2012 will be a terrific year just because there is a Presidential election. This one promises to be more entertaining than is usual mainly because tBoW has it on good authority the GOP has already thrown in the towel on going up against an incumbent in a re-election year… even though the incumbent appears to unusually vulnerable even though he drifted to the right all summer long. This election is set up for the GOP regulars who are by all indication going to deal with the Tea Party goofballs with extreme prejudice. More in coming blogs. Cross your fingers for an old-fashioned GOP convention where a surprise nominee is put forward from the convention floor! This could be as exciting as awaiting a Garagiste shipment!
In the meantime. tBoW reports on the last three wines of note tasted over the holidays. We saved the BEST for LAST. But FIRST, we would like to review the Dec 31 column from the Wall Street Journal wine writer Jay McInerney titled “Here’s to a Very Good Year: 10 Wine Resolutions.” His resolutions struck a chord with tBoW Team Tasters especially Dotoré and IGTY.
1. Drink Less but better. Right. A good policy for an aging tBoW taster. Quality trumps quantity. But with value.
2. Drink more Riesling. tBoW has been covering this in spaten all through 2011 and shall continue in 2012.
3. Don’t drink the wine at charity events. Does Not Apply.
4. Drink more Chenin Blanc. Heads up to IGTY. If you like Muscadet you will love Vouvray. Four years ago tBoW traded out his last three 1983 Sauternes including a d’Yquem for 8 bottles of Quartres de Chaume; some with 20 years some with a few. Some for dessert, some for a meal. Then there is Vouvray by the producer Huet from sparkling wine to dry. Extremely versatile and under-the-radar. A Mouse told me now I’m telling you.
5. More grower Champagne. Not our thang BUT we are aware. See Champagne review below.
6. Give Beaujolais a chance. Give it a chance? Load up on it from any vintage since 2005. McInerney suggests staying with the Cru wines from Morgon, Moulin-a-Vént and Fleurie. We would add when the vintage is new – not Nouveau – the village wines can also be quite lovely. Of course, the big story here is they are almost all U20 values. Love dat.
7. Beware of bargains when buying older wines. Ooops. Guilty. Paid $15 for a 1988 Burg in a split with great pedigree. Guess what? It was old. I coulda had sushi.
8. Don’t forget Bourdeaux. You can forget Bourdeaux. If you’re going to drink Cabernet drink Napa for value and flavor. Although we did buy a petit Bourdeaux from G. [ed. which arrived 6 months later] and liked it muchly.
9. Try to get this nasty Burgundy habit under control. Pain. Joy. B&D in the world of wine. If the other resolutions are for laughs this one is not. tBoW is trying a new approach this year, at least to kick things off. Keep in mind McInerney does not say we have to get rid of the habit. Just try to control it. tBoW’s strategic plan is simple. Subscribe to the Scott Paul Burgundy Club! [ed. the room fills with gasps then sudden applause!] First shipment comes in March. Counting the minutes already. We get all the excitement and anticipation of the world’s greatest RED wines without the risk of picking duds. Scott Wright makes some pretty nice Pinot Noir wines under his own label AND he is an importer of Burgundy. Most of the labels he reps are unique to his import company. He knows Burgundy for decades like a freak-a-zoid. We already made the plunge. See review of one of his wines below.
10. Carpe Diem. Translation: Open the good stuff now. Not an issue, Jay.
Grande Cuvée Canard-Duchene Charles VII Brut $33. What a surprise. Gifted to Dotoré by tBoW and graciously opened by Dotoré at la casa tBoW. A non-vintage blend of majority Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from a not-so-widely known house in the town of Ludes in the Champagne region because 75% of production never leaves France. tBoW remembers purchasing in San Francisco. Now we need more. Citrus frothy nose. Lemon peel flavors. Tart and spritely. Everyone liked it alot. 12%
2008 Joseph Drouhin Volnay $22: Dependable wine from a dependable house. Light weight, very good dark red color. The cherry rustic Pinot nose. Balance and sex appeal that makes you want to just drink it right up. So we did. Purchased at Palate in the low 20s. Good as a U20 for Burg. 13%
2007 Hospices de Beaune Premier Cru Beaune Cuvée Maurice Drouhin $52: Bought this in 2009 at the Scott Paul Wines in Carlton OR. This was the BIG TICKET buy. Considered by tBoW tasters on-site to be excellent value. Exotic and lean with promise to develop in the bottle. Scott Wright the winemaker and former legendary 70s era rock radio voice Shadow (not Shadoe) Stevens bought a barrel of Pinot juice at the legendary Burgundy wine auction to benefit the Hospices de Beaune – a regional hospital (foto at top). The auction has been taking place since 1851. The hospital for the poor and needy was built in the mid 15th century and is a museum today. A modern clinic continues the tradition for poor and needy vignerons, we suppose.
This wine was tight. Fruit was not showing. Dumbfounded and holding more we hoped it was in a dumb phase.
So we emailed Scott. Here is what he said. “This wine should be at its peak 2014 or after. While 2007 is a lighter vintage in general, the tannins throughout the Beaune appellation that year need some time to fully resolve – for maximum enjoyment I’d hold it another couple of years or so.”
Scott bought a barrel of 2007 juice at the auction. He had Maurice Drouhin make the wine. Scott used to manage the Drouhin label. Nice. Dotoré and tBoW once sat next to Big Lou at a restaurant in Nawlins. Big Lou had bought a barrel at the Hospices de Beaune of Mazis Chambertin. He shared some with us. That is what you do when you have the Burg Bugreally bad. So bad your brain swells. The only cure is to attend the Hospices de Beaune auction in Burgundy in November and buy a barrel of Pommard or Beaune or Fixin, contract with a famous vigneron to make the wine, and slap the prideful label with the Hospices shield on it with your name somewhere in the fine print. You can now say you have done it all when it comes to Burgundy. Since THAT will NEVER HAPPEN we think we made the right decision joining a Burgundy Club with someone who DID DO IT. Now we sit on the remaining bottles of the 2007 for a couple years. We know Scott Wright (of SCott Paul) will provide selections ready to drink while we wait for the GOP convention in August. During the convention we will drink Vinho Verde of course. 13%
Speaking of Extreme Prejudice….