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TN: Nice stuff


Florida Jim
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Whites:

1999 Nigl, Grüner Veltliner, Piri Privat:

The texture of a big viognier but the precision of a fine riesling; a wine of contradictions, fleshy and cerebral; showing well but no secondary development; intensity and concentration yet no flab or diffusion; endless finish. 13.5% alcohol, about $23, on release.

2002 Luneau-Papin, Muscadet Clos des Allées VV:

Harmonious, crisp, complex, deep and just the slightest bit thinning; a wonderful wine that is either coming the end of its peak or beginning to close down – frankly, I think the former. One of the very best white wines in my cellar for the last seven years, I’d recommend drinking this sooner rather than later. Still lovely and charming but starting to turn a corner. 12% alcohol and about $7 on sale, several years ago.

2005 Pieropan, Soave La Rocca:

This is a single vineyard that is aged in wood – it is often not to my taste because the wood intrudes – not this vintage; pure, rich aromas that have lots of layers; equally rich and full in the mouth but a bubbling spring of acidity wells up and washes everything clean, huge concentration, intense, balanced and extremely long. This is the most impressive garganega I have ever tasted and one that has years ahead in the cellar. Utterly breathtaking with insalta caprese. 13%alcohol and about $24 (obviously a mistake in pricing as this is usually $20 more than that).

(Aside: I have had the regular Soave, the Calvarino (single vineyard, no oak) and the La Rocca (single vineyard, aged in oak) from this vintage and producer; I think it is safe to say this is the most successful vintage I’ve tasted in the last ten or so. Brilliant wines, at all levels and this La Rocca is likely the most expressive Soave I’ve ever tasted. Try . . . these . . . wines!)

Pinks:

2007 Dom. Fontanyles, Rosé Côtes de Provence:

Quite pale and fairly dry; light strawberry and stone aromas and flavors, crisp and clean, some layering. Comes in a Dom. Ott look-a-like bottle, caries 13% alcohol and is about $12. Pleasant.

2007 Le Pont, Rosé Bandol:

Twice the quality of the preceding bottle; every bit as pale (sort of a watery light copper) but the nose is stony and spicy with just a bit of fruit; lots of ripe fruit in the mouth but none of it sweet, spicy, a beautiful silky texture, great acidity that is fully integrated and a very long, tangy finish. Showing a sense of place, good finesse and flesh, and, so complex that the $18 price tag makes sense. 13% alcohol and a terrific, dry rosé. Don’t drink it too cold; this one is worth having at cellar temp. or even warmer.

Reds:

2004 Giacosa, Nebbiolo d’Alba Valmaggiore:

Not the soaring power of Barolo nor the finesse of Barbaresco but without question nebbiolo – gutsy nebbiolo – nothing remotely feminine here: sinewy, direct, firm, strong, cool but integrated and composed; not for lighter fare and definitely better with food. Hold at least a decade. 13.5% alcohol, about $30, on release.

2008 Maipa, Malbec:

Good varietal character, layered on the nose and palate, very well balanced, no overt wood, some grip, a worsted texture and very good sustain. A step (or two) above industrial malbec; I will buy a lot of this. 14% alcohol and about $12.

2000 Chat. Cantelys:

This is from Pessac-Leognan and cost about $23; it’s got some funk on the nose but that clears to reveal very young, powerful Graves fruit with lots of earthy/mineral nuance; much the same in the mouth with a very youthful, grippy attack and plenty of complexity; decent length. This is too young but it is a terrific wine with decades to go to peak. Unfortunately, my last bottle but this wine, from the folks who make Smith-Haut Lafite is top quality.

2007 Biggio Hamina, Pinot Noir Ana Vnyd.:

This has got to be a whole cluster fermented wine (at least to some degree). Translucent, it shows the spice and high tones of whole cluster and its savory elements are readily recognizable. More dark fruit than red, good acidity, some complexity and a crisp, clean finish. Showing young and undeveloped but also well within limits for whole cluster wines. So many whole cluster wines are just plain green or bordering on it to the extent that one has to intellectually sort out the aromas and flavors and convince oneself that all is well. This is more poised and appealing; neither green nor leanings that way but still that herbaceous spice and lifted prettiness that whole cluster can give.

Day two: even better as the depth is now evident and the wine is quite elegant. Diane says, “[T]his is the way pinot noir should taste.” I agree – one of the most impressive domestic pinots I have tasted in a long time. And superb with turkey/cheese panini. 12.5% alcohol, screw-cap, $38, and, again I say, this is a producer to watch – someone here has a clue, they are daring and they seem to have a good handle on what their fruit can and can not do. Stay tuned . . .

Best, Jim

www.CowanCellars.com

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Thanks Jim. I think I've seen you mention previous Pieropan offerings, and I've certainly tried more than a few of them. I have yet to taste the '05 La Rocca. I wish I could try it at €24!!!

That Pinot sounds interesting as well. Wonder is that available over here...

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