Impressions 11-30-17

Bubbles:
N/V J. Laurens, Cremant de Limoux Brut - a knock off for nonvintage, small grower Champagne; quite tasty
2008 Louise Brisson, Champagne Brut - balanced, pretty and clean; nice

Whites:
2015 Birichino, Malvasia Bianca - well made and balanced but the muskiness of the grape is too much for me
2015 Birichino, Chenin Blanc Jurassic Park Vnyd. - as good a Chenin as is produced in the new world and the equal of many from the Loire
2016 Cave Dog, Godello - mouth filling, delicious wine with body and sustain
2016 Cave Dog, Albariño - ridiculously good
2015 Alberente, Albariño - more earthy than the Cave Dog but equally good
2014 Idlewild, The Bee - a white blend that is greater than the sum of its parts; charming
2015 Idlewild, Cortese - for my money, the best Cortese ever made anywhere
2015 Louis Michel, Chablis Montee de Tonnerre - not as serious as the 2014 version but still better than most Chardonnay regardless of origin
2015 Larochette, Bourgogne Chardonnay - pleasant and gulpable for less than $20
2015 Weil, Riesling Tradition - pleasant and gulpable for less than $20
1996 Mondavi, Sauvignon Blanc To-Kalon Vnyd. I Block - what was once very good fruit is now completely overwhelmed by sawn lumber
2012 Rhys, Chardonnay Horseshoe Vnyd. - suave French oak on solid Santa Cruz fruit; too much wood for me but beautifully made in its style
2001 Knoll, Riesling Schutt Vnyd. - depth, richness, power, structure and all of it of a piece. A life list wine and on of the best white wines I’ve tasted. Oh my!

Reds:
2005 Dom. des Roches Neuves, Samir-Champigny - still a young wine with significant tannins and concentration. Good with food, a bit overpowering without
2015 Vincent, Pinot Noir Willamette Valley - clean, pure Pinot in a feminine style
2015 Vincent, Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge - my favorite of all the Vincent wines mentioned here; has its own internal energy
2015 Vincent, Pinot Noir Armstrong Vnyd. - deserves several years in the cellar and should reward patience
2014 Vincent, Pinot Noir Zenith Vnyd. - like the Armstrong in that it needs cellaring
2013 Calluna, Merlot Aux Reynauds - way too young to drink; baby fat and little complexity
2009 Calluna Merlot Aux Reynauds - if the 2013 turns out this good, then patience truly is a virtue. Truly extraordinary.
2016 Dirty and Rowdy, Mourvèdre Evangelho Vnyd. - requires cellaring and has everything it needs to be excellent
2016 Dirty and Rowdy, Mourvèdre Antle Vnyd. - stunning wine right now and has unlimited potential. This is about as good as this grape ever needs to get.
2016 Birichino, Cinsault Bechthold Vnyd. - the Audrey Hepburn of wine; simply lovely
2008 Bjornstad, Pinot Noir Van Der Kamp Vnyd. - time has been good to this wine and now it unfolds nicely over an evening
2005 Bjornstad, Pinot Noir Van Der Kamp Vnyd. - equally as good as the 2008 with a bit more complexity
2012 DeLoach, Pinot Noir Russian River - true to its AVA but not for me
2009 Auteur, Pinot Noir Manchester Ridge - pretty good in spite of the new oak
2013 Piedrasassi, Syrah Sebastian’s Vnyd. - hold. It’s good but it needs time.
2015 Clos du Caillou, Cote du Rhône Cuvée Unique - easy to drink and uncomplicated
2013 Idlewild, Nebbiolo - holds immense promise and is pretty good now. But this was made to be cellared and the balance is exquisite
1999 Barthod, Chambolle-Musigny les Cras - a reminder that Burgundy can be firm and beautiful at the same time
2011 Bouchard, le Corton - a second reminder
1990 Havens, Merlot - utterly complete and a joy to drink
2003 Pegau, CdP - for lovers of CdP, this is the bomb - I’m just not one of them
1998 d’Arenburg, Shiraz The Dead Arm - tolerable but just
2004 Branson Coach House, Shiraz Grenock Block - no. Just no.
1994 Galleron, Cabernet Sauvignon - okay
1999 Galleron, Cabernet Sauvignon - okay
2013 Ladd, Pinot Noir Nash Mill Vnyd. - feminine and charming with an all but hidden structure - really good
2015 Ladd, Zinfandel Avio Vnyd. - I want to see where this low alcohol zin goes. Right now it’s thin but I get the feeling it won’t always be. Intriguing.
2007 Rousseau, Ruchottes-Chambertin - not up to its pedigree but not bad
1996 Three Rivers, Shiraz - not up to its hype and not for me
1997 Denis Mugneret, Echezeaux - once it got some air in it, this was everything Echezeaux should be. Grand vin.
And now, the sadness of closure problems:
1990 Chave, Hermitage - corked
2000 Guigal, Côte Rotie la Landonne - corked
1990 Tempier, Bandol la Tourtine - corked
1978 Vogue, Musigny - oxidized

After dinner:
1993 Pajzos, Esszencia - syrupy and not my thing
1963 Fonseca, Vintage Port - too sweet

Best, jim
_________________________
Jim Cowan
www.CowanCellars.com