Analog Wines For the Digital Age

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

1999 Domaine de Fauterie Cotes du Rhone Blanc

So, going old again, I found this gem in my sample box a few weeks ago and seeing that I was having pork chop with a balsamic/caper reduction, I thought this might be the perfect accompaniment. I was right but also wrong.

1999 Domaine de Fauterie Cote du Rhone is 70% Marsanne and 30% Rousanne and as you can see from the picture a nice golden color in the glass (in the decanter it looks more aged and amber than it really is, always appears that way) and it is clear and bright.

The first thing that jumped out at me when I opened it up was the smell of apples and pears that jumped out of the glass. I could smell it from a few feet away. After more in-depth snuffling, I could also smell the waxy lanolin of older white wines, chamomile and white tea and just a touch of jasmine.

In the mouth the wine is full and rich but with bracing acidity so it must have been a monster of acid in its youth and sadly, the wine is pretty short in the finish showing a little hot and harsh even though it is 11 years old. I was surprised at how fresh the wine is and how well it is holding up. The flavors of pears continued in the mouth along with some nutty, slightly Manzanilla di Sanlucar de Barrameda (Sherry) like flavors (salty apples, almost briney).

With the food, the red onion, golden raisin, red swiss chard and pine nuts all sautéed together went well and would the pork chop, but the balsamic/caper sauce kind of overpowered the wine and the saltiness in the wine was amplified by the saltiness of the capers in the sauce. Nice try but no cigar.

Overall, I thought the wine was tasting great and it probably originally only cost what, say $15 at the most or maybe $20 at the outside? A deal by far.

Of course, there is none to be had anymore, but it has been fun to taste a little bit of the past . . .

Monday, March 29, 2010

And how about some older Brouilly while you are at it . . .

So from the largest of the single cru Beaujolais AOC's and what is supposed to be the lightest in style comes this Dominique Piron 1997 Brouilly Chateau du Prieure. At 13 years old, the wine was clear with nice ruby to garnet color at the core and a little brick red at the rim.

The nose was moderately intense with developed aromas of mulled wine, violets and orange peel with just a little white pepper. In the mouth, the wine was surprisingly full and rich with medium alcohol and a roundness in the mouth that was balanced well by some still evident acidity. There are flavors of soy sauce, raspberry jam, smoky meat although the finish was only medium long. Overall, I thought this wine was tasting surprisingly good for the age and for a wine that surely cost $15 back in the day, a steal.

It went really well with the steak we were having that night, grilled with nothing but sea salt and black pepper as seasoning.

The 2007 Piron Brouilly, Domaine de Combiaty (a different vineyard) is available all over Los Angeles and the Bay Area so if you have a yen to taste what the young wine would taste like in comparison, give me a shout and I will point you in the right direction.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A little old Rose` never hurt anyone . . .

So one of the importers I work with has been cleaning out the cellar lately so whenever I get samples from Northern California, thrown into the box is usually one or two older vintages of wines that we currently represent. This time it was Bergerie de l'Hortus 2000 Rose`.

Showing lovely mature aromas of truffled berries and sweet subtle floral notes, the wine was a showing mature, slightly cooked gritty prune flavors in the mouth but also had a nice warmth, roundness and pretty long finish.

I could actually see this faring pretty well in a tasting alongside older Burgundy of minor quality as color could be confused between the two and flavors, although different, were similar enough to create some doubt in the mind.

Overall, pleasant but definitely proved again to me that your Rose` wine should be drunk within a few years of release!



Lunch with Francesca Vaira at Terroni DTLA . . . best lunch ever!

Francesca Vaira  2010 Langhe Freisa Kye` Library  2006 Langhe Freisa Kye` Library 2014 Luigi Ba...