I just use grades as a form of shorthand. As noted in my disclaimer, I make no claims of consistency. So grades from a big tasting show my preferences within the evening, and a B+ from a wine that went up against up A wines like '75 Evanglie or '78 Haut-Brion isn't neccessarily the same as a B+ within a night of say Dry Creek Chenins. Recently I wrote up this weeks wines (minus the incredible Tuesday), and noted to myself with amusement that I gave all the wines a B+.
So here are 4 disparate wines, all with a B+ score, all worth buying in my opinion:
With a Moroccan pork kebab (grilled with grapes!), carrot salad with harissa, and brown rice, the 2004 Pinon "Cuvée Tradition" Vouvray. Nice acidity, very food-friendly, with just a touch of appley sweetness. A hint of wax, good citrus and apple fruit, chalky finish. The Loire-heads have declared this one sub-standard, but not for my tastes. Good though not great QPR. B+
With Betsy away in NC for concerts and recording, I did the best I could:
2000 Catherine and Claude Marechal "Cuvee Gravel" Bourgogne
This was one of the first wines I bought because of the internet, but I drank through my stash couple years ago. On a whim I bought a few "Jean Marechal Bourgogne" as case-fillers at Sokolin for $10 this spring. Next day I berated myself ("dammit Dale, you know how much first names mean in Burgundy!"), but imagine my delight when it turned out to be the C & C Gravel! Nice funky/earthy Burgundy nose, bright red cherry and raspberry fruit, clean finish. There's a note on the nose I can't put my finger on, but I know it's associated with Betsy's gardening- I think this is "bone meal", but I'm a gardening illiterate. Nice balanced wine- good fruit, clean bright acidity, just enough fine tannins to give structure. Hmmmm, what else do I need from Sokolin to justify buying a couple more of these? Good match with some hamburgers in a red wine and mushroom sauce. B+
2004 Pepiere (Marc Olivier) Muscadet
Minerals and citrus fruit, rocks and apples, chalk and lemon. I think I've used all those before for this wine. Beautiful clean wine. Shockingly good match with some San Daniele proscuitto. B+, but like the Marechal a solid A for value.
2001 Bourgneuf (Pomerol)
Red plum fruit, a little cassis, ripe tannins and a little herbaceousness on nose. The herb notes morph into smoke & spice. Medium bodied, lacking the textural lushness of a great Pomerol, but this is pretty good for $20. Good match with rosemaried-grilled lamb chops and squash. 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.
Last edited by Dale Williams
on Thu May 25, 2006 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.