A Few Recent Tastes LXXXI - Offline Edition

Got together a couple of weeks ago with a few peeps to see what was what. Usual random assortment of wines. with too many to taste and too little time…

NV Champagne Augustin “Couer Saphyr Brut” (100% Pinot Meunier). Flat golden straw, looks to already be deepening, minimal pétillance. Yeasty nose, stone and mineral dust, lemon custard, generally on the soft side, aged apples and apricots, no angles, just soaks into your nostrils. Full-bodied, gentle fizz, acidity is pretty good so boosts the liveliness on the palate. More lees than yeast, good amount of orange zest, again adding to life. As it opens it gets more vinous and briny. The apricot, peach, apple fruit steady but definitely in the back seat. Lots of aftertaste. (Disgorged 8/2021)

2010 La Pépière Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine, “4”. Deepened gold, not flat but not all that shiny, good strength into the rims. Big, expansive nose of lemon curd, mint, rose petal, apricot pit, oddly more clean than yeasty, offers a slow muscular dissolve, nice. Full-bodied, acidity more buoyant than cutting. Here the yeastiness really comes through. Thick lemon citrus verging on naval orange. Apricot, peach, pear fruit taken on a dried fruit character. Was curious how it would age given its unusual elevage but absolutely holding on and arguably might have improved. (Aged four years on the lees before release. Grapes sourced from Clisson and Château Thébaud.)

2010 Château Simone Provence, Palette Blanc. Very dark golden color, orange rims, moderate shine, pretty much looks it’s age. Keen edged, pine, medicinal, lemon peel, hard to peg the fruit, nicely cleansing, just hard to describe. Medium-bodied, wiry and moves at a slow, muscular pace. Sweeter than the nose would have suggested, the apricot, peach, pear comes with a light dried fruit nature. Orange reduction, acidity bluntish, the savory herbs elevate big time. Almost honeyed at the end. Leaves me thinking it is midway to glory. Primarily Clairette, remainder unspecified percentages of Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Ugni Blanc and Muscat Blanc.

2014 Pascal Cotat Sancerre, Les Monts Damnés. Greenish gold tint to it, flat and layered, no shine, doesn’t look to be aging visually. Curiously tropical nose of pineapple, guava, peach fruit and pink grapefruit that nicely segues to limestone, slate, savory herbs, great swirling action, lasts and lasts. Medium-bodied, zesty mouth entry, bursting with that tropical notes, the savory garden herbs just explode. Has developed a yeasty quality through the finish. Level of energy suggests it has miles to go.

2014 Nicolas Joly Savennières, Clos de la Coulée de Serrant. Glazed deep golden color, some loss at the rims, not showing any age at this juncture. Woolly nose that shows typique, lanolin and lemon curd, good foundation of solid peach, apple fruit scents, turns short on the dissolve which makes me think it is somewhat shut down. Medium-bodied, on the soft side, even as the acidity somehow manages to clamp down past the mid-palate. Pineapple, papaya, apple, to peach fruit, not fully tropical but there’s bite. Very youthful and open, who knows where it might go.

2021 Peter Lauer Riesling, Mosel, Ayler Kupp, Stirn No. 15 Feinherb. Green white straw color, very nice shine, pools well into the glass, a little visible fizz. Tightly wound, high-toned nose of green apple, pear, apricot fruit, good deal of petrol and rubber, big florality, grapefruit, touch of mint, sticks to your nostrils like glue, refuses to move. Medium to close to full-bodied, sinewy acidity gives it a steady pulse. Powdered sugar doused apricot, apple, pear, papaya fruit. Pink and white grapefruit. Somehow manages to adhere itself to the palate so by the finish it feels like part of your tongue. Wow level wine.

2021 J.B. Becker Riesling, Rheingau, Wallufer Oberberg, Auslese Trocken AP #12. Crisp white gold, light green tint, average shine. Wonderful blowsy lift to the nose, lime to lemon zest, minerals and slate, the orchard fruit notes show more tension, clean and open lift, joy to sniff. Light to medium-bodied, the acidity stiffens it up big time. Has Auslese weight but the trocken part is dominant. Pineapple, nectarine, peach to papaya fruit, nice bite. White grapefruit, pressed flowers, for all of its structure has a pretty side. Lots of aging potential but not sure that it will be dramatically different.

2019 Jean et Gilles Lafouge Auxey-Duresses, La Chapelle. Bouncy ruby-violet, flushed rims, nice clarity. Tarry, smoky nose, not dirty but has dirt, cherry to blackberry scents, almost a touch of menthol, big, brawny presence in the nostrils. Medium-bodied, surprising tannic bite and the acidity is no slouch. Candied maraschino cherry to blackberry, raspberry fruit. Some oak toast but not much. More leather with tar coming up behind, yet the final impression is clean and vibrant. Accessible today but has the structure to go a good long while.

2019 Jean et Gilles Lafouge Auxey-Duresses, Les Duresses. Light ruby-violet, rims fully flushed, as expected youthfully bright. Smoky nose, potpourri, bing cherry, raspberry fruit, lavender, loose to violent lift at the end, real fleshy. Medium-bodied, squat, tight red cherry, berry fruit, right from the first sip everything about it is taut. Floral is a streamlined manner. Herbs, lavender, very pretty but with solid heft. This is a beautiful wine that probably has good upside but who cares the way it’s drinking today.

2016 Storm Wines Pinot Noir, South Africa, Walker Bay, Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, “Ignis.” Clean with good shine, offers noticeably (and seemingly) matured hues of rust red to orange with wide yellow rims, in the end probably looked this way right out of the chute. The nose has a racy, streamlined quality to it, brine, tar, and damp minerally black earth, candied cherry to raspberry fruit, white citrus, the more I sniffed it the more it seemed out of control, no “north star” as it were. Light to medium-bodied, rambunctious (not volatile) acidity, flits across the palate without direction. Not in the foreground but there’s a good deal of vanillin oak in the background. Tea leaf, tar, fried orange peel, there’s not much here to soak in for pure visceral enjoyment. That said, the vibrancy is appreciated and it’s hard to get bored with it.

1991 Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain. Purple core dense to get opaque, sunset red to orange rims. On the whole clear. Burly nose of cedar, incense, plum, black currant fruit, not exactly giving but not reticent, licorice to menthol, actually manages some lift. Medium-bodied, sinewy but the tannins surprisingly relent some at this point. Note of bell pepper, the black fruits show no sign of slowing down. More licorice, incense, cedar, plenty of nuance. Man, this is drinking well but there’s still upside. I waited and waited to pop the cork but it is what it is, hah.

2001 Galardi Campania, Roccamonfina, “Terra di Lavaro.” Black core, brick red rims, surprisingly fine clarity, vibrant but looks its age. Nasty nose of peanut shells, barnyard funk even after hours of decanting, prunes, raisins, really funky. The palate is full-bodied and thick, like a layer of cement on the tongue. Prune, date, some cherry, in the middle part of turning to sugary dried fruit. More funk, backward, peanut shells, based on its structure it can go a long distance. But to me there’s nowhere really to be go. 80% Aglianico, 20% Piedirosso.

Alas, I broke one of the cardinal rules of these “free for all” tastings. Try your own wines first! Thus I missed out on the bottle of 1999 Cavallotto Barolo Bricco Boschis. But “they say” it showed very well. Only one I had, went to a good cause.

Also missed a bottle of 2021 Eminence Road “Acidalia” blend from the Finger Lakes. But since I had it last month something had to give. There was also remainders of a bottle of Lambrusco, victory goes to the swift who downed it.