The terroirist crew really got around this week. Check out our impressions on a slew of wines from around the globe!
On Monday, I got together with a small group of friends to open some rock star California Cabs from the 1990s, along with a 2008 Rivers-Marie Summa Old Vines. In case you missed my tasting notes, you can check them out here.
On Wednesday, I attended an 11-vintage vertical dinner of Chateau Figeac. The dinner was hosted and organized by Panos Kakaviatos, and Figeac owner and winemaker Eric d’Aramon flew in for the event. Attendees included fellow Terroirist Rebecca Canan, some DC wine geeks, John Gilman, Dave McIntyre, master sommelier Kathy Morgan, and many others. My full notes will be published later this week, but well-known taster Kevin Shin has put up his notes on CellarTracker, and Panos has written about the event (and put up a video) on his site.
Over the weekend, I opened a 2008 Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Some Days Are Diamonds; a 2008 La Follette Chardonnay Lorenzo Vineyard; and a 2009 Talty Winery Zinfandel Filice Connolly. The Two Hands wine needs a boatload more time. It was a pop-and-pour, and only started to come together as anything beyond a gigantic Napa Cab after about an hour. The La Follette Chardonnay, sadly, was a dud — too much movie-theater popcorn. The Talty Zin, as always, was delicious. More raisiny than I would have expected, but bright and lively nonetheless.
My highlight of the week was a 1990 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Estate that was a going away gift from Ian Lipner when I left DC. This was elegant from beginning to end with a dusty red fruit profile that is so characteristic of older Napa Cabernets. The Estate bottling from Montelena continues to be a favorite of mine (their Napa designated Cabernet is FAR more hit-or-miss) from the region.
Later in the week I had a spectacular young Cabernet Franc from Bernard Baudry. His exciting 2006 La Croix Boissée is fresh, vibrant and built for superstardom. Talk about a young wine, though. It took a couple of hours for this to become expressive but showed beautiful “forestal spice” throughout with beautifully silky red fruit underneath. This wine from Baudry can be found under $40 and is one of the better value red wines in France.
The wines of Jacques Puffeney continue to interest me and I opened his racy 2009 Jacques Puffeney Arbois Cuvée Sacha and the elegant 2008 Jacques Puffeney Poulsard Arbois “M”. The Cuvee Sacha is a Chardonnay blend as has vibrant roasted nut notes with incredible minerality and structure. The Poulsard is one of my favorite cuvees from the Jura – so lithe, so elegant and so complex. Beautiful cranberry notes mix with dried rose petals and fresh herbs. These are intellectual wines that will challenge you.
Over the weekend I wanted to check in on some 2009 German Rieslings so I opened a 2009 Schäfer-Fröhlich Monzinger Halenberg Riesling Spätlese and a 2009 Dönnhoff Schloßböckelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Felsentürmchen Spätlese. I was more impressed by the Schafer-Frohlich with its energetic character it seemed to run laps around the more plodding, rounder Donnhoff. Both were enjoyable, but the acidity and structure on the former impressed me. Read the rest of this entry »