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TN: Some nice stuff


Florida Jim
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2004 Lagar do Merens, Ribeiro (blanco):

80% treixadura with some lado, torrentes, loureira, godello and albariño; 12.5% alcohol and imported by Eric Solomon. Having previously enjoyed the Ribeiro, blanco from Emilio Rojo but found it pricey; I saw this and thought it might be a good alternative at $14. Although Rojo’s wine did not have as much treixadura in it, this came pretty close.

The Merens is aromatic, well concentrated and flavorful, has a somewhat oily texture that is more enjoyable if the wine is cold and has plenty of finish. It reminds me of wines made primarily of Godello; a ripe white fruit and spice character throughout.

A region with promise.

2005 Lan, Rioja Edición Limitada:

Very oaky nose followed by a milkshake-like texture and lots of sweet fruit. Not my style of wine but, as it opened, I could begin to taste the tempranillo flavors (‘never did get past the wood on the nose). Surely, this will be a popular wine in the U.S. but a couple of sips were all I really wanted. 14%, quite expensive and nothing I’d buy but I appreciate the chance to try it. Thanks Joe.

1999 Trimbach, Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile:

Good Alasatian riesling is a joy. This producer always impresses me with its focus – etched smells and flavors of pineapple, lime skin and mineral all join to form an integrated, bright, slightly understated effect. Zind Humbrecht and often, Weinbach, never quite get the laser sharpness in these elements – for me, that means I’ll have one glass of Z-H or Weinbach but be pleased to drink a bottle of Trimbach during my dinner. ‘Lots of years ahead of this bottling.

2007 Henry Fessy, Vin de Pays Doc Chardonnay:

Charming, French chardonnay sans wood and with a pleasant mineral streak. Not grand or complicated but pretty in its modest way. 13% alcohol and excellent QPR at $8.

2006 Paul Bouchard, Vin de Pays Doc Pinot Noir:

Correct, translucent, French styled pinot noir that is balanced and appealing. Not for aging and little complexity but entirely quaffable at $9.

1998 Vieux Télégraphe, Châteauneuf-du-Pape:

A little sweeter fruit than the last bottle with considerable structure and good balance; definitely of its place and finally opening after so many years a sleep.

Some wines tasted blind:

1996 Jessandra Vittoria (Coturri), Santa Vittoria:

A cabernet sauvignon and sangiovese blend that is a little pruney but still interesting. When unveiled, I remembered having some of this in my cellar some years ago. A bit too darkly framed and torrefied for me but sound and showing some development after 12 years.

1990 Rabbit Ridge, Barbera Grande Riserva:

Great wine! Ethereal aromatics that are feathery, complex and evocative of the Italian countryside; completely resolved, silky smooth and nuanced to a degree that I take my glass off to a corner away from everyone just to concentrate on the wine. Appeals to the senses and the intellect, has developed both bottle bouquet and tertiary layers of aroma and flavor, and is at peak. Continues to develop in the glass and the finish goes on and on. 13% alcohol and the finest barbera based wine I’ve tried from anywhere.

Oh my!

Best, Jim

www.CowanCellars.com

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1990 Rabbit Ridge, Barbera Grande Riserva:

...13% alcohol and the finest barbera based wine I’ve tried from anywhere.

Oh my!

I've gotta say I'm a bit stunned by this one, Jim. I was looking for the satire, for the wink, but not finding it. I've tasted some pretty good CA Barbera but nothing with that kind of age... and nothing I'd put ahead of G. Conterno or a good vintage from Elio Grasso (among others). Please do illuminate.

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1990 Rabbit Ridge, Barbera Grande Riserva:

...13% alcohol and the finest barbera based wine I’ve tried from anywhere.

Oh my!

I've gotta say I'm a bit stunned by this one, Jim. I was looking for the satire, for the wink, but not finding it. I've tasted some pretty good CA Barbera but nothing with that kind of age... and nothing I'd put ahead of G. Conterno or a good vintage from Elio Grasso (among others). Please do illuminate.

David,

No one was more surprised when the wine was revealed.

I am told that these were estate vines when RR was still in Sonoma and that they were torn out shortly after this vintage making the 1990 the last one from this producer. I don't know if any of that is accurate.

What I do know is that the wine was other-worldly. I was serious about going off by myself to concentrate entirely on my glass. Amazingly balanced, nuanced and long. I first thought it was sangiovese with considerable age from somebody like a Conterno or other high-end maker.

What a surprise and what a wine.

Best, Jim

www.CowanCellars.com

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