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Everything posted by Carema

  1. I don't know- this sounds nice to me. USA service is usually so lacking and incoherent... When we go to the big tastings, you do the whites first low acid to high, and then the reds. When switching from you prime the glass with a bit of the new wine. At least someone was paying attention. Priming a glass is not going to throw off the scent of TCA or mildew in any way. In fact priming can be a nice way to rid your glass of the nasty sanitizer that resturants are required to use due to hygenic law. I remember a long time ago, when taking a hygenic service test in Seattle, the words fecal matter being followed parenthetically by the word "poop". Wish someone had primed that glass .
  2. Carema


    Carmenere was brought down to Chile from Bordeaux in the 1850s or so and grown in the national nursery there. When Phylloxera hit Bordeaux, everything was wiped out. For some reason or another, when the vines were transplanted again in Bordeaux from Chile, Carmenere was not brought up, even though it remains a legal bordelaise grape. In Chile it has interbred quite voraciously with Merlot. There is a difference in flavor profiles between Merlot and Carmenere however: Merlot tends to speak of earth and plums and sand, esp in hot climate. Carmenere has this very distinct nose of just sliced fresh jalapeno, or hot cement that has been freshly rained upon. Carmenere has more structure coming out of Chile than Merlot could ever hope to have. Alpatagua makes three levels of Carmenere, the basic ($12.95) being quite servicable all the way up to the Grial which is monstrous. The Edwards remains, IMO a substandard example. PS: emoticons supplied by ewan
  3. Carema

    South African Wines

    Lack of acid in the reds and mouth hurting astringency in whites keeps me running from this region.
  4. Sometimes in Veneto they say Cabernet and mean Franc. I have found a lot of the Q stuff to be pricey and disappointing and I agree with you for a quarter of the price sometimes a nice Valp does the trick just fine. I will see if I can find the cepage on this one for the forum.
  5. While I am not familiar with the producer, Dorigo I am quited excited that someone could get this amped up about Ribolla. It saw its heyday centuries ago and then was almost wiped out by phylloxera. It is a beautiful white wine, delightful and elegant, never cloying and when done correctly fresh and exciting. Who is importing this particular one, maybe we should have another one in the shop although I hafta admit- a tough sell.
  6. If you are a garrigue lover here is a wine for you! The barnyard is so omnipresent and deep, you might think you were a little pony, hoofing around in the sun baked dirt, neighing patiently in your pen. This Blaufrankisch (aka Limberger) reminds me of the delightful Cote du Rhone I drank in more youthful times, a wee bit clunky, a little bit lusty and just plain stinky. What ever happened to those CDRs you might have wondered? Well apparently they have moved to Austria and changed identity. Now where is my lamb stew? $12.95/ Bottle
  7. God bless Styria! Even though it was only about 20 degrees F in Chicago today it seemed very warm for some reason, hot even. So I bought this white home tonight to have with a meager meal of rice turkey and peas mixed together. What a delight! Fresh and happy with tons of keffir lime , lovely chalky mineral, & hints of pithy unripe orange peel- zippy acid. It leaves your mouth wanting for more. It makes me think that tomorrow in the sky the heavens will be opened up, Ewan will get an A on his spelling test and all those people who insist on drinking Cabernet Sauvignon with Thai food will wake up and think "Muskateller, that's a fine idea." A girl can always dream anyway. And sometimes dreams come true. $17.95/ bottle
  8. Carema


    I do not think you should at all. Look you have brought up a great topic, brought to light a grape that obviously is elusive hard to pin down and no-one can seem to agree about where it expresses itself best or how long to age it. Personally just because acid is low in Viognier I say like Mark S. drink young. But I have had a few aged ones that have worked out well (better check those hidden 94/95s Boris, and soon). In any event I think what Craig might be saying is that Viognier is a one trick pony. All seduction and flash and then, well it is over. But it is a great discovery and crush to go through, even if you end up not taking it to the prom.
  9. Carema


    Well, if it were truly labeled Cotes Du Rhone AOC then the grapes had to be from the Cotes Du Rhone. However, AOC labeling usually precludes varietal labeling, but I think I might have seen a few exception as of late (although firm details are not springing to mind) There is a rarely seen northern AOC called (Brezeme I think) that can attach itself to the Cotes Du Rhone appelation, perhaps that is where your viognier was from. It has been my experience that southern rhone Viogniers are just a mite less intense than their nothern counterparts.
  10. I am here to save all mucho cash! My father opened the Billecart Salmon Cuvee Elisabeth Rose 1997 (who knew, was Billecart the only one declaring that year?). Blech. What a load of shite. Dirty like icky children's chalk laying in the mud and really unappealing in every way. I asked my pops if it was off; he didn't seem to think so but at $825/case WHOLESALE I will be saving my customers a lot of dough by talking them out of this monstrosity. It did however serve as an allright base for a French 75 (thank god we had good gin and fresh oranges laying around!)
  11. Carema


    The vine itself is low yielding and very susceptible to disease. Plus in terms of hectacres it is among one of the tiniest AOCs in France, only just dwarfing the tiny Chateau Grillet. I feel that it is very hard to pair with food simply because of its complex aromatics, mentioned by other posters here, jasmine, honeysuckle, starchy banana etc. Viognier, like some Gewurtztraminers, is just inordinately strange and fickle. The American ones are all over the boards, some can smell like gasoline and rotten flowers. I have liked the Darioush, Miner Family & Spencer Roloson's in the past. As for selling Condrieu I usually keep a couple of bottles stocked just for the odd sort that comes in and wants one. Truth be told they are unreasonably expensive and for the most part like fools gold; I have never been transported fully into wine lala land by one but they always retain some sort of mystique and cache.
  12. Marques de Monistol makes a rose Gran Reserva Brut Cava (which thanks to y'all I now know is NOT vat fermented) from monastrell & pinot noir. A skunky little bugger that- I carry a lovely dry Moscota Rosa Brut from Isola Augusta made from (what else?) Moscata Rosa grapes! They recommend (this from back label) to serve with crusty sweets or jam tarts. Apparently the food pairing is lost in translation. In any event, crusty sweet in hand or no, its great. and only 14 dollars. Full Champagne method too, like Cava.
  13. Zenato is good but in the Chicago market they play suck up to the big boys (free goods etc) and put the screw to little shops like ours. So no soup for them.
  14. Andre- who imports these? To all else: Thanks you guys. I was having a bitter night. I just need to start tasting again after these last six weeks of retail hell. phew!
  15. As allegrini have rasied their prices in a sick and twisted way, we are on the prowl for a new ripasso. This is not it. Foul and soulforous in the nose, alcoholic and reminiscent nothing of Corvina, or the spirit of ripasso. this is horrifying wine that has left me with three things: heartburn heartbreak disgust While I realize that Tommasi refermented with Amarone pressings and Allegrini simply employs a blend of Valp & amarone, still this is godawful swill and should be banned from export. Ripasso is one of those weird modern categories that could potentially go without filling yet I feel a void without having one. Maybe the category should just be excused due to lack of care. Any thoughts from the peanut gallery? I want to jettison this bottle into space. But my son has not mastered that feat of engineering yet. In a few years perhaps. I will cork it up and wait. PS yes I spelled the name of the wine wrong. so what the wine was wrong
  16. Emilia Romagna. Sangiovese of exceptional quality but without the price tag, and Lambrusco which if you haven't had the pleasure of a good quality dry one go out right now and get one. You've got Parma hams, Reggiano cheese and rich meaty big and bouncy (no wait that's the Who) sauces.
  17. Carema


    I like and sell a lot of this wine ( here its sixteen bucks). Decant this Nebbiolo. It does not remind me of barbaresco however, it is less structured and less oily. That being said however, it still has a lot of structure and can be very tight upon opening. I am assuming you have the 2000 vintage which is (I believe) the current release. The classic flavor profile of Nebi will follow, earth and roses etc....
  18. Carema

    California CHAMPAGNE

    at the very least, cava is made following the methode champenoise. i'm not sure about Korbel, though. Both Cava and Korbel are made by the traditional methode champenois. I learned something about Cava! Thanks....
  19. They are. To fine restaurants and hotels which move a lot of product, yes. To midrange and smaller restaurants, no. I witnessed (and was able to participate in) one of these training sessions by the Don Perignon people at a hotel in New Orleans, for example. But I can't imagine some mom and pop restaurant getting the same kind of personal treatment. Do not be led into the myth that people who distribute wine actually know anything about it. Some are knowledgable- most are clowns. I was once doing a "Death of a Salesman" event in the store (have two different distributors go head to head in the shop) and heard once guy declaring 2000 ..."one of the best California vintages in a long while...". I was like, hold the phone dude 2000 sucks and was furious that such misinformation was being propegated on my turf. That is why I rarely have them in. Most of these people would sell you a bottle of dog piss because they get commission off of it. Training needs to be provided in house, not out of house. And therein lies a particularly american problem; one of the most profitable parts of a house is usually run by a GM who does not have the time to oversee it properly, may not be that savvy themselves and oftentimes are stuck in the toilet trying to fish out unmentionable foreign materials because there isn't time for a plumber before service. Usually at the same moment the toilet stops up a line cook will have lopped off most of his thumb and will need to be tourniquetted and then sent to emergency in a cab. Oh yeah, then someone will discover they have mispelled lamb (labm) on the menu so these will need to be reprinted. No wonder there is so much freaking Kendall Jackson on wine lists.
  20. Carema

    California CHAMPAGNE

    at the very least, cava is made following the methode champenoise. i'm not sure about Korbel, though. Tom tom- I think cava is definitely vat fermented although there maybe some higher-end exceptions.
  21. Carema

    California CHAMPAGNE

    Some windbag was in the shop the other night telling me that apparently somehow Spain got away with calling things Champagne too. Korbel does, and will always suck. It sucked in 1985 when it was the heavist acse a small stock girl could manage and it still sucks now that I do not have to stock it.
  22. The last time I rode donkeys I was 14. But with my special pixie fairy dust (known in the trade as Burgundy) I will try once more. I used to ride thouroughbreds (his name was Purely Pleasure I kid you not) english saddle when I was seven. I can probably handle a French donkey or two.
  23. Thanks everyone, I think I will have more than enough places to choose from and am planning on gaining 10 pounds in 5 days! I did purchase the Michelin Guide and Wells' 4th edition. I appreciate all the helpful suggestions and will post a lengthy report upon my return. I am excited about go karts as well but do you think they will let me ride the ponies?
  24. I am unfamiliar with this crisis - could Craig or Mark ellucidate? Do you know what the story is behind the barrel production crisis? There are not enough trees and coopers to keep up with the demand for new oak barrels. So people will have to used a combination of new and seasoned bareels or just seasoned barrels for fermentation.
  25. Carema


    Katie: yeah! me too. I barely ever save. I will start out by stating: Most American wines wear a death necklace toll, of five years out and you are lucky to get anything drink it now... tomorrow may never come. Tomorrow was made for some for all we know... song written in the 40s regarding her love going off to war still applies today. For all we know we may never meet again (so open that 78 la chapelle my friend) Before you go make this moment sweet again (just one last sip of the 89 d'Yquem) We won't say good night until the last minute (I am sure there are more than dregs left in that 71 Ducru you hold out bastard) I hold out my hand, and my heart is in it ( also a riedel tasting glass that I would like you to fill with more of that 96 Cannubi Bartolo Barolo) I could go on and on but after all I am not holding a 20 year old british soldier in my arms and pondering the white cliffs of dover. Those who could not afford college are choking in the middle eastern sand wondering if they will come home with limbs. Africa is, and will be filled with dying children. In the USA millions of children go hungry and lots sleep in cars even in the winter. Their parents know not how to cook and would not care to dissect the oeschle difference between Kabinett and Spatlese. anyway drink up folks. cheers. happy holidays. lovely new year. be safe. -C
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