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Rahsaan

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WTN: A Full (Barolo-Heavy) Weekend in the South

by Rahsaan » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:56 pm

We convened another Southern Jeebus in Durham, with a few folks coming in from out of town, and kicked things off with a Giuseppe Rinaldi dinner on Friday, all supplied by Jamie Wolff (of CSW).

We had 12 vintages of the Brunate-La Coste: 82, 85, 90, 94, 95, 96, 98, 00, 02, 06, 07, 08.

Not exactly my usual fare, so it was all a treat. And even better, nothing was corked and everything showed well.

Impossible to pick favorites. From the first flight, I thought the 85 showed the most harmonious because it was served next to the 82 and the 90 and married to virtues of the other two vintages. Others felt differently. Because they were all great.

02 was particularly noteworthy for being so successful in such a difficult vintage. No evidence of washout at all and a good wine by any standards. It was also interesting to note how the later wines were a bit more polished, perhaps the weather, perhaps winemaking evolution. But of course everything was fresh and balanced.

After all that Barolo I really enjoyed a change of pace with the 1989 Pinon Vouvray Réserve Passerillée. Still plenty sweet but so seamless and harmonious. I was less thrilled by the 2002 Closel Savennières Clos du Papillon. It was a treat to taste this after drinking a bunch upon release when it was the controversial departure in style from the previous vintages. For my tastes, this bottle was now leaning too oxidized and not really clicking. But to be fair my palate was not exactly clicking at that point either!

Saturday night was another success. Everything showed well and was at least very good.

Some of the more interesting drinks for me were the 2006 Rougeard Poyeux and Bourg. My heyday of drinking Rougeard was around 2002-2005, when I had easy/cheap access to 89, 90 and the mid-90s vintages, plus the recent releases. At the time, I thought they were polished full-bodied (even chocolatey in the ripe vintages) versions of Saumur that married Bordeaux-Saumur elements. Last night, the two 06s made me think more of Burgundy, with ripeness married to such seamless gentle elegance. Very nice.

Otherwise, everyone was excited to taste the 1999 Clos Rougeard l'Orphelin rose which was definitely curious (in the way all 20 year roses are), if not mindblowing.

I really enjoyed the 1997 Bongran Macon Clessé Cuvée Tradition Sélection E.J. Thévenet, mainly because I so rarely drink that style of wine. Succulent and harmonious. Nathan complained about it being too old, but it still had plenty of vigor for my tastes.

The 1995 Denis Azay-le-Rideau Sec never quite got around to offering me pleasure, but it was certainly fun to smell and taste that unique expression. I believe others got even more from it.

I was happy that my 2009 Rebholz Kastanienbusch Riesling GG seemed to go over well. It's a full-bodied golden vintage but expressed through the focused and direct Rebholz prism. It was my last bottle and probably my favorite showing.

Jamie waved the flag for Piedmont with 2007 Accomasso Barolo Rocchette Riserva and I believe we were all impressed. Ripe fleshy year but with clarity to the flavors and the structure.

A couple of Burgundies floated and unfortunately we never got the best of a reductive 2005 Tremblay Les Feusselottes but the 1998 Mugneret-Gibourg Ruchottes-Chambertin was really in the zone, at least for my palate.

A compelling debate swirled all night about whether the 1997 Domaine Filliatreau Saumur-Champigny Cuvée Buster was corked. For me, it was not corked, but just a frank cabernet franc in all its glory, and quite the contrast to the 06 Rougeards.

There were also some 08 Ledru Champagnes. First the Cuvée du Goulté which was less my style than the Brut Nature. But that is a stylistic preference and not a quality judgment.

Fun weekend. But now time for some cleansing!
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: A Full (Barolo-Heavy) Weekend in the South

by David M. Bueker » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:24 pm

Umm...wow!
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Rahsaan

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Re: WTN: A Full (Barolo-Heavy) Weekend in the South

by Rahsaan » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:09 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Umm...wow!


That's what my body is still telling me!
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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: WTN: A Full (Barolo-Heavy) Weekend in the South

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:38 pm

Goodness me Rahsaan!!
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Dale Williams

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Re: WTN: A Full (Barolo-Heavy) Weekend in the South

by Dale Williams » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:41 pm

wow, quite the weekend, would have loved to be at either Barolo or "Loire & Friends" fests!
Most of my Rinaldi experience has been Francesco, I should change that
That '95 Denis used to be everywhere in NYC geek circles, always liked but never thrilled me like it did others
My '02 Closels tanked a while ago
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Rahsaan

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Re: WTN: A Full (Barolo-Heavy) Weekend in the South

by Rahsaan » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:35 pm

Dale Williams wrote:wow, quite the weekend, would have loved to be at either Barolo or "Loire & Friends" fests!


Some of the others convened for Saturday afternoon bbq and wine, a bunch of CRB and Pepiere at the core. But there was no way I was up for that! (Plus being a local I had family responsibilities)


Dale Williams wrote:Most of my Rinaldi experience has been Francesco, I should change that


I think you'll pay dearly for the 'upgrade'. I had a great time at the dinner, but the G Rinaldi wines are mostly beyond my conception even of a splurge.


Dale Williams wrote:That '95 Denis used to be everywhere in NYC geek circles, always liked but never thrilled me like it did others


Mike Evans, who brought the Denis, said that he thought the best expression was the demi-sec, which certainly makes sense as it could use any bit of available generosity. But I've never had a demi-sec. So what do I know!

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