winereactionsarethenewtrend : a smattering of December with a dry January and a few bonus February selections

Yes, it is that time again. or a tad plus due.

An origin story.
San Jose CA upbringing. west of us was primarily prune orchards (cue the raven). recall Mrs Brown in 3rd grade edifying us to the fact that the Santa Clara County was home to 1/3 of the world’s prune production mid 20th century (who was I to dispute).
present for the first smog alert in 1971 just moments prior to college matriculation.
these were the days when the best wine stores (at least in San Jose) could be a place like Safeway. Our local Safeway had given full rein to their wine buyer and even then i knew it was quite broad in representing the wine world. and i remember him as a very warm and thoughtful “teacher”.
my parents did not drink more than a bottle or two every month, but they did support local wineries. so my high school nights found me sampling a fair amount of Ridge. nice way to start. we endeavored to continue the tradition with starting our kid with Prüm, whom she now familiarly refers to as “JJ”. looks like a win.

20 December : 2015 Domaine Laguerre Côtes du Roussillon Blanc Le Ciste
a go to wine. refreshing minerality. raage from CT says it best : “Mix singulier de Grenache blanc accompagné de Roussanne/Marsanne (et de Maccabeu & Rolle plus traditionnel pour ce coin en altitude de la vallée de l’Agly).” herbal nuttiness with fruit not being a significant aspect of this libation.

26 December : 2005 Franz Hirtzberger Riesling Smaragd Singerriedel
a blessing from Bettylu and Lou Kessler. we miss their good-natured and gracious companionship as Lou has moved forward from this life and BL has moved to Rancho Palos Verdes. botrytis, botrytis, botrytis. enjoyed but you got to like botrytis. big, bold and broad (the killer B’s). i venture that making wine in Wachau vineyards near the Danube is a lot tougher these days (at least for GV and riesling).

27 December : 2009 Eric Texier Côtes du Rhône-Brézème Vieille Serine Domaine de Pergaud
a last bottle. eine schande. Syrah, yes it is. black fruit and earthy savoriness. a delight. would like 6 more bottles to draw upon.

31 December : 2012 Caves Duplessis Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos
a note of gratitude here for Jamie Wolfe of Chambers Street Wines in New York City. A wonderful vinous emporium that deserves to be better known. He egged me on to begin purchasing with the 2010 vintage release and I have not looked back. Precise and balanced. Good depth and acidity throughout. Mineral with citrus fruit. A winner.

1 January : 2001 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel
well, this was a mistake. Dry January but we start out with a sweet wine. heavens to Murgatroyd! Powerful but balanced. honey of course tropical and peachy keen. very fine.

2 January : 2001 Domaine Ghislaine Barthod Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Cras
a dry wine. so good, so dependable. Burgundy desire extinguished with opening a bottle from Barthod. Fruit fine that has lost some character but still vibrant. typical leaner 2001 cut for me. cherry with some earthiness. tannins integrated. always a pleasure.

12 January : 2002 Domaine François Cotat Sancerre Les Monts Damnés
shootskis. I don’t think Cotat will fit into the dry January scheme. Mario Bianco alpine honey. sweet. not fruity. grassiness if you look for it

14 January : 2010 Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Cuvée 4
apple and lemon served on a mildly richer than usual Muscadet base. Cut can still be appreciated. Minerals as expected. Satisfaction to the hilt. Muscadet has been referred to as a poor person’s Chablis, but a wine like this is so good it does not need reference to other regions.
with wines like this from Pépière / Luneau-Papin / Bregeon etc etc, perhaps soon we will be saying this Chablis is as good as Muscadet!

16 January : 1995 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage - Langdon - Shiverick
paired with mac and cheese. missing on the depth. just post Gerard wine and/or vintage and/or Langdon-Shiverick? still quite good but i would plump for the Texier above re: a Rhone syrah fix…

18 January : 1990 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel
a send off drink for daughter prior to return to college. She appreciated. what can I say. just fantastic and so humble a wine. just disappears and then you realize how beautiful it was. and you check to make sure you have more. has lost a lot of its’ GKA sweetness.
I give up on a dry January.

20 January : 2009 Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Clos de Morines Château Thébaud
see 14 January summary.

23 January : 2009 Luneau-Papin / Domaine Pierre de la Grange Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie Le "L” d’Or
see 20 January note.

24 January : 2002 Domaine Michel Lafarge Pommard 1er Cru Les Pèzerolles
solid ripe red fruit depth with the Pommard rough and tough. good tannin resolution. 2 points on a 3 point scale.

29 January : 1990 Château Cheval Blanc
rich, sweet and dense. plums and berries. cabernet franc notes beautifully in the background. 3 points on a 4 point scale

31 January : 2005 François Pinon Vouvray Cuvée Tradition
nice background honey / minerals with white fruit. sweeter style as befits the 2005 vintage. acidity holds it together. a good and honest wine, true to the François we had the good fortune to meet once upon a time. 4 points on a 4 point scale because of fond François memories.

2 February : 1993 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St. Jacques
my gosh, we are drinking well post 3 Nov. pure penetrating strawberries. complexity befitting grand cru Burgundy. acid evident but not detracting, and actually would be great for cutting the fat in a main course. can’t get mo’ better. 5 points on a 4 point scale.

5 February : 2011 Bernhard Ott Grüner Veltliner Engabrunner Stein
a bit watery but still a nice GV expression. a Bill Mayer treasure, and one treasures having been good friends with Bill.

7 February : 2019 Eric Bordelet Poiré Granit
pretty dang good. clean, simple and efficient like the Tampa Bay offense. ending with a winner.

1 Like


Thanks for the notes and it sounds like you have a varied, deep, fun cellar. I like that.

thank you Marshall. it helps to be old
if you know Hoke Harden, say hello for me and tell him the cassoulet tradition continues…

Rousseau CdBeze 1993 - opened 2 - 3 years ago- remains one of the few top red old Burgundy that I ever drunk.

can’t wait to try those Rousseau wines as well. i was just thinking about why i didn’t but more of his village and premier cru wines… heart emoji

Rousseau makes his wines …differently…in his portfolio.

If you still own his big 3 ( Chambertin, CdBeze and CStJ ) from vintage 1993 …you are lucky.

There is no mistake if you did buy his others in vintage 1993.

I am FB friends with Hoke, and have seen him on wine boards over the years, but I don’t think we have ever met in person. Unless I’m so old I forgot…

Mark, nice notes on a wonderful set of wine and I love the Yogi Bear reference!

Mark Anisman wrote:
An origin story.
San Jose CA upbringing. west of us was primarily prune orchards (cue the raven). recall Mrs Brown in 3rd grade edifying us to the fact that the Santa Clara County was home to 1/3 of the world’s prune production mid 20th century (who was I to dispute).

Thread drift — My mother spent ages 2-6 in the Almaden Valley and always talks about the vast orchards that she remembers when she was living there. Almonds and apricots as well as what you describe.


I like your style. I loved on release the 05 Hirtzberger Singerriedel. Bought 3 cases. It fattened up over the years and I got rid of most. Must be that botrytis. Wasn’t evident on release.

Lots of other great notes and impressions. Thanks for sharing.

appreciate everyone’s thoughts.
how do you thank people on this board?
Rousseau. visited him several times back in the early 90s, always around early November. last visit was 1996 and he was beside himself over the quality of the 96 vintage. I still can see this huge grin that expanded like a flashbulb beyond his corporeal essence. I gave him a thank you gift of a Williams - Selyem pinot and I expected nothing in return. Of course, he gave me a CSJ!
And you are right about his routine. He told me that he treated the wines in barrel the same regardless of the vintage. Always 100% new oak for CSJ / Beze / Chambertin. Somehow it worked out pretty nice for him. And I never think the wines were over oaked, even in barrel.
Ed - I grew up attending Del Mar HS. The big to do in the 70s was a chi-chi development of stores called the Pruneyard, which of course were all torn out for the development.
Marshall - I think Hoke is in Portland.

Mark…thanks for the confirmation of 100% new oak for his big-3.

There is no over-oak wine except under-wine wine.