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  • 2011 Domaine de Maison Blanche Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons

    I experiment sparingly with my Coravin for two reasons: (1) once I grab a bottle of wine the odds are overwhelming that most of it is going down and (2) something nags at me about the $7 or so it costs to replace the argon gas cartridge when I still haven't figured out the optimum way to use it. My early investigations have yielded an important finding though. I like it better for whites than reds, for the simple reason I'm not usually looking for the whites to evolve as I drink them, so there's nothing but upside in preserving them as needed.

    Tonight's note is a case in point, so to speak. I opened this three weeks ago to drink a glass or two and then put it to sleep under Coravin. Right now it is every bit as fresh and lively as it was then, an unthinkable victory with less effective home technology.

    So three weeks later you know when you pour that it's humming along- still a vibrant pale gold straw, nary a trace of oxidation in color or nose. Inviting citrus, a mix of lemon curd and lime with faint seashell aromas, medium bodied, lightly creamy texture and distinct salinity. Balanced just so that it's every bit as good at room temperature as it is out of the fridge, always a hallmark of quality.

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  • 2011 Domaine de Maison Blanche Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons

    Super Chablis, with all the hallmark qualities to make it unmistakable, and an extra gear or two that layers beautiful ripe yellow fruits on top of the limestone and seashell bedrock. Almost buttery in texture, but not from any discernible wood, a little oily as it warms but then resolves in the expected tart and positive finish. Harmonious and lush without being at all overripe or tropical.

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  • 2013 Fornacina Rosso di Montalcino

    When Chambers Street discovers a new, traditional producer in Montalcino you can be sure I will sit up and take notice, assuming I can overlook the oxymoron. No prior knowledge of Fornacina, but the offer in the email was impossible to resist. A good Rosso can express sangiovese the same way as a lesser brunello, or frankly, blow by a lot of brunelli from inferior producers or sites. I always feel this way about Poggio di Sotto, but to be candid, that is a feminine and elegant interpretation compared to the more forceful and rugged version here. My current Rosso favorite of all time, the '06 Poggio, is magnificent today. To be sure, this stuff is not Poggio di Sotto, but it's also at least half the price.

    Remembering how young this one is, it's a dark yet translucent red. The nose is a bit wild, full of red cherries, leather and bramble, sauvage in its own way. In the mouth it's somewhat closed (no surprise), but still conveys red fruits, ample acids and a spunky tannic and mineral driven finish. This isn't your nonna's rosso, or maybe it is, depending on how much moxie she has left. Surprised if not shocked to see it labeled 15% alcohol. Would never have known though once I looked at the label it tends to make the finish feel a tad heavy. In short, a rustic but full blooded sangiovese experience without a whiff of modernity about it. Suspect it will improve with a year or two of additional bottle age.

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  • bevetroppo says:

    2/26/2014 4:52:00 PM - WS- Great idea, but purtroppo I'm not going to be there. I'll take a full report when you're back though! I live in NJ, so parachute in sometime and we'll crack a few. -B

  • Wine-Strategies says:

    2/26/2014 3:06:00 PM - Any chance you;re going to VinItaly (Veronafiere) this year, would be nice to say 'Ciao'?

  • lovical says:

    1/4/2014 2:59:00 AM - Bro I thoroughly enjoyed your notes homage: Sultry bulls eye

  • VinoDelicioso says:

    3/2/2013 12:57:00 PM - Loaded our cellar and are now online! Thanks for the tip yesterday. From two wine lovers in Austin

  • UpfromtheCellar says:

    9/5/2012 6:31:00 PM - Hear hear! Well done indeed.

  • jerwin1943 says:

    4/25/2012 11:51:00 AM - Outstanding job on your Tasting Notes. I appreciate the time and effort you have given to them.