TN: Quite a few


2007 Dönnhoff, Riesling Estate:
Cherry pits and rainwater with a touch of flint and light RS; 10% alcohol and about $17. Straight-forward but charming and lovely with Masaman curry.

2005 Pieropan, Soave Calvarino:
Diane made a dish that included sautéed cabbage in mustard – it seemed a difficult match so I tried this. As good a match as Chablis with oysters, this is taut and still slightly closed but vibrantly aromatic and brilliant in the mouth. Complex, intense, nearly electric acidity and real depth in the pure fruit flavors – and everything in perfect harmony. A joy to drink by itself but beyond words with the dish.

2007 Masi, Maisanco:
75% pinot grigio vinted in stainless, 25% verduzzo vinted in oak after drying several weeks on racks; 13% alcohol and about $14. Clear and pale yellow with green glints; smells mostly of citrus and apricot; tastes similar but with more complexity as apple and honey tones appear and some mineral; medium length with a slightly bitter finish. Diane likes it (which of course, is all I ever need to know) so we will buy more; as it so happens, I like it, too. Excellent with grilled chicken, roasted peppers, braised fennel and grilled olive bread with EVOO. And a pretty sipper by itself.

2005 Château d’Epiré, Savennieres:
A cabbage and white bean dish this evening matched well with this wine; not especially aromatic but what was there was citrus, dried flowers and mineral; light bodied but moderately intense in the mouth with flavors that follow the nose, not any wool or lanolin tones but some quince and apricot; medium length finish. Maybe the nicest thing about this wine is how well balanced and open it was. A really good time to try a bottle if you have access. And quite good with the dish. About $15.

2006 Dom. de la Fruitière, Muscadet Cuvée Petit M:
12% alcohol and about $10; fresh citrus and saline nose; not especially deep but solid fruit with rainwater, citrus and sea shell accents, decent volume and intensity and a very pretty and long finish. This may be slightly closed at the moment but its also lip-smackingly delicious and very nice with a pasta and olive dish.


2006 Duboeuf, Fleurie Fleur:
Almost black in the glass and much less polished than expected this is strongly flavored, not overly floral, without signs of banana or candy. Deeply fruited (mostly black fruit), rustic in construction and fairly tannic; not yet of a piece. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it. About $10.
Day two: Much more integrated with only a little tannin showing; still plenty of depth and intensity. It appears a little cellar time is a good idea.
(Aside: It has been a very long time since I have had a Duboeuf wine that I wanted to have again – this one I will buy more of. It is not as precise or complex as the Porphyry (note follows) or many of the finest producers in Beaujolais, but it is very good wine at a fraction of the price. And it is a welcome change from this house.)

2007 Edmunds St. John, Gamay Porphyry:
More together, less extractive and better balanced than the preceding wine – still somewhat closed but much more approachable then two months ago; juicy, stony, concentrated black fruit with accents of strawberry, spice and mineral; excellent length. 13% alcohol, $20 and well worth it. Drink or hold.

2008 Lurton, Malbec:
Fresh fruit nose that shows the characteristics of the variety; middle-weight, silky texture, moderately intense with light spice tones and medium length. Not structured or meant to age, screw-cap, $7; and all one could want or ask at that price.

2005 Terra Rosa, Malbec:
This is a Laurel Glen project in Argentina, 14.5% alcohol, screw-cap and about $13; its over-ripe, over oaked, has little, if any, varietal character and it finishes hot; this could be from anywhere and, if I had my way, I’d send it back there – wherever ‘there’ might be. With so many reasonably priced and quality or at least enjoyable malbecs in the marketplace today, this is a joke.

2007 Castle Rock, Pinot Noir Mendocino:
This bottle is softer, sweeter and less aromatic then the last – but it still delivers a tasty drink when paired with gorgonzola polenta with tomato sauce. 13.8% alcohol and about $12. Somewhat above quaffing status, if you ask me.

Best, Jim