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January 31, 2005
From Oger, this non-vintage chardonnay does little to evoke the same sense of place as its aristocratic cousin the 95 Terres de Noel. Biscuity nose with tangerine and old orange pith on the palate. Softening quickly to pear, pineapple, and sweet lemon soda. Big bubbles. Oddly phenolic and unpleasantly acidic.
January 30, 2005
02 Haut-Courneau, Graves
The power of cab and the fineness of great merlot with something even greater underneath -- how can this possibly be only two years old? Deep herbal and earthy aromas with savory dark fruit and more soil and mushroom stew on the palate. Wonderful balance.
January 28, 2005
98 J. Vidal-Fleury, Gigondas
Milky currants, chocolate sauce, and rinsed Kalamata olives behind a wafting funky stewed plum nose. Full, round, supple texture, melting tannins, and lingering acidity that turns this wine plesantly briney in the finish. I guess. For the first several minutes in the glass the flavors are so distinct they're almost distracting, but after some time this wine comes together like coal miners locking arms through a cave –- classically dry, grapey grenache blending and ultimately empathizing with the increasingly earthy and fleshy syrah.
January 26, 2005
02 Brooks, Janus Pinot Noir
Unusual, to say the least, with the tarry earthiness and spicy heat of Thackery's Pleiades XII -- its racy, blacktop finish -- without the complementary fruit. Bright floral nose. Briary cherries and mineral-laden cranberries yield to toasty mushrooms and fatty meat. Unfortunately, this otherwise complex wine is marred by a crackling campfire heat and strange tannins in the back of the throat.
January 24, 2005
02 Pavilion, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Full, creamy currants on the nose; soft and plush on the palate -- dense without ever being cloying or too oaky. The spicy, medium tannins are never too aggressive. Lightly minted finish. Satisfying, pure, and balanced.
January 19, 2005
02 Coche-Bizouard, Meursault
Precisely Meursault. Immediately acidic and lightly smoky, blossoming quickly into an enveloping richness of fresh sweet cream butter, vanilla bean, and a touch of golden apples. The finish is a hedonistic exhibition of more pure vanilla and long toasted walnuts and pecans, always backed by good acid. After a few seconds, the wine comes full circle with caramelized apples and a zip of nutmeg.
January 17, 2005
01 Gautheron, Chablis 1er Cru Les Fourneaux Vielles Vignes
Nervy with the jagged edges of a high carbon French knife used to hack through chicken bones. Austere. Jarring saltiness, lightly smoky, with some true, though reserved, fruit -- apples hit with a spritz of butter and honey. Textured. Still pretty closed, but developing an alluring roundness in the finish.
95 Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, Clos Saint Urbain Rangen de Thann Pinot Gris
Boisterously spicy, decadent nose of gerkhins and herbs de provence. Intense minerality governs the full, fuzzy peach skins and apricots on the palate. Bold acidity and structure, yet still silky and almost glycerine going down. A glorious proclamation of Alsatian terroir and the masterful hands of Olivier Humbrecht. Though a bit cloying at times, this wine is powerful, expressive, and enlightening with many, many more years ahead.
January 13, 2005
01 Clos Petite Bellane, Cotes du Rhone Villages Valreas Les Echalas
The youthful stoniness and minerality of this 100% roussane wine is like that of a tight white Burgundy and a clean Savinierres. Closed and nearly papery aromas open to pure fruit expressed within a weighty, waxy package of tangerines and spritzy acid on the tongue.
January 10, 2005
99 Romeo, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
A wine of exacting greatness, the 99 Romeo Vino Nobile is a ballet of full and accessible flavors that come with the intensity of great brunello and the texture of aged Barolo. Ripe, earthy cherry fruit and spicy berries are in complete harmony with burgeoning meat and iron notes. Balanced and pure, this wine sings all the riches of Tuscany at its very best.
96 Gloria Ferrer, Royal Cuvee Brut
Predominant green apple with an overripe citrus presence and fading hints of lightly toasted walnuts. Antipoetic, with a flattened feel and diminishing bubbles. Obviously unstructured, like wallpaper next to stucco.
January 08, 2005
02 Concannon, Central Coast Sauvignon Blanc
White flowers with zip and a whisp of smoke on the nose. Oranges and orange pith on the palate backed by impressive, yet somehow out of place acidity. Swelling salinity yields to a flabby finish of overripe citrus, powdered sugar, white pepper, and pleasantly toasty oak.
January 05, 2005
03 Andrea Oberto, Dolcetto d'Alba
Unevolved nose of alcohol, stewed grapes, and floral fennel seed. Chewy tannins, woody acid, and noticeable alcohol. Rustic. Grapes and raspberries tightly carpet the tongue. Savory meatiness begins to emerge in the finish, quickly silenced by the hand of Herr BubbleYum.
00 Massolino, Barolo
A rich and luxurious barolo, the 00 Massolino drinks with the feel of a mature Bordeaux. Soft and plush with balanced acid, velvety tannins, and no detectable alcohol. Fruit-forward to say the least, this wine bursts with ripe berries, rose petals, and delicate oak.
© 2005-2011 Nilay Gandhi