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Dale Williams

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WTN: ESJ, Felsina, Donnhoff, Champagne, Israel, more

by Dale Williams » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:01 pm

We took the dog with us over the hill to friends’ place for dinner. Appetizers were deviled eggs and an eggplant caponata, with the NV Veuve-Cliquot Brut Champagne. Rounder style, fairly high dosage, but nice bead and mousse, good finish, unremarkable but to me better than in the years LMVH really exploded production. B
Dinner was brisket with vegetables, mashed potatoes, broccoli , and kale salad

2013 Edmunds St John North Canyon Syrah
Young but quite tasty. Black cherry and wild berries, a ferric mineral note, just a hint of roast meat. Flowers and a little citrus on nose. Some tannic structure, but this is midbodied and really quite elegant for CA Syrah. This seems less burly than say the Durrells of old, but I think it will age just as well. B+ for drinking now, look forward to drinking an A wine in future.

2016 Clos des Roilette Fleurie
Floral, red fruited, good herbiness, fun. B+/B

Friday I had some chicken sausage and sauteed arugula, and opened the 2004 Donnhoff Riesling. Yep, just the estate. Totally alive, sweet tropical and peach flavors, a little gingery note. I don’t think this has really developed any complexity, it’s just a little softer and rounder than bottles I remember from 10 years ago, but happy to have a couple more (basically free as I was bidding based on other Donnhoffs in lot). B

Then I went to Dave’s for meeting of local (non-serious) wine group. Theme was Wines from Between 30 & 45 parallels (north). Which is pretty broad- All of US, Spain, Greece, 95% of Italy, plus south of France.
There was an off theme unblind wine while we gathered. 2014 Les Feneteaux (Bordeaux). Plum, vanilla, rather hard tannins, midbodied. B-/C+
Dave had a nice assortment of sausage, cheese, etc while we had the blind wines
#1 Red fruited, smooth, medium acids, my initial guess was Chianti. Funnily, right before we started while looking at map I had said “we should do Greece sometime.” 2016 Red on Black Agiorgitiko B
#2 Mine, so no guesses. Hint of spritz, black raspberry fruit, fresh young Mencia. 2014 Pradio (Ribeira Sacra). B/B+
#3- light, red and black berries, a nice earthy/leathery note. pleasant enough - Cotes du Rhone? 2014 Recanati Shiraz (Galilee). B
#4- ripe, low acid, jammy fruits, my guess (since northern hemisphere) was hot vintage CdP. Most expensive wine of night, my least favorite. 2015 L’Adventure “Chloe” (Paso Robles) C+
#5- Someone got CS immediately, but I thought CA. Black berry and currant, some overt vanilla, medium. (I missed vintage on this)Gilgal Cabernet Sauvignon (Galilee) B
#6- even oakier, some loved, this is sweet and too woody for me. 2016 Dalton Cabernet Sauvignon B-/C+
#7 Red cherry, herbs, green tea leaves, good acids. Lightest wine of the night, quite fresh. 2015 Heart and Hand Pinot Noir(Fingers Lake). B+/B

Who’d thunk we’d have 3 Israeli wines, and my WOTN would be NY?
Fun.

Saturday we went to Riverdale to join some marchers for a post-march dinner. I carried some charcuterie as well as 2 kinds of sous vide cocktail- parsley/shallot shrimp with a traditional horseradish dip, and lemongrass shrimp with a Thai (fish sauce, sambal olek, lime) sauce.
NV Lamarca Prosecco- sweet short simple, just as I remembered C+
2012 Taittinger Brut Champagne
Young, fresh, apples chalk and brioche. B+
Main was short ribs and porcini over polenta, with a nice salad.
1997 Felsina Fontalloro
While ‘97 is (to me) an overrated vintage in Tuscany, there are still some good/great wines. Beautiful mature Sangiovese, black cherry and dried cherry, a little saddle leather and dried flowers, resolved tannins, good acid, good finish. I’d drink up soon, but quite enjoyable. B+/A-
2015 Menage a Trois red
Sweet and jammy, like eating the filling from a fruit pastry. C/C+
Good night
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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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: ESJ, Felsina, Donnhoff, Champagne, Israel, more

by David M. Bueker » Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:24 pm

Nice selection.

Thanks for the additional data point on the 2013 ESJ Syrah. A guy on Berserkers had it recently and loved it.
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Patchen Markell

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Re: WTN: ESJ, Felsina, Donnhoff, Champagne, Israel, more

by Patchen Markell » Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:25 pm

What's the appellation on that "North Canyon" Syrah? I haven't heard of this one (I think I've fallen off the Organolepticians newsletter list). Sounds excellent!
cheers, Patchen
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: ESJ, Felsina, Donnhoff, Champagne, Israel, more

by David M. Bueker » Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:32 pm

El Dorado. It is a blend of Fenaughty and Barsotti.
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Steve Edmunds

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Re: WTN: ESJ, Felsina, Donnhoff, Champagne, Israel, more

by Steve Edmunds » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:18 pm

Patchen, you'll never fall off my list; I'm just not so prolific with the newsletter as formerly. North Canyon Road begins just East of Fenaughty vineyard, and a couple of miles from there it winds by Barsotti Ranch. Both vineyards are farmed by Ron Mansfield; the soil at Fenaughty is volcanic clay-loam, at Barsotti it's decomposed granite.
When I stopped working with Wylie Vineyard (because the owner seemed to have lost her mind), I hoped to find another Syrah source that could compliment the pretty aromatic character and texture of the Fenaughty fruit. The wine from Wylie was beefy, and chewy, and very smoky. Barsotti makes wine that's more subtle, and maybe more classic, with an underlying iron element that I think really gives the blend some legs. I believe it will age for a great length of time, in an extremely graceful manner.
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Patchen Markell

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Re: WTN: ESJ, Felsina, Donnhoff, Champagne, Israel, more

by Patchen Markell » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:47 pm

Steve Edmunds wrote:I believe it will age for a great length of time, in an extremely graceful manner.


Hey, what a coincidence, that's what I'm shooting for, too. I mean, I never had any grace in youth or middle age, but maybe I'll find my balance in a decade or two. :D

Seriously, though, Steve, thanks for the info. I think I'll have to be in touch directly when the freeze is over, about this and other things...
cheers, Patchen
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Re: WTN: ESJ, Felsina, Donnhoff, Champagne, Israel, more

by Jenise » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:34 pm

Laughed about that L'Aventure. Ten years ago he was charging $75 ea for his cabs, probably a lot worse now. And just think--he's considered one of the more moderate producers in Paso (because he's French).
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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annita.fasianou

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Re: WTN: ESJ, Felsina, Donnhoff, Champagne, Israel, more

by annita.fasianou » Wed May 02, 2018 9:45 am

Hello all!

Well... everyone should do Greece sometime! :) Great wine tradition for sure.
For starters there is Nemea, Monemvasia and Chalkidiki in the mainland. Looking for island wine tasting? Then head to Santorini, Crete, Amorgos. Have you ever been to any of them?

However you can also taste exquisite Greek wine around other famous islands too! The vineyards of the Ionian Sea as well as the Aegean Sea produce wine of unique quality and taste. In addition to the superb climate, the close proximity of the Aegean Islands to each other has helped producers exchange wine-making know-how, leading thus to the creation of numerous different types of wine, with many of them made from rare grape varieties. Many Aegean Islands can be classified as classic wine-producing spots, while the the Ionian Islands is also a renowned wine-producing area. Some other island suggestions could be Paros, Samos, Limnos, Rhodes, Lesvos, Ikaria, Kefalonia, Zakynthos.

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