12 Days of Christmas

NYC, Vermont, Boston

Tasted December 21, 2017 - January 1, 2018 by Nyccablover with 432 views

Introduction

Lots of celebrating going on this holiday season, so I thought I would gather all the notes in one long tasting story that I will add to over the course of the next twelve days. Happy Holidays everyone!!

Flight 1 - On the First day of Christmas (2 notes)

Kicking off the holiday celebrations with Mexican takeout and some wine from the home cellar. Another Italian white for our new found interest and a long lost pinot from a case that had been lost at our offsite for years. This festive season is going to last for a full twelve days so we got to ease in slowly.

White
2016 Giuseppe Quintarelli Bianco Secco Cà del Merlo Italy, Veneto, Veneto IGT
PnP - timely opening as the Envoyer offer on this came through that day and I was trying to decide whether to bite on more. Verdict for me is that while this was good, not sure it is worth the tariff. This a lighter style Italian white with some pretty floral notes on the nose and palate. Bright with tons of minerals, surprisingly paired very nicely with chicken quesadillas. I would be happy to drink this any time, just think there are many other italian white choices delivering equal taste at half the price.
Red
2010 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
After years of suspecting this case was lost by offsite storage - low and behold it was located so decided it was time to drink up before it got lost again. First time with the R-M pinot as this was a list I got on in early days of collecting and never got to taste since it was "lost". My tastes have moved on from new world pinot so was not sure whether I would like it. PnP - lots of dark cherry aromatics, but more balanced on the palate than the nose and color would predict. Yes there is a lot of bright dark cherry flavors, but also a strong hint of orange/tangerine zest, earth and good acidity. No cherry cola flavors which is a good thing for me. While still not my preferred style of pinot this is pretty tasty.

Flight 2 - On the Second day of Christmas (6 notes)

Pre-christmas tradition with good friends - affectionately referred to as "boozy lunch" this year rescheduled from the Christmas Eve lunch slot to Friday night dinner. Trying a new restaurant Don Angie in Greenwich Village and the food was terrific! We did corkage on the Krug and Pegau and ordered the rest of the wine from their list.

We paired our wines with the following shared dishes:
Stuffed Garlic Flatbread - amazing!
Chrysanthemum Salad - modern take on Caesar
Tonnato Vitello - tuna carpaccio over spicy veal tartare
BBQ Calamari
Buffalo Milk Caramelle - two toned pasta stuffed with buffalo milk mozzarella - delicious!
Prime Rib Braciole for 2
Chicken Scarpariello
Orata alla Griglia

All the food was really delicious, a warm casual cozy atmosphere with friendly service. Highly recommend

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Krug Champagne Brut Rosé France, Champagne
Disgorged Spring 2015 (51% Pinot Noir, 41% Chard, 8% Meunier - oldest wine 2000, youngest 2008). Perfect start to a lovely holiday celebration dinner with good friends. My first time with Krug Rosé and I was not disappointed. This has much more weight and richness than the average rose as you would expect. Yes the lovely strawberry notes are front and center, but that yummy brioche and honey richness wraps all around it. Just delightful!!
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Red
2003 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
PnP - the nose on this is full of fresh dark berries characteristic of a much younger wine. On the palate this is drinking really well right now with a nice balance of dark fruit, earthy bramble and the acid that holds it together. This really blossomed in the glass over 30 minutes, but did not last much longer that at as it was eagerly consumed. Thanks again to Rackit (my CT Secret Santa) for such an awesome bottle of wine!
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Red
2012 Lisini Brunello di Montalcino Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
Following on the heels of the Krug Rose and the '03 Pegau, this was a bit of a downtick, but still quaffable. I suspect this is a bit young to be drinking now without a decant - we popped and poured. Still some youthful tannins on this, dark fruit and earth - not a lot of complexity though. If you have these I would sit on them for a few more years and see if they develop some more interest.
Red
2006 Ronchi di Cialla Schioppettino di Cialla Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Friuli Colli Orientali
I really enjoy this producer and wine particularly with a bit of bottle age. This was drinking really well tonight, dark crunchy fruits with that characteristic black pepper zing on the back palate. Very balanced with the mature dark fruit, minerals and acid all working together to create a lovely mouthful. Would love to drink this one again!
Red - Sparkling
N.V. Malabaila di Canale Piemonte Brachetto Birbet Italy, Piedmont, Piemonte DOC
From the glass menu at Don Angie (NYC), I have no experience with brachetto, but found this to be delightful. It was lightly carbonated, and lightly sweet but with good acid which gave nice balance - fruits leaning to cherry, strawberry, plum. A refreshing and tasty alternative to desert!
White - Sparkling
2016 De Forville Moscato d'Asti Italy, Piedmont, Asti, Moscato d'Asti
From the glass list at Don Angie (NYC), tasted next to the brachetto, I found this to be a bit too sweet for my preference - not enough balancing acidity.

Flight 3 - On the Third day of Christmas (6 notes)

Had some fellow CTers over to celebrate the season, share some food and pop some bottles. A lovely relaxing evening with lots of nice wine and a mix of food:

Maguro and Avocado with black sesame seeds
Lobster cocktail
Order in pizzas from Co. (margarita, prosciutto & cheese, meatball and brosciolo)

WOTN for me was a 3-way tie between the Krug 164eme, '79 Lynch Bages, and the '09 Quintarelli Rosso de Bepe

White - Sparkling
N.V. Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée Edition 164eme France, Champagne
Wow - I really enjoyed this bottle of Krug and the last couple of sips were absoulely the best as it warmed up a bit in my glass. Just delicious - fine mousse, lemon biscuit and tart apple with the rich bakery notes appearing as it warmed up. It is great now - need to cellar some of these to see how it improves with age. Highly Recommend.
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White
2014 Domaine Jamet Côtes du Rhône Blanc France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
Interesting, my first time with this wine - per Jamet website the blend is 60% marsanne, 30% viognier, 7% roussane, 3% grenache blanc. This had very strong notes of melon on both the nose and palate. Also white peach and other stone fruits. It had a rich/fat mouthfeel with smooth edges, medium acidity. Nice but did not blow my socks off.
Red
1979 Château Lynch-Bages France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Thanks to Rackit for sharing this lovely old bottle of bordeaux with us. PnP - fully intact cork. On the nose this had just the right amount of barnyard funk, dry forest floor and dark fruit. On the palate it was still very much alive with plums and blackberries, lively acidity and lots of earth and leather. Really interesting to sip and savor. Very nice!
Red
2007 Checkerboard Vineyards USA, California, Napa Valley
Decanted for about 3 hours prior to serving - initially very tight so this really benefits from the air. Dark and dense, black fruits, some heat from the alcohol is noticeable and the oak tannins are still present. As a direct transition from a '79 Lynch Bages this was initially quite bracing. Once the palate adjusted it was more pleasant to drink, but still you are not going to mistake this for bordeaux. I don't think this wine is really in its prime drinking window yet after ten years, I won't approach the other three pack for at least another five years.
Red
2008 Giuseppe Quintarelli Rosso del Bepi Veneto IGT Italy, Veneto, Veneto IGT
Really enjoyed this one, just a beautiful well made wine with lots of complexity on the palate, dark round fruits, minerals, earth, a hint of the raisiny notes in the back, great nose - long finish. Highly recommend.
Red
2008 Lewis Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve USA, California, Napa Valley
Last bottle of the night, so not the strongest impression. I thought this was fine quaffable well made Napa cab, but nothing particularly memorable about it for me.

Flight 4 - On the fourth day of Christmas (2 notes)

Annual tradition on Christmas Eve to go for oysters and champagne/burgundy at the best oyster bar in NYC (IMHO) Aquagrill. Today the oysters and seafood, friendly service and convivial atmosphere were outstanding as always but the wine was a bit of a disappointment. Wanted the bottle of Dom, but the splurge seemed excessive so went with the recommended Aubry which while not bad was just meh! Then moving on to burgundy got some help with from the somm who steered us quite wrong into a wine that was not at all enjoyable. Oh well - we had a beautiful and merry meal non the less and enjoyed the spirit of the season!
Menu Included:
Oysters sampled:
Blue Point, Race Rock, Lady Chatterly, Potters Moon, Quonset, La St. Simon, Moonstone, Wiley Point, Blackberry Point, East Beach Blond, Raspberry Point and Fire Lake

Tuna Tartar with soy truffle emulsion
Chilean Sea Bass over kimchee with miso glaze
Warm ginger bread cake with vanilla ice cream

White - Sparkling
N.V. L. Aubry Fils Champagne Premier Cru Brut France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru
From the wine list at Aquagrill (NYC), paired with a dozen briny East coast oysters. Clean and lean styled champagne, assertive bubbles, lemony zing with some minerals, not very complex more of a refreshing style. It was quaffable but not at all distinctive. Really regretting the decision not to splurge out on the bottle of Dom.
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Red
2014 Domaine Maume-Marchand-Tawse Gevrey-Chambertin En Pallud France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin
I found this to be pretty disappointing - the somm at Aquagrill steered us toward this bottle after asking for something feminine, silky and elegant - this was none of these things. This had a very strong earthy profile, something almost metallic or sharply mineral in a bitter way just overwhelmed the palate. The first few sips were okay, but it just got sharper the longer it was open. This is the second wine I have had from Tawse that I have not cared for - need to remember to avoid this producer in future.

Flight 5 - On the fifth and actual day of Christmas (2 notes)

Christmas Day in NYC before the madness of our family celebration ensues on the 26th - we opt for a favorite and very non-traditional Christmas dinner of Omakase sashimi and sushi tasting at Sushi of Gari. Seated at the bar with chef taking special care of us for an early dinner this was the perfect meal.q. We paired dinner with a bottle of ‘04 Pol Roger. Then back at home we shared an 2000 Chateau Rayas while packing for the rest of the week

White - Sparkling
2004 Pol Roger Champagne Vintage Brut France, Champagne
From the wine list at Sushi of Gari (NYC) and consumed with omakase dinner. This was very enjoyable, a golden yellow color, with a toasty nose, on the palate it was creamy, with brioche and lemon curd. Tasted a bit older than other makers vintage ‘04s I have had, but for me this added to the experience. I would be happy to drink this again.
Red
2000 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Popped and poured, no time for a slow ox today. Typical lovely Rayas color and nose. This was very nice, but not quite as good as the ‘00 I had at the Rayas vertical dinner back in October. Maybe a bit more muted with a medium finish. Flavors of cherry, herbs, earth, a hint of licorice - silky elegant mouthfeel. Even when not the best bottle of Rayas - it is always a joy to experience! Merry Christmas!

Flight 6 - On the 6th day of Christmas (3 notes)

Traveling up to Vermont for the large family gathering and kicking off the festivities with a dinner party at the brother and sister-in-laws house. Buffet style honey baked ham, scalloped potatoes, etc.... the wines were not the focus but the company was terrific.

Red
2009 Privé Vineyard Pinot Noir Le Nord USA, Oregon, Yamhill County
Served with lunch. Some bricking starting to show on the edges. More earth than fruit, light and easy drinking, medium finish. Very quaffable if not particularly distinctive.
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Guy Larmandier Champagne Premier Cru Brut Rosé France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru
A magnum to start the dinner party. Consistent with recent notes -a great value for a grower party champagne in Mags. Light strawberry some richness -very tasty!
Red
2014 William Hill Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley USA, California, Napa Valley
Wine poured at Family dinner party. Fruit forward, dark berries, tastes oaky and vanilla, although there is some acidity so it is drinkable. I was good with just one glass and switching to water.

Flight 7 - On the 7th day of Christmas (0 notes)

This is the day the party train derailed as I woke up with a violent case of stomach flu. The family party continued on with annual pot luck feast and wine tasting competition but I was out for the count.

Flight 8 - On the 8the day of Christmas (0 notes)

The party train remained in a derailed status:-(

Flight 9 - On the 9the day of Christmas (1 note)

Signs of life reappear - family celebration over and a transition to Boston for continued celebration with friends. Dipping toe back in the water of food and wine very slowly.

Red
2008 Lewis Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley USA, California, Napa Valley
This most definitely improves dramatically with some air. On initial PnP it is all inky dark fruit - monotone, but with sit some barnyard funkiness on the nose arrives, some earth and leather present and it arrives at a balance. On initial sip I was opting to dump but after a few hours I kind of liked it. Even better on day 2.
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Flight 10 - On the 10th day of Christmas (3 notes)

Fully back in action. Dim Sum Lunch with friends at Myers & Chang in Boston which is awesome! We paired our dumplings and noodles with and old school scorpion bowl - bringing back long ago memories from college days in Boston. So fun!!
Lunch is followed by a long walk across the frozen tundra of the south end, back bay, public garden and Boston commons. We celebrated our accomplishment with a nice bottle of Krug 164eme.

Then onto to dinner at Townsman with a much larger group of old friends. Lots of fun!

White - Sparkling
N.V. Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée Edition 164eme France, Champagne
Another great experience with this bottling! Same as prior notes - this is just delicious champagne - we’ll worth the tariff!
Red
2014 Tenute Silvio Nardi Rosso di Montalcino Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino
89 points
From the wine list at Townsman (Boston). I like this much better than the Casisano that we had first. This was more balanced, perhaps a bit more accessible and enjoyable to drink. The 78 score is not reflective of my experience, so while I don’t normally score I will here to provide balance.
Red
2015 Podere Casisano Rosso di Montalcino Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino
From the wine list at Townsman (Boston). First bottle was corked, but the second one was fine. This was a bit leaner styled, with a strong spine of acidity, dark fruit and some earthy minerality. Much better when paired with the food. I think 87-88 if scoring.

Flight 11 - On the 11th day of Christmas (3 notes)

The day kicked off with a great workout at the gym followed by lunch with friends at Select Oyster Bar. Can’t recommend this place highly enough - warm friendly staff, terrific food, great wine list and tip inclusive pricing. We decided to splurge for New Years and paired the Chave Hermitage Blanc with our lobster salad. Delicious on all counts.

Braving the single digit weather we headed out to our friends party at Haley Henry wine bar - another really fun Boston spot. A very fun night- Happy New Year!

White
2013 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
From the wine list at Select Oyster Bar (Boston) at a very reasonable markup. A great way to cap off 2017 paired with a lunch of avocado toast and lobster salad. Served from wine fridge, temp was initially a bit too cold and wine only started to fully reveal itself as it warmed to room temp. This is full and rich in mouthfeel, with a nose and palate of golden apples, Stone fruit, some nuttiness, spice and white pepper and a very long finish. Just really delicious!
White - Sparkling
2006 Taittinger Champagne Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut France, Champagne
Kicking off the NYE festivities with a bottle of the ‘06 Comte. Bright and lemony with fine mousse and hints of biscuity flavors showing on the finish. This was served pretty cold so the full extent of flavors may not have been on display. Served alongside the Krug 164eme - tonight I will give a slight nod to the Krug which seemed a bit richer in mouthfeel by comparison.
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Red
2014 Château La Fleur Cailleau France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Canon-Fronsac
On to the NYE party at HaleyHenry wine bar (Boston), this was my drink of choice for the evening. This was a very tasty and accessible young Bordeaux. More on the rustic side, dark fruited with great earthy and savory notes. Seems like a it would be a good QPR daily drinker candidate.

Flight 12 - On the 12th and final day of Christmas! (4 notes)

Last day of celebrations and over indulgence - time to get back to sensible eating and hitting the gym - but before that one last day to ring in the new year with great friends in Boston.

We met up at Bar Mezzana for their annual Magnum PI New Years Brunch - a really fun time. Starting out with Bloody Mary's and Miami Vice (a mix of frozen daiquiri and pina colada) then moving on to some Italian white wine. On the menu - to share house made donuts that are insane (Funfetti, Cinnamon Bun and Somoa), then on to bodega style egg sandwiches with fries - yum!

After time for an afternoon nap - we gathered in the evening for one more meal - take out pizza and some nice wine while hanging out and watching the Rose Bowl.

All in all great holiday celebration sharing time with family and friends - despite the stomach flu interlude in the middle.

White
2015 Pievalta Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore Italy, Marche, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore
88 points
From the glass list at Bar Mezzana (Boston). Golden yellow color, some minerals on the nose. Rich mouthfeel with Apple/pear notes, crushed gravel and stone fruit. Enjoyable glass to go with New Years brunch.
Red
1993 Domaine René Engel Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Brulées France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru
91 points
PnP. Very funky barnyard nose on this one but in good way for me. On initial pour it is a bit closed off but after 60 minutes in the glass it really opens up nicely. Very earthy, not a lot of fruit left here but the other flavors provide lots of interest. Definitely not silky and ethereal, more earth and mineral with a bit of heft. I enjoyed this but perhaps not as much as some of the other tasting notes.
Red
2009 Pian Delle Vigne (Antinori) Brunello di Montalcino Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
flawed
This bottle failed to wow me as it seemed shut down both aromatically and on the palate. I suspect that it might have been lightly corked - no cardboard smell perse, but just not really showing much.
Red
2011 Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
91 points
PnP - this was ready and open for business tonight which surprised me as I was expecting more tannin but it was drinking well. The fruit profile leaning to black currants, soft rounded tannin and a good spine of acidity. Very enjoyable way to end New Years Day 2018.
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