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Everything posted by Carema

  1. tanab: I believe the only affordable KK is the lateral, a st emilionesque blend that she does every year with all five grapes, merlot dominant usually, and under fifty bucks. This (depending on vintage but I have had the lateral since 1999) is usually an earthy, well -structured, pretty concentrated wine. They are probably in 2002 by now. Another winery I just found is Varner Vineyards. Although I do not have a lot of information about these folks, their Home Vineyard Chardonnay blew me away when I tasted it last week, and they are using very old Chardonnay vines that are pre Wente clone which is good news. This chard was structured like a puligny but had such very california chardonnay fruit characters. I sell it for $39 so it should be a little cheaper in CA. Lastly the Savanahh Chenelle (spelling?) stuff has always been solid, although they do not seem to be in my market right now. Their 1999 cabernet Franc was an herby glass of surprisingly rich wine and I think is was under $30 when we sold it. The 2001 is probably pretty rocking, and the 2002 will be softer, a bit riper most likely.
  2. The shop is extremely busy. But I stumbled upon this new websitegrease and counterbalance and there is some good stuff about chickens and wine. Seems like an upstart but there is some good stuff here!
  3. With a delicate nose of framboise, lush rasp and blueberries in the mouth, and a long, even finish punctuated with sweet vanilla extract this is a superb example of good CDR at a villages level. It is much more refined and elegant than most Cairanne, Gigondas or Vacqueyras. I have noticed in the 2001 southern rhones a thread of sweet fruit where we normally see perhaps sandier rusticity. This would be gorgeous with braised lamb shank or oxtail in all their caramelized glory. Alain, the winemaker at La Nerthe makes this too. Plus it is just super fun to say "Chusclan, Chusclan, Chusclan".
  4. I tasted that very VS about a year ago. Tight as a drum- smoking bottle of wine. decant and enjoy or hold is my thought. Porducers like VS do not have bad vintages.
  5. DOC Rioja website...hmmm. Doncha think these guys might be a little subjective? I searched a half a dozen "vintage" websites. Both 1996 & 1987 were rated as low as above average with caution too old or irregular warnings to outstanding hold both. I think your Rioja will be great- please post notes so we can see how it differed from the 1996. The thing is, as tempranillo ages it becomes the poster child for tertiary qualities. Meat dill, blood, toast, earth, mushrooms, vinous driven beauties with fruit definietly taking a back seat. In fruity wine obssessed critics this is a tough road to hoe. God I hope you make a hearty skillet of fatty sausage potato onion and paprika.
  6. Carema

    light whites.

    I love the Petit Bourgeois from Henry Bourgeois (currently vintage 2003). This is basically declassified Sancerre (grapefruity mineral laden Sauvignon Blanc) from Chavignol and a fantastic value for 12 bucks. Elena Walch Pinot grigio from Alto Adige Italy (currently 2003) is a great 13 dollar bottle, very accesible and fat because of the heat spike in August of 2003, yet acidity and balance remains. This wine gives hope to the much maligned Pinot Grigio vairetal. Prieler Pinot Blanc from Burgenland Austria (2002) is delightful, apples and dry peaches abound with a lovely chalky minerality. $20 bucks.
  7. You may be a little late with this wine........however the Ardanza are beautiful old school Riojas and if anybody can go beyon bintage expectation it is them. We recently had the 1996, from a simlilarly not great vintage and the acidity was stunning and it smelled like a salt and vinegar potato chip. I think you should be fine- I would not decant, rather stand up the bottle for 48 hours to get any sediment to the bottom and enjoy (hopefully)
  8. Carema


    Yes. One more thing about BRs: Bourgogne Rouge from more muscular appellation seem to make more sense if you want a little more oomph. Think Pommard, NSG (like the Rion) etc. usually the orogin will be printed in small letters at the bottom of the label. Santenay is famously soft and silky to begin with, so it may not pack quite the punch as a BR from more beefy terroirs. BTW we sell the J. Girardin Santenay 1er cru Beauregard here for only $21, 2002 vintage.
  9. Carema


    I think the trick to good Bourgogne Rouges is vintage. often times these are declassified wines from whatever appellation the producer is in; 2001 being a better white year the bourgogne rouges will be weak. I suggest looking for 2002 Bourgogne Rouge as it was a much stronger vintage; or 1999s which were underrated but really starting to purr now. I would avoid 2000 & 2001 for this category. As for the Kir thing, the traditional way (as in sitting in a bar in Beaune traditional) is a very small glass, lots of kir first and then some Aligote. The proportions seemed to be about half and half there so spending money on the kir is more important than the quality of the Aligote. Lucien Jabobs makes an incredible cassis as well as framboise. The white wine seemed more like a watery cutting device for the very frangrant cassis.
  10. Krug MV: out of half bottle with salmon mousse and crackers god damnit it is krug! hazlenuts and appple richness abound. No other champer really comes close. Domaine Dujac Chambolle Musigny le Gruenchers 2002: Oi! Itasted this freshly bottled in January at the Domaine and it still boasts the rich, velvety depth I raved about then. A seamless mix of spice; sandewood nutmeg, bueberries and cherries mixed in, attractive finish, superb mid palate action. We made duck breasts stuffed with macadamias chard and fig. No sauce. just the Dujac. Whilst decorating the store the next day..... Bulfon Forgiarin Venezia Giulia (friuli) Italy 2003 One of Mr Bulfon's revived ancient grape varitals. Milk choclate and cherries in the nose reminiscent of lagrein, but soft and supple, likeboysenberry yogurt with extra whey in the mouth. A complicated you-have-to-adore-italy wine. Drunk alone surrounded by the hubris of christmas. For the Emilio Bulfon Storyclick here These wines are worth seeking out and finding. He does not speak english. This lady here imports them
  11. Not a soccer mama. Child plays yu gi oh, and likes to do complicated math inside his head. Can also tell the difference between farm raised salmon and wild with just a sniff. Syrah did not hold up to next day. The baby was tired but did not awake. In terms of sport we rollerblade and sled. Does puttering around the kitchen count as sport?
  12. 95 is the score awarded by Mr. Parker. This score was posted long before the wine was released and its price reflected the pedigree. Edie's Patch is six year old vines. There are Cote Roties out there for less money made from vines that could be considered antiques. Usually these wines are given less points because the fruit is not as sweet and the vinous notes imparted by the mature vines go underappreciated. Of course this is a world that holda as a standard of beauty the voraciously young, taut stomached B Spears, a world that encourages people to have their fat sucked out and large portions of their faces removed, to implant bags of saline in their bodies and to inject paralyzing toxins into their foreheads. I still have half a bottle at home. Let us see if it stood up to the test of overnight.
  13. This is nice. A client came in today to retrieve some treasures, rips open the 6 pack of Syrah I just sold him and hands me a bottle. I responded in kind with a Biale Black Chicken. My customers are the best. Anyhoooo.... I didn't wait. So impatient. A tumbling nose of vanilla and rich cassis. Does not grab the mid-palate and the amount of black cherries is giving me a nudge that Edie's Patch, where ever it is, is some young fruit. The lightest hint of bacon, Oscar Meyer brand, cooked a few hours ago in the next apartment. Good firm little tannins like the thigh muscle begining to fill in a nine year old. Solid finish. I am not sure what to eat with this. I have already eaten so I won't but it doesn't have a whole lotta acid. But so appealing with its vast, expansive nose and sweet almost cloying fore palate. This was a gift and that makes the wine tres lovely.
  14. Clive Coates The Wines of France. 60 bucks.
  15. Carema

    Help please

    We just got in an amazing white Aglianico, from Pipoli in Basilacata. 8 bucks. Apricots, spice and a dense minerality. Fabulous. Hopwever for value, the The Three Thieves are doing a Trebbiano from Emilia Romagna. One Liter -8 bucks. Good clean light bodied Italian white that you can swig all night long.. It comes in a box, like Parmalat Tomatoes, so that can be off putting to some. Three Thieves Info Here Greg Smolik formerly of Sam's in Chicago is importing the Pipoli through Maverick. We sell both here at Que Syrah in Chicago, but you should be able to get info for national distribution.
  16. I usually approach the release of the Nouveau with skepticism and a hint of sour; God bless the French but what is this crap they fob off on us every year. ...I digress before the tasting note. Edward Behr wrote a terrific article about the state of Beaujolais in his latest edition link to magazine here. Get it and read it- fantastic... Back to the Cambon. Made from organic fruit by esteemed winemaker Marcel Lapierre, this year's offering from him lacked some of the more offensive banana and bubblegum usually omnipresent in these wines. It took me immediately back to Holland MI circa 1978. I was 10 and probably still wearing bikinis. The wine had an earthy, sandy smell reminding me of the hottest Aug afternoon and how the black ore in the sand baked on those summer days. My father, back in the cottage house and its cool, humid, cementy smell, gave up plates of overipe raspberries and melted whipped cream (or perhaps they had underwhipped it but my mom added a lot of sugar so bascially it was liquidy fat and sweet). For some reason this particular Nouveau reminded me of that. I think it was good. Like really light framboise. Almost lovely and likable.
  17. Carema

    wine and dine radio

    well... as much as I love a stelvin or alternative package corbett canyon hardly qualifies as wine. swill and dine perhaps...
  18. Carema

    Old Vintage Barolo

    Stefano Manzone seems as if he is the producer. If this is the case, he grows (grew) vines in the cru of Ciabot del Prieve, which is located in Monforte, which is locted in the southeastern end of Barolo. The Giardino Serena business could possible be a name for a sub cru within Ciabot. The Francseco & Figlia part I am not sure about.... However- vintage. 1974 was an overrated vintage and the wines by all accounts were beginning to break down in 1985. Given this is would seem unlikely that yours would have made it through the night as they say. I do not think anything would be garnered by selling this so pop the cork and do it soon!
  19. Here is a nice map: FitouMap Link
  20. Fitou is a wine growing zone close to Corbieres, down in the south of France there, that grows a lot of Carignan. 2000 was indeed a good vintage for this particular area, as was it for Bordueax. The Loire Valley, Northern Rhone, Burgundy and Champagne did not enjoy such a vintage in the year 2000 and I believe it was a softy for Alsace as well. Carignan presents itself in the palate with tart red cherries and much herbacious spice; Fitou is a rustic country wine. I would be shocked if it were as smooth as promised but one never knows. I would not hold onto these bottles forever, but if you were to have a rustic lamb stewed perfumed with orange rind, or a simple skillet of sausages potatoes and onions, accompanied by a hunk of heavily buttered bread this, would be nice wine. As for vintages, typically weather does not make the distinction between red and white grapes- if an area if blighted by frost, early freezing or too much sun all the varietals suffer. Just as the weather can be radically different in BC than from Ontario, so too these weather differences can and often do occur in each separate wine growing region. It might be more accurate to say: 2000 was a good vintage for Fitou, or Pauillac, or Bergerac etc.
  21. I do not have to work until midnight tonight- nor do I have to conduct a tasting. At 7 pm I will see two lovely boys and have sushi with them. So I was bad and opened a bottle at 2pm. Gosh this is good wine. Ruby red grapefruit and clementine dominate alongside a tongue clenching mid palate. Cheetos cheese balls are not cutting the mustard but all that is in the little office fridge is ancient mayonnaise and an over the hill honey crisp apple, neither of which will help. Not that this wine needs help. it is as perfect as a Sb gets. We only got a case of this. I am reticent to drag it onto the floor as it may be something I buy for myself. however others might like to share too. So I am torn. $21.95 in Chicago in the middle of the Lakeview neighborhood, as the sky darkens and the temperatures drop.
  22. Carema


    To clarify a bit about the definition of colheita. A colheita (the word means harvest in Portuguese) is a tawny port whose grapes come from a single vintage (not a blend of different vintages). The minimum by law that a colheita needs to be asged in cask is seven years, but producers often make the decision to leave the wine in the cask for longer. Non Vintage or vintage character ports are rubies (like vintage ports) whose grapes come from a blend of different vintages and are cask aged for two or three years before bottling. I am unclear as how you were able to taste a colheita such as the one described. Who was the producer and was the word colheita actually on the label?
  23. Carema

    '87 Porto Morgado

    1987 was not considered a vintage year. Therefore, bottles with dates from undeclared vintages apply to single vineyard or quintas. Vintages are declared by consortium. Sometimes terrific values can be gleaned by purchasing single quinta bottles in off years from good producers. Given my experience with trader joes and their dubuious yet gloriously priced wine selection, there was probably piles of this unloaded at the corporate level. It is probably an allright bottle, though perhaps on the sweet side. This is large production quaffing port, perfect probably at a cheese party, or for economical gulping when intoxication and diabetes are the key goals, and/or if you are in the mood for something completely unuanced. For about 4 bucks (or maybe even 3 dollars more) you can buy the Smith & Woodhouse Lodgehouse reserve vintage character, a ruby like the Morgado yet most certainly includes declassified barrels from serveral outstadning declared vintages (1994 & 2000) among them. The other fabu value in the port department is the little known but largely loved Banyuls. Banyuls is a portesque delicious treat made in the South of France that employs Grenache Noir grapes fortified in the port style. More chocolatey and less alcoholy than port. You can acquire a really really good bottle for about 22 bucks. Avoid the 1998 Chapoutier- It is just weird. Clos de Pauilles makes a lovely one. You can get it by the glass at La Sardine (Carpenter & Randolph) and various boutique wine shops in Chicago.
  24. Carema

    Dinner with Paul

    Here is the Colgin/Burgundian connection. Becky Wasserman, importer doyenne of Burgundy, works closely with Connoisseur Wines in Chicago. Connoissuer handles such big guns as Bryant Family, Screaming eagle (maybe) and Colgin. They brought much of Camille's cellar over to the States. I will not drink Burgundy in this dark hour of the United States however. Tonight November 3rd 2004 is definitely a night for strong tasteless wine and the pondering of what a moral value actually is.
  25. ACEEEEEEEEEEEDDDD (acid). Viognier, while a tempting wine to espouse, is just too banana starch stinky and difficult for most (including me). I just cannot get my head around it. It is particularly difficult to pair with food unless the food is almonds. That being said, it is nice that people and pushing at the edges of the Chardonnay envelope. Now that the 2002 Burgs have been released tho', I am a Chardonnay girl once again, little monstrous tantrum throwing babies that they are!
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