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Old 11-09-2004, 10:11 PM
Dale Williams
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Default TN: nice cheap '01 St-Emilion, Strub; ok Mondavi, NZ, etc.

With lemon chicken and potatoes, the (screwcapped) 2003 Villa Maria Private
Bin Riesling. Off-dry and crisp, some lime and green apple flavors. Pleasant
and unassuming, provides decent if unexciting QPR at $9. B

Wednesday I was baching, with some chicken/broccoli sausage and polenta I had a
375 of the 2001 J.u.H.A. Strub Niersteiner Brückchen Riesling Kabinett. Unlike
some 2001s not closed at all, a very light and fragrant wine with good acidity,
peach and melon fruit, and a mineral finish. Very light for a Strub- I wouldn't
call ethereal but close. B+

At some point I mentioned to Betsy that I missed meatloaf, a food of my
childhood, and was happy when I arrived home Thursday and she announced she had
made one (from Silver Palate New Basics, I think). She was going to work, so I
opened a 375 of the 1997 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa). Bigger and
riper than the 1998 I had last week, pretty tasty now in a blowsy kind of way,
but I wouldn't hold. B/B+

Friday Betsy was working, and I was invited to some friends for dinner.
Ostensibly the party was to admire the ceiling Dave had put on their porch
(incredibly intricate woodwork), but they also gave us a surprise tour of the
house next door, which they had closed on day before (no one knew they were
buying). We toasted both with the 2001 San Campio Albarino (Rias Baixas),
medium bodied white with lemon and peach, not the freshest Albariño I've run
across (better last year?), but nice enough. B/B-

We ate on the beautiful porch looking out at the Hudson. The 2000 Louis Bernard
Côtes du Rhône Villages seemed a tad tired, red fruit and not much else before
a short finish. B-

I had brought the 2001 Rocher Bellevue Figeac (St.Émilion), and luckily they
were serving roast lamb. Man, why did I only get 3 bottles of this in a mixed
case? I think I thought "how good could this be for $12.99?" Pretty damn good,
actually. Some flowers and leather riding a wave of dark fruit on the nose,
black cherry-meets-kirsch fruit, tannins apparent but fine enough to be
inobtrusive. I think this will age well on the short to mid term, but a fine
accompaniment to meat right now. Nicely balanced oak, fruit, tannins, and
acidity. B+/A-, with a solid A for QPR.

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. *

Dale Williams
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