’15 Chaleur Blanc, ’04 Autard Chateauneuf +

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Dan Kravitz
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Location: Harpswell, Maine

’15 Chaleur Blanc, ’04 Autard Chateauneuf +

#1 Post by Dan Kravitz » September 6th, 2019, 6:32 pm

Another dinner on the road from Maine to Massachusetts.

2015 Chaleur Estate Blanc - I was asked to pick up some wine in a New Hampshire state store. Saw this on sale at half price, reduced from $35 to $18. Got one for a dinner needing a white. This is a benchmark for me, but below par last night. The aromas had all of the green herbs and white spices that I love. But the palate was a little heavy and clumsy, with the flavors muted. This was disjointed, something I’ve never experienced with what is usually a preternaturally seamless wine. As it warmed and breathed, it showed signs of knitting, but sips throughout the evening left me unsatisfied. Rated 82 on opening, improved to 86.5, didn’t budge after that. When I bought the bottle I was excited, figured I’d pick up 6 or 12 when I drove back today, but passed.

2006 Ca de Solo Nebbiolo – An eccentricity from Bonny Doon. I’ve never had a California Nebbiolo I liked, much less loved (please chime in if I’m missing something). This was abnormally dark for the varietal. The aromas were beyond secondary but not gone into dead leaves. The palate was ridiculously heavy for Nebbiolo, soft and tired. Drinkable but not worth drinking. Rated 81.

2009 Corton Blanc Chandon de Briailles – I posted on this recently, picked up more. Great wine. Period. This bottle rated 94.5, maybe a touch less wonderful than my last one (IIRC rated 95 or 96), but still a testament to white Burgundy that never heard of premox. Great complex aromas of hay, flowers, white spice. Thrilling texture, a muscular tightrope walker of a wine.

2004 Autard Chateauneuf-du-Pape – With an incredibly simple main course of spaghetti from Pastaland in Leominster, an assortment of the freshest mushrooms quick-fried at very high heat, some cream, with grated aged parmesan on top. The aromas are open and beautifully secondary, with plums, earth, and a hint of black raspberry. The palate is rich and savory, with some fine tannins still lending structure to an almost opulent texture. This is excellent, a vigorous teenager with impeccable manners. Rated 92.5. I’m not sure that this will improve, but wouldn’t mind trying it again in 2, 3, 5, 10 years. A textbook classic.

Dan Kravitz
swillmaster - ITB

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