TN: ESJ, Felsina, Israeli wines, base Donnhoff, and more

We took the dog with us over the hill to friends’ place for dinner. Appetizers were deviled eggs and an eggplant caponata, with the NV Veuve-C liquot Brut Champagne. Rounder style, fairly high dosage, but nice bead and mousse, good finish, unremarkable but to me better than in the years LMVH really exploded production. B Dinner was brisket with vegetables, mashed potatoes, broccoli , and kale sa lad 2013 Edmunds St John North Canyon Syrah Young but quite tasty. Black cherry and wild berries, a ferric mineral note , just a hint of roast meat. Flowers and a little citrus on nose. Some tan nic structure, but this is midbodied and really quite elegant for CA Syrah. This seems less burly than say the Durrells of old, but I think it will ag e just as well. B+ for drinking now, look forward to drinking an A wine in future. 2016 Clos des Roilette Fleurie Floral, red fruited, good herbiness, fun. B+/B Friday I had some chicken sausage and sauteed arugula, and opened the 2004 Donnhoff Riesling. Yep, just the estate. Totally alive, sweet tropical and peach flavors, a little gingery note. I don’t think this has really developed any complexity, it’s just a little softer and rounder th an bottles I remember from 10 years ago, but happy to have a couple more (b asically free as I was bidding based on other Donnhoffs in lot). B Then I went to Dave’s for meeting of local (non-serious) wine group . Theme was Wines from Between 30 & 45 parallels (north). Which is pretty b road- All of US, Spain, Greece, 95% of Italy, plus south of France. There was an off theme unblind wine while we gathered. 2014 Les Feneteaux ( Bordeaux). Plum, vanilla, rather hard tannins, midbodied. B-/C+ Dave had a nice assortment of sausage, cheese, etc while we had the blind w ines #1 Red fruited, smooth, medium acids, my initial guess was Chianti. Funnily , right before we started while looking at map I had said “we shoul d do Greece sometime.” 2016 Red on Black Agiorgitiko B #2 Mine, so no guesses. Hint of spritz, black raspberry fruit, fresh young Mencia. 2014 Pradio (Ribeira Sacra). B/B+ #3- light, red and black berries, a nice earthy/leathery note. pleasant eno ugh - Cotes du Rhone? 2014 Recanati Shiraz (Galilee). B #4- ripe, low acid, jammy fruits, my guess (since northern hemisphere) was hot vintage CdP. Most expensive wine of night, my least favorite. 2015 L ’Adventure “Chloe” (Paso Robles) C+ #5- Someone got CS immediately, but I thought CA. Black berry and currant, some overt vanilla, medium. (I missed vintage on this)Gilgal Cabernet Sauv ignon (Galilee) B #6- even oakier, some loved, this is sweet and too woody for me. 2016 Dalto n Cabernet Sauvignon B-/C+ #7 Red cherry, herbs, green tea leaves, good acids. Lightest wine of the ni ght, quite fresh. 2015 Heart and Hand Pinot Noir(Fingers Lake). B+/B Who’d thunk we’d have 3 Israeli wines, and my WOTN would be NY? Fun. Saturday we went to Riverdale to join some marchers for a post-march dinner . I carried some charcuterie as well as 2 kinds of sous vide cocktail- pars ley/shallot shrimp with a traditional horseradish dip, and lemongrass shrim p with a Thai (fish sauce, sambal olek, lime) sauce. NV Lamarca Prosecco- sweet short simple, just as I remembered C+ 2012 Taittinger Brut Champagne Young, fresh, apples chalk and brioche. B+ Main was short ribs and porcini over polenta, with a nice salad. 1997 Felsina Fontalloro While ‘97 is (to me) an overrated vintage in Tuscany, there are sti ll some good/great wines. Beautiful mature Sangiovese, black cherry and dri ed cherry, a little saddle leather and dried flowers, resolved tannins, goo d acid, good finish. I’d drink up soon, but quite enjoyable. B+/A- 2015 Menage a Trois red Sweet and jammy, like eating the filling from a fruit pastry. C/C+ Good night Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C drinkable. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a p arty where it was only choice.Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivi ty, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
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