TNs, Indian food and some WBer dudes

A handful of us got together at a local Indian place that started up here in 2017. I’ve got to know the owner, who is kind, hard-working and supportive of letting us do some wine dinners at his modestly sized place. When 8 dudes roll in with what I think was 18 bottles, then we go on a seek and destroy effort with 1/2 of the menu, it was a helluva Thursday evening. Funny moment when Counselor Seiber, after most everyone was stuffed, convinced my neighbor Nishant (who is from India) to tee us up a final spicy course to go with the 2 Rieslings we had been keeping cold for the end of the meal. Vindaloo and Tikka Masala, cranked up to what seemed to 8 or 9 on the heat scale and then we just cranked through the Riselings. Stuffed. Even Frenchie, the hulking man that he is, said he too was stuffed.

I didn’t take notes on everything as I just don’t sense well in darker places, with lots of noise and good conversation, as well as that many wines in front of me. So, I selectively jotted down some things, but I do know the Rock (Chris Whetstone) and Counselor Seiber were scrawling out some TNs too so maybe we’ll see their wisdom cross this thread.

Below are what I jotted out. In addition, I posted a photo of the table and noted the names. I get tired of looking at avatars and codenames of people inside of this hobby so if you enjoy seeing the curtain pulled back on who is who, then you got it. PS–was great to meet Bryan Price, who doesn’t love far from me, and to have him join us for the first time. Good people, and he loves 5AM basketball following a wine dinner the previous night, too.

  • 2006 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Westside Road Neighbors - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (5/4/2018)
    This seems to be in a good drinking zone. Soft, with strawberry and touch of root beer, too.
  • 2011 Rhys Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains (5/4/2018)
    I thought this showed well last night. The tasting conditions for me were not ideal, as I don’t seem to tune in as well in a dark setting, with multiple bottles and when I am trying to have good convo with people. I jotted down pineapple, lime, some coconut and good acidity. I do think the wine is drinking in a good place now and ready to be enjoyed.
  • 2012 Marguet Père et Fils Champagne Grand Cru Rosé Ambonnay - France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru (5/4/2018)
    First of three I bought. Drank at ideal temp, too. Disgorged 06/2017, zero dosage. Zingy strawberry, chalk, fresh lime and a bright core. Enjoyed this.
  • 2013 Tyler Chardonnay W Block Bien Nacido - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County (5/4/2018)
    White pepper aromatic, taut with fresh cut green apple that is drizzled with citrus. Maybe you laugh at my description but this is the image/meaning I got when drinking the wine last night. Spicy, long finish. This is a laser-beam of a Chard, without the intrusion of oak or glycerine, which may scare off a more modern Chard drinker/palate. I enjoyed it.
  • 2015 Emrich-Schönleber Monzinger Halenberg Riesling Großes Gewächs - Germany, Nahe (5/4/2018)
    I think I got the right wine pulled up here…never seen the label before and also had to ask the gang what “GG” meant. I’ve not drank a lot of Riesling, as I don’t care for the sweetness so I learned about these letters and ultimately, I liked this style, too. Petrol/diesel nose, mineral, with a nice drying quality, which included a little note of savory, too.
  • 2007 François Chidaine Vouvray Le Bouchet - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray (5/3/2018)
    Another wine that has been a while since I opened a bottle, about 4 years ago. I stopped buying the Bouchet because my palate got soft and fragile but I still buy and cherish the Sec cuvees like Breuil and Choisilles, for sure. Blah blah. So this has been open about 30 mins, and I figured I’d taste a pour before I chill and take to dinner, where I may not get another crack at it. Big table, short arms I gots. My immediate impression is a touch warm (my bad, maybe it’s 68f?) which gives this a more luscious feel, more generous and smooth. Taking 5f of temp off this I suspect would lean it up some. The color shows some gold, but nothing I’d say is advanced for a 10 year old Chidaine. Lime, ripe peaches, nectarine, lemon oil (which I think would sing better with the cooler temp, too). Finishes with a sweet-ish quality, all of that orchard fruit in focus. This seems to be aging fine, with no fade or ox qualities whatsoever.
  • 2008 Wind Gap Wines Chardonnay Yuen James Berry/Brosseau Vineyards - USA, California, Central Coast (5/3/2018)
    I have had this bottle for a longgg time, and it’s the oldest bottle (or was) of my CA chard inventory. Figured it was time to try it, to pair with some Indian food later. I just opened this so take that FWIW and in the event I don’t get to retaste this later, I at least can crank out some impressions. Smoky, mineral, piercing lemon with some curd and pippin apple, anise–totally alive at 10 years and quite remarkably youthful, too. In fact, and I don’t say this often, there may be too much acid to fruit. This is pretty lasered in and I’ll be very keen to see how this shows. I’m even going to blind this bottle, as it’s tasting unique enough that I think I can stump some of the smart palates with it…the bottle got mixed results at the table. A couple people said a young wine and so it was surprising when I said it was a decade old. Another said simple, lacking acid yet another said the acid was fine. All said, I liked the wine and thought it was holding up well for its age and it’s doing well at 10 years.

Posted from CellarTracker

Thanks for getting the thread rolling Frank. Good times. I ate way too much even without the insanity of that last round of food. No notes on the Rieslings. My favorite wines on the evening were the Produttori and the Turley.

DINNER AT BASANTI - Basanti (5/3/2018)

Too much food and plenty of laughs were served. There were also a couple of Rieslings around.

  • 2012 Cowan Cellars Ribolla Gialla - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Pretty nose of hard candies. Clean palate with a slight grip. Refreshing and drinks easy. A nice pairing for lighter foods.
  • 2012 Marguet Père et Fils Champagne Grand Cru Rosé Ambonnay - France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
    Tight nose that gets a bit yeasty later on. Cherry flavored with some tartness on the finish. Nice and lean feeling. That yeasty note came out after some air. This might be better in a couple years or need airing for it’s best drinking.
  • NV Pierre Gerbais Champagne Brut - France, Champagne
    In contrast to the Marguet this drank bigger and the fruit seemed to carry a note a ripeness that was pushing things. Leaning more on the crowd pleasing side.
  • 2013 Tyler Chardonnay W Block Bien Nacido - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
    Nose is a bit reserved with a solid note of vanilla. Spicy and richly flavored but not fatly fruited. Tart finish. Certainly a singular Chard. I’ve had plenty from Bien Nacido over the years but this one was quite different from most any Cali Chard.
  • 2011 Rhys Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
    Nose showed tropical type fruits like banana and pineapple. Palate seems riper than I’m used to from this vineyard, continuing what I was getting from the nose. It seems to spread out towards the finish rather than coming to a focused, acidic finish like you hope to get. More of an uneven expression there. This also showed a lot more color than I would expect for a Chard this young from a strong producer. I have little familiarity with this vintage but on the night it was certainly out of step from my other experiences with Rhys Chards.
  • 2007 François Chidaine Vouvray Le Bouchet - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray
    Expressive nose. Big, juicy palate in terms of expression but not in feel. This is still a touch of sweetness lingering and it shows a bit ripe. Overall kinda delicious. Very nice.
  • 2008 Wind Gap Wines Chardonnay Yuen James Berry/Brosseau Vineyards - USA, California, Central Coast
    Served blind. I was WAY off here. This showed like a lean, basic Chenin Blanc to me. Like a cheaper Savennieres. Tight and lean in expression. Strong acidity. Thought I was getting lanolin on the nose but maybe that was the sheep I road in on. Impressive showing for a Chard from those vineyards ten years on in any case. I believe the James Berry Chard is the oldest vines at the site and usually gets sold to lesser producers.
  • 2006 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Westside Road Neighbors - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Sonoma piney, Christmas spiced nose. Juicy and clean with a touch of a grip. Nice and appears to be a good spot.
  • 2001 Arcadian Syrah Robert O. Fleming Cuvée Garys’ Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands
    This seems to be aging at a glacial pace. Big, pretty nose with a touch of vanilla and that Central Cali tar. Still richly fruited. Dry finish. I’d probably wait a few more years honestly. Nice.
  • 2014 Domaine des Rosiers Côte-Rôtie Cuvée Drevon - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
    Tough to get a read on this one. Those nose was purely modern in expression giving up sweet fruits and vanilla. But the palate was lean, greenish and acidic. Light tannin but just not as expressive as the nose. This clearly needs some more bottle time but where it’s going is somebody elses guess.
  • 2016 Sandler Wine Company Grenache Boer Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Chalone
    Bright fruits on the nose. Very glycerin feeling palate. Round and tannic.
  • 2013 Ridge Zinfandel Buchignani Ranch - USA, California, Sonoma County
    Green notes of dill on the nose. Lots of fruit but kind of reserved at the same time. Plenty of tannin for a Zin blend without much Petit Sirah in it. Sweet oak notes on the palate confirm that this shows more oak than the winemaker notes would seem to indicate. I had a similar experience with another of their 2013’s. This wine honestly seemed a bit closed as it seemed to have some fruit density. Just lacked in expression. The overtness of the wood is a bit worrisome. I’m guessing leave it be for a few more years and see if the fruit awakens and swallows up some of those oaky notes. The structure would indicate that is a possibility.
  • 2008 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Muncagota - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Bright cherry nose. Fantastic acidic core here for the fruit the wrap around. Clean. Fine tannin. This is terrific and could improve. The owner had opened this 8-10 hours prior to coming to the dinner. No rush.
  • 1996 Turley Petite Syrah Aida Vineyard - USA, California, Napa Valley
    Nose of crushed lava rock. Lots of fruit on the palate. Clean and lean. The right amount of acidity to make it feel perfectly balanced. Enjoyed this much more than I would normally expected to enjoy an old bottle of Turley.
  • 2015 Bevan Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Tench Vineyard - USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
    Oak prominent on the nose. Some sweetness and alcohol on a big palate. A very modern big Cali Cab.

Posted from CellarTracker

Not that I want any more competition when it comes to buying the better GG’s but it amazes me how many folks don’t know and understand what kind of values these represent in the world of wine compared to some of the Grand Cru White Burgs and other world-class white wines.

Great notes fellas- thank you for posting.

Had a 09 Le Bouchet yesterday that was very similar to your notes, but with maybe a slightly more honeyed note on the finish (probably due to being 2 years younger). Great wine that was loved by all and went down quickly by the pool.

I love the wines, but somehow rarely drink them. Not sure why.

One of your friends looks just like Todd. pepsi

Also . . . “Petrol/diesel nose” . . . how could that be wrong? [bleh.gif]

I thought Wetstone was much hotter given his avatar. His facial expression is, “oh my [insert your spiritual reference], I think I just ate the sacred cow.” :wink:.

Sounds like a fun night, glad you posted the pic with names, good to put names to faces. Of course, we all know our fearless leader and his manly pecs and flowing locks.

Thanks for that wonderful post!

[cheers.gif] to you guys!

Kirk, I did not and for drinking wine for more than 2 decades, it was a designation I am certain I do not remember seeing nor tasting. Yet, guys at the table knew what it was so I have been lost in the forest, I guess. Can you tell me more about it and also what 2-3 producers I should be looking for?

The generally accepted wisdom is that Keller (from the Rheinhessen) is the gold standard of GG.

Schafer-Frohlich, Dönnhoff, von Winning, Wittmann, Reichsrat von Buhl, and a host of others also make outstanding GGs.

Buek, thanks for the reply. I noticed a # of these wines at Hitime here in the OC. This category of Riesling is interesting to me, one I want to taste and learn more about, too.

had my first AJ Adam recently—damn good trocken.

I strongly think you’ll prefer Riesling with significant age on it, as I do. The sweetness recedes to just a hint, leaving a real wine experience rather than a sweet grape beverage experience.

I’ll hand one off to you to try next time I see you, if you’re interested.

The only problem with aged Riesling is that it’s hard to find.

Thanks for posting Frank and for the invite!

I didn’t take pics of the wines we tasted and am glad someone consolidated the TNs. We should probably make everyone jealous by posting once a month or so of all the 18+ wines we get to try in one evening. Let’s do some more blind tastings, that 2008 Pax chardonnay was fun!

Besides being a manly beast, I also learned Todd is hilarious. Don’t let it go to your head buddy.

It looked more like “oh man I’m gonna have the ring of Fire tomorrow”

Yeah, as I shared during the dinner, this ‘hulking man’ was full after the FIRST course, which I thought was all the food we were having - similar to the time I tried to eat with Charlie Fu and Jorge Henriquez - how DO people eat so much??? I can’t imagine how hulking I’d be if I did.

With Indian food being notoriously difficult to pair (other than ‘goes with nearly everything even moderately spicy’ Riesling), there were a surprising number of great matches, including the fantastic Barbaresco and the Turley Aida Petit Sirah - two I figured wouldn’t work whatsoever. The Ribolla Gialla worked well also, and I really enjoyed the Rhys Chardonnay - perfect amount of aging for my palate, so if you have those, drink up and enjoy.

It’s the look that ponders, “who keeps massaging my toes?”

It’s true. Todd eats like someone on their first date.

He definitely looks creeped out. And I thought Todder was married.

After a couple momos and some Grosses Gewachs, all bets are off.