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WTN: Recent tastes

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Florida Jim

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WTN: Recent tastes

by Florida Jim » Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:40 pm

2002 Dönnhoff, Riesling (Qba):
So much better than on release with a bright, stony, cherry pit delivery and a vinous yet etched, riesling core. Still acid driven but such perfect balance as to make that edge a laser-like focus for the flavors and minerality of the wine. Really lovely.

2004 Palacios, Bierzo Pétalos:
YoUnG, big, layered, exuberant, rustic, grapey, intense . . . suffice it to say a good wine showing very primary with lots of potential. Fun now but I suspect its best days are a couple years out. Quality well above its price point (about $15).

2003 Giacosa, Nebbiolo d’Alba Valmaggiore:
Youthful, balanced, complex and ripe, leaving no doubt of its variety or pedigree. A wine of style and substance today or tomorrow. One of the few European wines from the vintage that seem to have not only survived but gained from the heat.

2002 Luneau-Papin, Muscadet Clos des Allées:
Giving up some of its cut now (but by no means, all) to breadth and texture across the palate; still beautifully scented and full flavored with lots of mineral complexity and a bright, stone driven tone that seems to ring through the wine like a bell. One delicious bottle of juice.

2000 Belle Pente, Pinot Noir Estate Reserve:
Bold, rich without being tiring, gently oaky and full of promise; this too is showing young while delivering an expansive but delineated fruit character and the earthiness that seems to be this producer’s signature. And even at this size, with 14.3% alcohol, no distortion – quite something.

2000 Nikolaihof, Riesling Steiner Hund:
Alpine meadow when the bright sun warms the flowers, the grasses, the stones and yet the air temperature is still nippy; cool well-water that has been infused with unripe pineapple, lime, green chili’s and just the faintest hints of fresh thyme, ginger and marjoram; the tarn below is crystalline, wholly still, endlessly deep and, in one glance, reflects the entire landscape, with the sky above patched by feathered cirrus . . . each sip.
God bless the stone dog.

Best, Jim
Jim Cowan
Cowan Cellars
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Bill Buitenhuys

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Re: Recent tastes

by Bill Buitenhuys » Sun Apr 16, 2006 8:53 am

Good stuff as usual, Jim.
It's nice to see the Giacosa nebbiolo tasting so good in '03. I've written off most of '03 Piedmont (with the exception of some excellent Barbera d'Asti) but it looks like that dismissal was done unfairly.
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Florida Jim

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Re: Recent tastes

by Florida Jim » Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:26 am

Bill Buitenhuys wrote:It's nice to see the Giacosa nebbiolo tasting so good in '03. I've written off most of '03 Piedmont (with the exception of some excellent Barbera d'Asti) but it looks like that dismissal was done unfairly.


Bill,
You may already be aware of this, but Giacosa does two NdA most years. One is a vineyard designated Valmaggiore (the one I tasted above) and the other is an undesignated NdA.
Although I have not tried the regular version, a friend has and he was not impressed.
Why the single vineyard I tasted is so much more impressive is beyond my knowledge, but it was certainly a wine of class.
I suppose that other 2003's (whether from Piedmont or not) will be just as difficult to pin down. And hopefully, just as difficult to write off.
Best, Jim
Jim Cowan
Cowan Cellars
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Bob Ross

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Re: Recent tastes

by Bob Ross » Sun Apr 16, 2006 2:57 pm

"2002 Dönnhoff, Riesling (Qba):

So much better than on release with a bright, stony, cherry pit delivery and a vinous yet etched, riesling core. Still acid driven but such perfect balance as to make that edge a laser-like focus for the flavors and minerality of the wine. Really lovely."

Thank you so much for that tasting note, Jim. This is Janet's favorite wine producer, and you couldn't have found a better Easter present. We tried the 2004 last night and loved it -- we're debating whether to open another 2004 or dip into the 2002 cache.

That debate is over, thanks to you.

Regards, Bob
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Bill Buitenhuys

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Re: Recent tastes

by Bill Buitenhuys » Mon Apr 17, 2006 10:28 am

Florida Jim wrote:Bill,
You may already be aware of this, but Giacosa does two NdA most years.

I didnt realize this, Jim! Thanks.
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Dale Williams

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Re: Recent tastes

by Dale Williams » Mon Apr 17, 2006 10:45 am

thanks for notes, informative AND entertaining as usual. Guess I drank all my 2002 Donnhoffs too early (hey, but they were tasty then, too!).

Just got an invite to a Belle Pente dinner with winemaker, but think I have an irreversible conflict. Damn.
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Florida Jim

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Re: Recent tastes

by Florida Jim » Mon Apr 17, 2006 11:56 am

Dale Williams wrote:Just got an invite to a Belle Pente dinner with winemaker, but think I have an irreversible conflict. Damn.


Too bad. Brian is a wine geeks' "geek" and a very gentle fellow.
Not to mention a pretty good winemaker.
Best, Jim
Jim Cowan
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Dale Williams

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Re: Recent tastes

by Dale Williams » Mon Apr 17, 2006 12:19 pm

Jim,
I guess I could try to convince Betsy that we could time this. But it's my stepson's junior prom, I'm sure she wants to be there for pictures, and some things ARE more important than wine.
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Florida Jim

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Re: Recent tastes

by Florida Jim » Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:06 pm

Dale Williams wrote: . . . and some things ARE more important than wine.


Many, many things.
Best, Jim
Jim Cowan
Cowan Cellars

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