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MartyL

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  1. Far be it from me to get in Bambi's way while she is running from a fire, but Joe, one of these days we ought to go down to Veritas and split one of the 1990 D'angerville Volnay 1er Crus off their list. I've only had the pleasure of a drop of the Taillepieds at a pre-auction tasting, but it did not show any of the things people complain about with the vintage and was in fact pretty darned incredible. It may have been a bit more mature than one would expect for a 12-year old wine from a great site, but it had terrific secondary aromatics and flavors (mushrooms, dried flowers, earth, tea leaves, the barn, etc.).
  2. Does anyone know how well Drouhin did in 1990? Given the house's customary style, I'd expect (or, more accurately, hope) that the wines would show less of the overripeness and tooty-fruitiness that one finds in some of the other producers' 1990s. I'd be particularly interested in hearing about the Bonnes Mares, Charmes Chambertin and Echezeaux, which I found recently at auction for prices comparable to the current releases. Thanks.
  3. MartyL

    Beaujolais

    Jim, Like you, I've been buying and drinking a lot of Beaujolais of the non-industrial sort recently. These are not labels that will impress anyone but the geekiest, but they go wonderfully with every-day simple food like roast chicken or meatloaf and they are scandalously good values. A couple of recent favorites that have been exhaustively written up by you and others elsewhere on the wine-geek internet circuit, have been the Brun 2001 Beaujolais L'Ancien (which I've seen for $8.99 prior to case discount) and the Savoye 99 Morgon (around $12). One thing I'd like to do is try these with some age on them, as all the ingredients for succesful aging seem to be there, but I'm finding it difficult to keep from drinking these beauties now.
  4. MartyL

    Wine and Cheese

    Sounds delicious---and at $12.99 a pretty gentle price too.
  5. MartyL

    Wine and Cheese

    Wilfred suggested: Although I dearly love a good Epoisses, lately I've found it hard to find one in good condition round these parts. I do appreciate the tip on watching the distance between the rim of the cheese and the edge of the box. What about including a double or triple cream (like Pierre Robert)? It seems to me the difference between reds and whites with a cheese like that would likely be pretty dramatic. I wonder if people in the NYC area would be interested in gathering, perhaps at Artisanal, some evening next week to taste some of these combinations together. If there is interest, I would be glad to inquire about corkage and reservations and procure the wines.
  6. MartyL

    Wine and Cheese

    I hate to sound like a quibbler or a wine-snob (then again, isn't that what internet BBs are for?), but I'm not sure I'm too crazy about the idea of choosing only widely available mass-produced industrial wines for this exercise. While I understand the appeal of having a more controlled experiment, I'd personally sacrifice that value in the service of having wines that are more appealing.
  7. MartyL

    Wine and Cheese

    I hadn't seen Robin's helpful post before I pushed the button on mine, but here are some quick thoughts: I can't say I really care for any of these wines on their own. Some alternative suggestions I would offer would be the Dashe Zinfandel in the "fruit-bomb" category or the Brun Beaujolais L'Ancien in the lighter, fruit-driven red category (although there I really think the Marechal I mentioned above would sing). I don't know these wines, but they sound like good suggestions to add into the mix as an alternative to the Loire Cab Francs. These suggestions sound great. I personally prefer Trimbach, but YMMV. See my suggestions of Germans and Demi-Sec Loires above.
  8. MartyL

    Wine and Cheese

    At Wilfrid's suggestion, I'd be glad to take the initiative on suggesting wines. Perhaps someone else can take the lead on cheeses? Below are some general categories of wines, as well as some specific recommendations of wines that are available in New York at Chambers St. Wines (I have no affiliation with the store, but am a frequent, loyal and satisfied customer). Their website lists most of their inventory at www.chambersstwines.com. To narrow the list, I'd suggest people pick 2, 3, or 4 of the following options: 1) A crisp white like an unoaked Chardonnay or a Loire Sauvignon Blanc: Chardonnay: Any Chablis by Picq, Boudin or D'Auvissat (in increasing magnitude of price---starting at $20 and going upwards). Brits should look out for any Chablis by Tribut, especially the Beauroy. Vintage-wise, look for 2000 but any other will do just fine. If you want to go much gentler on the wallet, try Jean-Paul Brun's 2002 Beaujolais Terres Doreés at $10.99, which is fruitier and more up-front than a Chablis, but it shows no oak and has good acidity. Loire Sauvignon Blanc: Any of the Sancerres by Crochet, Vatan or, especially, the Thomas Labaille "Cuvee Buster" (that's the one with the dog on the neck-label). These range from around $15 to $30. 2) A white with some sweetness in it like a 2001 German Riesling Kabinett or Spatlese or a demi-sec Vouvray: Riesling: The Darting and Selbach-Oster Kabinetts offered by Chambers Street are good ($13-$17). All of the Selbach-Oster Spatlesen from 2001 that I've tried have also excellent. If you can find any of the JJ Christoffel or Donnhoff 2001s elsewhere, they'd be a bit more pricy ($20-$35) but they are delicious. Other things to look for elsewhere in the value category are any of the 2001 Kabinetts or Spatleses by Strub, which are usually $12-$20. Vouvray: Pinon's Cuvee Tradition or Chidaine's Montlouis "les Truffeaux" ($15 each) or, if you can find it somewhere else, a Huet Demi-Sec ($18-$20?) would be great. 3) A light-to-medium bodied red wine, like Burgundy or a Loire Cabernet Franc. Bourgogne: Marechal's Bourgogne Cuvee Gravel is my choice here ($17), but it might also be worth trying one of the Fichet Bourgognes ($14-$18). Other suggestions if you are looking elsewhere would be to find one of the Drouhin wines from Chambolle Musigny or Volnay. Loire Cabernet Franc: Any of the Bourgeuils or Chinons by Baudry, Breton or Olga Raffault ($12-$23). 4) A more heavy-bodied red wine with some tannin, like a Cabernet-Sauvignon based wine from Bordeaux or California or a Syrah based wine from the Northern Rhone. Cabernets: Someone else should make a suggestion here, as I don't really know of any good values. Syrahs from the Northern Rhone: Texier's Chusclan is a very good buy at $12. Elsewhere you could look for a Crozes Hermitage by Graillot or by Gilles Robin, which are both excellent and usually under $20. If you are willing to spend more, try any Cote Rotie (personal favorite producers are Jamet, Ogier and Gallet).
  9. MartyL

    Wine and Cheese

    I'm in too. Shall we nominate cheeses and wines to include? If we're looking for cheeses and wines that are widely available, I'd nominate the following: --a fresh young soft goat cheese or an aged hard goat cheese --Aged English Cheddar (Isle of Mull, Montgomery, Gloucester or anything similar will do) --Brie, or any double or triple cream cheese --Camembert, Epoisse or any runny and stinky cow's milk cheese --Parmegianno Regiano Wines to try along with these could include: --A Sauvignon Blanc (from the Loire Valley or from New Zealand) --A crisp unoaked Chablis --A German Riesling Kabinett or Spatlese --A soft Red Burgundy like Savigny les Beaunes, Volnay or a good regional Bourgogne (like Marechal cuvee Gravel) --A Syrah-based wine from the Rhone valley --A Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine, either from Bordeaux or California
  10. MartyL

    French Kosher wines

    The following are two web resources I have found useful for information on Israeli wines: Danie Rogov on Israeli wines Yak Shaya's tasting notes on Israeli wines I would be surprised if that 1985 Yarden Cabernet is any good at this point, even with perfect storage, as it is my impression that their wines are made for drinking within 5 years or so from release and don't really have the stuffing to age that long. The again, who knows? Please do report back. (Edited to add the following): I see that Yak has two positive tasting notes on this wine on his page---the most recent being from April 98. He has a different view than mine as to the ageability of the Yardens, and he certainly has a lot more experience aging them, so you may want to discount what I wrote above. Note that Yak claims that the 85 is considered to be the best wine ever made in Israel...
  11. A recent bottle of Dujac's 88 Echezeaux was indeed delicious. Also, I was interested to see your remark about Dujac wines usually failing to suffer the "closed-up" pahses that are common for Burgundy. On Sunday night I opened up a 95 Clos St. Denis and, while the palate was predictably showing a lot more structure than fruit (given the reputation that the vintage has for being in its closed phase now), I found the nose to be remarkably opulent with sweet and rich fruit aromatics. Is there something in the producer's vinification techniques that you think could account for this characteristic?
  12. MartyL

    French Kosher wines

    Pan, I'm afraid I don't know of any French kosher wines under $20 that are really worthwhile. Most of the bordeaux houses that do kosher cuvees (e.g., Leoville Poyferre, Giscours, Smith Haut Lafite) mark them up well beyond that price point. However, here are a few other quick recommendations from other places and at various price points: 1998 Weinstock cellars "Contour": This a Chenin Blanc-based blend from California that is just on the dry side of off-dry. The flavor profile is simillar to a demi-Sec Vouvray, and its the best Chenin I have had from outside of France. At around $10 per bottle, this is a bargain. If you want a Cabernet, the Israeli Cabs from Yarden and Barkan are generally well made and drinkable, although they do show their oak. There is a Kosher Barons de Rothschild blend from the Haut Medoc that is usually pretty good, but is priced at around $25. The Hagafen wines from Napa are very well made, but also very much in the new world style. Of the recent releases, I liked the Syrah the best. I recently had a Kosher Rioja from Ramon Cardova that was a delicious simple country wine with red fruit and spices. It retailed for around $12. The best place to buy kosher wines in the city is at Skyview Wines & Liquors in Riverdale. They offer the best prices and the widest selection. Their telephone number is (718)-601-8222 and they are located at 5681 Riverdale Ave, Bronx, NY. If you call them they will fax you a copy of their Passover sale list.
  13. Claude, Nice to see you round these parts---welcome, and thanks for the tip on 1986. Burgundy from top producers and vineyards never come cheap, but the 1986s are certainly priced dramatically lower than their 1985 counterparts. I saw Roumier Bonnes Mares, for example, offered on Winebid at a $100 reserve price (although the bid is up to $150 now), which is probably a small fraction of what the '85 would sell for, if you could find it. Any tips on particular wines to chase from '86?
  14. First, thanks for joining us on this Q&A. Much of the wine-writing I've seen in print in the U.S. tends to focus on large-production wines that are widely distributed. This is understandable given the desire of editors to appeal to a wide audience. However, I also find that very often the wines that are the most fun to discover are small-production wines made by artisinal producers, that are sometimes hard to find and therefore rarely written about anywhere other than in the odd corners of cyberspace where winegeeks hang out. What are some of your favorite small-production wines and which shops in the U.S. do you think are the best places to find them?
  15. While I haven't tasted widely enough to be able to make vintage generalizations confidently, that's never stopped me or anyone else for that matter before, so what the heck... I hear 97 and 98 were both warm and dry years, with each vintage's wines generally showing good ripeness of fruit, while the 97s show a little more funk and the 98s showing more structure (both tannins and acidity) and therefore ageworthiness potential. Personally I think the comparisons of Ogier and Jamet Cote Rotie over those vintages bear out the above general guidance, with the additional thought that the 98s seemed to show greater concentration of fruit about a year ago but now seem to be shutting down rather dramatically (definitely more so than the 97s, which drink nicely on pouring but do even better after a little aeration). Then again Cote Rotie is a significant drive north from Hermitage. With respect to Chave, I've only had the 97 and 98 side by side once (about a year ago) and the 97, while still a very good wine, was dramatically lighter-bodied than the 98. I'd rather have the 97 for drinking now or in the next 5 years, but I'd rather have the 98 for aging. This all being said, I think Chave Hermitage is pretty much a sure-fire gift for a wine-lover. Its kind of like getting TIVO for a guy.
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