Current notes

2007 Pepiere, Muscadet Granite de Clisson:
Young, vibrant, deep with superb texture, balance, concentration and length. Obviously, has years to peak but is wonderful now and is certainly the benchmark for this AOC.
At about $20, the single best quality to price ratio white wine in the market today.

1995 Caprai, Sagrantino 25 Ani:
Decanted off considerable sediment; this has shed its tannin (although not completely) to a point where its balanced and plays a nice role in texture - this had been one of the most tannic wines I’d ever tasted; now its all sagrantino on the nose without secondary development but pure and clean; similar in the mouth with those powerful black fruit and smoked earth flavors typical of the variety, good concentration and intensity and good length. Still grippy but a balanced wine, finally.
This bottle makes me think sagrantino is a lot like petite sirah; it lasts but it doesn’t develop. Fifteen years and it still tastes the same - not a bad wine but not worth the price of admission. 13% alcohol.

1999 Michaud, Brouilly Prestige de Vieilles Vignes:
Eleven years has been kind; strong red and black fruit scents with a talcum powder note, clean but complex; similar on the palate with excellent concentration, evidence of secondary development and a very focused delivery; long finish. I think this cuvee needs a decade to show and maybe two to reach peak. And the next person who tells me gamay can’t age gets laughed at. Impressive!

2009 Bedrock, Zinfandel Stellwagen Vnyd.:
I should hate this wine - 15.3% alcohol, at least 25% new oak - but instead, I love it. None of the jam I often find in zin. but rather a smell and taste that reminds me of a rocky orchard of plum and blackberry - toss in some brown spice and rose water and the whole thing just sings. I can’t detect the alcohol and the oak is almost non-existent. A wine that I think would pair well with more than just bar-b-q or pizza and one that seems restrained and balanced. To be released shortly at about $29.
I probably won’t try to age it but I will buy it.

2000 Belle Pente, Pinot Noir Estate Reserve:
14.3% alcohol, a restrained but attractive nose - smoky, red fruit, something earthy (whole-cluster?) but ethereal - a bit disjointed when opened yet as the evening goes along, it comes together very nicely; silky in the mouth with good balance and a lovely texture that keeps me coming back. Overall, a wine that probably needs time but, in its absence, a good long decant. Complex and pleasing.

1999 Belle Pente, Pinot Noir Wahle Vnyd.:
13.8% alcohol; too much VA for me but with a lot of decanting back and forth, it comes under control; similar to the above wine but missing the focus and sense of togetherness (with time) that the previous wine attains. Not a bad wine but the VA is hard to get around.

Best, Jim