NV Gruet BdN. This is always dependable, but damn, tonight's bottle is punching way above weight. Hint of pink/salmon color with the gold. Fine bead that is still lively over an hour after opening. Biscuit aromas with some strawberry and cream. Same on the palate with the addition of lemon and ginger. Fantastic balance. Haven't paid $14 for many (if any) bottles showing as well as this one. 

2014 Louis Max Gevrey-Chambertin Les Azerottes - lucked into a couple cases of these on markdown.  Popped and poured one at a Vietnamese restaurant tonight to accompany a 7 Courses of Beef menu along with an entree of caramelized catfish in claypot.  The wine worked well with the variety of savory and sweet notes commonly found in Vietnamese cuisine.  I would be inclined to let these sit for a couple years, but no harm in drinking some now.

A couple of nights ago with a handful of the MD crew:  Big Napa Cabs theme.

2015 Arnot Roberts Chardonnay Trout Gulch Vineyard; one of the better domestic chardonnays around. Very approachable and balanced with minerality, citrus acidity, and very little oak. 

2006 Domaine Ponsot Cuvee des Alouettes Morey St Denis 1er cru; just a knockout of a wine, smoky, black cherry, with lingering acidity and a long finish.  A bit of funk blew off after about 15-30 minutes. 

2002 Joseph Phelps Insignia; just fantastic, balanced, seamless, no hard edges.  

2002 Spottswoode Estate vineyard; the most Bordeaux like of them all, a bit of cedar wood, oak and vanilla, red currants, perhaps the wine showing more tannins and the more restrained wine.  would love to try at year 20.  

2005 Araujo Eisele Vineyard; was fun to try side by side with the Insignia as they share fruit from same vineyard.  Classy classy wine that felt quite young still. Has all the ingredients to be great. 

2006 Continuum; surprisingly drinking so well, balanced, silky and fruit with ultrafine tannins. Might have just edged the Insignia for WOTN but they were all so good it is hard to pick

2007 Outpost Howell Mountain; a bit of the outlier of the bunch. Still a baby, dense deep dark fruit punch that just slams the palate upfront.  With more air it got significantly better. Will be a great wine but its just a baby now despite it showing no tannins. 

We had the big cabs with a terrific prime strip roast cooked by cometspider. 


2007 Rotari Trento Flavio Talento

100% Chardonnay, traditional method, disgorged in 2014. Nice yeasty, nutty character thanks to 60 months on its lees. Major detractor for me: it's on the sweet side with 9 g/L dosage.

2011 J & J Eger Kékfrankos Eged-Hegy Dülö

I think this was a tip from VinT. My second of three bottles. I like it, but I still haven't wrapped my head around what I'm tasting. There are notes I just can't identify.

2015 Baudry Chinon Les Granges - Mrs. VeV exclaimed "It smells like armpits - in a good way if that makes any sense?" it does, and I like it.  Dont care who knows.

2012 Clos Ouvert Primavera - very funky/earthy/smoky.  Worked great with loads of galbi.

2015 Joan D'Anguera Altaroses - decanted for 2 hrs. wasn't thrilled with this bottle. Seemed to hit you with a bunch of tannin then this hollow midpalate that follows disappoints, then some fruit pokes through. not sure if this bottle is representative of what it could be, but i'm going to keep my hands off the others i have for some time in hopes that it finds some semblance of balance.

2015 Mercouri Estate Antares - 60% Avgoustiatis/40% Mouvedre from the Western Peloponnese.  Warm climate wine, no hard edges.  Nice dark/black fruit profile with coffee notes and some mourvedre funk.  Nice wine, interesting to try.


Last night with a few of the locals:

NV Jacquesson No. 736 Degorgement Tardiff

2011 Chapoutier St. Joseph Les Granits Blanc

2011 Krupp Brothers Vivace Ermitage Blanc (served blind)

1997 Gaja Darmagi

1997 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle

2002 Argiolas Turriga Isola dei Nuraghi

Last night for our 31st Anniversary:

2004 Dom Perignon Champagne
1987 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate

Love the Dom, but the Montelena was in a league of its own again.  A well stored bottle of this should have no problem going another 20 years. 


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