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About jrufusj

  • Birthday 11/07/1964

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    London, England
  1. TN: At the beach house and relaxed

    Thanks. I was afraid of that.
  2. TN: At the beach house and relaxed

    Jim (Cowan): With a little quick searching, I've found a bit of the '03 Foscarino in my market. Nothing else. Is the '03 outsized? Or is it still a good example? Any thoughts? Also found a little '02 Anguane out here. Definitely going to put a little of this away to see how it slims down. Thanks, Jim
  3. TN: At the beach house and relaxed

    Have not seen them in my market or tried them. If you like them, please let us know and I'll look out for them here. Thanks, Jim
  4. TN: At the beach house and relaxed

    Jim: Thanks for the tip on the Anselmi. I've not seen any of the Anselmi wines in my market, but that doesn't mean they're not here. It's a big city! I've also not seen the Tamellini wines in Tokyo. This was a bottle from the States. My usual suspects out here are Inama, Prà, and Pieropan. I'll definitely be adding Tamellini to the usual list if I find a source here. Will look out for the Anselmi wines. Thanks, Jim
  5. TN: At the beach house and relaxed

    Jim: Thanks for the tip. This is my first experience with Tamellini. I was impressed with the way the wine could carry the weight and yet remain fresh and typical. Given that ability, I'd be very interested to see what remains when it has shed its baby fat. It must be something! Jim
  6. Wine Tag

    Katie/Mary: Great idea! Actually, I think this would be a terrific idea for a fundraiser for eGullet Society or for some worthy eGullet-sponsored charity. If we could get consent/legal/copyright issues lined up and find an editor, the various responses (tasting note plus educational background) could be edited and compiled into a gazetteer of wine. With good participation, we could get eight to ten or more entries per letter. Nicely edited into a book, this is a product that I would buy even if it weren't for a good cause. If each letter were scheduled for two weeks, we'd have the alphabet done in a year. I would think we'd need two weeks to ensure good participation. I can't promise they'll be up by Sunday, but I'll do notes and background writeups for: 2002 Tamellini Soave Classico "Anguane" 2002 Maximin Grünhauser Abtsberg Kabinett 2001 Giacosa Barbera D'Alba 2000 ZH Clos Ste. Urbain Riesling (Alsace) 1999 Kracher Blend I (Blaufrankisch/Zweigelt) (Austria) 1999 Coche-Dury Bourgogne Aligoté 1999 Leeuwin Estate Artists Series Chardonnay 1998 LeBrun-Servenay Brut "Special Club" (Avize) 1985 Ampeau Puligny Combettes I've been through the notes that I have posted in the last week or that are in the queue to be transcribed and posted later this week/early next week and these are all of them for which I can find a reasonable connection to "A". Okay, am I going overboard with enthusiasm? Or is there a worthwhile project here? Jim
  7. TN:  TTG#8

    Thanks for the kind words about my notes. While I wouldn't choose to open those Bords so young for ordinary drinking, if one has a case or two laid away, it is educational to try them young. Drinking through a case or more of bottles through the life of a wine is, as far as I know, the only way to develop the ability to taste them young and determine where they're going. And, given that most of my buying is driven by tasting for myself (or relying on recommendations from a small group of trusted tasting friends), it's a skill I need. All that being said, while I enjoy it, I'm not a big buyer of Bordeaux. These were the contribution of someone else to the dinner. The Mascarellos were my contribution. I do agree, though, that other than assessing where the wine may be in the future, I don't get a lot out of drinking big '03 Bordeaux today. Thanks, Jim
  8. Menu Help

    Go see Lyle Fass at Crush in Manhattan and tell him what you like and what you're interested in. I have no affiliation, but think he is great for slightly off-the-beaten-path wines like good old world rosés, Muscadet, etc. Also, look for anything imported by Louis Dressner at Chambers Street. You can also take their advice. No affiliation here either. While you can choose to spend a lot of money at either place, both are stores where you can find great and slightly out of the ordinary drinking at very good prices. Alternatively, read Jim Cowan's posts and take a list of what appeals to you to Crush or Chambers Street and they'll direct you from there. Enjoy, Jim
  9. Andre/Jacques Beaufort Champagnes

    I'm currently waiting for the '91 André Beaufort demi sec to come in. '91 is my anniversary year and not generally a strong one for Champagne, but a merchant I trust is high on this wine. If you are exploring Beaufort wines, do be aware of the difference between André/Jacques Beaufort and the other maisons Beauforts. Jacques is from Ambonnay. Louis César and Herbert are from Bouzy. That means both are pinot/rosé specialists, but in my limited sampling, I've found the André/Jacques wines to be far superior to the Louis César. Don't have any experience with the Herbert and not sure what the relationship between Herbert and Louis César is. Like you, I've found the André/Jacques wines to be inconsistent but exciting, but that is part of what I enjoy about wine -- the large and small variations from terroir and vintage. Did you actually get a chance to taste the Polisy (Côte des Bars) wine? In Tokyo, I only see the Ambonnay grand cru and blended wines that include both Polisy and Ambonnay fruit. What was the Polisy wine like? Thanks in advance for your comments.
  10. TN: Catching up Pt. 2

    Thanks Jim. That's high praise coming from you. I've still not run into the Anselmi or the Tamellini out here. You've recommended both in the past and I'm eager to give them a try. Guess I can't complain. I drink pretty well in Tokyo. And that's only a tiny bit of a very blessed existence. Enjoy, Jim
  11. Screaming Eagle Winery Sold

    Best pun I've seen so far this year. Thank you! Jim
  12. Wine & Food Pairing

    Wine pricing is spotty in Japan. There are a few simple ways to avoid overpaying: 1. Know what something should cost. The same wine can appear in similar shops at radically different prices. And it's not consistent which shops are high and which are low. The same shop will have items and both ends of the spectrum. Being informed is the best defense. 2. Shop (at least for comparison) online. I've found the general quality of the merchants who are accessible through Rakuten to be very good. Touch wood, but I've not yet had a problem of badly stored or mishandled wines. The comparisons help to minimize the risk of a highly inefficient market. 3. Don't ever be in the position of needing to buy something. If you find yourself in that position, you're likely to get burned. 4. Act quickly when you find something that is well-priced. Things don't last. If it's a good buy and you want it, you'd better act now! 5. Develop a relationship with a few merchants and trust them. They'll do a few things for you. One, they'll tip you off when there are good buys coming/available. Two, they'll steer you away from things that are too good to be true. A few instances of avoiding mistakes that only look like bargains will easily cover whatever premium a good merchant charges. You know, this is good advice that I would give any wine consumer in the US or elsewhere. Re: the wine matches for the fusion menu. Agree that the bold flavors of some of the new world areas you point to often go very well with Pacific Rim cuisine, especially the spicier Korean/Thai/Indian-influenced things. The Asian side of this menu, however, was almost entirely Japanese in both ethos and ingredients. I have not found Japanese food (or food that is heavily Japanese influenced) to do as well with new world wines. Not that they can't match, but I find that they call out for more restrained flavors. Then again, it all comes down to taste. And everyone's taste is a little different. Jim
  13. Wine & Food Pairing

    Stephen -- Great minds think alike! You and I have basically made the same suggestions, just with mine being very old world and yours very new world. Either could be perfect depending on what wines are available, the stylistic preferences of the diners, and the details of the flavor balance in the food. In any case, I thought it was uncanny how close we were in theory -- even down to the weight/profile of pinot and the character of Champagne. Take care, Jim
  14. Wine & Food Pairing

    Can you move this course to the end? Could it be done in a substantial enough way to be the finisher? If so, I would probably go with a Côte-Rôtie on the more elegant side, like Jasmin (my favorite Côte-Rôtie producer). For a new world twist, you could go for one of the Aussie shiraz-viognier wines like Laughing Magpie(?). The Rhone is more to my taste, but they aim at the same thing (and are made from the same grapes), just in different styles. You can also find some syrah-viognier blends more in the value range from southwest France. If you can't move the course, I might look toward a more pinot noir-driven Champagne. At the higher end, Bolly's Grand Année would do well. For a grower wine (and lower pricing), you might look to one of the Egly-Ouriet cuvées. Finally, if you need to focus more on price, you could look to a Franciacorte (made from pinots bianco, grigio, and niero). In any case, make sure the client reins in the wasabi or any match will fall flat. Hard to know what this dish will be like. Assuming the citrus-vinegar element will not be OTT and that there will be some unctuousness/sweetness from the softshells (however cooked), I'm thinking Loire. Whether I looked to a bone-dry Savennieres or a more demi-sec range Vouvray would depend on the balance of the dish. In any case, a good chenin that balances richness with acid and has some mineral to play off of the salty sea taste of the crabs is sounding good to me. Lots of good value choices here. If the acid isn't overpowering and the crab richness needs a sharper foil, I could also see a Sancerre or Pouilly Fumé working. If the acid isn't overpowering and the crab prep brings out a nuttiness (could see from sauté in browned butter or from frying), then I could definitely see a Soave here. Very good values available from Soave. For this one, you could go completely opposite directions. There's loads of umami in the mushrooms and miso, plus nice earthiness if the carrots are really good. I could see a red Burg doing very well, particularly something from around Beaune or Savigny or Pernand-Vergellesses. Good values here as well. Given the next dish, though, it would require more menu shuffling to insert a red here. If you do move it and want a bigger and very distinctive finish, a Bandol would be great. You can probably find '95s or '96s in the market. That's enough age still to be lively but also to have taken on some great secondary character. If you need to go white, I think I'd enjoy a northern Rhone here. If money is no object, an Hermitage Blanc would be excellent. If you need to step down a notch, there are also good options from Crozes. For a new world slant, there are some good Rhone-ish whites coming out of Cali. There are probably still values, but these have gotten popular. A risky but fun choice would also be to go with Valentini's Trebbiano d'Abruzzo. Just be aware that this wine is "challenging" to some. It definitely is subject to reduction and needs a ton of air to show well. If this is a professional gig and you don't know the wine, I would definitely take a pass on this one -- or -- buy a bottle now and spend a couple of days with it to see what it can do and how much time it needs. With the yuzu and lime, I'm definitely thinking I want to find a way to do a riesling. As much as I love them, I'm not seeing Germans on any scale of size or sweetness working with the kimchi späetzle, though a big Rheingau trocken might work. I'm leaning more toward an Alsatian riesling or maybe an Austrian, probably a Smaragd from Wachau, though a bigger one from Kamptal or Kremstal could work. The more the kimchi spice is going to intrude, the more I would lean toward Alsace. A completely different direction to go would be to pair Champagnes all the way through. If you're interested in that and have a specific budget with which to work, let us all know. That would be a fun exercise. In any case, enjoy. Jim [edited for truly awful spelling]
  15. Cleavage Creek Cellars For Sale

    Damn punsters here are going to milk this for all it's worth.