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DaleW 14-11-2011 01:38 AM

TN: week in review: France, Germany,and Australia
Betsy made some recipes from a n article on cooking with beer- cauliflower and ale soup, bread with a double bock, and salad (no beer). I opened the 2009 Breton "Trinch!" Bourgueil, it seemed a little flat compared to previous bottles, certainly tasty- black raspberries and herbal notes- but considerably less lively than I remembered. Off bottle? B-

With roast chicken and kabocha squash with kale, the 2009 Bize "Les Perrieres" Bourgogne Blanc. This really hit the spot, my favorite '09 chard so far. White fruit, flowers, chalky minerality, ripe but with solid acids. Delicious and classic. B++

A friend came to pick up his part of a shared purchase, I offered a glass of the 2006 Mt Langi Ghiran Riesling. Another bottle I had liked more before, this has the fruit in the background, with heavy layers of petrol, smoke, and rubber. This develops oxidative notes quickly, and I wonder if it saw some heat (reputable source, but not the same as previous bottles). C/C+ for this bottle

Betsy had an all-day rehearsal Friday, so on way back from a speech I stopped by fish store, and tried to have dinner ready soon after she rolled in. We started with grilled octopus and the 2001 Leitz Rudesheimer Klosterlay Riesling QbA. Peaches, lime and red fruits, riding on a backbone of acid. Excellent length, drinking very well, great wine for the level. B+

Main was teriyaki style grilled salmon, with some young broccoli and the
2010 Ducroux Regnie. Fresh crunchy cranberry fruit, earthy, a little funk, very nice. B/B+

Much as I love the produce, my favorite vendor at local farmer's market might be the fish guy from Montauk, Saturday I went with the scallops. I sauteed with garlic, lemon, and chive; meanwhile Betsy made fried rice with some young napa cabbage. Wine was the 2009 F. Cotat "Les Monts Damnes" Sancerre.. Big, ripe, forward, but well balanced and incredibly long. Tons of minerality, I started to say textbook Sancerre, but in actuality blind I might have thought this a top Graves blanc. I really enjoy in any case, and holds up well overnight. A-

Betsy played a matinee performance today, I prepared some Lola duck breast in a marinade of ponzu, kecap manis, 5 spice, and garlic for grilling (I love the Lola flavor, but not a lot of output rendering skin, though cracklins are good). When she got home I grilled the duck, she dressed arugula, prepared asparagus, and reheated fried rice, and we sat down to a nice meal and the 2008 Bize "Marconnets" Savigny les Beaune 1er. Pretty, pretty, pretty.. Black raspberry and cherry fruit, fine tannins, high but balanced acids. Good length. I'm a fairly recent convert to Bize, '05 is oldest I have, but think these will age well. But drinking well now- and Betsy didn't just stop at dinner as usual, but took up an additional glass for her bath. Geek + nongeek wine. A-

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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