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Dale Williams

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WTN: 1943 de Pez, and some younger wines

by Dale Williams » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:02 pm

Friday was a bit frantic, and Betsy had rehearsals in city, but I had dashed into HMart to get some pre-marinated bulgogi, trumpet mushrooms, and Chinese broccoli. Some rice and furikake, I grilled the meat and mushrooms, and Betsy did a quick broccoli dish with oyster sauce; wine was the 2011 Vissoux (Chermette) “Coeur de Vendanges” Beaujolais. Full and deep, reminds me more Cote d’Or than Beaujolais, very good with potential, but I think I prefer the playful (and more obviously Gamay) Cuvee Tradition at moment. B+/B

Saturday we picked up some friends to travel to Beacon, where some mutual friends are retiring to (shortly). A total of 10 guests descended on J & R’s new place, where we celebrated their upcoming move and their wedding anniversary.We had a nice picnic in Beacon waterfront park (our lobster salad, some quinoa, cheeses, rice salad, more) and then walked through the very cool town of Beacon (I loved an art gallery that had old fashioned grocery signs like “Pink Slime $0.69/lb” “rainbowed colored Unicorn Flesh $100/lb” “bigfoot meat” plus realistic looking packages of “Moron’s Salt”, “Cap’n Corn Starch”, etc).

They had some non-Champagne BdB that I neglected to note producer, but crisp, inoffensive, and light. Joe turns 70 later this year, and unlikely as close a crew will be able to gather, so seemed like a good time for the 1943 Ch. de Pez (St. Estephe). Recorked at Chateau 1976. The bottle is blue because they had to use what they could get during war. Some funky stuff when first opened, but I let it slow-ox for a while before decanting. Tangy acids, surprisingly full cassis fruit, lots of leather and forest floor. People liked it even before they knew what it was! Good showing. B+

Sunday was Father’s Day, and we went over to some friends for dinner. With bruschetta and almonds, the NV Taittinger “La Francaise” Champagne Brut. This remains one of my favorite big-house basic bubblies- crisp, green apples and lemon zest, fine mousse, good length. My style of Champagne (especially on a warm night). B+

Main course was stuffed lobsters on the grill, with corn and salad.

2002 Remi Jobard “Les Chaumes” Meursault 1er Cru
Don't want to attract premOx demons, but 4 for 4 on these. Young, fresh acids, full white fruits, long. What I want in white Burg. A-/B+

2007 Ottimino Zinfandel
Decent balance, just a hint of heat and jam, very berry. B

2006 Anares Rioja Reserva
New producer to me. I’d call it “mid-modern”, with somewhat fleshy dark fruit and a bit of vanilla. B

There was also a Cote du Rhone from WTSO that thankfully I didn’t note name of. Short, hot, and unattractive.

Last night some leftover pasta from Sunday lunch, a “green puttanesca” recipe (green olives, garlic, and spinach). 2012 Les Fouques “L’Aubigue” (Cotes du Provence). Nice rose. Red berries, mineral, not super complex but lively and friendly. Good value. B+/B

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

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Re: WTN: 1943 de Pez, and some younger wines

by Tim York » Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:29 pm

It's interesting that bottle of 1943 was in such good condition. Did you learn anything about the bottle's history in addition to the recorking in 1976? I would find drinking a wartime bottle a moving experience quite apart from its intrinsic quality.

1943 was said to be the best wartime vintage. I had a few, probably in Bordeaux in the early 60, and I remember pleasant wines but not patch on the wonderfully elegant and still fresh 53s.
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Dale Williams

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Re: WTN: 1943 de Pez, and some younger wines

by Dale Williams » Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:17 pm

Tim York wrote:It's interesting that bottle of 1943 was in such good condition. Did you learn anything about the bottle's history in addition to the recorking in 1976? I would find drinking a wartime bottle a moving experience quite apart from its intrinsic quality.

1943 was said to be the best wartime vintage. I had a few, probably in Bordeaux in the early 60, and I remember pleasant wines but not patch on the wonderfully elegant and still fresh 53s.


Besides toasting our friend,we talked about what was going on at time (I recommended Wine and War to a bunch of non=geeks). Invasion of Sicily/Italy, but war still in balance at that time-outcome not clear. In a group of people where many had made anti-war activities/statements a big part of their lives we thought hard about what war (Just war) could mean. My "grade" was an attempt to quantify quality, if I was rating on emotion A-/A

edited to add: no, no further info. I had to check, as the other 2 lots I bought of very old wine (for me) were because they were from specific cellars (Graham Lyons and Nils Stormsby) which gave me "provenance comfort." But this wasn't but. But recorking made me pretty confident this was real (besides, no one fakes de Pez)
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Matt Richman

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Re: WTN: 1943 de Pez, and some younger wines

by Matt Richman » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:16 pm

IMO a bottle from 1943 deserves its own thread!

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