TN: France, Germany, US, Spain

Sunday Betsy got me ticket to "Monodramas" (3 pieces, by Schoenberg, John Zorn, and Morton Feldman, all challenging, mostly non-narrative, and all interesting); we stopped at Fairway for steaks. We grilled those and some asparagus, served with potatoes and braised collards and bok choy. Wine was the 2002 Fougas Maldoror (Cotes du Bourg). Big structured wine, surprising depth of fruit for RB 02, solid plums and cassis under a pretty hefty mantle of oak. Enjoyed with the steak, not so much solo. Revisited with our guests Monday, I liked better then, oak more integrated, no hurry on this one. B
I switched to the 2004 Schmitt Wagner "Longuicher Maximiner Herrenberg" Riesling Kabinett. Nice lighter styled wine, perfect for apertif (or in this case digestif). Apples, slate, soft. Maybe could have used just a bit more acidic grip. But quite pleasant, holds well overnight (Betsy and I tried while she was cooking Monday). B/B+
Friends and their dog came for dinner Monday, mushroom risotto, broccoli, and an arugula/daikon sprout salad. We sampled an assortment:
2009 Cantarranas Reuda=A0 The cooking wine. Light, grassy, I was sure this had a SB component, but label says 60% Verdejo 40% Viura. Not much depth, not much length, but it was not much money ($5). B-/C+
2008 Arnoux-Lachaux "Pinot Fin" Bourgogne This is the Estate formerly known as Robert Arnoux. Ripe and fleshy midweight, a hint of oak, cherry and raspberry and a little mushroom. On the Cali PN side of Burgundy, but tasty.B
2006 Havens Syrah (Napa) This was one of the closeout deals after Havens closed. $13, but less of a deal that some other bottlings. Dark berry fruit, tannins, some oak, a bit of brett. Short and harsh finish. Others liked much more than I did. C+
2009 Gysler Scheurebe Halbtrocken Light, floral, fresh fruit cocktail flavors though just a hint of sweetness. No profundity here, plenty of pleasure. B
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
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Thanks for the notes on the Arnoux-Lachaux. Arnoux's wines have always had a "fleshy" side and I'm glad that the wines are staying true to the house style.
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I think Lachaux(Robert's son in law) has been winemaker for some time.
actually, left off one. Ron brought a sparkler that he bought a case of ($86) after we tasted at a cassoulet semi-underground dinner, the NV Delacroix. Mix of Chardonnay and Chenin blanc, I liked it - served really cold, it seemed crisper than before. B-
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Sunday Betsy got me ticket to "Monodramas" (3 pieces, by Schoenberg, John Zorn, and Morton Feldman, all challenging, mostly non-narrative, and all interesting); ____________________________ I think that, with that program, I would have preferred to have drunk the wine before the concert! {:-) Graham
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