Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Listen - I don't always have time to write something grand for this blog. Very busy times lately, as you know. So for today, a few tidbits:

Deetrane Beats the Market

For all of the fun I like to poke at my good buddy Deetrane for his wine buying habits (Wine Commune, Bin-Ends, all sorts of "deals" on "strange" wine), maybe he was onto something. Over the past few years he bought approximately $800 worth of Brunello, mostly modern style wines in the $30-$60 range, mostly on the secondary market. Way too many bottles, he says. Especially since he recently realized that he is not interested in drinking any of them.

So wasn't Deetrane lucky that one of the head honchos at Acker Merrall, where he cellars all of his wine, contacted him say that another client was looking to buy Brunello with a few years of age under $100 a bottle. Would he accept $2,000 for the whole lot of Brunello? Why yes, yes he would. Let's see...had Deetrane done the "smart" thing and invested his $800 in a group of stocks, he would have about $560 today. Who could predict something like this? Now, who would like to try to guess what Deetrane will do with his $1,200 in profits?

Wine Tasting News

I had the 2005 Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet Clos des Briords the other night, and it was awesome. I bought a case of this wine, the only wine I bought an entire case of in the past three years, and I now have 7 bottles remaining. The bottle I drank the other night was the best one yet. The nose was just piercing with bright citrus and seashells. Then it shut down. This wine will live to be 50, and at that age I imagine that it will beat many a younger wine on the tennis court. Is there anything better in wine for $15 than Muscadet?

I had the 2005 François Chidaine Montlouis-sur-Loire Les Tuffeaux the other night and it was honestly just amazing. This is a cuvée blended from a few vineyards that I guess all feature a certain type of stone in the soils called Tuffeau. Les Tuffeaux is one of the richest wines in Chidaine's Montlouis lineup, and in 2005 this richness is even more pronounced. The residual sugar is much better integrated than it was only a year ago, and there is so much more to offer. As good as it was, it was that much better on day two, when it was woolly, honeyed, waxy, mineral, herbal, harmonious perfection. I think this is a keeper - hold it for five plus more years, more if you're tough enough. I have only two more of these, and I swear to you, they will not see the light of day until my daughter is going on 10 years old.

I had the 2007 Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Granges the other night and it's my favorite Granges of the past several vintages. This is the young drinking wine from gravel soils, the "entry level" red in the Baudry lineup. This year it is beautifully perfumed with ripe fruit, graphite (pencil lead, for all of you non-chemists), and gravel. That's right, I can smell the gravel soils in this wine. That's why I like it so much - it's more transparent than in recent vintages, from what I can remember. And it is juicy and well balanced with good acidity, just delicious. Too bad that it now costs about $20. $20 is the new $15, and I'm angry about this. I remember when the 2004 version of this wine sat in the impulse-buy bins near the registers at Chambers Street Wines for $14...BEFORE the mixed case discount. At least we can take solace in the fact that this is outstanding wine, worth every penny. This is a definite buy 4-bottles and drink over the next 18 months wine. If you want to know why the cool kids all seem to love Loire Cab Franc, drink this wine.


Director, Lab Outreach said...

Coincidentally, we had an '05 Tuffeaux on Saturday night. And I couldn't agree more with your observations. I also happen to have two bottles left. It will not be easy to give them the time they deserve. Also tried the '06 on Sunday (our '05 didn't make the second day; didn't even make dessert). It's not as rich and bold as the '05, but it's very good. On a related note, I just picked up a Pétillant Rosè (Touraine) from Chidaine at my local shop. Just arrived in inventory, so maybe something to keep an eye out for back there.
Cheers, J David

Marty said...

Mmmm. '05 Tuffeau. I, too, have had it recently, if you count about two months past. Even though I had it after an awesome early 1990s Tempier Rouge, the Chidaine was such a show stopper. A few people poo-poo Chidaine, saying he expanded too quickly, but I think the lot of '05s still on the market are outstanding. The Vouvray Les Argiles stands out in my mind, as does the Clos Baudoin.

Same goes for the Baudry, I had the '07 a few weeks back and it was showing quite well for the vintage, but I'm sad to see my les Granges @ $20+. I agree that $20 is the new $15...too bad the $20 I've invested is now $15. (Just kidding! My stock is in Champagne.)

Great blog--keep it up!

kevin gilmore said...

This past Saturay, my wine shop friend brougt me littlenecks from long island. We decided to shuck 'em and have them for a snack right there at the store. He opened the 2006 Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet Clos des Briords. From a sip of wine to a slurp of the briny juice, back to the wine and a finish with the was positively seemless. A congruous pairing not soon forgotten.

Do Bianchi said...

Was the Pépière really only $15? I thought the entry-level was that price. Are you talking about one of the vineyard-designated wines? In any case, I love those wines. Byron Bates turned me on to them last Xmas...

NAPTOWN said...

Vive Chidaine!!

Vinogirl said...

I love Cab franc!

Anonymous said...

Love that 05 Chidaine too! and I think you are on the money about aging it.

Joe said...

Neil - $25 will be the new $20 if you keep shouting out these Baudry wines. Great inexpensive wine can only exist if nobody knows about it - tell too many people and, well, you have to start looking elsewhere (been secretly stocking up on Baudrys when I see 'em...)