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TN: The truth


Florida Jim
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Whites:

2007 Jermann, Vinnae:

Mostly ribolla gialla with small amounts of tocai and riesling; 12.5% alcohol, screw cap and about $25.

Day one: lemon, mineral and herb aromatics; fairly full in the mouth with flavors that echo the nose, a distinct tang and a tactile sensation that comes up just short of tannin; a quite long and lightly bitter finish. Reminds me a little of greco but without the resinous qualities. Probably a bit closed at the moment but indicative of character, concentration and purity. Exceptional with food.

Day two: pretty much the same – perhaps a little more open but I think this could use a year or two (or more).

2005 Grosset, Riesling Polish Hill:

13% alcohol, under screw cap and about $20, on sale.

This is one of the most powerful dry rieslings I’ve tasted. It has the concentration of a Zind-Humbrecht without the weight. Angular coming out of the bottle and showing very young but it turns fuller and more fruit driven with a creamy texture as it airs – it has plenty of structure, stuffing and acidity. Probably will age longer than I’ll live and be approachable all along the way.

Reds:

2002 Clos de la Roilette, Fleurie Cuvée Tardive:

Day one: fairly tannic and closed but showing its depth and concentration; not especially Fleurie-like – more Pommard or something similar. Came alive and truer to its place with lentil stew.

Day two: although somewhat more resolved, a bit duller also. This wine needs time in the bottle; decanting won’t do it.

13% alcohol and about $21 on release.

1994 Penfolds, Grange:

This has been the only bottle of Australian wine in my cellar for over ten years. It is what you’d expect; there’s evidence of American oak on the nose but it seems to have morphed into a cola-like smell; it has chocolate in the flavor profile but not the sweet kind, and it has an extraordinarily silky texture. Rich, plush stuff that is more cocktail style than food style. Even so, not a bad wine and anything that was done to it seems to have softened over 15 years. Others liked it better but I will say that this is not outsized or unbalanced and does have some finesse (probably due to its age). Not my sort but for those who like this style, I suspect you’d be very pleased.

2006 Edmunds St. John, That Old black Magic:

A co-ferment of syrah and grenache, screw-cap, 14.3% alcohol and about $20. Clean, expansive and attractive nose of dark fruit, salted meat, lavender and mineral; beautifully precise and alluring in the mouth with finesse and complexity, flavors that follow the nose adding an iron tone and a personality that is hard to describe but that keeps me coming back; excellent length. This is balanced, shows better than most CdP I’ve tasted recently, gives no indication of its alcohol content, has a distinct individual quality and has all the ear-marks of wine that will age well. So easy to drink and perfect accompaniment to pasta with broccoli, roasted peppers, feta and olives.

(Aside: I think that Steve Edmunds has (after 25 years in the business) discovered the “truth” of wine; it needs to have an individual character so you can identify it from all the other wines it competes with, it needs to pair well with your dinner, it needs to age well in your cellar, it needs to be a true joy to drink and it needs to be affordable. IMO, no other winemaker currently working in CA delivers these essentials, does so across his entire line of wines and with such consistency. If you have not tried Steve’s wines, I urge you to do so. ‘Cure what ails ya.)

Best, Jim

Edited by Florida Jim (log)

www.CowanCellars.com

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