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Old 15-11-2009, 06:43 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN: Haut Medocs, Barbaresco, Loire, Rheingau, CA, Graves

This wasn't easiest week of work. I had a long day Th (luckily 15
hours,not the threatened 20) and didn't open any wine. So when Friday
rolled around I was looking to kick back a bit. Betsy was going to be
playing, but I sent an email to some local friends inviting them over,
and a few were free despite last minute invite.

When I got home, Betsy was preparing two small racks of lamb with
persillade, with salad and "grownup mac and cheese" (with bacon,
gruyere, cheddar,and Roquefort). I decided to start off night with the
1983
Cantemerle (Haut Medoc). Nice if not exciting claret, plums and
cassis, mostly resolved tannins (but big enough for the lamb chops),
some cigarbox and a little ash. Not very long, but it held up well
over several hours, with Annabelle naming it as her favorite of the
evening. B

Betsy left for performance, it was going to be a while before guests
arrived, so I thought I'd open the apertif (for them) wine. David B.
had recently generously sent me a bottle of 03 Leitz Spatlese (after I
had said I had no 03 Leitz) through Salil, this seemed like a good
time. Nice floral nose, limes and cherries on palate, nice balance,
good length. I'm thinking I'm surprised this is a 2003, when I notice
it's not. I've grabbed the wrong bottle, and it's the 2002 Leitz
Rudesheimer Magdalenenkreuz Spatlese (I doublechecked, the 03 from
David is still in cellar). OK, makes a bit more sense, drinking well
in any case. On night 2 it shows much more minerally, but still nice
citrus/peach/cherry fruit. B++

OK, the guests arrive, I put out some cheeses, salami, and some duck
confit courtesy of Marc and Annabelle. Time for some reds (besides the
Cantemerle):

1993 Poderi Colla "Tenuta Roncaglie" Barbaresco
I'm generally a fan of 1993 Piedmont, this is good but showing age.
Drink up time. Some modest black cherry fruit, roses on nose, easy
tannins, sweet finish. I think I liked more than table. B/B+

1970 Lanessan (Haut-Medocs)
Younger and fresher than the 83 Cantemerle. Al quickly (and
repeatedly) declares it his favorite wine of the night, and this is a
guy who likes big/ripe/young wines. Tannins resolved, but lots of
cassis and red plum fruit, nice earthy/loamy notes. It is actually not
especially complex, but surprisingly young fruit. B+

2005 Cantelys (Pessac-Leognan)
Probably not fair with all the older wines, but this can across as
simple and a bit boring. Tannic, black berry fruit, some vanilla,
possibly just in a closed state but pretty uninteresting. Glad I think
I only had one. B-/C+

We never got around to the dessert wine. Saturday I was in charge of
an early dinner before Betsy went to city. I did a Provencalesque
chicken in lemon sauce, braised leeks, herbed squash, and rice. Both
the leeks and the chicken needed wine, so I opened the 2007 St Francis
Chardonnay (Sonoma County). This is definitely in the Chardonnay
Cocktail style, sweet tropical fruit with vanilla and butter. Not my
favorite style, but while it is ripe it's not completely acid-free, so
reasonably lively. I've got several more, and ok for $8.xx (split a
case at Zachys sale). Mostly plan for big parties or cooking, but
would be ok next time lobsters are $4/lb. B-

That said, I didn't want for dinner wine. So opened the 2007 Francois
Cotat "Les Monts Damnes" Sancerre. More subdued at least at this point
than its sibling Culs de Beaujeu I had recently, it's full bodied with
citrusy fruit and some mineral notes. Good, but not the thrilling wine
the CdB was. Maybe this is just more in need of time. B

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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