out of enthusiasm (also because it was their least expensive single vineyard Pinot) I bought four (a lot for me, for an untasted wine). And I really can’t tell what I think about it yet; the impression of lightness or thinness may well have been due to the unintegrated wood making the wine seem top-heavy. I’ll reserve judgment until I try another bottle in 2-3. I certainly hope you’re right!!
cheers, Patchen
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: D&R, Failla, Grasso, Rieussec

by David M. Bueker » Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:11 pm

I'll leave my one bottle of the Failla 7 Springs alone for a while!
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Brian K Miller

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Re: WTN: D&R, Failla, Grasso, Rieussec

by Brian K Miller » Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:57 pm

I need to check out Dirty and Rowdy. I wonder if they have a tasting room anywhere?
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: D&R, Failla, Grasso, Rieussec

by David M. Bueker » Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:58 pm

They don’t. They make wine at Michael Cruse’s place, so if you can arrange a visit there’s a lot to like.
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Brian K Miller

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Re: WTN: D&R, Failla, Grasso, Rieussec

by Brian K Miller » Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:03 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:They don’t. They make wine at Michael Cruse’s place, so if you can arrange a visit there’s a lot to like.


I LOVE the Cruse labels! I know labels don't matter, but these are really fun!
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach

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