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Dale Williams

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WTN: New Year's weekend wines

by Dale Williams » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:48 am

No wine Thursday, but Friday we (me, Betsy, David, and Ruby the hound) went to some friends for dinner. I was to bring appetizers, did a warm crab dip, then planned smoked salmon/salmon roe/creme fraiche canapes for while dip was in oven. Oops, looks David ate the salmon. So decided to do naan (instead of blini) topped with creme fraiche and roe. That’s when I discovered ikura was eaten as well. So my second appetizer ended up being naan topped with creme fraiche, white anchovy, and caper. Better than it sounds. Nancy and Ron also had out octopus salad and tomato/egg salad/olive appetizers.

2014 Raventos i Blanc “Nit” (Conca Del Riu Anoia)
Much better showing than last bottle. Very pale (it’s rosado but hard to see), cranberry and melon, flowers. Nice tight bead. B+

Main course was a pork crown roast, with green beans, sausage/apple stuffing, and salad.

2007 Bize “Guettes” Savigny-les-Beaune 1er
Nice showing - '07s seem to be drinking so well these days. Black cherry, herbs, and smoke. Just a hint of tannin, moderate acids balancing the juicy fruit. B+/A-

2008 Lopez de Heredia Cubillo Rioja
Cranberry/cherry, spice, cedar, dill. Fun B/B+

Saturday we went to a holiday party. Lentil salad, ham, pork buns, shrimp, crudites, etc

NV Chandon Brut
Crisp light a bit short. Green apple and yeast. B-/C+

2014 “1865” Cabernet Sauvignon(Chile I think)
Sweet, gloppy, not my style C+

2014 Bliss Chardonnay
Round, sweet oakchippy notes, overripe melon. C+/C

2012 La Spinetta Colorino di Casanova (Tuscany)
Saw the rhino, usually dislike Spinetta, but this was kind of interesting- mocha over red plum fruit, with some spice. B-/B

We had a late supper - meatballs in a On release I thought the 2006 Castello di Ama Chianti Classico was tannic and needed time, but think I waited too long, at least in halves. This 375 ml tasted tired and volatile, and the alcohol stood out even though it says 13%. C/C+

Hopefully NYE better………….

Had some friends over. Started with charcuterie (amaro bresaola and smoked tongue) and crab salad on cucumber
NV Bremont “Cuvee Prestige” Brut Champagne
Fresh baked apple turnovers, a light honied note, good acids, fine mousse, elegant bead. B+/A-

Villa Castellani 27 Via Roma Rota Lambrusco (L1 14)
Not sure if Castellani or Rota producer. Pleasantly grapey, some slightly grippy tannin, good match with the tongue. B-


I had gotten an Anova sous vide device for Christmas, so we had sous vide lobster with tarragon , followed by sous vide salmon as well as goose fat potatoes and salad

2002 Prieur-Brunet “Chevalieres” Meursault.
Rather bland, pear and apple, a little citrus, not very long but couple guests loved it. B-

1991 Stony Hill Chardonnay
I’ve had mixed results, this one was pretty advanced, though previous bottle was lively if mature. C+

2016 Edmunds St John Heart of Gold
Now this rang some bells. Nice acidity (hard to believe almost half Grenache blanc), citrus and pit fruit, a spicy note to finish. B++

1999 Arnoux Nuits St George
Drinking well, not very complex, but nice lighter wine with cherry and a touch of sandalwood. More Volnay than NSG. B

1988 BV George de La Tour Cabernet Sauvignon
Surprise of the night. Opened as David is an ‘88, and just double-decanted and gave couple people small pours before sending it (and rest of charcuterie) with him to a party with his friends.
A bottle several years ago was pretty tired, ‘88 isn’t a great vintage, and I’ve gotten less and less enamored with BV GdlT over the years. But this was pretty good- red berry fruit, lots of herb, just a hint of green pepper. Tannins resolved, drinking well, this tastes like a nice aged Chinon (from me that’s a compliment). B+

After dinner as we waited as the New Year went through various time zones, Donna had brought a chocolate roll as well as some goat cheeses from a PA farm. A half bottle of dessert wine to accompany


2002 Baumard Quarts de Chaume (375)
Moderate sweetness, pineapple overlaid with honey and apricot. Huge hit with some. Quite tasty, but not too complex- over the last decade every time I try a Baumard I think “I coulda bought more Huet.” B

New Year’s Day a slightly updated take on my family tradition- ham, black eyed peas, turnips and turnip greens, corn souffles.

2014 FX Pichler Loibner Berg Gruner Veltliner Smaragd
More impressive than delicious, peach and melon, green pea, flinty. Big big wine. B?

2014 Nigl Freiheit Gruner Veltiner
Lighter, a little spritzy, fresh and saline/mineral. B+

Happy New Year All.
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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