TNs--Weekend at Berto's II -- 04 Dom Rose, 07 Grand Annee, 67 Barolo, 89 Grange, 10 Boillot, Others

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Mike Grammer
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TNs--Weekend at Berto's II -- 04 Dom Rose, 07 Grand Annee, 67 Barolo, 89 Grange, 10 Boillot, Others

#1 Post by Mike Grammer » December 1st, 2019, 6:53 am

Another grand, grand day. Who doesn't go for Champagne breakfast?? We had a ton of wonderful wine today, capped off by a brilliant performance by Berto's daughter Eden in their theatre production of Annie. The kind of day you want to remember for a long time.

2004 Dom Perignon Rose

Dazzling in its intensity, almost zero dosage in feel and taste, but the clarity of the wine is something that rarely comes along. Like the 08 Cristal, demands your full attention. It’s a super-close horserace as to which I like better. At least 30 years of life left, it would not be wrong to let this air out for at least an hour. Special. When I give it some more thought, this has to come out best. WOTD and the weekend.

2007 Bollinger Grand Annee Rose

In a way, unfair to serve this with the 04 Dom Rose. It has its own fine tune to play, but is overshadowed. Standing apart, it does have super balance, a nice softness to the apple fruit to set off good bubbles and a slightly smoky length. No question, very, very good, just made less by the wine before it.

2010 Rivers-Marie Sonoma Coast PN

Berto was generous to open this. Cherries jubilee dominate the nuzzie and the tongue now, and while there isn’t really anything else, there is something to be said for the purity of expression here. I *think* I’d drink these up in the next 2-3 years if you have any left.

2010 Altesino Brunello

Decanted for 2 hours, this does have a ceiling, but I like very much what it gives me today, tinges of meat and leather around dark berry and a bit of plum. Nice warmth and some tannins and acid to brace and frame everything. Went very well with Dave’s pasta and tomato sauce.

1989 Penfolds Grange Hermitage

Every time we come down, I do make a special request of Berto. This was my request this time. The bouquet still hits you like a heavyweight—macerated plums and eucalyptus and chocolate. Those scents make it to the palate, along with a little beef blood. It remains a powerhouse, even after about a 3 hour decant. Delicious with some sausage, it’s a wine which speaks so clearly to me of Australia, in the best way. Very happy to have this. Nick reported it showed best after 8 hours’ decant, which is what I might expect.

2016 Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurtzgarten GG

This is well-shaped for what it is, quite sharply defined for me with apple and lilac playing their roles. Maybe a small taste of pink grapefruit in there, it is sprightly but perhaps missing the continuing level of freshness and acidity at the back palate that I might prefer. OTOH, maybe that’s GG in style. Enjoyed it.

2016 Weinbach PG Cuvee St. Catherine Clos des Capucins

Ginger notes around unripe pear, this is a young ‘un that I tried the day after opening. While there is some structure and you can see it’s well-made, I’m with Dave in saying that maybe Alsatian Pinot Gris (other than perhaps ZH) is not my cup of tea anymore.

1967 Franco Fiorina Barolo

Nick had this as his #1 at least today, if not the whole weekend. It starts out a little musty, but that blows off. A splendid reaction with the salami we had, very much livened up the wine. I felt this was a nice showing of an older Barolo with a level of class and still good acidity, but missing the true magic of e.g. some 64s I’ve had.

1988 Sterling Reserve Cab

Only the lightest sense of wood now to currant and plum fruit. Palate is very settled and almost demure. There are fine bones here, if maybe not quite as good as, say, the 77 Chappellet I had a little while ago. I should have, perhaps, kept some of this aside for later—the others said this continued to improve.

2003 Domaine Huet Cuvee Constance

Wow. A special treat. Haunting wine. It smells like sugared divinity---whiffs of caramel, apricot, nougat and sweet pear all have a say for me. Dans la bouche, even more impactful, it coats every part with loveliness. Is it the legendary 89? Perhaps not, but it’s darned close 93, a wine to remember for a long time.

1993 Erben K. Haubs-Barzen Bernkastler Alte Badstube Ries Auslese

A rather shy bouquet with hints of sweet apple and some honeysuckle. It is light to taste as well, lighter than I might expect. It has a gentle and sweet (in the romantic sense) presence, but I did expect more presence as a whole.

2014 Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne La Romanee

Fair structure here and a little matchstick in the nose and mouth, but for me this has a lot of sulphur right now and the wood seems a touch overt. It may shake itself out in time.

2012 Fevre Chablis Les Clos

This was a sure-footed beauty. Really fine lime component wafts up the glass along with mineral and crisp apple. On the tongue, this is about sublime elegance and balance, a wine that tells a story about being in Chablis. Super showing.

2008 Outpost True Cab

This still isn’t lacking in rich black cherry and plum. What has happened is that it has settled down quite a bit on the palate since I last had this 5 or 6 years ago. There is still a ripeness and lushness about this, but it isn’t overpowering now. I’m actually intrigued as to where this wine might end up in 5 years.

2010 Boillot Puligny Clos de la Mouchere

I last had this I think 5 years ago in DC. At that time ,it was virtually impenetrable. While still coiled tight as a spring, it is starting to show its class and colours. Driving lemon, lime and mineral all have an equal say in what is still a full-feeling wine.

2014 Rhys Horseshoe Chard

Delicious and zappy mountain chard. The usual laser precision, with a peppery entry and actually a little tropical fruit zing in the middle which adds interest. It’s still a shade on the young side. Leave 3 more years to fully integrate.

Berto---canNOT express again how thankful we all feel to have you as a friend. A bientot, brother.
Last edited by Mike Grammer on December 2nd, 2019, 10:22 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: TNs--Weekend at Berto's II -- 04 Dom Rose, 07 Grand Annee, 67 Barolo, 90 Grange, 10 Boillot, Others

#2 Post by Humberto Dorta » December 1st, 2019, 3:06 pm

Seeing tears of joy on your face after watching my kid perform cannot be repaid my friend. This is always your home. Btw the grange was 89 and the Bollinger was a rose. I liked the kumeu river more than you but otherwise the notes would be similar. We and of course I was team dom day one :) hopefully Tran adds some food pics because Dave outdid himself!
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Re: TNs--Weekend at Berto's II -- 04 Dom Rose, 07 Grand Annee, 67 Barolo, 89 Grange, 10 Boillot, Others

#3 Post by Mike Grammer » December 1st, 2019, 6:43 pm

Oops--thanks! Corrected. Hope today's performances went well. Seeing Eden and Madison at the end of the show, very precious.
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Re: TNs--Weekend at Berto's II -- 04 Dom Rose, 07 Grand Annee, 67 Barolo, 89 Grange, 10 Boillot, Others

#4 Post by Jeremy Holmes » December 1st, 2019, 8:08 pm

Thanks for the notes Mike.

I've derived a lot of pleasure from those old Franco Fiorina Barolo.
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Re: TNs--Weekend at Berto's II -- 04 Dom Rose, 07 Grand Annee, 67 Barolo, 89 Grange, 10 Boillot, Others

#5 Post by Nick Christie » December 2nd, 2019, 10:06 am

Eden Dorta as Annie is worth a drive for those in a, oh, say 5-hour radius away from Meadville... ;)

Now on to discussion points:

The Beautiful conversation about the 2004 Dom Rose rests upon a tremendous block of acidity. As in, served blind, you could call it Salon. To be fair, as this was shared by 8+ people, it was also drunk a touch quickly (understatement), so we didn't get to really drink this over a few hours... even so, the freshness and the verve was spectacular. The best Dom I have had. This bottle is such a beautiful wine, and it is not surprising that it is everyone's favorite of the weekend, or month, or longer period of time...

I am alone on old Barolo Island, however, which is filled with old sports cars and beautiful tannins. This '67 was a special wine. Like a lot of old Reds it needed the air to really come alive. One is always apprehensive that a beautiful old wine will not entirely 'wake up' and so one sips and smells and tries to see the seeds of the fleshy middle and bright fruit notes slowly inch out. After an hour, this old Franco Fiorina was truly spectacular, its tannins incredible. The tannins were so good, that the dregs were even delicious.

So, as to the debate about wine of the weekend, the class and crystaline pop of the '04 Dom Rose is juxtaposed with the old Italian filled with sensual, delicate tannins, and after not too long a wait, also with the juice coming around to add fruit and lightness to them. Luckily for me, others were more entranced with other things, so I got to spend 30-45 minutes in my own Cone of Silence with a few glasses of the Barolo just ignoring the world and meditating with a mouthful of exquisite 50-year-old dirt... Look, it may not be for everyone, but I adored it.
Last edited by Nick Christie on December 2nd, 2019, 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: TNs--Weekend at Berto's II -- 04 Dom Rose, 07 Grand Annee, 67 Barolo, 89 Grange, 10 Boillot, Others

#6 Post by Nick Christie » December 2nd, 2019, 10:17 am

As to the '89 Grange...

You know, I do not know what to make of this wine. The nose is deep with soy, and over several hours the juice is still 'loud'... I drank a little each hour for like 5 hours, and then had a touch left at 8 hours. The wine benefits from the softness, but then I missed the nose, which also gets lesser as the hours pack along. Basically, this bottle had a Goldilocks problem for me: I can't tell when it would be best, as what I wanted was for there to be a more complex middle palate, or a more refined finish when the nose was unique and aromatically intense. With all the hours, the rest of the wine is more balanced, but I missed the freshness of the early nose and front-loaded dark fruit umami.... Basically, I come away thinking there's a version of this wine that I want to try but did not get to.

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Re: TNs--Weekend at Berto's II -- 04 Dom Rose, 07 Grand Annee, 67 Barolo, 89 Grange, 10 Boillot, Others

#7 Post by Mike Grammer » December 2nd, 2019, 1:27 pm

I forgot to mention the late afternoon wines at our friends Ron and Linda on the way back home. I toted back the 2011 Williams Selyem Bacigalupi Zin was very, very good--had a fine, defined tomato zap to the red fruit and a hint of coolness in the mouth with lots of carry to the fruit and tannins. Liked this a lot. Ron generously opened a 2000 Campbell Gould VP which, while not on a par with the 97 Dow was still quite nicely open for a pop-and-pour, plenty of fig and date to go around the sweet black fruit core.
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Re: TNs--Weekend at Berto's II -- 04 Dom Rose, 07 Grand Annee, 67 Barolo, 89 Grange, 10 Boillot, Others

#8 Post by Tran Bronstein » December 2nd, 2019, 8:27 pm

Right, so just ignore what Mike and Nick have to say above. Here's what actually happened. [wow.gif] Our second day began with David making us all a brunch of buffalo mozzarella on mesclun greens with cherry tomatoes, smoked salmon slices and marinara penne. On special request, I also made made Eden some eggs benedict from scratch 'cause I wanna tell everyone someday I knew her way back when and made her a diva breakfast before she was rich and famous.

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GYSLER 1990 HUXELREBE TROCKENBEERENAUSLESE -- So I forgot to mention that the evening before I took a brief power nap on the couch and missed this bottle and only realized it the next day when I saw this empty bottle in the morning. At first I was miffed that I had missed a TBA until I realized that this was the very same bottle that I picked on our last visit. It was sitting in Humberto's fridge the last six months stopped with a cork. And according to everyone I spoke to, it was absolutely amazing and on the Top 5 wine list. TBA is indestructible.

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ERIC BORDELET 2018 POIRE L'AUTHENTIQUE SIDRE -- When is fruit cider as good as Champagne? when it's made by Eric Bordelet. Crystalline texture, clean as a whistle, extremely bright and crisp with a tart pear flavor and very fine perlage. I actually enjoyed this more than the Bollinger below if you can believe that.

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DOM PERIGNON 2004 BRUT ROSE -- Superb champagne bursting with a refreshing body, fine perlage and a complex but balanced and very refreshing mix of chalk, brioche, fresh cranberry and watermelon fruit. Absolutely delicious, everyone raved over it, and it's pretty much the runaway wine of the entire weekend.

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BOLLINGER 2007 LA GRANDE ANNEE ROSE BRUT -- Oh poor Bollinger, you are a great Champagne that had the great misfortune of following the Dom above. While you also had a nice complex mix of chalk, brioche and cranberry fruit flavor, you also had far less acidity. Humberto pointed out that the Dom had the effect of making the Bollinger feel heavy and unbalanced when it actually wasn't. Nick and Mike noted that it was much improved with some air in the glass as the acid pop came out. Unfortunately, the Dom already had it in spades right from the get go. Repeat Tran's wine mantra: sometimes there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

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DR. LOOSEN 2016 URZIGER WURTZGARTEN DRY GG -- I know this is dry because there's a huge "DRY" label on the bottle indicating the current problems German Riesling still has to grapple with. Lemon lime nose, complex mix of slainity, sweetness, brioche, a slight phenolic touch and lemon and lime fruit flavor. Has a very pure fruit sweetness, not sugary, that evaporates from the tongue. Very nice.

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RIVERS MARIE 2010 PINOT NOIR -- Soy sace nose, very smooth texture, mix of strawberry and pine needle flavors with a touch of salinity. Nice.

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ALTESSIMO 2010 BRUNELLO -- High heat on the nose. Powerful sweet smoked meat and stewed cherry flavors. The 2010 Brunello vintage scores again. Good match with food.

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FRANCO FLORINA ALBA 1967 BAROLO -- Wow, drinking a wine that's actually predating my existence. No decanting, straight from bottle. An earthy must nose of fresh mushroom but absolutely no "barnyard." Unbelievably fresh on the palate given the age, with a ton of sour cherry and umami flavor.This would be great with either mushrooms or salami per Berto and he in fact pulled out some more chorizo salami slices from the previous night's charcuterie which awoke the wine up even more. An achievement.

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PENFOLD'S 1989 THE GRANGE BIN 95 -- Ah, the legendary overpriced Aussie legend at last. Lacquer nose, huge plum flavors and still quite a bit of tannins. Very full body and strong heat with a touch of earthiness. This basically a dry port. it's tamed and sweetened by the chorizo and the braised chicken sausage. Superb with food.

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DOMAINE HUET 2003 CUVEE CONSTANCE -- Mango and quince candy flavors with toffee accents and a silky texture. David notes it's not as syrupy as the previous night's eiswein. Delicious with Humberto's coconut flan.

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STERLING VINEYARDS 1998 STERLING RESERVE -- Some definite "barnyard" here. Mushroom, cranberry, salt and tart red berries that really only show up on the finish for me and high heat. This really needs to be paired with meat.

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HAUBS-BARZEN 1993 BERKASTELER BADSTUBE RIESLING AUSLESE -- Stinky petrol nose gives way to a very smooth texture and nice ripe lemon drop flavors but the sweetness has all mellowed out. Very interesting evolution.

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CHATEAU DE LA MALTROYE 2014 CHASSAGNE MONTRACHET 1ER CRU -- Very lemony on the palate, a lot of gunpowder sulfur on the nose. This was opened both too young and too cold.

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After this, it was off to see Annie and Eden's star turn in it. The musical was great and the personal highlight for me was seeing her friend, former babysitter and mentor Madison who is herself an accomplished musical theater performer as well crying and hugging Eden as she told her how proud she was of her during the cast meet and greet after the show. Then we came back for more wine and food.

BOUCHARD PERE ET FILES 1996 BONNES-MARES -- So we came back to this with a fresh bottle. This has a nice cherry liqueur nose with some soy sauce mixed in. Some nice sour cherry flavor, still some tannins pesent, and surprisingly high acidity. This makes 2 out of 5 good bottles so far per Berto and I don't personally think that's a good ROI for a wine collector and wouldn't pursue it myself.

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KROHN 30 YEAR OLD TAWNY PORT -- Huge rancio nose, sweet buckwheat honey, rancio and dried plums with a nice little touch of smoke. Delicious stuff.

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OUTPOST 2008 CABERNET SAUVIGNON -- Light tannin and a much lighter body that the rich nose indicates. Very enjoyable Cali Cab that goes against the overextracted norm.

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RHYS 2014 CHARDONNAY -- No sulfur on the nose. Light lemon and green apple flavor with a touch of phenolic. This actually tastes more like Chenin Blanc than Chardonnay.

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Last edited by Tran Bronstein on December 3rd, 2019, 11:54 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: TNs--Weekend at Berto's II -- 04 Dom Rose, 07 Grand Annee, 67 Barolo, 89 Grange, 10 Boillot, Others

#9 Post by Tran Bronstein » December 2nd, 2019, 8:42 pm

WILLIAM FEBVRE 2012 CHABLIS GRAND CRU LES CLOS -- Unripe pineapple aromas and flavors with a touch of cream on the body.

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To go with all this wine during the day, Nick and Humberto also made some tapas to keep us going throughout the rest of the afternoon after brunch: braised chicken sausage, more perogies, a delicious cococnut cream flan and some red wine braised venison penne.

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For our very late dinner after the play, David made a stew of red wine marinated venison, red beans and vegetables along with some brioche toast. Then the wines retired as we moved on to cocktails and spirits for the evening.

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During this portion, I mixed my first ever cocktail by altering a recipe for Jasmine. This will probably be a little sweet especially if you use the more honeyed yellow Chartreuse as I did so feel free to substitute regular green Chartreuse or your fave gin to keep the herbaciousness but cut down on the sweetness.

CHARTREUSE JASMINE

1.5 oz Chartreuse
.75 oz lemon juice
.25 oz Grand Marnier or Cointreau
.25 oz Campari or Aperol

Shake in a cocktail blender filled with ice. Pour and drain into a martini glass. Enjoy.

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LAPHROAIG 25 YEAR OLD ISLAY – Quite a salty nose. Sweet entry. Really high peat smoke on this one.

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BUNNAHBHAIN LIMITED RELEASE PEDRO XIMENEZ FINISH – Finished for 3 years in PX Sherry barrels after 11 years of aging. The molasses and raisins from the Pedro Ximenez is quite evident on the entry. Smoky heat is just burning on the entry. A sweet firecracker.

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TALISKER 25 YEAR OLD -- Sweet banana chip entry, smooth body, then the smoky peat takes over. It's definitely been a weekend for peat.

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BONUS WINES

On the way back to Canada, we stopped in Buffalo, New York to meet up with Sharon, a friend of Jay's, for lunch at Shango, a nice Cajun fusion restaurant:

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PIERRE MONTCUIT BRUT DELOS GRAND CRU BLANC DE BLANCS – Jay and Sharon shared this at lunch. I sipped on her glass before we left. Very crisp and racy, all fresh apple and white grapefruit, not a hint of lees, a little heat on the finish. Very clean. Feels and tastes like a good QPR champagne.

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Then we stopped over in Niagara on the Canadian side to meet up with our friends Ron and Linda in their lovely Queenston home and had the following:

WILLIAMS SEYLEM 2011 BACIGALUPI ZINFANDEL – All delicious blackberry flavor with not a whiff of tannins and a much lighter body than you’d expect from a Cali Zin. Really well done.

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GOULD CAMPBELL 2000 VINTAGE PORTO – Sweet plum and dried cherry flavors, a hint of tobacco leaf, and completely receded tannins. Noticeable but pleasant brandy heat.

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Our thanks to Humberto for once again opening his beautiful home to us and hosting not just us but also a number of his former theater cohorts who traveled far and wide from Meadville, Boston and New York to lend their support to Eden as well, all of whom became fast friends with all of us. And also to Sharon for meeting us for lunch and giving us a tour of the radio station where she works and to Ron and Linda for the lovely visit. Can't wait to do it all again!
Last edited by Tran Bronstein on December 3rd, 2019, 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TNs--Weekend at Berto's II -- 04 Dom Rose, 07 Grand Annee, 67 Barolo, 89 Grange, 10 Boillot, Others

#10 Post by Mike Grammer » December 2nd, 2019, 10:18 pm

Thanks to both of you, Tran and Nick for your notes and thoughts. Shows what a fine time we did have. Pics amazing.

Nick---how was the Krug today? [grin.gif] And the Boxler--hopefully next time!
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Re: TNs--Weekend at Berto's II -- 04 Dom Rose, 07 Grand Annee, 67 Barolo, 89 Grange, 10 Boillot, Others

#11 Post by Neal.Mollen » December 3rd, 2019, 5:13 am

I haven't had the 04 Dom rose, so I can't comment on the comparison, but I have had the 07 Bolly rose and it was fantastic. The Dom must have been sensational.

Thanks all for the excellent notes!
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Re: TNs--Weekend at Berto's II -- 04 Dom Rose, 07 Grand Annee, 67 Barolo, 89 Grange, 10 Boillot, Others

#12 Post by Nick Christie » December 3rd, 2019, 12:15 pm

The Krug was Grand Cuvee (164)... and was a freaking delight. We've drank through them too fast, but, you know, they are delicious. This one was truly singing, particularly with an opulent egg brunch.

Smooth-skinned Oracle though he may be, I think Tran's overly harsh on the Grange. For one, it's under 14% and not especially dry. And as I said in my 8 hours of tasting, I do think there's a great wine in there somewhere (or in other bottles) but I never caught the integration of nose, body, finish. There's a lot of quality there, it just didn't Voltron it's way into an epic combination for me.

The motivation for the braised chicken sausage was the Barolo, and the combination was particularly dynamite. Slightly acidic meat juices propelled that wine into overdrive. As I said above, I think most were not overly enchanted by its first 45 minutes and moved on, but that left me as its last believer. Tannins of dreams.

I literally looked for that Boxler on multiple days... I have no idea where it got to [scratch.gif]

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Re: TNs--Weekend at Berto's II -- 04 Dom Rose, 07 Grand Annee, 67 Barolo, 89 Grange, 10 Boillot, Others

#13 Post by Mike Grammer » December 3rd, 2019, 7:23 pm

Yes, we've enjoyed the 164 together, a fine cuvee for sure. BTW, if Merrill's wines arrive before you leave and you want to, feel free to try one of them with Berto.
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Re: TNs--Weekend at Berto's II -- 04 Dom Rose, 07 Grand Annee, 67 Barolo, 89 Grange, 10 Boillot, Others

#14 Post by Humberto Dorta » December 4th, 2019, 3:59 am

They are here. Id end up drinking 95% of the bottle though ;)
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Re: TNs--Weekend at Berto's II -- 04 Dom Rose, 07 Grand Annee, 67 Barolo, 89 Grange, 10 Boillot, Others

#15 Post by Tran Bronstein » December 4th, 2019, 10:03 am

Nick Christie wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 12:15 pm

I literally looked for that Boxler on multiple days... I have no idea where it got to [scratch.gif]
You lost an Albert Boxler we could have had together? You fool! [swearing.gif]

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Re: TNs--Weekend at Berto's II -- 04 Dom Rose, 07 Grand Annee, 67 Barolo, 89 Grange, 10 Boillot, Others

#16 Post by Nick Christie » December 4th, 2019, 11:53 am

Boxler Found!

So much impatience... this is art as well as science. Maybe I should just drink it now this afternoon over some Premier League? I mean, you'll be just as happy with the Skrewball, right?

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