Tuesday, November 03, 2009

More from the Dressner Tasting

More thoughts and notes from the recent Dressner Portfolio Tasting:

The 2007 Domaine de la Pépière Granite de Clisson is here. I thought it was very tasty, although somewhat reserved in its expression. To be fair, this is not a wine that I can understand at a big tasting. It will be more expensive than the 2005 was, about $23, and I will happily buy it.

I loved the "entry-level" 2008 Muscadets by Luneau Papin, particularly the 2008 Luneau-Papin Clos des Allées, about $15. This typically racy and stony wine showed a bit more concentration and richness than I am used to, but in a good way. Lower yields perhaps?

All of the Larmandier-Bernier Champagnes showed very well. The 2004 Vieille Vigne de Cramant Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs, about $100 was well balanced and delicious, but my favorite on this day was the Terre de Vertus Brut Nature Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru, about $80 (based on 2006, but not a vintage wine). I thought this wine was simply fantastic, with pretty floral aromas layered atop the salty rocks. I want it.

I liked François Pinon's 2008's even more than I did the 2007's at this early stage. The 2008 Vouvray Cuvée Tradition, about $21, was sweet but well balanced and with good acidity, and the 2008 Vouvray Silex, about $26, was an awesome wine, very pure, with beautiful fruit, great structure and balance.

I think that I prefer François Chidaine's Montlouis wines to his Vouvrays. I'd love to test this little theory with many bottles, some friends, and dinner, but so far, I think I like the Montlouis wines better. They just seem more complete to me. The 2007 Chidaine Montlouis Clos du Breuil, about $30, a sec, or dry wine, is herbal and complex with woolly fruit. The 2007 Chidaine Montlouis Clos Habert, about $30, a demi-sec, or off-dry, and always a favorite of mine, was ripe and restrained and exuberant and about fruit and mineral and wool and soil. I loved it.

I really liked both of the Clos du Tue-Boeuf Pinot Noirs from Cheverny. Thierry Puzelat makes a load of different wines under his own label and also under this one, and it can be hard to keep track of what's what, but that's all part of the fun. The 2008 Clos du Tue-Boeuf Cheverny Gravotte, about $24, is 100% Pinot Noir from 30 year old wines on chalky soil. It smells of dried roses and is bright and elegant on the palate, with a definite chalky feel. The 2008 Clos du Tue-Boeuf Cheverny Caillère, about $28, is also 100% Pinot Noir from vines of about the same age, but from clay soils. The wine is darker and richer, very earthy and animale. Both are delicious wines, and very expressive of their place.

Many of you already know the late Baldo Cappellano's wines. I had never had one until this tasting. I appreciated all of them, but there are two that simply blew me away. The 2004 Cappellano Barolo Pie Franco (from un-grafted vines), about $165, is too absurdly brilliant of a wine to try to describe for you. A truly complete wine of incredible clarity, this left me speechless. And I also loved Cappellano's Barolo Chinato, about $100. The Cappellano family apparently was one of the first to produce this drink, a maceration of wine, quinine bark, and spices. There were five Chinatos poured, including a Roagna Barolo Chinato,and the Cappellano version was playing a whole different game. Floral and spicy, completely harmonious, and with a lingering sweet spicy quinine essence, this is an utterly delicious drink.


Oswaldo Costa said...

Tasted both Cappellanos at the winery last month and I totally agree with you. The Pie Franco is mindblowing. Giuseppe Cappellano, father of Theobaldo, was a chemist and actually invented Barolo Chinato by infusing quinine and several other herbs, so they know whereof they speak.

Anonymous said...

Theo was one of the gentlest, kindest and capable vintners, a lovely friend and a superlative producer. His death at such an early age robbed us of a unique human being and incredibly gifted producer.

I have enjoyed his Barolos, grafted and ungrafted, as well as the Chinato in Serralunga d'Alba numerous times since meeting him and his vinter friend Renzo Seghesio in Munich in 1987. A final case of his 1995 ungrafted remains.

Tom Lipton, ex-Munich