The Hedonist gang periodically converges for a some house party goodness, this time for a home cooked Italian meal by Linda di Franco.
NV Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Rosé. VM 92. Light orange. Vibrant strawberry and orange zest aromas are complicated by notes of tea rose, smoky lees and chalky minerals. Bright, incisive red fruit flavors pick up a toasty nuance with air. Fresh, incisive and refreshingly tangy, with impressive finishing clarity and stony persistence.
From my cellar: 2011 Villa Diamante Fiano di Avellino Vigna della Congregazione. 92 points. Excellent, one of the best white wines I’ve had in some time. Beautiful golden color, with delicious fruit but not too fruity. It has the composed, focused quality of a Jobard from Burgundy. I can imagine that this wine would age nicely, but it is awfully good right now.
2008 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Bougros. BH 92-95. A classic Chablis nose of mineral reduction, oyster shell and green fruit aromas merges into sappy, rich and powerful flavors that possess more refinement than usual on the long, sappy and beautifully detailed finish. I’m impressed that this seems to have to rusticity and in this sense, it’s a bit atypical.
2014 Bouchard Père et Fils Corton-Charlemagne. BH 94. Mild notes of wood and reduction mask the underlying fruit though I can say that it appears to be ripe. Otherwise there is outstanding volume and concentration to the big-bodied and openly muscular flavors that exhibit evident power and punch on the hugely long finale. This is presently very compact and like the Perrières very clearly built to age. I should note that while this is certainly going to need time it is not especially austere and I suspect that it will begin to drink well after only 5-ish years or so if that’s your preference.
2011 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne. VH 90-93. A restrained, indeed almost mute nose of Granny Smith apples and citrus aromas is in keeping with the rich and full-bodied but reserve flavors that possess very good size and weight, all wrapped in an intense, deep and sneaky long finish where noticeable wood surfaces. I like the concentration and this should be a rare Corton-Charlemagne that will be approachable in its youth.
2014 Liquid Farm Chardonnay White Hill. 91 points. light-to-medium deep yellow core with nice viscosity. As others have noted, nose is quite reminiscent of a very good PC Chablis (or better?). Lemon zest, apple, pear, wet stone/minerality and a deft touch of oak; quite pretty. Palate of white flowers, apple pie, peach pit and minerals. Lovely, balanced, medium-bodied wine with no sharp edges that should pair nicely with most foods, unlike many of its Cali counterparts. Good acidity, as it should have, along with a nice midpalate and reasonably long finish. With the acid and minerality and balance I wonder if this would age like a good Chablis? Hmmmm . . . .
Bresaola with Parmiggiano. The dog liked it so much he licked the edge of it (dangerously close to the table edge). Rolled up with the cheese was a great meaty/cheesy snack boosted up by the olive oil drizzle.
2010 Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino. VM 94. The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is one of the very best wines I have tasted here in recent years. Dark red cherries, mint, game, smoke, tobacco and licorice are all deeply expressive in a mid-weight, very classic feeling Brunello long on class and personality. Big yet silky tannins frame the dramatic, intense finish. The Valdicava wines are always big, but the 2010 is a bit pulled back, and striking.
2009 Rocca di Frassinello Maremma Toscana Baffonero. VM 91+. Full ruby-red. Cool, brooding aromas of cassis, blackberry, violet and minerals. Concentrated, densely packed, minerally and brisk, with ripe black fruit and coffee flavors carrying through to the creamy, ripe, very long finish. This is an important wine for this estate, and one that it would like to become one of Italy’s most important merlots in the future, in the mold of Masseto or Messorio.
2003 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate. VM 91. Bright ruby-red. Sweet aromas of black cherry, flowers, menthol and creosote. Supple, sweet and fine-grained, though not especially nuanced for this wine. Strong note of chocolate. Finishes with a fairly fine dusting of tannins and lingering notes of cherry and licorice. This seems a bit less vibrant than it was from barrel a year ago. Barrett noted that the December 2005 bottling date was quite late for this wine, and my sample had not yet recovered.
2003 Château Duhart-Milon. VM 88-91. Bright ruby-red. Blackcurrant, blueberry, black cherry, violet, tobacco, fresh herbs and currant leaf on the slightly medicinal, quintessential cabernet nose. Then broad, fat and rich, with a layered texture and enticing sweetness. Showing its cabernet side today, but this is thoroughly ripe, seamless cabernet.
I brought this in my new Gelato cooler, made by moi: Gianduia Gelato – not only is this from a hardcore Italian recipe, properly stabilized for that gooey texture, but I used all Valrhona chocolate and Piedmontese hazelnut paste. Seriously it’s like frozen Nutella! A huge hit if I do say so myself — and I do!