01 June 2011

Herren the dog

Zind-Humbrecht 2001 Riesling Herrenweg de Turckheim (Alsace) – Liquefied vineyard dust, bronzed orange, molten amber. What firmness there was has been overtaken by lushness. Fully, fulsomely mature. (5/11)

Zind-Humbrecht 2001 Riesling Herrenweg de Turckheim (Alsace) – Very slightly edgier than the previous bottle, but still a copper-jacketed exercise in ambered snow globe, swirling with dust. I do like this wine in its blocky, steroidal bodybuilder way, but absolutely do not hold it any longer. (5/11)

Chets nous

C&P Breton 1996 Bourgueil Galichets (Loire) – Dusty, finely-honed structure. Graphite powder clouds. Black, sullen strips of flesh-torn berries. Still solid, though the tannin is getting a bit abrasive, and I think most folks will want to think about drinking this. Optimistic necrophiles can wait; the fruit’s not yet mature. (5/11)

Les Clous train

de Villaine 2005 Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise Les Clous (Burgundy) – I’ve an odd sensation drinking this, as if I’m confronted with the rush of a suddenly-returned memory I didn’t know I’d forgotten. I drink precious little chardonnay of any non-sparkling type, and even less white Burgundy, but my more formative wine years were full of the stuff. Some sort of…well, I wouldn’t call it a “need,” exactly, but more of a satisfied conclusion, has been fulfilled by this wine. It doesn’t hurt that it delivers so much of what I actually like about good white Burgundy without burdening itself (or me) which the majority that I don’t. Beige earth, French horn mushrooms, ripe in both the agricultural and temporal senses of the word, draped with “fruit” but really much more about beautifully-rounded texture and poise. (5/11)

Sénéchal we dance?

C&P Breton 1997 Bourgueil Clos Sénéchal (Loire) – A spice blend of dark grey minerals and ground-up herbs, more tactile and powdery than liquid at this stage. There’s a dark, quinine-like note to what little liquidity there is. I don’t know if this is quite as appealing as it was a few years ago, but I’d call it fully mature at this point, though I suppose in no real danger of collapsing; what’s left seems pretty sturdy. (5/11)

Terodego nights

Foradori 2008 Teroldego Rotaliano (Trentino) – Day one: absent nose, fine textural mince. Day two: hard-as-nails tannin with dried/burnt flower aromatics, blackened core, seething finish. Day three: lovely, proto-expressive nose of crushed flowers absolutely coated in fine-grained dirt, barely-juice-able wild fruit, and pomace. The wine does make day four, but not because it was incapable of doing so. (5/11)

Baby baumer

J. Nusbaumer Alisier Eau-de-Vie (Alsace) – What I’ve learned, as an enthusiastic alisier amateur (in the French sense of that word), is that this spirit can be taken in fruity or floral directions. I prefer the latter, especially as it is so often paired with a delicacy so rare in this category of spirits. But this, a sweet and pretty berry version, is good too. Hyper-pure, as if infused with blue glacial ice, with a somewhat indefinable fruit character somewhere in a realm between Rainier cherries, dragon fruit, mirabelle plums, and one of those toxic-looking white things you find on mountain hikes but don’t dare eat. Boisterous. (5/11)

Carcignogenic waterfowl

Smoking Loon 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (California) – Yes, really. It was a gift, of course, forgotten in the cellar until now. And though it had to be opened for, um “research,” I expected not industrial dreck, but a dead wine due to closure failure. Well, it’s not dead. Far from it, actually. As for the taste…you know that fake blueberry pie thingy that can sit on convenience store shelves, at room temperature, for damn nigh ever? The nasty, sticky syntheticism of it, akin to no actual product of nature? It tastes like that. Exactly like that. (5/11)

Ride it

Ridge 2006 Zinfandel East Bench (Sonoma County) – 14.9%. Chunky and difficult, which is probably just a stage; this has been much more expressive in the recent past, and there’s no sign that this is falling apart yet. What’s showing now is dust, both the mineralistic and dried-berry kind, with a resinous texture and several dashes of coconutty oak…though the latter is rounding into something more vanilla-y. I’d say this needs a few more years to come out of its shell, but other bottles may perform differently. (5/11)

Peillot box

Peillot 2007 Roussette du Bugey Montagnieu Altesse (Ain) – Liquefied bones. Fulsome and bright, “moreish” as the Brits say, but those bones are definitely front and center. I’ve aged this in some vintages with nothing but failure as a result, but this one has brought great reward. (5/11)

It's time to put your Maseracci away

Domaine Maesracci 2007 Corse Calvi “E Prove” (Corsica) – Hard, hardening, and slowly turning to bitter dust. There’s a little dark, scowl-berry fruit left, but after about an hour the wine has completely retreated behind its tannin. I don’t think this is a closed stage, I think it’s the middle of collapse. So drink up. (5/11)

Alten brown

Blanck 2002 Gewurztraminer Altenbourg (Alsace) – Hollowing, which is worrisome as I own a fair amount of this (still). On the other hand, this has been all over the map for years, so who knows what the next bottle will bring? It’s more peach and cashew than lychee or pork, there’s a steel that’s more present than before, but the center is decidedly not what it was. (5/11)

Ries jones

Trimbach 2004 Riesling (Alsace) – After a few disappointing bottles, a return to form. That form? Dusty steel rods. (5/11)

Tra, tra again

Trimbach 2004 Gewurztraminer (Alsace) – This has thinned without really showing much in the way of aging-gewurztraminer development. The result is a lighter, more amenable wine, but also a less interesting one. Other bottles have shown minor development, but I think this vintage’s hold on life is weakening. (5/11)

Trimbach 2004 Gewurztraminer (Alsace) – Bigger and juicier than the previous bottle, though it still lacks gewurztraminerish intensity. Fruit remains in the pear/peach range rather than anything more exotic or lurid. Good, but only just. (5/11)


Benromach Single Malt Scotch Whisky (Madeira Casks) (Speyside) – Sticky and ponderous. There’s good, peaty material here, but far too much sheen and sugary glitter trying to bury it. I like a lot of Benromach’s whiskys, but this isn’t all that much fun. (5/11)

Livet, don't love it

The Glenlivet 15 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky “French Oak Reserve” (Scotland) – Nothing great, nothing bad, just kinda “eh.” Very short for a scotch, which is an oddity. (5/11)

Michter Michter

Michter’s Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey (Kentucky) – Grainy, grassy, slightly bitter…all good. But then, gooped-up and sticky, with molasses-textured caramel and butterscotch. This is sorority punch rye. (5/11)