Christmas with the Chipmunks 2009

chipmunks.jpg carttree1.jpgMe I want a hoola hoop! The holidays are coming and going in a blur this year (thankfully). 2009 has been tortuous for most of us given the ubiquitous economic “recovery”. Tanks Gott the recession is over according to Bernanke and Supreme Blowhard Larry Kudlow!! This does not mean we cannot enjoy being with friends and family while we resist the urge to purchase items that demonstrate our supreme affection for members of both groups [ed. how tender]. However, rest assured the occasion for gathering is always going to be enhanced if the host pours some decent wines. We certainly found this to be the case in the Christmas week and will probably find the same truth to hold for the New Year. The usual gatherings at Casa tBoW featured most of the blog blowhards and they were clamoring for wine wine and more wine. Please excuse the fuzz tones on photos. Here is what got pulled. We hope your holiday party was equally filled with family, good friends, the Singing Chipmunks, and, if not good value, at least good wines.
NSG05.jpg2005 Nuits St George Aux Saint Julien Earl Daniel Bocquenet $50: If you want to buy a mixed case of wines from one source then you cannot do much better than North Berkeley Imports and Wines Shop in Berkeley CA. Like Kermit Lynch down the street they work with particular French producers so the consumer gets to try wines that can be referred to as under the radar. Here is one. Dark and brooding color for Pinot Noir. Separates Nuits St George from the Beaune. Delicious fruit. A little tight at first. Plums and cocoa. Pencil lead up front from the tannins. Tried again two hours later and the next day when the wine had finally opened fully. Think rustic style with elegant fruit. Nothing tastes like this! Dotor√© says a “hand crafted wine.” Absolutely. 13%
saxumBS04.jpg2004 Saxum Broken Stones $50: Dotor√© rightfully cannot understand why I buy this wine. Like the coccyx is a vestige from our simian origins so buying ridiculously overpriced wines at absurdly high alcohol levels the remainder of a former “wine collector”. I guess I can’t help myself. 75% juicy, dense Syrah, 22% thick Grenache, and a smidgen of Mourvedre. We turned to the aerator which made a huge difference in readiness. Without aeration this brooding monster was like a young Shaq in the lane. Imposing, unrelenting and rejecting! Once mellowed by instant aging the wine showed its complexity. The nose is spicy, mineral, with green olives as well. In the mouth there are black olives, cocoa and rum toffee flavors. No heat form high alcohol. This is Paso wine at its best. The new world definition of complex. Despite the big fruit and high alcohol the wine shows restraint and control, excellent balance of flavors that offset the alcohol, a sure hand at work. 15.6%
chermettebeauj07.jpg2007 Pierre Chermette Beaujolais $15: From Peter Wegandt of Weygandt-Metzler Imports. Peter has a great lineup and this is a star within his Milky Way. This is precisely the kind of wine tBoW favors. As we have said so many times in the past what is not to like? Weighty fresh fruit flavors, balanced perfectly, satisfying from the first sip to the last. U20 perfection. Read about the producer at the W-M website. 12%
tannat05_label.jpg2005 Tablas Creek Tannat $42: Traditional grape form Languedoc region. TC has an acre planted. Very dark color. A bit hot on the first taste which is the alcohol showing. Acid balanced by sweet fruit. Some mintiness. Smoky, gamey, leathery. Can go quite a few years. Very nice wine made for big holiday meals. 14.8%
2006 Domaine Saint Andre de Figuiere Vielles Vignes
$16: Getting figgy wid it. 75% Vermentino and 25% Semillon. From the producer that made last summer’s best Ros√©. The kind of non-traditional blend they can make in Languedoc. A wonderful wine. Fig flavors and nose. Soft acids. Exquisitely drinkable. 13%
vonrotem07.jpg2007 Vom Rotem Schotter OTT Riesling $36: Austrian Riesling picked up at El Vino Wines in Venice. Artisan wine. Plenty of bright lively acid really sets this one off. Balanced, fresh, lotsa lime and flinty flavors. The young folks who usually drink tequila love it; they did not ask for salt. 12.5%
2001 Salomon Undhof Kremser Koegl Riesling Reserve
$30: The contrasting Riesling. Also Austrian, softer acids, older vintage. A single vineyard wine with strong reputation from a region with 600 years winemaking tradition! Oily texture with stuffing. Muted nose. Prefer the younger style! This could use more fruit. It is most likely we should have opened this on its own instead of the party setting. 13%
The photo above and below are the same 30 foot “tree” constructed of shopping carts. I am told this is an annual installation. You can check it out in Venice on Main Street behind Peetes Coffee. Afterward, you can taste wines at El Vino on Abbot Kinney!

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