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AriTheDog
Jul 29, 2003
Famously tasty.

Any opinions on 2009 Chateau Du Courlat bordeaux? It's a 90/10 Merlot/Cab Franc. I have a bottle here and it's very, very good, thinking of getting a case at $18/btl to give out as gifts. Decent buy?

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thotsky
Jun 7, 2005

hot to trot


Spatule posted:

Had some Valpolicella Ripasso, drat it's good, and hard to find.

Is that a joke? It's one of the most popular wines where I live, with a growth of over 400% over the last 5 years. It is very nice though, allows you to get some of that Amarone sweetness without paying as much.

thotsky fucked around with this message at Dec 15, 2014 around 19:20

door Door door
Feb 26, 2006

Fugee Face



I know next to nothing about wine. I found a 2010 gnarly head zinfandel in the closet. Have the four years made it a better wine? Will it still be drinkable?

benito
Sep 28, 2004

And I don't blab
any drab gab--
I chatter hep patter

door Door door posted:

I know next to nothing about wine. I found a 2010 gnarly head zinfandel in the closet. Have the four years made it a better wine? Will it still be drinkable?

Totally fine to drink. It probably hasn't improved much but is meant as a bargain California red wine to "drink now". Order a pizza and crack it open.

door Door door
Feb 26, 2006

Fugee Face



benito posted:

Totally fine to drink. It probably hasn't improved much but is meant as a bargain California red wine to "drink now". Order a pizza and crack it open.

Yeah I remember it being cheap, I just didn't know if aging affects cheap wines positively/negatively/at all. Thanks.

benito
Sep 28, 2004

And I don't blab
any drab gab--
I chatter hep patter

door Door door posted:

Yeah I remember it being cheap, I just didn't know if aging affects cheap wines positively/negatively/at all. Thanks.

Depends a lot on the wine. There are some great bargains that can improve with time if you know what you're buying and have the right storage environment. There are others that fall apart a year or two after release. Your mileage may vary. Cheers!

Overwined
Sep 22, 2008

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.


But the rule of thumb is not to get too serious about it. I can say that while there are some lesser expensive wines that get better with age, as benito says, none of them are going to deliver a religious experience. So why bother? Just drink it and enjoy it.

This is even true of wines that are supposed to deliver a religious experience. Sometimes they're corked, oxydized, or even just bad or in a dumb phase. You can't take it too seriously. For Thanksgiving I opened a 2005 single vineyard Barbaresco. It was okay, but I felt it was "dumb" and I should have listened to that niggling feeling to leave it alone for a few more years. Oh well, there's always more wine out there to drink.

thotsky
Jun 7, 2005

hot to trot


I find that drinking a bunch of other wines beforehand really makes the expensive good wine much "gooder".

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

Tried a magnum of 2010 Chateau St. Esprit over Christmas lunch - I picked it up from the maker while I was on holiday in 2011. A tiny place, a one-man-band on 1.4 hectares - but a Grand Cru. It was cheap and the bottle was really excellent. It's so pleasing when these quite speculative purchases work out.

Overwined
Sep 22, 2008

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.


Disinterested posted:

Tried a magnum of 2010 Chateau St. Esprit over Christmas lunch - I picked it up from the maker while I was on holiday in 2011. A tiny place, a one-man-band on 1.4 hectares - but a Grand Cru. It was cheap and the bottle was really excellent. It's so pleasing when these quite speculative purchases work out.

Absolutely agree. That's why I always urge that people try new things...forever. I also quite enjoy the "seasoning" in a wine that's made by people you have met and admire.

Kasumeat
Nov 18, 2004


Disinterested posted:

Tried a magnum of 2010 Chateau St. Esprit over Christmas lunch - I picked it up from the maker while I was on holiday in 2011. A tiny place, a one-man-band on 1.4 hectares - but a Grand Cru. It was cheap and the bottle was really excellent. It's so pleasing when these quite speculative purchases work out.

Not that it detracts from the quality of your wine, but be careful with St Emilion: This wine is from a very intentionally misleading appellation St Emilion Grand Cru which is simply St Emilion with very slightly stricter requirements of ripeness. There is a St Emilion classification, and those wines will labeled "Grand Cru classé."

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

Kasumeat posted:

Not that it detracts from the quality of your wine, but be careful with St Emilion: This wine is from a very intentionally misleading appellation St Emilion Grand Cru which is simply St Emilion with very slightly stricter requirements of ripeness. There is a St Emilion classification, and those wines will labeled "Grand Cru classé."

Yeah, I know. I've had a good potter about in the area in my time. The wine wasn't stellar, but I was rewarded for exercising some patience with it in a cellar, and for what I paid (I can't remember but less than £40) it did an admirable job as the backbone of a small dinner party.

The 2006 Gevrey Chambertin (Lavaut Saint-Jacques - Domaine Maume) made an interesting contrast with it to say the least. Much lighter, more cherry and even cranberry - less of the deep, deep fruit.

Distorted Kiwi
Jun 11, 2014

"C'mon! Let's tune our weapons!"

Let Christmas commence!



For Christmas dinner, a bottle of aged Hawkes Bay Chardonnay to match the turkey. I'm still undecided for Boxing Day brunch... sweetish Riesling or more bubbles?

Pretty Boy Floyd
Mar 21, 2006
If you'll gather round me children...

Had a bottle of Williams Selyem 2011 Yorkville Highlands for dinner last night. It was great. If anyone is looking for stuff of similar quality to Williams Selyem or Gary Farrell but at a much lower price, check out Pellegrini. I did a vintage there this past fall and everyone working there, aside from the interns, is from Williams Selyem, and the wine is very carefully, thoughtfully made. They may not have argon taps like Williams Selyem, but the winemaker has such a heart of gold and really knows how to pick good grapes. I have no financial interest in this, just trying to save some fellow wine lovers a good chunk of change for comparable stuff.

Disinterested
Jun 29, 2011

You look like you're still raking it in. Still killing 'em?

Distorted Kiwi posted:

Let Christmas commence!



For Christmas dinner, a bottle of aged Hawkes Bay Chardonnay to match the turkey. I'm still undecided for Boxing Day brunch... sweetish Riesling or more bubbles?

What did you go for, and what were you eating?

himajinga
Mar 19, 2003

Und wenn du lange in einen Schuh blickst, blickt der Schuh auch in dich hinein.


Pretty Boy Floyd posted:

Had a bottle of Williams Selyem 2011 Yorkville Highlands for dinner last night. It was great. If anyone is looking for stuff of similar quality to Williams Selyem or Gary Farrell but at a much lower price, check out Pellegrini. I did a vintage there this past fall and everyone working there, aside from the interns, is from Williams Selyem, and the wine is very carefully, thoughtfully made. They may not have argon taps like Williams Selyem, but the winemaker has such a heart of gold and really knows how to pick good grapes. I have no financial interest in this, just trying to save some fellow wine lovers a good chunk of change for comparable stuff.

I've always really really enjoyed the WS pinots I've had, but they're usually out of my price range. Thanks for the tip!

Crimson
Nov 6, 2002


Merry Christmas! What did everyone drink yesterday? I may have overindulged slightly (extremely). Here's a bad pic of our lineup from last night. Highlights were 06 Beaucastel and 81 La Mission Haut-Brion. 81 is a terrible year, but it was super interesting. Held onto some amazing baked earth and tobacco notes for about 15 minutes before completely dying. Pairing of the night was actually Vietti Moscato d'Asti with honey glazed ham.

benito
Sep 28, 2004

And I don't blab
any drab gab--
I chatter hep patter

My holiday gatherings have been delayed due to scheduling conflicts, but among the dozen bottles I'll open Sunday are these three beauties from Austria.

Distorted Kiwi
Jun 11, 2014

"C'mon! Let's tune our weapons!"

Disinterested posted:

What did you go for, and what were you eating?

2013 Matua Single Vineyard Riesling (The companion to my Matua Single Vineyard Chardonnay... guess where I work?)

Worked nicely with my Eggs Benedict, my mother-in-laws Salmon Quiche and some bacon, ham and grilled cherry tomatoes.

The leftover Chardonnay has been drunk along with the leftover turkey. So many leftovers...

himajinga
Mar 19, 2003

Und wenn du lange in einen Schuh blickst, blickt der Schuh auch in dich hinein.


Crimson posted:

Merry Christmas! What did everyone drink yesterday?
I may have overindulged slightly (extremely).

With dinner we had a 2012 Bookwalter Foreshadow merlot, a 2008 '37 Cellars Cabernet, and a 2004 Tapteil Cabernet, then I split a bottle of aquavit and a jar of pickled herring with my girlfriend's Norwegian father while discussing commercial fishing and that's about where my memory of the night ends, I think she and her mom popped a few bottles after we started in but I have no idea what they might have been.

For our Hanukkah dinner last weekend we had a 2007 Quilceda Creek, a 2009 Buty, and a 2006 Silverado Square One, not kosher but definitely a-ok by me

himajinga fucked around with this message at Dec 27, 2014 around 23:18

idiotsavant
Jun 4, 2000


Stitecin posted:

I liked Villa Creek and Adelaida. It's an hour and a half from Paso but Demetria in Santa Ynez is also great.

Late followup but Demetria has sick, sick, sick terroir and Harry (their winemaker, vineyard manager, etc) is super nice. Had a really cool Chardonnay from them that he did on a combination of acacia and concrete that was really lovely. The vineyard is fully biodynamic and I really can't say enough about how goddamn amazing it is.

His Divine Shadow
Aug 7, 2000

I'm not a fascist. I'm a priest. Fascists dress up in black and tell people what to do.


I've always disliked wine quite a lot, buy I just got a bottle as a gift when we had some people over for dinner. Some cheapo spanish wine called Hannibal, 6 euros a bottle type of wine. I actually liked it so much I went and bought a 2nd bottle. The thing that makes me like it is the sweetness, the tag at Alko (finnish govt monopoly on booze) says it had 50g/l of residual sugar, while most other wines where around 9-14g/l. I'm wondering what other sweet wines are there out there? I can't believe I finally tasted a wine I didn't hate.

thotsky
Jun 7, 2005

hot to trot


Valpolicella Ripasso and Amarone are red wines with a bit of sweetness who have had a huge boom in the Scandinavian market in recent years.

Of course, you could also check out dessert wines and fortified wines like Sherry, Port, Sauternes, Tokaji, or semi-dry/sweet white wines (I prefer the Riesling variety).

Chalets the Baka
Jan 25, 2013

NO SOY


My girlfriend loves Bordeaux and Malbecs. I want to get her a bottle of each as a surprise gift, but I don't know anything about wine. What should I be looking out for and what is recommended?

Crimson
Nov 6, 2002


Chalets the Baka posted:

My girlfriend loves Bordeaux and Malbecs. I want to get her a bottle of each as a surprise gift, but I don't know anything about wine. What should I be looking out for and what is recommended?

I really love Achaval Ferrer Malbecs. Try to pick up one of their single vineyard Malbecs, like the Finca Altamira. Their baseline Malbec is really good too, if you don't wanna spend so much.

Bordeaux is really tough to buy if you know nothing about wine, because prices are high and the sky is the limit in terms of what you can spend, and there's so much variability. Literally just pulling one out of the blue, I've really been enjoying my case of 2000 Chateau d'Issan lately, and I was able to find a few bottles online just now. If she likes classic Bordeaux flavors (cigar box, cedar, dried earth/potting soil) she will love that. A much cheaper option might be Chateau de Soleil. That will be quite different. Much darker, much juicier fruit and not so classic for Bordeaux, but it's pretty drat good if you ask me.

Chalets the Baka
Jan 25, 2013

NO SOY


I'm not too sure which flavors she actually likes, but I did find out she likes her wine as dry as possible. She also used the word "tart", so I guess that means something with higher acidity?

Stringent
Dec 22, 2004

The internet is the universal sewer.


So recently thanks to a serendipitus combination of a recommendation here and an importer specializing in southern French wine, I've been drinking a lot of Roussillon wine. Particular standouts have been Clos des Fees Domaine de la Chique which was recommended here and Danjou Banessy Roboul. I'm absolutely crazy about these wines! Given that, could anyone recommend some other locations I might want to check out (particularly outside of France)? Or even provide some more information/context about what "style" of wine these are?

Stringent fucked around with this message at Jan 16, 2015 around 04:31

Overwined
Sep 22, 2008

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.


Ah, so you've been talking to DSWE. I recommended Dom de Clos des Fees "Les Sorcieres" earlier in this thread. South of France is the Last Stand for value French wines, maybe.

As for "style" you like succulent, savory wines with concentrated fruit and herbaceous qualities. Really the closest you can get to this style outside of these regions is further up in the Southern Rhone. They will use a similar blend, but lean more heavily on Grenache and Syrah where you get a lot more Carignan and Mouvedre in the deep south.

But to change gears and keep a similar style, I would recommend the east coast of Spain. I recently drank a wine from Yecla called Carro that maybe costs $12 in a retail store and is literally the best valued wine I have drunk in maybe a year. The fruit is fresh, purply and floral without being stewed. They make a higher end wine which is still only $16ish, but it seems it's made for a Parker palate and I didn't dig it.

You could also go up north in Spain in Priorat. It's a bit harder to navigate here as there are a bunch of "Parker Wines" (Wines made expressly to please the palate of a couple critics) but dig enough and you'll find some wines that rival those Deep South of France wines that you've been drinking. Hell, Priorat isn't even all that far from the Cotes de Rousillon.

Stringent
Dec 22, 2004

The internet is the universal sewer.


Overwined posted:

Ah, so you've been talking to DSWE. I recommended Dom de Clos des Fees "Les Sorcieres" earlier in this thread. South of France is the Last Stand for value French wines, maybe.

As for "style" you like succulent, savory wines with concentrated fruit and herbaceous qualities. Really the closest you can get to this style outside of these regions is further up in the Southern Rhone. They will use a similar blend, but lean more heavily on Grenache and Syrah where you get a lot more Carignan and Mouvedre in the deep south.

But to change gears and keep a similar style, I would recommend the east coast of Spain. I recently drank a wine from Yecla called Carro that maybe costs $12 in a retail store and is literally the best valued wine I have drunk in maybe a year. The fruit is fresh, purply and floral without being stewed. They make a higher end wine which is still only $16ish, but it seems it's made for a Parker palate and I didn't dig it.

You could also go up north in Spain in Priorat. It's a bit harder to navigate here as there are a bunch of "Parker Wines" (Wines made expressly to please the palate of a couple critics) but dig enough and you'll find some wines that rival those Deep South of France wines that you've been drinking. Hell, Priorat isn't even all that far from the Cotes de Rousillon.

Excellent, and thanks again for that Clos des Fees recommendation. I've been enjoying the hell out of their wines.

himajinga
Mar 19, 2003

Und wenn du lange in einen Schuh blickst, blickt der Schuh auch in dich hinein.


Overwined posted:

"Parker Wines" (Wines made expressly to please the palate of a couple critics)

I wonder what's going to happen to winemaking when Parker finally dies. Is the popular imagination so thoroughly Parkerized at this point that his influence has changed winemaking forever, or is there sufficient backlash among quality minded winemakers that wines catering to his palate will gradually come back in line over time?

Crimson
Nov 6, 2002


himajinga posted:

I wonder what's going to happen to winemaking when Parker finally dies. Is the popular imagination so thoroughly Parkerized at this point that his influence has changed winemaking forever, or is there sufficient backlash among quality minded winemakers that wines catering to his palate will gradually come back in line over time?

The backlash is already happening, there is a huge movement toward more restrained and subtle wines in California. Winemakers and distributors quote their low alcohol levels to me as a selling point (e.g. "Check out this 13.8% alcohol Cab").

Kasumeat
Nov 18, 2004


himajinga posted:

I wonder what's going to happen to winemaking when Parker finally dies. Is the popular imagination so thoroughly Parkerized at this point that his influence has changed winemaking forever, or is there sufficient backlash among quality minded winemakers that wines catering to his palate will gradually come back in line over time?

Crimson posted:

The backlash is already happening, there is a huge movement toward more restrained and subtle wines in California. Winemakers and distributors quote their low alcohol levels to me as a selling point (e.g. "Check out this 13.8% alcohol Cab").

Winemakers are a different story, but there hasn't been a big shift on a large scale. His palate was and has remained so in-tune with what most wine drinkers like. The ultra-high-intensity, high-alcohol style is very obvious and immediate in its appeal, and it's totally natural that that's what appeals to the majority of wine drinkers. Despite the industry backlash against him and his style, he remains very popular with consumers because his ratings are a reliable indicator of what the majority of consumers like. The movement towards balance is almost entirely exclusive to premium, small-scale production. I don't think we're seeing a real shift away from Parker wines for the majority of consumers any time soon if ever.

Slightly-related aside: I enjoy a surprisingly good bottle of retsina the other day. My friend who I shared it with remarked "it's so weird that they would flavour a high-quality wine with anything, let alone pine resin," and to him I remarked [url=http://imgur.com/YGatVyD]this.[/url I'm not hating on it - I won't be sorry if I never have another New World unoaked Chardonnay - but I wonder if there will ever be an end to the de facto use of oak flavour in nearly every premium (especially red) wine on the planet. It's really no different than aromatising with pine resin.

Overwined
Sep 22, 2008

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.


Crimson posted:

The backlash is already happening, there is a huge movement toward more restrained and subtle wines in California. Winemakers and distributors quote their low alcohol levels to me as a selling point (e.g. "Check out this 13.8% alcohol Cab").

It's funny because my perception of it is that domestic producers are the first to wake up out of the Parker Stupor. It seems the Old World producers that Parker has historically loved, and Spain has a fair share of them, are the ones that can't let go of the old rubric. I'm sure they were slower to pick up on it in the first place, so it sort of makes sense. I really wish I was a fly on the wall for some of those first meetings with out-of-the-way European producers. I can just see their bafflement as their export director tells them they have to kow-tow to this guy and they're just thinking, "Who the gently caress is this and why should I make wine to please him?" Then, of course they got a taste of that big press money and they couldn't ween themselves.

EDIT: Note for the record that I don't blame Parker himself or his critics for this effect. It's really been the pandering of the winemakers to him that is to blame.

Crimson
Nov 6, 2002


Kasumeat posted:

Winemakers are a different story, but there hasn't been a big shift on a large scale. His palate was and has remained so in-tune with what most wine drinkers like. The ultra-high-intensity, high-alcohol style is very obvious and immediate in its appeal, and it's totally natural that that's what appeals to the majority of wine drinkers. Despite the industry backlash against him and his style, he remains very popular with consumers because his ratings are a reliable indicator of what the majority of consumers like. The movement towards balance is almost entirely exclusive to premium, small-scale production. I don't think we're seeing a real shift away from Parker wines for the majority of consumers any time soon if ever.

The general public will always be like a decade behind what the most astute drinkers and small producers are doing. I see a lot of reasons to be optimistic. I'm in a restaurant with a lot of cab drinking business men and tourists, but I can't keep some well known "balanced" producers like Littorai and Ceritas on the shelves, so the demand is there. I'm trying to be optimistic because I'm really hoping reds over 15% ABV die out ASAP. We can assume the masses will always be drinking swill, but I think the backlash against Parker has had made some real headway in affecting the style of wines we're seeing from newer wineries.

gay picnic defence
Oct 5, 2009

"Let there be a thousand blossoms bloom, as far as I'm concerned."


Crimson posted:

The general public will always be like a decade behind what the most astute drinkers and small producers are doing. I see a lot of reasons to be optimistic. I'm in a restaurant with a lot of cab drinking business men and tourists, but I can't keep some well known "balanced" producers like Littorai and Ceritas on the shelves, so the demand is there. I'm trying to be optimistic because I'm really hoping reds over 15% ABV die out ASAP. We can assume the masses will always be drinking swill, but I think the backlash against Parker has had made some real headway in affecting the style of wines we're seeing from newer wineries.

I don't think it will. The great unwashed drink for different reasons and look for different things in wine to wine educated people. Unless you've been trained (or self taught) how to appreciate balance and other subtleties, a rich and fruity bottle of overripe Cabernet or Shiraz is exactly what most people want to drink.

Stringent
Dec 22, 2004

The internet is the universal sewer.


Overwined posted:

But to change gears and keep a similar style, I would recommend the east coast of Spain. I recently drank a wine from Yecla called Carro that maybe costs $12 in a retail store and is literally the best valued wine I have drunk in maybe a year.

I got a few bottles of Carro. I'm halfway through the first and intensely grateful.

GTO
Sep 16, 2003



Anyone got any views on using apps to track their wines and get recommendations?

I downloaded Vivino and Delectable and have signed up for a month of the premium service with Vivino. Seems like it can identify bottles pretty well but I've not used it enough to get decent recommendations.

pork never goes bad
May 16, 2008

gin&milk!!!


gay picnic defence posted:

I don't think it will. The great unwashed drink for different reasons and look for different things in wine to wine educated people. Unless you've been trained (or self taught) how to appreciate balance and other subtleties, a rich and fruity bottle of overripe Cabernet or Shiraz is exactly what most people want to drink.

This was not always the case, and need not always be. You talk like taste isn't socially constructed.

Overwined
Sep 22, 2008

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.


Stringent posted:

I got a few bottles of Carro. I'm halfway through the first and intensely grateful.

Glad you enjoy it!

In recommendation news, does anyone have any points of entry for Jura wines? It's a region I'm totally ignorant on and I need to keep up with all the cool kids. Hoping for $25 or less here.

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Kasumeat
Nov 18, 2004


Tissot (Benedictine & Stephane) is the flagbearer of Jura and a great benchmark, although their prices have crept up lately. Dom Berthet-Bondet is modernish for Jura and quite good. Dom Philippe Bornard is doing unsulfured vin nature stuff if you're into that. Dom Rolet Pere & Fils is good value. Dom Baud Pere & Fils is good, especially their Cremant. Dom Jean Louis TIssot is good. Dom Pierre Richard is my favourite producer, with fantastic quality and excellent prices, but they're hard to find.

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