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    Keith Levenberg

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  • 2010 Château Flotis Fronton Si Noire

    This dials in a full 1% higher in alcohol than the 2009, but it only slightly comes across. The aromas on this bottle are even more stinky/funky than the '09, offering tons and tons of barnyard (horse manure), pickled plums, spicebox, liquefied tar, graphite, and herbs. Quite intense. Fantastic smooth, caressing palate texture offering more initial funk, but here it's also coupled with vibrant fruit notes and is full of acid dialing up quickly. This couples with tannins building in as well, but they never over power. It's the acidic, tannic balance that allows this to be held on the tongue indefinitely as flavors of more umeboshi dial in. Lovely kumquat begins being noted the longer this sits on the tongue. The finish too offers a light bit of funky yeasty note but then the acid takes over here as well and carries long and deep into the finish, displaying more flavors of kumquat lingering on the finish. Like the '09, this offers a wonderful balance of freshness and funk, but this time tending a bit more funky. I certainly enjoy it, and the acid and layers of depth elsewhere keep the interest high, but it isn't quite as balanced as that '09. Still, an absolute rocking QPR.

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  • 2013 Gulfi Cerasuolo di Vittoria

    Fantastic, deep, dark color, dark dark magenta/purple. Freaked me out with worry of alcohol and extract, but not one drip of it here, with a wine that clocks in at 13%. Lovely dark fruit, but tons of funky minerality, some lovely bacterial notes, cherry and volcanic tar. Palate texture is fantastic. Coating, creamy, luscious grape flavor. Tannins and acid dial in hard, but they are so lovely in balance with the fruit and tar notes that you can hold it in the mouth for some time. Even more initial dialup of acidity on the finish, which dominates over purple grape tones and volcanic ash. This wine is absolutely wonderfully balanced. I'd drink this all day long today, but I am a bit curious how it will age. It has the structure to age for sure, but it's so good today I'm unsure if it needs it. This wine has made me pay Gulfi a visit, and even stay at the estate, on our trip to Sicily next month. What a fantastic wine. We'll see if they have anything older to drink to answer that aging question! 91-92

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  • 2010 Ca‘ Rozzeria Barbaresco

    As I wrote on the 2010 Ca‘ Rozzeria Barolo, for those willing to put in the work of following the details listed on the bottle, I believe with with near certainty that you can figure out precisely what this wine is. There are multiple clues and they all lead to one wine. One point that is a little disappointing is that the offer says, "the bottles are from the exact same racks as what their US importer has – I literally saw the pallets of finished [key word] bottles and one bottle went to the labeler with the importers sticker and the next went to the label line with this sticker." Since wines aren't labeled before they're filled/corked, I don't see how that could be true because the cork itself says "Ca‘ Rozzeria" on it, and I doubt the "real wine" says that.

    On day one this one was more enjoyable than the Barolo was, but still coming across quite modern and oak saucy (again, I believe this sees short temperature controlled fermentations and 100% new oak barrique). I left the bottle open, a glass down, for 20 hours and came back to it and it's now drinking better. Like the Barolo, this is quite light in color, like watered down strawberry sauce. Pretty looking stuff. Aromas are initially expressive and floral, coupled with bright cherry and strawberry, with light hints of sweet tar. The smell is pleasant and feels quite round. Less oak noticed on the nose on day two, but it's still there. Palate texture is quite lovely, building nice frothiness in the mouth. Good balanced acidity, not as high as the Barolo, but pleasing fruit is present, with some light tannins. The palate is a little bit generic/international in its approach. The acidic depth does offer more on day two, though. It's nice, but still doesn't reveal much character. The initial hit on the finish is of fine grained tannin and acid, lingering some time. The flavors are high toned strawberry fruit juice. Pretty delicious and drinkable today, and you can certainly sense this is the same style as the 2010 Ca‘ Rozzeria Barolo, but a little softer here, and a bit more generic, so I doubt I'd pin this as Barbaresco blind. Enjoyable and balanced for sure, but its modern approach has me slightly worried for longevity and improvement. I'll drink these on the younger end of things as they're quite enjoyable today.

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  • nortonnose says:

    12/21/2013 5:54:00 PM - Great TNs! Thank you, David!

  • gripNsip says:

    2/14/2013 2:27:00 AM - let's drink some wine sometime homie

  • osufan says:

    10/24/2011 11:20:00 PM - Gorgeous picture of Portland (and the wine)!

  • gripNsip says:

    1/12/2011 5:08:00 AM - your mom has a clever thing to say about your notes LOL

  • says:

    4/29/2010 3:55:00 PM - OMFG GRATS ON 1K