Occupy Spoof comes to town.

Joe's.
Tasted Sunday, March 18, 2012 by BradKNYC with 227 views

Introduction

The annual Louis/Dressner vigneron tour rode into town and once again Joe Dougherty graciously opened up his apartment to the screaming hordes. Well, perhaps not as screaming as in the past as, unfortunately, Arianna Occhipinti and a number of other Italian producers didn't make the trip this year. Gone was the Real Wine Assault, replaced this year by operation Occupy Spoof!

As usual, the wine flowed like a river and Joe always lays out a great spread and opens up intriguing wines, so hearty thanks go to him for enabling way too much fun to be had on a Sunday night.

Below are some of the more noteworthy wines I tried last night, from memory.

Flight 1 (13 Notes)

  • 1946 Domaine Huet Vouvray Sec Le Haut-Lieu

    France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray

    Perhaps the most severe bottle I've tried so far. It was really tough to get past the searing acidity in this one as it took S & M to a whole new level. It was a tough vintage and it's plain to see that ripening was a real issue. Some quince, orange fruit, hints of nuts and mineral are there, but they're a little too scared that Mistress Acidity will dress them up in black leather, will stick a red ball in their mouths and will begin cracking whips to really stick around. Still, there's a little pleasure mixed in with the pain... Low B-.

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  • 1946 Domaine Huet Vouvray Demi-Sec Le Haut-Lieu

    France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray

    Just a spoonful of sugar makes the Demi-Sec go down so much better than the Sec. The added sweetness here makes all the difference in the world as by balancing out the high acidity, the personality of the wine shines through more clearly. Bright and fresh on the palate, with more of an orange and apricot profile than the last bottle I had a couple of years ago, though the quince is still there. Perhaps not as showy as that bottle was, but still quite nice. Solid B+.

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  • 1970 Domaine Huet Vouvray Demi-Sec Clos du Bourg

    France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray

    I'm kicking myself for not focusing on the wine more than I did and actually writing things down. I thought I'd had this before, but, in fact, this was my first go with the wine, I'd previously had the '70 Moelleux. That said, it shares some of that wines characteristics, albeit it in a less sweet form. It's a dark gold color with a profile that's of dried fruits, baked spiced apples, earl grey tea and toasted nuts. There's a bit of oxidation and almost a heaviness to the wine and I just get a real sense of decay. Still some sweetness present and while the balance is fine, one does get a sense of plumpness here. Fully mature, if not a bit past peak, but the wine should hold for awhile. B+.

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  • 1996 Domaine Huet Vouvray Sec Le Mont

    France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray

    Now this is a Sec when Sec was Sec! Invigorating and bordering on severe, it shows off that '96 acidity with pride. Lean and mostly dry, it exhibits wonderful purity and a profile of honeycomb, white flowers, almonds and quince with a strong lanolin note. Would've loved some goat cheese with this as food would've helped tame it a bit and perhaps allowed a deeper exploration of its character. Lovely stuff, though. A-/B+.

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  • 1980 Domaine Huet Vouvray Vin De Glace Sec Le Haut-Lieu

    France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray

    This bottle is a little broader and friendlier than the last one I tried. It shows similarly with quince, mineral and hints of strawberry, but there's also a bit of apricot here and this bottle has a more glycerol feel to it that helps tame what can be rather bullying acidity. Where's the pork or goose rillettes when you need them? It would be a wonderful match with either of those. A-/B+.

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  • 1990 François Pinon Vouvray Sec

    France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray

    Francois Pinon brought this from his cellar for the party at Joe's and it was a revelation. This is what you call a token wine. I mean, Sec in a heavily botrytized vintage famous for sweet wines? How daffy is that? Yet, Francois pulled it off. The wine was extremely youthful, intense and yellow in profile with richness to the mouthfeel you normally wouldn't find in a Sec. We were all stunned and pleasantly surprised by just how vibrant the acidity was. Francois explained that the grapes for the sec were picked from his Northern slopes. I took this opportunity to tell him that we just don't see older gems like these around and it would be wonderful if there were some library releases. Keeping my fingers crossed on that one! A-/B+.

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  • 1987 Nicolas Joly Clos de la Coulée de Serrant

    France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Savennières-Coulée de Serrant

    Unfortunately, completely dominated by sulfur. Underneath it one can see that it's a lean wine that's a bit too mushroomy, though there's nice minerality and some yellow fruit, but the wine could really use some more stuffing to balance things out and it's just impossible to escape the sulfur. B-/C+.

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  • 1993 Nicolas Joly Clos de la Coulée de Serrant

    France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Savennières-Coulée de Serrant

    This was much better than the '87, exhibiting a richer, fresher and better balanced profile. There are nice fruit levels here, with quince and orange citrus showing with dry honey and mineral from beginning to end. Vibrant and in a good place right now. Solid B+.

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  • 1990 Prager Riesling Auslese Weissenkirchen Ried Klaus

    Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau

    I wish I had more time to spend with this and more of it in my glass, but I got the last of what was in the bottle and then shared my meager pour with Chris Coad, who is always running behind. This was simply stunning. Just explosive across the palate, a hand grenade of vibrant meyer lemons, pear and yellow apples with wonderful minerality and perfectly proportioned structure. Less sweet than the Auslese designation would suggest, I'd say it was more like a German QBA, or maybe even a Kabinett before they became declassified Auslese. The wine was mouthfilling and just kept showing so many different facets the longer one kept it in the mouth. Stunning wine and easily my WOTN. A.

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  • 1982 Château Pavie

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Easily the best bottle of this wine I've had to date. I've usually found the wine to be a bit too weedy and thin, but this bottle had wonderful balance and fruit levels. Fully integrated and showing lovely elegance, there's a tasty mélange of red cherry and plums with decaying leaves, earth and a touch of herb. Given its integration and secondary development, I'd say the wine isn't going to get better, but it's in a beautiful spot right now. A-.

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  • 1987 Frog's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon

    USA, California, Napa Valley

    Whenever vigneron are around, I like to whip out a bottle like this to show them what California can do. The fact that Frog's Leap is also organic certainly is a plus with this crowd. This bottle didn't disappoint. In fact, it showed identically to one from magnum I had with John Williams in August, albeit with less vigilant tannins. There's ripe black fruit that's not at all overdone, nice herb notes and hints of cocoa with a comfortable, softened structure. A-.

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  • 1999 Ridge Monte Bello

    USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains

    (72% cabernet sauvignon, 25% merlot, 2% cabernet franc, 1% petit verdot, 13.0% alc.) Tasted from magnum.
    Surprisingly silky on the palate, especially since it's from a magnum, with sweet black currant, purple plums, cocoa and cedary oak. The fruit is still primary and the oak needs to integrate further, but if you prefer your Monte Bello a little bit more fruit forward, it's drinking quite nicely now. I'd rather wait for some more development, though. Low A-

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  • 1999 Éric Texier Côte-Rôtie Vieilles Vignes

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie

    Let it not be said that Joe Dougherty doesn't have a mischievously playful streak. At the end of the evening, after an ocean of wine, he pulls this from his cellar, puts a bag over it and serves it to Texier and has him guess what it is. Eric doesn't think it's old enough to be Gentaz and so thinks maybe a '99 or '01 Verset. Ha ha! The joke's on you, Eric. He thanks Joe for the opportunity to try it, to which Joe replies, "No, no! Thank you! You put it in the bottle. I only pulled the cork!"

    As for the wine itself, I've always liked the nose better than the palate and that's true for this one as well. It has a classic Côte-Rôtie nose of bacon, green olives, red berry fruit with a touch of herbs. On the palate, though, the acidity is just too high and needs more fruit to balance it out and that's always been my knock against this wine. Like flavors as aromas, I'd drink up as it'll become even more unbalanced as the fruit recedes. B+.

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