Search found 182 matches

by Rajiv Ayyangar
April 16th, 2019, 6:13 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: '96 & '98 Musar side by side
Replies: 11
Views: 601

Re: '96 & '98 Musar side by side

My notes on the '98 from last year: 1998 Chateau Musar This had a very short decant - just an hour as it was opened at the restaurant. It sang out as well as could be expected under the circumstances. Classic Musarian nose - showing spicy dog fur (brett), bruised apple, balsamic, ethyl acetate, drie...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
March 15th, 2019, 4:00 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Lebanon RE: 2013 El Ixsir
Replies: 9
Views: 353

Re: Lebanon RE: 2013 El Ixsir

IMO Musar is not only the best winery in Lebanon, but also one of the greatest wineries in existence. That's a strong statement, and I totally agree. I'd get a '99 for a good introduction, but I'm sure another vintage would serve the purpose plenty well. Decant for sediment and give it plenty of ai...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
January 11th, 2019, 6:25 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Your lowest Cellartracker Scored Wine in Your Cellar
Replies: 186
Views: 8498

Re: Your lowest Cellartracker Scored Wine in Your Cellar

A 375ml of 2007 Nicolas Potel Morey St. Denis...84 points. Yeah that bottle was weird! My notes say it was super green and mushroomy. I have several 50-pointers, but the worst was this one: 2013 Silver Heights The Summit Ningxia - China (6/26/2017) MNB: Grab Bag (Home (Noe st)) : This is the worst ...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
December 6th, 2018, 12:41 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Wedding Wine Thoughts?
Replies: 34
Views: 1374

Re: Wedding Wine Thoughts?

I love everything about this post (Congrats!!!), and I cannot improve on the list. The selections are incredibly thoughtful, but also wide-ranging and probably laden with memories for you and the other guests. Serge would be jealous :)
by Rajiv Ayyangar
November 18th, 2018, 9:51 am
Forum: Wine 101: The Basics
Topic: What have you learnt on your wine journey?
Replies: 75
Views: 8257

Re: What have you learnt on your wine journey?

Berry Crawford wrote:
November 15th, 2016, 8:15 pm
I learned I disagree with everything Rajiv wrote about wine in this thread.
@Berry - by contrast, I actually agree with most of what you said! I’d love to know more about why you disagree with my points. I feel like I didn’t say much that’s controversial.
by Rajiv Ayyangar
October 24th, 2018, 2:28 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 1989 Couly-Dutheil Chinon Clos de l'Olive (France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon)
Replies: 5
Views: 447

Re: TN: 1989 Couly-Dutheil Chinon Clos de l'Olive (France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon)

I'm also a fan of Loire CF's from that era! Here's my note from last year, and an '82 as well: 1989 Couly-Dutheil Chinon Clos de l'Olive - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon (11/10/2017) Blinds at Palace Steakhouse (The Palace Steakhouse, SF) : (Blind) Medium ruby color. Pyrazinic and earthy. Dr...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
September 25th, 2018, 12:33 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 1995 Chateau Musar (Lebanon, Bekaa Valley)
Replies: 16
Views: 653

Re: TN: 1995 Chateau Musar (Lebanon, Bekaa Valley)

Super interested in the 89 comparison!!!
by Rajiv Ayyangar
September 24th, 2018, 10:46 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 1995 Chateau Musar (Lebanon, Bekaa Valley)
Replies: 16
Views: 653

Re: TN: 1995 Chateau Musar (Lebanon, Bekaa Valley)

+1 on the '90. @Kirk and others, curious what you think about these last two not-quite-extraordinary '95 experiences. My takeaway is that it's probably some combination of me not being in the right frame of mind, not nailing the decant procedure, bottle variation, food pairing/setting, and maybe a p...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
September 23rd, 2018, 10:21 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 1995 Chateau Musar (Lebanon, Bekaa Valley)
Replies: 16
Views: 653

Re: TN: 1995 Chateau Musar (Lebanon, Bekaa Valley)

Wonderful notes, Tim and Kirk. The two bottles I cracked in 2017 were brilliant just not quite fully there as the previous bottles I'd had (possibly bottle variation). In any case I'm also waiting 2-3 years before cracking the next one - hopefully to glimpse it at another stage of evolution. Still m...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
September 18th, 2018, 2:50 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 2017 Bartlett Estate Blueberry Winemaker's Reserve
Replies: 9
Views: 573

Re: TN: 2017 Bartlett Estate Blueberry Winemaker's Reserve

I’d like to weigh in that these wines are awesome. I love them and am fascinated by them. I special ordered some a few years back but sounds like I need to restock.

Truly unique wines made with a high level of craft and soul. I agree with all Kirk’s comments. Super ageworthy and structured.
by Rajiv Ayyangar
September 5th, 2018, 2:31 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Blind Tasting Swings and Misses
Replies: 67
Views: 2438

Re: Blind Tasting Swings and Misses

I remember hosting a blind tasting a few years ago with what I thought was a relatively easy premise . Five Bordeaux wines, five years in vintage between them, ranging from a 1985 Leoville Barton to a 2005 Brane Cantenac. Just had to guess the year... Not an easy premise at all! ... I do find it od...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
September 2nd, 2018, 1:24 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: What unusual wines/regions do you love?
Replies: 126
Views: 5397

Re: What unusual wines/regions do you love?

Amazing. Yeah I love the 14 Musar Rosé!
by Rajiv Ayyangar
September 1st, 2018, 12:41 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Blind Tasting Swings and Misses
Replies: 67
Views: 2438

Re: Blind Tasting Swings and Misses

Those are totally legitimate guesses. Pinot Grigio is a semi-terpenic white with medium plus acid. Not far from Albariño or a less-aromatic Torrontes. I'm glad to hear that! sometime i'll actually track a torrontes down and bring it to blind tasting night and its going to blow everyone's mind when ...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
August 31st, 2018, 6:56 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Blind Tasting Swings and Misses
Replies: 67
Views: 2438

Re: Blind Tasting Swings and Misses

Those are totally legitimate guesses. Pinot Grigio is a semi-terpenic white with medium plus acid. Not far from Albariño or a less-aromatic Torrontes.
by Rajiv Ayyangar
August 31st, 2018, 3:45 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Blind Tasting Swings and Misses
Replies: 67
Views: 2438

Re: Blind Tasting Swings and Misses

I've had a few home runs, notably in 2003, the 1985 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo - nailed wine type, producer and vintage, plus the wine was decanted, so I didn't even get a bottle shape hint. But there are too many misses to count. I have called a Bordeaux as Washington State Syrah. Have also guessed...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
August 31st, 2018, 3:44 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Blind Tasting Swings and Misses
Replies: 67
Views: 2438

Re: Blind Tasting Swings and Misses

Rajiv, Per your comment regarding Nebbiolo, it's very difficult to consistantly nail correctly. It can come across as old world or modern and then can show attributes of Grenache, southern italian, super Tuscan, Oregon or California Pinot Noir. When it's not blind everyone taste tar and rose petals...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
August 31st, 2018, 3:17 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Blind Tasting Swings and Misses
Replies: 67
Views: 2438

Re: Blind Tasting Swings and Misses

What did you guess?
by Rajiv Ayyangar
August 31st, 2018, 2:11 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Blind Tasting Swings and Misses
Replies: 67
Views: 2438

Re: Blind Tasting Swings and Misses

I gotta say, as someone who blind tastes a lot, most of y’all’s “misses” are really just humble brags :) Beringer for Pomerol is totally a fair confusion. Saint Joseph for Burgundy or even Beaujolais would be fair (similar fruit and acid profiles). New world Pinot for CdP is also not crazy - elevate...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
August 31st, 2018, 11:05 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Blind Tasting Swings and Misses
Replies: 67
Views: 2438

Re: Blind Tasting Swings and Misses

This is probably my biggest howler ever, even worse than that one time I called a Beaujolais a Nebbiolo at two separate tastings (same wine): Blind: Medium gold color. On the nose, notable oxidation (bruised bosc pear), some mushroomy funkiness - partial new barrels with age. Some savory dried honey...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
August 27th, 2018, 11:36 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: What unusual wines/regions do you love?
Replies: 126
Views: 5397

Re: What unusual wines/regions do you love?

Wines that have piqued my interest in their respective categories: Big reds: - Priorat - an '04 Palacios Finca Dofi was super tasty and complex. - Sagrantino (Bea) - I loved the Pagliaro, and the Cerrete didn't seem much better - both were fantastic and evolved over the course of the evening. - Sout...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
August 21st, 2018, 1:45 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Eleven Madison Park Wine List Help
Replies: 41
Views: 3058

Re: Eleven Madison Park Wine List Help

Thanks Michael. Edited.
by Rajiv Ayyangar
August 21st, 2018, 11:40 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Eleven Madison Park Wine List Help
Replies: 41
Views: 3058

Re: Eleven Madison Park Wine List Help

Some great advice all around. I'd second that the somm team is awesome and will pair the wines excellently as well as take into account your interests. That's what I did when I was there and I don't regret it. That said, here are a few things that caught my eye as I skimmed through the list: Wines b...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
August 20th, 2018, 8:09 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: Chateau Musar 1999 Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
Replies: 38
Views: 1391

Re: TN: Chateau Musar 1999 Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

I haven’t tasted the ‘05 this year, but I’ve tasted it a few times in 2016 and most recently October 2017: Medium ruby to a garnet rim. Expressive ripe blackberry and tamari fruit. Wide open right out of the bottle. Spicy Brett with some oxidation and a bright balsamic prickle. Vibrant and while sti...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
August 18th, 2018, 9:03 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: Chateau Musar 1999 Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
Replies: 38
Views: 1391

Re: TN: Chateau Musar 1999 Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

I’ve been drinking Musar for close to 12 years now. I’m sure there are others that have more experience, but I’ve tasted most of the 80’s multiple times and had cases of the wines from the 90’s; I think I bought 3 cases of the 94’s between 2007-2008. So i’d Start by offering that in my thoughts the...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
July 15th, 2018, 11:36 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Your ten most influential wines
Replies: 91
Views: 6560

Your ten most influential wines

... Wine Ephiphany: 1995 Musar in the summer of 2007. In a line-up against 97 Brunello, 97 Napa, & 96 Bordeaux this stood out and commanded the attention of the room. ... Although technically I had the '95 first with Serge, I have you to thank for urging me to really listen to it [thankyou.gif].
by Rajiv Ayyangar
July 15th, 2018, 11:28 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Your ten most influential wines
Replies: 91
Views: 6560

Your ten most influential wines

"I like wine!" 2004 Barrel Monkeys Shiraz , McLaren Vale - in college (90 pts Parker!) "I hate some wine" - 2005 Barrel Monkeys Shiraz - I was so puzzled. "Wine can be super complex!" - 1996 Taluau Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil (tasted 2008) - I tasted it recently - still an amazing vintage. "Rhone Sy...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
January 29th, 2018, 9:26 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Blind Tasting Ringers?
Replies: 23
Views: 1128

Blind Tasting Ringers?

The greatest ringer ever for me was when Kirk.Grant threw in an orangey white: Orange-amber in the glass. This wine had been decanted for about 5 hrs. I'd picked up strong whiffs of bacon in the decanter, but the bacon was much subdued now in the glass. Nose: Pink starburst, bubblegum, bacon, strong...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
January 29th, 2018, 9:19 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 1998 Chateau Musar (Lebanon, Bekaa Valley)
Replies: 25
Views: 1458

TN: 1998 Chateau Musar (Lebanon, Bekaa Valley)

The ‘98 has always been a favorite vintage of mine. I’m down to just one bottle...I think the ‘99 will last longer and has more structure...but the 98 is all grace & beauty that seduces you into a lull of bliss and contemplation. I’ve stood up a ‘95 to check in on sometime in the next 6-12 months. ...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
August 13th, 2017, 3:28 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Best American Riesling
Replies: 122
Views: 5419

Best American Riesling

+1 on Smith-Madrone. Would blind it as Alsace AOP - ~7g RS, high+ acid, mineral finish, clean citrus fruit and well-controlled TDN.
by Rajiv Ayyangar
July 19th, 2017, 1:41 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TNs: Musarathon!
Replies: 24
Views: 1233

TNs: Musarathon!

My goodness. Over four years since the original post and now it's resurrected! :D (Actually, I think that Musar lovers worldwide should take up a collection to buy them a refrigerated truck to transport the grapes from the vineyard to the winery.) Absolutely not. Whatever they're doing now is perfe...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
July 18th, 2017, 1:08 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TNs: Musarathon!
Replies: 24
Views: 1233

TNs: Musarathon!

How comparable is the Hochar et Fils bottling to the grand vin? I've only recently started seeing it, and have not tried it. Arv R, While I've probably not had as much experience with Musar as Otto, I've found the Hochar et Fils bottling to be a decent way to gauge the style...if I had a comparison...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
June 22nd, 2017, 12:09 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Musar (Broadbent vs. other importers)
Replies: 55
Views: 2334

Musar (Broadbent vs. other importers)

Broadbent is awesome and I always prefer them, but if there are affordable bottles on the secondary market - especially older vintages - I'll often take the chance. I agree with Ian that Musar is more resilient than most. Some of the best bottles I've tasted had made a cross-country journey in my ca...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
June 20th, 2017, 4:46 pm
Forum: Wine 101: The Basics
Topic: What does "corked" taste like?
Replies: 14
Views: 2649

What does "corked" taste like?

If TCA happens to be below your personal threshold, then as a friend of mine likes to say, "You win!" - you can probably taste and drink the wine without any compromised perception. Not sure I would necessarily agree with that. It is possible for the TCA not to be perceived as such, but for the win...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
June 20th, 2017, 7:54 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Graphite and salinity: Experimental results added
Replies: 273
Views: 6895

Graphite and salinity: Experimental results added

Has anyone here encountered Alexandre Schmitt?? He is a perfume 'nose' who has wandered over to the world of wine. He gives seminars to winemakers and anyone else whacko enough to shell out the dough. I got a mini lesson at Dominus one time and it was quite fasincating. I sent my staff to a seminar...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
June 18th, 2017, 12:33 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Graphite and salinity: Experimental results added
Replies: 273
Views: 6895

Graphite and salinity: Experimental results added

I've never seen an unoaked wine with a graphite description from a critic. So either graphite is a mysterious mineral term that no one really understands and just happens to always co-exist with cedary oak aromas, or it's just another term for cedary oaky notes.
by Rajiv Ayyangar
June 17th, 2017, 12:33 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Graphite and salinity: Experimental results added
Replies: 273
Views: 6895

Graphite and salinity: Experimental results added

Coffee notes can come from oak (Maillard aromas) and from pyrazines. Smell a Loire cab franc or a Chilean Carmenere and you may perceive coffee grounds, despite little to no new oak. Bordeaux is all about secondary and tertiary flavors that bridge well with each other. Pyrazines present as tobacco (...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
June 15th, 2017, 10:41 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Graphite and salinity: Experimental results added
Replies: 273
Views: 6895

Graphite and salinity: Experimental results added

A lot has been said, but maybe I can synthesize all these observations into a coherent worldview: Graphite when used by critics, is almost always used to denote cedar aromas. These aromas are primarily a consequence of new oak, but is also quite similar to (and often associated with) the tobacco aro...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
June 13th, 2017, 8:46 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: What unknown wine do you wish someone would import?
Replies: 44
Views: 2653

What unknown wine do you wish someone would import?

I'd love to see some older Hunter Semillon (at least 15 years, when they start to develop unique toasty aromas that masquerade as oak). Broadbent is bringing in 5-year-old Tyrrell's, but at that point they haven't really started to develop yet. Some of the older examples I've tasted were like low-al...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
May 21st, 2017, 10:06 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 2013 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Blanc Brézé
Replies: 2
Views: 301

TN: 2013 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Blanc Brézé

Great note - if you liked this, you should check out the wines of Chateau de Breze. A friend recently introduced me to their Clos de la Rue and I was hooked. The more-ish salinity on the back end is astoundingly good. +1 on Ch. de Breze! @kirk - awesome note! I tried the 2007 basic Saumur in London...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
May 21st, 2017, 9:38 pm
Forum: Wine 101: The Basics
Topic: What does "corked" taste like?
Replies: 14
Views: 2649

What does "corked" taste like?

All of the above. Keep in mind there are big variations in people's sensitivities. One taster I respect called a corked wine, wine of the night. He did smelled nothing off, and the wine was young enough where the fruit was still very present on the palate. I could not get past the smell or taste of...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
May 10th, 2017, 10:59 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: Terrebrune, Musar, Bea at dinner in London
Replies: 11
Views: 879

TN: Terrebrune, Musar, Bea at dinner in London

...As to the Musar entering its prime drinking window, I would be surprised if that was the case. These wines seem to live forever (same with the Terrebrune )! I think all Musars are constantly in their drinking window :) But the '07 is quite primary still (or was late last year). The '00 and '01 a...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
May 3rd, 2017, 10:38 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 1998 Chateau Musar (Lebanon, Bekaa Valley)
Replies: 25
Views: 1458

TN: 1998 Chateau Musar (Lebanon, Bekaa Valley)

Weird/Unique/Off Vintages of Musar: 1982, 1984 (a super-rare vintage), 1996, 1997, 2003 .... The '03 was atypically dark, muscular, almost raisinated. I'll admit the 2003 was a different beast of a wine, perhaps more Languedoc than Lebanon, but still delicious that I ordered another bottle of it. A...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
May 3rd, 2017, 10:34 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 1998 Chateau Musar (Lebanon, Bekaa Valley)
Replies: 25
Views: 1458

TN: 1998 Chateau Musar (Lebanon, Bekaa Valley)

To add to Kirk's comment about 1984. It was the vintage that "wasn't made" but actually was in small amounts and is super rare. Crazy good and why it wasn't sent out for sale I have no idea. I've got a couple bottles of it and have had it once. IMO one of the great Musar's. There was a lot of unres...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
May 3rd, 2017, 10:31 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 1998 Chateau Musar (Lebanon, Bekaa Valley)
Replies: 25
Views: 1458

TN: 1998 Chateau Musar (Lebanon, Bekaa Valley)

Byron Hewett wrote:We had a Chateau Musar tasting in Boulder Colorado last week...
Thanks for the notes! Your comments on the whites make a lot of sense - the '98 is post-inflection, the '07 still has it's youthful primary fruit, and the '01 and '06 are in the middle of their transformation.
by Rajiv Ayyangar
May 2nd, 2017, 9:53 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 1998 Chateau Musar (Lebanon, Bekaa Valley)
Replies: 25
Views: 1458

TN: 1998 Chateau Musar (Lebanon, Bekaa Valley)

I've always wanted to try a Musar, but was scared away from the amarone-ish flavors that I hear you sometimes get. Is it really that noticeable or do people just blow it out of proportion? Musar has a few prominent (and intentional) traits that would be considered faults in most New World wines: - ...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
April 30th, 2017, 10:44 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 1998 Chateau Musar (Lebanon, Bekaa Valley)
Replies: 25
Views: 1458

TN: 1998 Chateau Musar (Lebanon, Bekaa Valley)

Thanks for the lovely note, Doug! The florals and red fruit are absolutely consistent with my impressions, and I totally agree it's going strong and will only get better. Regarding the classification, I largely agree with Kirk (and he's certainly tasted Musar more broadly than I have). I do have a f...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
April 21st, 2017, 1:43 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: What % of the wines you try do you do Tasting Notes for?
Replies: 31
Views: 1106

What % of the wines you try do you do Tasting Notes for?

Markus S wrote:99.9%...just like Ivory.

If you never write it, you won't remember it.
99.9% for me too. I don't have the best memory for wines, but I'm really good at taking notes on everything.
by Rajiv Ayyangar
April 7th, 2017, 5:10 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: Broadbent Selections (Musar, +++)
Replies: 15
Views: 853

TN: Broadbent Selections (Musar, +++)

Hi Rajiv Earlier vintages (than 1999) were a bit more wild than what we commonly see today - or maybe I've become accustomed to it! regards Ian Hah, I laughed when I read that last part because I've thought the same.... This is also one of the few producers where I prefer to taste younger to older....
by Rajiv Ayyangar
April 7th, 2017, 7:38 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: Broadbent Selections (Musar, +++)
Replies: 15
Views: 853

TN: Broadbent Selections (Musar, +++)

1999 Chateau Musar - Lebanon, Bekaa Valley I brought this along and as the evening neared the end, it was brought out and popped, decanted and consumed by those of us who stayed. On decanting, i was worried as the VA was noticeable. That blew off quickly. There was some bottle stink, but that also ...
by Rajiv Ayyangar
March 13th, 2017, 2:09 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Five words to describe a wine you would like.
Replies: 64
Views: 1984

Five words to describe a wine you would like.

Detailed, evocative, wise, tensile, evolving. It's also fun to guess which wines people like from their 5 words: How well did I do? Rajiv, Good to see you posting again. How about recommendations that are $75-$100 or under? So if people haven't tried the wines you suggest it's affordable. I've adde...

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