Tuesday, August 03, 2010

A bunch of great wines drunk with Angy and Susan

My brother Angy and his wife Susan were visiting for several days from Connecticut (which answers the question, who ever comes to Houston in summer for vacation?). To try to revive them from heat shock, we opened up several great bottles. But I was feeling too hot myself to do any serious analysis, so these are just quick impressions from memory.

First, the whites. A 2007 Domaine Weinbach SYLVANER Reserve ($17 at Spec's/Smith) was well-balanced but did not have inspiring depth or complexity. Sylvaner is a rather neutral tasting grape, so I guess I shouldn't have expected more than what I got, even from a great estate. The 2007 Domaine de la Rossignole SANCERRE "Cuvée Vieilles Vignes" ($19 at Spec's/Weslayan) was excellent: super crisp, lemony, and redolent of chalky minerals. None of the herbal, grassy side of Sauvignon Blanc on display. Finally, the 2007 Jacky Preys TOURAINE "Cuvée de Fie Gris Vieille Vigne" (ordered direct from North Berkeley Imports, which no longer ships to Texas thanks to the Texas wine police) was excellent and unique, bone dry and round, with a unique pumpernickel/rye bread component along with minerals and pear fruit.

A 2009 Lucien Crochet SANCERRE Pinot Rosé was a star, with unbelievable freshness, and a light mouthfeel yet with persistent ripe, crisp fruit.

Now for the sick reds we had. The 2008 Jean-Paul Brun MOULIN A VENT "Terres Dorées" was utterly classic Beaujolais, juxtaposing great freshness and lightness with very intense cherry fruit and crushed stone flavors. The 2004 Perticaia MONTEFALCO SAGRANTINO (previously reviewed) was holding beautifully, displaying soft, lush, mouthcoating fruit and crushed sandstone notes but with good balance and structure. A 2004 Nino Negri INFERNO "Mazér ($34 at Houston Wine Merchant) was a really fine example of a textbook Valtellina Nebbiolo, with a lightish color, and a lithe, austere mouthfeel serving as the delivery system for rose-scented intensely cherryish fruit.

And then there was the king: the 2004 Renatto Ratti BAROLO "Rocche" ($69 at Spec's on Weslayan) was mind-blowing, old fashioned Barolo, the likes of which I haven't drunk in literally decades. Ridiculously rich and complex nose, which featured ripe chokecherry liqueur fruit and a constantly-evolving, earthy, peat-like like component, and staggering length, richness, and balance. This will likely age for several more years, but I can't imagine it getting any better than it is now (keep in mind that my personal tastes veer decidedly toward younger rather than more aged wines). The contrast in this Nebbiolo with the Valtellina Neb from Negri of the same vintage was really instructive.

No scores, but the Sancerre Rosé, Moulin a Vent, Inferno, Sagrantino, and (especially) the Barolo, would all have been 90+ wines for sure.

1 comment:

Hampers said...

What a wonderful post, beautifully written. It captures these wines so well.