A great day must also end.

Crazy day with a disturbing quantity consumed!
Med of really good stuff So 1959 .Drappier Champagne to put the hair back on the dog langoustines and uni= awesome! Seared tuna with eggplant and tomato foam!

. Bruno Clair Corton Charlemagne stood up to the burrata ravioli.

Gaja Sperss with cape grim dry aged rib eye.

Tasting, smashing! See you next week for the real event at Shore.

There are some wines that move you. Many that should, but very few that move me. It sounds cliched but, how often do you get a chance?

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Brunello di Montalcino 2006 and 2007 worth another look.

Just back from a great tasting the other day, I haven’t had a horizontal of Brunello in several years.

The great vintages of 2006 and 2007 have left us with some unique and wonderful wines, probably the best vintages since 1997 when frost drastically reduced the yields.

Recently, Brunello’s profile has been on the rise. It is considered among the top Italian wines for quality and finesse worldwide. This rise has been especially noticeable in the US market.

Despite the recent rise in profile,Brunello remains a great value when compared to both Bordeaux and Burgundy. They drink well young and age gracefully something which not all Grands Crus can accomplish.

Brunello’s fine tannins and balance of fruit, acidity, power and elegance make it an easy match for many foods, especially Cantonese food. As Cantonese food is about nuance, so too is Brunello. It isn’t one of those big New World fruit bombs or an Old World Tannin Monster.

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The Montalcino area has one of the most arid and warmest climates in all of Tuscany. This results in grapes ripening up to a week or more earlier than in neighboring areas like Chianti and Montepulciano. Combined with Montalcino’s altitude, most vineyards are >;;;;;500m and low average rainfall, the Brunello clones of Sangiovese have adapted to their unique environment to produce wines of character that speak of the people, place and traditions of the origin.
Another unique characteristic in Montalcino is that many producers actively blend between north facing and south facing slopes to harmonize the blend and produce complexity balanced with drinkability.

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2006 was a classic vintage; elegant and more restrained than 2007. Fruit and tannins are well balanced and the Riserva’s are ready to consider drinking now.

2007 on the other hand was a much more ripe and voluptuous vintage with a very round mouthfeel and some cooked fruit notes.

Some winners from the tasting:

Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova 2007.
Beautiful. 96 points

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Tasting this wine takes me to Chateauneuf du Pape on a late summer evening while the gallets(see photo below)

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are still hot from the long afternoon sun and you can almost smell the grapes ripening.

Wonderful red and black fruits and minerality with a touch of garrigue and cherry confiture.

San Filippo Brunello di Montalcino Le Lucere 2006
Stunning- top of show 97points

This wine shows excellent finesse. Balanced fruit, acidity, tannins as my Brit friends so aptly say “Rather moreish”. Red and black cherry fruit with a floral nuance and well integrated tannins.

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Francisco Rinaldi Barolo 2005

Exactly what I want from a Barolo. It has just enough fruit, acidity, and tannins in a delicate balance that is both invigorating and elegant. La Piola by the glass, nice investment.

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Matua Central Otago Pinot Noir Revisited

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Haven’t had this for a while. We had at a tasting, not as over extracted as many Central Otago Pinot Noirs. Refined red and black cherry fruit with black walnuts. Great wit Vietnamese.

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February 19, 2012 · 5:54 am

A long overdue post

After months of being busier than ever, I realized that I haven’t shared much more than a Facebook tag here and there about all of the great experiences and wines I’ve come across.
Some highlights of the last year:
Mas La Plana Vertical tasting
Cristal dinner with Ordre des Couteaux
James Halliday’s visit, tastings and taking him to the tailor
A great bottle of Palmer 99 at Amber with awesome company
A disappointing bottle of Lafite, followed by an amazing one.
Seña vertical tasting blind against the Premier Crus, winning every hand!
A great Icon Dinner with Eduardo and Jeannie
Train ride with Angelo and Gaia, and several fantastic meals
Incredible dinner with Seba and the Marchese in Verona with Craig
Dinner in Venice on a piazza with the wife and Venice’s most charming Maitre d’
1990 Grand Sendree and Ca’Marcanda with great friends in Chicago at Perennial Virant
Awesome Dinner with Palme d’or, Sauzet Montrachet, 89 Guigal La Landonne, 82 Leoville Las Cases and 88 Y’Quem at David and Lisa’s house
1993 Sori Tildin
1989 Sori San Lorenzo and a cask strength Macallan.
Vinitaly
Wine Future unofficial tastings with Angelo, Gaia, Eduardo, and Miguel as well as Parker and Robinson
1980 Veuve with Herve at Amber
1990 Krug, 96 Clos de Mesnil and 2006 Ornellaia at Otto e Mezzo
5 guys, 2- Macallan 12, 2 18, and a 25, woof!
Pieropan with Jacques at Amber.
Conundrum, plumpjack and Pahlmeyer in Dtw

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Farrside by Farr 2008, Geelong Pinot Noir

This is serious Pinot, full stop, quote etc!
Full of ripe red and black cherry. Gary’s years at Domaine Dujac show, well knit together with an easily accessible new world fruit, backed up by tightly wound acidity and good tannins without the over extraction you find with many Aussie Pinots.

Charming and elegant, well rounded and show you more layers as you go.

As with many high end New World Pinot Noirs, this is immediately accessible but continued to develop in the glass. Deepening favors of cherry pits and black walnuts with a drain minerality I would find more common in a Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru from a good producer, without the 5 years extra cellaring.

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GR 174 Priorat 2007 a winner with some strong stew or another year in cellar

This is a beautiful example of the great care going into Priorat wines and why they command a higher price. Had it immediately following a very nice Montsant(almost completely surrounds Priorat). The Montsant’s extra couple of years ageing may have seduced me into believing that this animal was ready. I think this will be scoring higher in a year or two.

Deep ruby color bordering on inky with a good viscosity but not extracted looking finish. Nose was a bit masked by the alcohol- ripe red fruits from the Garnatxa like raspberry and cherry with some darker fruit notes starting to appear after decanting. New oak ageing gave it a nice New World style finish with coconut and chocolate notes to tame the high alcohol levels. In the mouth, red fruits perfectly ripened with chocolate finish but faded from the palate very quickly. Hints of garrigue, tar and cedar come out in the finish.

Definitely needs some more cellaring.

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