Izit summer yet?

Arianna Occhipinti works it!

With temps in the 80s, offshore winds and longer daysit is starting to feel like Dotoré’s favorite season. Fighting off the urge to nap we have time to hit you with some wine reviews. And the occasional observation.

What if Andrew Dice Clay reviewed wines?

The Underground Wine Letter is running a series on wine fraud. Phony DRC wines caught at auction. I saw a guy on Auction Hunters crying because he only got $55,000 for his Delorean “time machine.” It was a replica. So these wine frauds pay for empty bottles of premium Bordeaux and Burgundy. If you can get past the effete-iness it makes for interesting reading. Especially the entry where Tilson (UWL editor) goes through a multi-decade process solving a mystery about a case of very unusual 1928 St Emilion he bought at auction.

2010 Domaine Coston Terrasses du Larzac $14: This is precisely why Garagiste keeps getting our business. Some say minerally [ed. and all its variations, NEVER say this word again even when discussing sodium]. We say stony red fruit. Like licking a plum pit. As we imagine such. Takes a minute or 30 to open. Syrah dominates. Middle weight. Dark red. Love it. Here is what Rimmerman had to say “From 50+ year old Carignan and 30+ year old Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre, this wine smells of the sun…in the best way of course.” 14%

2009 Magnien Chablis $23: North Berkeley imports alot if not all Magnien wines. This is a very nice example of a well-performing wine with lime-ish fruit, appropriately lean the way we like ’em. Team Taster PeeWee sips it once and declares a winner. 13%

Kris-B shared a link – Loam Baby – where we clicked in only to get caught up in the wordy and novel interviews of R.H Drexel with Santa Barbara vintners. Drexel appears to be from Napa. We may seek our own interview with the writer. The good news is he includes an interview Paul Lato, one of our personal favorites. Check it out but be patient. Takes a few steps and moments for the 72 page volume 1 to load up.

2007 Bergstrom Cumberland Reserve Pinot Noir $35: Purchased at the winery several years ago. Dotoré suggested pairing with the next wine below insisting the Oregon Pinot Noir and the Sicilian Nero d’Avola would match well. They did. Why not? We have been drinking red wines from Greek including one that is a dead ringer for Piemonte premium Nebbiolo. This Ribbon Ridge wine is rich, middle weight with a full Pinot nose. This wine is so rich it seems more like a Dundee Hills than Ribbon Ridge. And it is from a lean vintage. The 2008 and 2009 wines from Bergstrom must be over the top. 13.8%

2008 Occhipinti “Siccagno” Nero D’Avola $30: If you ever need to know what exactly are soulful eyes you need look no further than Arianna Occhipinti, vintner. We still have a few bottles from the entry level red she showed at a Louis/Dressner tasting a few years ago at Woodland Hills Wine. This is a couple steps up and it shows. Sicilian Pinot Noir? Maybe. Spicy fruit flavors. Raspberry nose. Jasmine tea (read that but it fits) OK. Those attributes have nothing to do with Pinot Noir. But the weight is perfect. The color works too. Mostly the balance and sexiness assured this bottle saw a quick lugubrious demise. Blew the socks of the Berg. 13%

And some bad news.

2005 Chateau d’Epire Savannieres Cuvee Speciale
$30: Purchased from Kermit Lynch. This is a white wine from the Loire with a corky quality. Musky nose and even the flavors are a little sweaty. That is either brett or it is corked. Can white wine have brett? Why not. Half this bottle will find peace among the egg shells. Too bad. Not Kermit’s fault! 14%


  1. Wavatar
    AdriBarr says:

    I think it is safe to say la Signorina Occhipinti rocks. And I love nero d’avola.

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      Bacchus says:

      Most impressive in person. Unfortunately the bottles I purchased at that show have significant brettanomyces. Testimony to her personal power or my weakness in her presence. Maybe those are the dame thing? I bought regardless. Perhaps we should share a bottle?

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    doctore says:

    Had the 2008 d’Epire 2 nights ago at overpriced pseudo-Asian restaurant in BH. Ordered off the wine list, priced at $49. Was delicious. I suspect you had a bad bottle. As I have some of the ’05 stashed away, I will be happy to confirm.

  3. Wavatar
    Kris-B says:

    I thought you didn’t like carignan?

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