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Old 11-03-2008, 02:01 PM posted to
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Default TN: Bdx blanc, Chianti Classico, and the wrong Fleurie

Last night the basset hound had her first sleepover guest. Some
friends are going to China in spring, and for part of the time we
agreed to host their English setter. We decided to have an
experimental sleepover (so we would find out if there was a problem
with dogs getting along in advance). Courtney's owners joined us and
our houseguest for dinner. Betsy made ricotta-spinach ravioli
(involved, but worth it) in a sage butter, eggplant boats (filled with
a somewhat ratatouille-ish mixture, though the recipe is Russian),and
a chopped salad.

We had one white-only guest, and one red-only, so served some of each:

2005 Ch. Haut-Rian (Bordeaux Blanc)
Very pleasant, more rounded and less grassy than it was a few months
ago. Light lemony fruit with a slice of green apple, good acidity, a
nice "food wine." B

2001 Felsina "Berardenga" Chianti Classico
This is a perennial favorite for me, but the '01 is maybe the best
loved of the bunch, and this is a pointe for my tastes. The solid
black cherry fruit is still vibrant, but it's beginning to get nice
secondary earth and saddle leather notes. Tannins are well-integrated,
this could certainly age quite a while, but this is just how I like my
Chianti. A-/B+

2004 Clos de la Roilette (Coudert) "Cuvee Tardive" Fleurie
This was a mistake. I thought I was grabbing the '04 regular cuvee, it
was open before I saw the CT designation. I had planned on saving this
one. I'm a big Coudert fan, but this one was a little disappointing -
I like the regular more. Fruit is fat and sweet, lower acidity than
the standard cuvee, with more tannins. Maybe this will blossom into
something more exciting, but for now I find a somewhat anonymous wine.

Fun evening with friends, with interesting discussions and lots of
laughter. The dogs each got a marrow bone and were content; the people
were content even without bones. Jim won the slip of the night award
by referring to the seltzer siphon as the Spitzer.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent
wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't
drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no
promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.

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