[TN] Recent wines (Nebbiolo, Grenache, Bordeaux and Pinot)

2008 Az. Ag. Antoniotti Odilio Bramaterra (2/8/2014)
Opened an hour before a dinner of wild boar roast. It had the usual
tarry character of Nebbiolo with a bit of the aromatic notes (a touch of
menthol) and a hint of Brett. On the palate, it was medium bodied, with
some backend tannins left and great acidity. Very lovely wine, and a
reminder of all the great wines that Joe Dressner introduced us to.
2010 Birichino Grenache Vieilles Vignes Besson Vineyard Central Coast
Consumed with a dinner of rabbit and wild boar sausages. It proved to be
a sprightly, red-fruited wine with more than a hint of carbonic
maceration in the nose. For a CA Grenache, it was remarkably light on
its feet with vivid acidity and a core of tart red fruit. The only
resemblance it bore to my earlier CA varietal Grenache encounters (Unti,
Margerum) was a pong of VA in the nose. Not a whole lot of varietal
character here (no one would likely mistake it for a wine from the S
Rhone) but a very appealing wine for a Central Coast Grenache.

2010 Cowan Cellars Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast (2/1/2014)
Our first bottle of this was a complete winner with crispy roasted duck
for Chinese New Years. It manages to very effectively straddle the chasm
between Burgundy and California, with the fruit of the latter coupled to
the restraint of the former. Lovely acidity and a touch of spice in the
finish only add to the appeal of this beautiful Pinot Noir.
2011 Charles Gonnet Vin de Savoie Chignin Vieilles Vignes (1/30/2014)
A nose that speaks of carbonic maceration, but on the palate it has
bright, tart fruit, grainy tannins, good acidity and a light palate
presence. A delicious Thursday night wine, if nothing too profound.
2005 Château Gigault Cuvée Viva Côtes de Blaye (1/26/2014)
Still quite young and primary, it has good depth of Cabernet-ish fruit
(black berry fruit mostly) and some pencil lead atop a still grainy
tannic finish. Nice, but will be much better in 3-5 years, I'd hazard.

2000 Château du Domaine de L'Eglise Pomerol (1/25/2014)
A beautiful nose of herbal, leathery, plummy fruit with an edge of
pencil lead thrown in. Although the wine started out too cold (a
function of recent weather) it also showed a core of lovely plummy fruit
and a silken texture to this medium-bodied wine.
2011 Sebastien Dampt Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Léchet (1/24/2014)
I agree that this wine seems a bit diffuse right now, and also a tad
richer than I look for in Chablis. Still, a core of fruit and good
acidity indicate that the future looks bright. Will hold onto my other
bottle for a year or two.
2000 Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée (1/24/2014)
Classic nose of meaty black cherry fruit. A silky mouthfeel indicative
of maturity. Compared to the recently opened '98, this wine has a bit
less acidity and is not quite as lush. Pretty classic CdP profile, though.
2007 Ridge Zinfandel Pagani Ranch (1/22/2014)
Pulled straight from our very cold cellar. Cold, it was quite primary
with a bit of VA, a bit of vanilla and a slight lactic note. As it
warmed, the plummy fruit came to the fore. There was a good spine of
acidity that kept the wine seeming fresh, even at 14.3% ABV. Still
young, it has years yet ahead of it.
2011 Domaine Weinbach Gewurztraminer Réserve Personnelle
Alsace AOC Gewürztraminer (1/19/2014)
Opened with takeout Thai food and some trepidation lest Jean find it too
sweet for her tastes. However, the nose was gorgeous and filled with
varietal fruit and the acidity was sufficient to accord it a modicum of
perceived dryness. It went fabulously with the moo ping and green curry,
but at 14% ABV a couple of glasses was enough for both of us.

2009 A. et P. de Villaine Bourgogne La Digoine (1/18/2014)
Consumed with rabbit in mustard sauce. Sappy red fruit amid mineral
notes. The sappiness put us in mind of NZ Pinots, which in turn makes us
think of young vines. This wine was very young still but quite enjoyable
with the rabbit.
Mark Lipton
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Mark Lipton

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