Well, to go along with the Recent Tracks post, I figured I should do one on some of the wines I’ve had recently that were of note. Which isn’t to say that I actually took notes on them, I didn’t, so here are some fading memories.
The wife and I killed a bottle of Larmandier-Bernier Rosé de Saignée last night (the code etched in the bottle was Lr06 09/08 [which I believe means that it is from the '06 vintage and disgorged on September 8]). While it started off well enough, it was a bit nowhere at the end. It did have a killer nose though, quite similar to the Terre de Vertus bottling; that certain crushed rock, dirty chalkiness. And the color was darker than some Poulsards I’ve had. I’ve learned that they are no long being brought in by LDM, but I’ve tasted some of the wines from their new Champagne producer, Francis Boulard, and I think they’ll be alright.
Tonight I had the 2008 Gaillac “Peyrouzelles” from Causse Marines. I’ve already wrote of my absolute love for their Marcillac, and I wish I could proclaim that same level of longing for this, but I can’t. It’s nice enough with deep dark fruit and some dirt, but is much flatter than the other. I felt this way at the tasting back in November and still feel this way now. A vintage thing? A grape blend thing? Dunno. I will say this for it though, it would definitely find a place at my table if I were having some roasted meat, a bunch of people were coming over and I didn’t want anyone to have to think too hard about the wine.
Back before Christmas (the eve of Christmas Eve, to be exact), I found myself wanting some wine. But knowing I wouldn’t be back in our place for almost a week I didn’t want to open a full bottle (I had a 7:30am train to catch) only to have it go bad on the counter, yet I wanted something to drink. I knew it would be too early in it’s evolution, but the 2004 Radikon Ribolla Gialla called out to me. And, well, it was too early to be hitting it. Nowhere near the highs the 2002 version had brought earlier in May, it was I believe pretty closed. There wasn’t much on the nose and the palate only hinted at the depth that laid in the way back. My advice, put your bottles away for a while and revisit in a few years, just make sure to keep a few random (cheaper) .375s or .500s around in case of emergency.
While I’m thinking about it, I’ve kind of had a rough run of encounters with orange wines of the meh kind. The most meh of them all was the 2002 Gravner Ribolla Anfora. Man, was this a let down. My first Gravner and it was just… nothing. It was a nothing wine. A bad bottle? I don’t know. I don’t give a shit. There was absolutely nothing on the nose, the barest of bare hints of almond/apricot pits. On the palate there was just about as much; very light and thin with the slightest citrus-y minerality. The finish might as well have been running a marathon it disappeared so quickly. Part of me thinks that the reason behind the lackluster-ness of this is the anfora. I’m still out jury-wise on whether or not anfora aging helps or hinders. More research (read: drinking) is needed. The saving grace for me is that I picked up this bottle for a song (about half normal price) at CSW. You win some, you lose some.
The other meh orange wine I had recently (well, it wasn’t exactly meh, but it wasn’t that great either), was the 2007 Movia Lunar. This was the second bottle I’ve had and I’m still unimpressed by it. In the land of the orange, it just doesn’t have the depth or character of some of the better ones (Paolo Bea Santa Chiara I’m looking at you). The where’s and why’s of this wine have been discussed by plenty of others, this write up by McDuff is a great place to get caught up (he even links to Asimov’s nice piece). I know it’s going to sound ridiculous, but the Lunar always just seems too nice, too light, too lovely to me; it just doesn’t say anything. Sorry. Something most people mention with this wine is the lack of tannins as compared to some of the other orange wines. Maybe that’s it, I do generally like some of the more assertive orange wines better.