Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Laundry List of Recent Wines

I try not to do laundry list posts that sound like "here's what I drank recently." But I've had some interesting wines lately, some of them great, others a bit lackluster. So this will, in fact, be a laundry list post. Feel free to change channels now if you refuse to participate.

Here's what I drank recently:

2008 Marcel Lapierre Morgon, $20, Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. Sigh of relief. This wine was great. And I was starting to lose a little faith, as my 06's haven't shown so well and I had two bad bottles of the 07 for every okay one. But this, this is why I love Lapierre's wines. Graceful and with crystal clear purity, perfectly balanced, just gorgeous wine. The next two bottles could be bad - who knows? But if this is representative of his 08's, then I'm back on the wagon. Mine is from an "S" lot, which I understand to mean that it had a bit of sulfur at bottling. I've read comments on the interweb about variation again in 2008, but specifically with the "N" lots - no sulfur as I understand it. Chime in with your 08 Lapierre thoughts, please.

2008 Jean Foillard Morgon Cuvée Corcelette, $34, Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. I love this wine in general, and this bottle was good, but it didn't show nearly as well as a bottle I drank a few months ago. The nose is full of fresh fruit and leafy herbs, but the palate is in a tight place right now. It felt constrained and rigid, with a lot of iron and mineral and lots of grip. I'm sure it will loosen up again in a few years.

2007 George Descombes Morgon, $20, Louis/Dressner Selections. I keep hearing about how great this wine is drinking right now, but I wasn't terribly impressed. I like it, but I wanted to love it, the way I love the 2007 Régnié. I prefer the Régnié in the end. The Morgon is very pure and there are minerals and soil, there is iron on the palate, and herbs too. What there isn't a lot of is fruit. There is some, but not a whole lot, and I'm fine with that actually. But the nose is a bit muddy - the overall effect is not as fresh as I would hope for and that kind of killed it for me. That said, I did drink this on a root day...

2009 Bernard Baudry Chinon Rosé, $18, Louis/Dressner Selections. A different animal entirely compared to the 2008. Whereas the 08 was a lean and super acidic kind of beautiful, the 2009 is much more fruit forward. This is a fun wine - there are strawberries here. Still a serious wine with great texture and balance and lots of acidity, but it is a more openly joyous wine this year, with more exuberant fruit. On a hedonistic note I'll take this wine. If I were showing Baudry's Rosé to other people who had never had it, or if I were cellaring some for the future, I'd take the 2008.

2009 Ameztoi Getariako Txakolina Rubentis, $21, De Maison Selections. Those of you who aren't familiar with this culty Basque wine might be thinking "Watch your language, fella." This is a well regarded producer working with approximately 85 year old vines of an indigenous grape called Hondarrabi Zuri. The white wines are fantastic - saline and brisk, slightly effervescent, full of character. I had one recently at my pal Bruce's house and it really sang. This wine, however, left me wanting more. I understand its appeal - the nose grows but never gets loud, and it shows this unusual and appealing mix of watermelon and savory herbs, like rosemary and thyme. And texturally it is a marvel, slightly effervescent and silky. The alcohol is under 11%, the wine is dry and full of minerals and it is definitely interesting. But in the end I just wasn't really captivated by it - it wasn't all that delicious.

2007 Domaine de Roally Viré-Clessé Tradition, $24, Louuis/Dressner Selections. This was a shimmering beauty, full of fresh and baked yellow apples. Fresh, energetic, a rich wine that is also very pure and just lovely. Good acidity and balance too - wears its residual sugar well. The remaining third of the bottle was not as good on day two though, which I found confusing. Shouldn't this wine age well? I drank a 1994 last year that was fantastic.

NV Valdespino Sherry Fino "Inocente," $20 (375 ml), Imported by Quality Wines of Spain. Now THAT is some Fino. I know the price sounds high, but I could find only one store that carries the wine, so they can charge what they like. So light and brisk, yet there is a pungent undercurrent of smokey nuts and saltiness, something almost like good coffee - it builds slowly and steadily and this one is better to sip slowly because there's a lot going on. But that's hard to do because it offers so much visceral pleasure. It was at its best on the third day out of the fridge, and it could have kept going, but I finished the bottle. This is in the very top level of Fino that I've tasted, right there with La Bota #15. And I guess that shouldn't be a surprise, because if I'm not mistaken, Equipo Vavazos selected from among the Valdespino butts to make #15. I could very easily be mistaken...

2002 Chartogne-Taillet Champagne Cuvee Fiacre, $70, Terry Theise Selections/Michael Skurnik Imports. I bought this wine because I like the producer's wines in general, and because when I tasted it as part of a blind tasting a few years back, I thought it was superb. Haven't had it since. I was warned that it is too young to drink, don't touch it for ten years. I don't know...I opened one recently at the end of a great night of wine with friends, and I thought the bottle was fantastic. Not closed at all, very approachable. Beautiful ripe fruit that showed the dark berries of Pinot and also the apples of Chardonnay, compelling richness and depth, a stout frame and firm structure. And still this wine showed grace and poise, harmony. I loved the way the minerals mingled with the fruit on the finish, very long. This is very serious stuff, worth every penny.

Okay folks, that's it. Thanks for coming out tonight. I'm here two or three times a week.

10 comments:

Tim said...

I like the laundry lists!

Kate said...

Brooklynguy,

Well you sure know how to hit the spot! Cru Beaujolais and Chinon Rose all in the same post. I have been on a mission down here in Southern California to turn people on to both. I agree with you on the Lapierre wines. When they are on, they are really on and overall I have had better luck with the 08s than the 07s. Foillard's wines seem to be more consistent. As you mentioned, the "Corcelette" is definately more tightly wound than the "Cote du Py" and will need more time. If you want to get really wacky, try Lapierre's "Cuvee Marcel Lapierre". The fruit comes from Cote du Py and in Berkeley we lovingly refer to it as Foillard Morgon in a Lapierre bottle.

ben said...

Brooklyn,
I just had a bottle of the 08 from an S lot as well. Last night is showed elegance and fruit with a great floral nose. Just really pretty. Foillard is one of my favorites as well, gamey and more intense.
Cheers,
Ben

Weston said...

2008 Marcel Lapierre Morgon is great had that at a blind NZ Pinot tasting, was slipped it and when asked which one we thought wasn't the NZ Pinot no one guessed the Morgon. Really nice

Timothy said...

Also had the 08 Lapierre last week. mine was a very good bottle, but didn't show as well on the 2nd night - fell a bit flat. Mine was also "S" lot, though, haven't tried the "N" yet.

Cliff said...

You're scaring me with those Lapierre notes. I haven't touched 2007 for awhile and wonder if this might be the wrong time to be dipping into 2006? I had a 2005 a year or so ago, and it was not happy -- could have been a bad bottle, but I have faith they'll come around.

Jake said...

Great line up. Inocente must still be my favourite all-time fino. I picked up a few bottles last time I visited the winery, but it was a little disheartening to see one of the best sherry labels owned by such an industrial giant as Grupo Estevez. I guess you don't go on Jerez winery tours for the romance.

Tracie P. said...

we saw the baudry rose' at the wine store around the corner, i was SO curious. sounds yum...

2GrandCru said...

I liked the 08 Lapierre, but then again I found no fault with the 07.

Peter Liem said...

Jake, I agree: favorite fino of all time. I know it's completely against our sensibilities to accept huge industrial wine groups, but I believe that Valdespino has seriously benefited from the purchase and subsequent move, with both vineyards and cellar receiving necessary renovations and improvements. Also, the house could not be in better hands than those of Eduardo Ojeda, who has the knowledge, the passion, the commitment and, importantly, the financial resources to maintain the integrity of houses like Valdespino and La Guita. If anything, Valdespino will continue to widen the gap in quality between their wines and the others in the region today. Furthermore, Ojeda is one of the two partners in Equipo Navazos, and one could even go so far as to say that La Bota would not exist if it weren't for the current circumstances.