Wine in the time of Corona Virus - Quarantining in NYC & NH

NYC/NH

Tasted March 7, 2020 - September 1, 2020 by Nyccablover with 407 views

Introduction

This is a story about our time in quarantine in NYC during the Corona Virus pandemic. The last 6 weeks have been completely surreal, abruptly changing our lives as the virus fiercely ripped through our beloved city. So much has changed, and new rituals have developed to cope with separation and uncertainty. NYC is eerie, with car and pedestrian traffic slowed to a trickle as the only people on the street seem to be grocery shoppers, dog walkers, Amazon/Food delivery people and those poor souls with nowhere else to shelter. The people you do see wear masks and swing wide to pass each other on the street. We look forward to the nightly 7pm pot banging from the window to celebrate the efforts of our dedicated health care professionals and first responders. When the raucous sound reverberates down the avenues and streets each night it is a daily reminder of NYC’s vibrancy and community spirit.

We have adapted to new protocols for entering and exiting the elevators and building, alcohol wipes, shoe and mask removal, hand washing, hand washing, hand washing!! Bi-weekly grocery shopping and wiping down everything that comes in. Cooking at home - 3 meals a day - yikes! Exercise classes via Zoom using yoga mats in the apartment. Zoom happy hours with family and friends have become the corner stone of our social life - up to 4 nights a week now. Wine for us (my husband and I) has been a constant companion and drinking habits have become a bit more liberal as external socializing has ceased and working and exercising from home has become standard operating procedure. This story will gather my memories of these strange days of 2020 with the tasting notes from the wines that helped us make it through the isolation.

Flight 1 - The last supper - Friday March 7th (2 notes)

Saturday March 7th, we dined out at Tokyo Record Bar a cool little place that is beneath Air's Champagne in Greenwich Village. Three seatings a night with a prix fix Izakaya menu. Tiny (seats 18) and cool - on arrival you are given a song list - each diner gets to pick one song which the DJ spins together a play list that lasts throughout the meal. Super fun and lively, with the terrific champagne list from Air's. The meal ends with a slice of pizza for everyone - so no-one leaves with the munchies. While everyone was talking about Corona Virus - I don't think that we had any idea that our life was about to radically change. It was such a fun place with great wine - I hate to think that so many of these small restaurants may not make it through the shutdown. Probably our last meal out in NYC for a very long time.

White - Sparkling
2015 Chartogne-Taillet Champagne Les Barres France, Champagne
From the wine list at Tokyo Record Bar (NYC). This was excellent and while it is still young, drinking very well. Lovely red fruits, with bright acidity and cashmere bubbles. Disappeared very quickly! Paired with togarashi popcorn and "Jessica"- Allman Brothers (hubby's choice) "Blister in the Sun" - Violent Femmes (my choice).
White - Sparkling
2013 Champagne Suenen Pinot Meunier Champagne La Grande Vigne Vieilles Vignes Extra Brut France, Champagne
From the wine list at Tokyo Record Bar (NYC). 2nd bottle of the night from a grower I have only recently discovered. 100% Pinot Meunier from 50 year old vines in Montignyo-sur-Vesle. Disgorged Dec-2019. Lots of red berries on the nose, racy acidity and spices. Very good and paired well with the Japanese tasting menu.
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Flight 2 - Jittery days before the lockdown - Saturday 3/8 - Thursday 3/12 (3 notes)

The mood in the city was significantly shifting from Sunday Mar-8, we could start to see neighbors in our building heading out in droves, everyone heading to their second homes or family in other states. Kids packing up their dorm rooms at FIT. The lines at Whole Foods were wrapped around the entire store back to the entrance. It was a hive of activity and high anxiety as the daily news reports became grimmer each day. Weeknight wine became a staple as we fretted over what was going to happen next. We stocked our fridge, freezer and pantry (an oddity for most NYC dwellers), bought yoga mats to work out at home and ordered a couple of cases of daily drinkers to fill up the wine fridge.

White
2017 J.L. Chave Sélection St. Joseph Circa France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
Pre-lockdown jitters rippling through NYC - Monday night drinking proves to be an essential anxiety reduction strategy. Last of a 6 pack - super easy White Northern Rhone daily drinker. Not overly complex but good stone fruit and smooth mouthfeel. No need to age these - drink now.
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White
2015 Château des Tours Vaucluse Les Tours Blanc France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Vaucluse
This seems to be advancing very quickly for a young wine. While still very tasty, I don't think these are going to last too long - seems like they maybe quite subject to premox.
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Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Vilmart & Cie Champagne Premier Cru Cuvée Rubis France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru
Corona virus anxiety is ramped up to the max and I need some bubbles this Thursday night. Happy that we have 4 bottle of this is the wine fridge. Always one of my favorite rosé champagnes and a great value at $49.99 from Envoyer. Very racy with strawberry notes, citrus and minerals. Has nice lift and energy which really hits the spot.
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Flight 3 - Quarantine Week 1 - Friday 3/13 to Thursday 3/19 (8 notes)

Friday 3/13 - my husband was instructed to work from home and we started to quarantine - only leaving the house to walk our dog to the corner - 4 times a day. Masks and gloves were still not common, but precautions for elevator and door handles began with alcohol wipes our constant companion when leaving the house. Constant news watching - looking at the growing numbers of Covid19 cases in the city and feeling somewhat helpless. Witnessing my first mugging while out walking the dog - what the hell was happening to my city! Days are spent assembling 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles a welcome distraction. Made the odd decision to watch the movie Contagion - which was kind of like watching the daily news - so surreal.

Daily on-line pilates classes to work off some energy and stay fit. The first weekend we did delivery food a few times, but started to get a bit uncomfortable from a safety perspective so began to just cook everything at home. Read too many articles on sanitizing everything that comes into the house and creating an entry zone. Feel like I am spending hours wiping down groceries, wine bottles, dog paws etc.... Good thing we had some tasty treats in the wine fridge to take the edge off each evening.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Jose Dhondt Champagne Grand Cru Grande Reserve Blanc de Blancs France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
Friday the 13th and we are in lockdown - strange times. Starting off early this evening with a bottle of bubbles. More in the rich and toasty style with a more noticeable dosage leaving a sweet note on the finish. Easy drinking - does not require food - at $32 this was a good price, but not sure I would seek these out again.
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Red
2018 Comm. G.B. Burlotto Nebbiolo Langhe Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
Friday the 13th - lockdown begins. Paired with quarantine delivery meal from Charlie Bird - Cacio Pepe and Roast Chicken. This was delicious, light and elegant, smooth tannins, florals, cherry and spice. Wish I had bought more of these - need to see if I can have some delivered - yum and for the price double yum!
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White
2015 Tenuta Russo Bruno Greco di Tufo Italy, Campania, Greco di Tufo DOCG
Solid daily drinker - popped late in the evening. We buy this wine in every vintage and really enjoy it. Has a nice complexity and texture, there is almost a waxy quality to the fruit but combined with a lot of salinity so simultaneously rich and bright.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2018 Sandlands Chardonnay Sonoma County USA, California, Sonoma County
My plan was to cellar this for a few years - but given the lockdown we are working with what is on hand - so decided to give this a go. More of a leaner styled chardonnay, but did not grab me with any particular complexity at this point. I think these probably need some time to show their stuff.
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Red
2010 Arnot-Roberts Syrah North Coast USA, California, North Coast
Another strong performance by this wine tonight. Aromatic nose, elegant mouth feel, lots of bramble and savory notes. Really delicious light bodied Syrah -drinking really well now but sure it will last for quite a few years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2017 Thibaud Boudignon Anjou France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Anjou
Consumed over 3 nights - this held up exceptionally well with no changes noted. Similar to prior experience this is a lovely wine - delicious tropical fruit, really zingy acids and mineral finish - very fresh.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Arnot-Roberts Syrah North Coast USA, California, North Coast
Pop and pour - consumed over 2 nights and used to cook on the third night - consistent with prior notes.
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White
2012 Château des Tours Côtes du Rhône Blanc France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
Unlike some of the previous notes - I am not finding this at all advanced. Definitely more of a rich, waxy stone fruit style with some honeyed notes on finish, but much more fresh than the '15 vintage has been showing. Really delicious for my palate.
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Flight 4 - Quarantine Week 2 - Friday 3/20 to Thursday 3/26 (6 notes)

Receive an email notification from our building management that there is a positive case of Covid19 in the building and not to be alarmed by the workers in hazmat suits deep cleaning the elevators. Feeling somewhat alarmed that we don't own a working thermometer and none are available to purchase on-line. A family member in another state comes through and sends us one. Starting to see more masks on the street and concerned we don't own any. Begin wrapping a scarf around the face when out walking the dog.

This week marks the first of our weekly Virtual happy hours with extended family - technology problems abound as we attempted to use FaceTime. Hard to teach the 85 year olds new technology, but we prevailed and made it work - 3 hours later everyone felt more connected.

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Savart Champagne Premier Cru Bulle de Rosé Brut France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru
Completed the first full week of lockdown - so decided to celebrate with a bottle of bubbles for our first virtual happy hour with the extended family. Color is more salmon than pink. Very red fruited and more to fuller mouthfeel style, with some richness and chalky minerality on the finish. Not as lean as the Vilmart Cuvee Rubis (which we have also been drinking from our fridge) this one goes down easy as an aperitif without the benefit of food. Probably better value rosé available but I was glad to have it in house!
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White
2017 Jean-Luc Jamet Côtes du Rhône Couzou France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
2nd bottle for the first family virtual happy hour(s). This is drinking nicely, white peaches, with some citrusy acidity in the background. Not as complex as the '12 Chateau des Tours blanc we had the prior night - but nice and easy drinking.
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White
2016 Benoit Roseau St. Joseph Blanc France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
First time with this producer. I am generally a big fan of Northern Rhone whites, but this one did not float my boat. 100% Marsanne. I found this wine to have a rather unpleasant lingering bitter note on the finish - something akin to grapefruit pith. The entry is more of a fatter style and then followed by the bitter note it just felt disjointed to me. Not a repurchase.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2018 Clos des Mourres Vaucluse Pompette France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Vaucluse
Equal blend of Clairette, Grenache Blanc & Bourboulenc. Natural wine. Tart green apple and a strong notes of fennel - which I often get from Clairette. Refreshing and herbal but more interesting than delicious for me. Not a repurchase as the fennel is a bit overwhelming for my palate.
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White
2015 Tenuta Russo Bruno Greco di Tufo Italy, Campania, Greco di Tufo DOCG
Quarantine - Monday night drinking!! Consistent with prior notes and works well for adding to a meal of Chicken, Lemon & white wine as well.
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White
2018 Benanti Etna Bianco Italy, Sicily, Etna DOC
More quarantine weeknight wine - consumed over 2 nights with no change in profile. Great texture and mineral finish.
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Flight 5 - Quarantine Week 3 - Friday 3/27 - Thursday 4/2 (9 notes)

Things started to get harder in week 3, too much depressing news and not enough distraction. Notice of a second confirmed Covid 19 case in our building from management. The jigsaw puzzles are all completed (3 x 1000 pieces)- and I have become addicted to checking the news continuously. Ultimately decided to delete all the news apps off my devices and try detox from bad news and revive my spirit - a wise and helpful decision.

Outside masks are starting to be more common and we receive a care package from good friends out west - containing 3 washable cotton masks - Hurray!! We are starting to go a bit stir crazy inside and long for outdoors time - but a walk to the Hudson River Park walkway seems too crowded for our comfort and we cut the trip short to head home. Lots of runners without masks - huffing, puffing and spitting - no thanks! I am probably getting paranoid, but better safe than sorry.

In addition to the now weekly Virtual Family Happy Hour, we have added two other weekly Zoom get togethers. A Saturday night On-line/Off-line with our NY wine tasting friends and a Thursday night Zoom Happy Hour with friends in NH, UT and NYC. Great to connect and hear about everyone's unique experience with Sheltering in Place share stories and laugh together, feels almost normal.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Savart Champagne Premier Cru L'Accomplie France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru
Kick off the Friday night Family Happy Hour with some bubbles! 80% Pinot Noir 20% Chardonnay - Disgorged Feb-2019. Lots of apple on the nose. This has a rich mouth feel with a lot of bread dough and red apple, nice bubbles, more generous in style than lean and racy.
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Red
2008 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco 50º Anniversario Riserva Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
Friday night Family Happy Hour. A solid enjoyable Barbaresco, and good value for the $44 we paid at the tasting room. Tannins have softened here and it is drinking nicely, red fruit, roses, herbs and earthy notes. Was planning to hold this for a while, but working from the wine fridge selection seemed like a good choice for the night.
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White
2017 J.L. Chave Sélection St. Joseph Circa France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
Picked up one more of these in my lockdown case from Flat Iron. Popped late in the evening and revisited on Day 3 - no decline. Similar to prior notes - this is really in my sweet spot for St. Joseph Blancs - super slurpable!
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White
2004 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
To celebrate our first zoom on-line/off-line, we decided to open the last bottle of '04 Chave. Gosh I am glad we did - this was just outstanding!! The perfect foil when trapped inside an NYC apartment for the quarantine. In a perfect place right now and this bottle was spot on. Stone fruit, rich and flavorful, minerals on the finish with enough acidity to keep it fresh - super long finish. The bottle went simply too fast as we caught up with friends remotely and shared our respective experiences.
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Red
1998 Roagna Barbaresco Pajè Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
Opened for the first of our zoom on-line/off-lines with friends. 3rd of 3 (375) bottles purchased from Chambers St. The first was corked the second was lovely, this was was not flawed but not great. Decanted for sediment and held for about an hour before drinking. Kind of musty and tired, leather but not much else going on. Would probably avoid this vintage if I saw it come up for sale again.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2015 Tenuta Russo Bruno Greco di Tufo Italy, Campania, Greco di Tufo DOCG
Consistent with prior notes - solid and enjoyable daily drinker - wine for a Monday night in quarantine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2015 Domaine Monier Perréol St. Joseph Blanc France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
Picked up the last one of these in my Flat Iron lock down case. While I have been really enjoying the '17, this '15 with a few more years on it was even better. Beautiful white stone fruit, luscious waxy mouthfeel, long finish. Delicious if you enjoy Northern Rhone whites.

Opened for the Weds Zoom call with friends from the old Boston days.
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White
2018 Clos des Mourres Vaucluse Pompette France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Vaucluse
2nd bottle of the evening for the Thursday night Zoom call with friends. Not a huge fan here of the green herbal fennel character here, so just had a small pour. Husband liked it better than me, leftover wine went into lemon chicken wine dish on Sunday night.
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White
2018 Benanti Etna Bianco Italy, Sicily, Etna DOC
Opened for our Thursday night Zoom call with friends. Great way to kick off the evening. This wine delivers a great flavor profile for the $24 price tag - waxy texture and spicey (white pepper) saline finish.
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Flight 6 - Quarantine Week 4 - Friday 4/3 - Thursday 4/9 (7 notes)

It is all starting to blend together without much change to punctuate the weeks. A very robust spring allergy season is in full force - so waking up with sore throats, runny noses and lots of coughing - is it allergies or Covid19?? Lots of temperature checking to make sure it is not the virus. Ran out of Zyrtec for a few days and got hit really hard with symptoms - cough was a bit out of control. Back on Zyrtec D everything reverted to normal - whew!

Three weekly Zoom calls to keep the weekend flowing!! Getting sick of house cleaning and cooking every night. Feels like all we do is procure food, cook it, wash dishes, clean and start again.

Red
2014 Roagna Langhe Rosso Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
Popped and poured for the Friday Night Family Zoom call. Interesting how these Roagna '14s are so much more closed than recent '15 G. Mascarello and '18 Burlotto Langhe Nebbiolo that we have had recently. Lots of grippy drying tannins still present, along with cherries and herbs. If it were not quarantine these would be headed to storage for a few more years.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2008 Levy & McClellan Ampersand USA, California, Napa Valley
2nd bottle opened for the weekly Friday Family Zoom. A complete 180 from the '14 Roagna Langhe Nebbiolo which was a bit tight and structured. This is a big, higher alcohol full throttle Napa Cab - raised on ripe fruit and new oak. Jeez - talk about a palate reset! Not my preferred style to drink anymore, so just a glass for me, I find the ripeness and high ABV to fatiguing.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Vilmart & Cie Champagne Premier Cru Cuvée Rubis France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru
Popped this for the Saturday night On-Line/Off-line Zoom. Consistent with my prior notes - always delicious and one of my favorite Rosés - so glad Envoyer offers these at attractive pricing on a pretty regular basis. After this still have 2 more left at home to see us through quarantine.
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Red
2010 Arnot-Roberts Syrah North Coast USA, California, North Coast
2nd bottle opened for the On-line/Off-line and totally consistent with prior notes - savory, elegant and delicious! Great effort by A-R!
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2015 Tenuta Russo Bruno Greco di Tufo Italy, Campania, Greco di Tufo DOCG
After 3 dry nights suffering with severe spring allergies - it was a pleasure to enjoy a glass of wine again. Consumed over two nights and consistent with prior notes. Great house white for daily drinking goes great with food and goes down easy.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2017 Jean-Luc Jamet Côtes du Rhône Couzou France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
Opened this for the Thursday Zoom Happy Hour. White peaches and some melon, rich mouthfeel and you know you are in the Northern Rhone, enough brightness to keep it fresh. Finish is not as long as some others, but an enjoyable wine.
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White
2016 Benoit Roseau St. Joseph Blanc France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
2nd bottle opened for the Thursday Zoom Happy Hour. I was hoping the first bottle was perhaps an anomaly, but this confirms that the wine is just not for me. The bitterness on the back palate and finish is too off-putting along with a fatter profile lacking enough acidity. Not a repurchase.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 7 - Quarantine Week 5 - Friday 4//10 - Thursday 4/16 (8 notes)

Crush offered some older Benetiere Condrieus - so was glad to jump on that offer which was delivered the next day! So glad that wine sales and delivery is considered an essential service.

Skipped the Friday Family Zoom this week - to do Happy Hour with close NY friends that we have missed seeing during quarantine!

For Easter Sunday we stepped back into the world of ordering in from Restaurants. Decided to splurge out with a meal from Carbone - which was delicious. Double order to have left over the following week.

Weds nights now full with another weekly Zoom Happy Hour this one with girlfriends in TX, CA and MA. We are all looking forward to happier times.

Attended my first Pressoir winemaker chat on Zoom - this one featuring Jeremy Seysses from Dujac. Unfortunately I did not have any Dujac on hand to try, but really appreciated the informative conversation about his whole cluster approach to wine making.

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Savart Champagne Premier Cru Bulle de Rosé Brut France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru
Friday night virtual happy hour again - 4 weeks into the NYC lockdown! Last bottle and similar to prior experience. At $78 a bottle not sure this is a repurchase as there are interesting rosés available at sub $50, but during lockdown you drink what you got - still quite enjoyable.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
2010 Marie et Pierre Bénetière Condrieu France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu
Fri - 4/10 Picked this up from an offer from Crush just a few days ago and popped and poured for a Zoom Happy Hour with friends. We are Condrieu fans and prefer them with a bit of age, so were looking forward to trying. Waxy texture, white florals on the nose, stone fruit but it was all a bit muted. Enjoyable but not as complex or interesting as the '07 vintage we tried the next night.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
White
2007 Marie et Pierre Bénetière Condrieu France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu
Picked this up from last week's Crush offer. Popped and poured for our weekly Saturday on-line/offline. YUM!! Totally delicious and everything I really enjoy in a nicely aged Condrieu. Nose is pretty, color is golden. On the palate this has beeswax, stone fruit, a bit of citrus pith, honeycomb, and minerals on the long finish. Great balance and mouthfeel, lots of layers. Much more interesting than the '10 vintage which we also picked up in the offer.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1974 Oddero Barolo Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Purchased this from Chambers St. about 8 months ago - decided to pop this open for a weekly zoom on-line/off-line with friends. Decanted for about 4 hours prior to serving. Minimal sediment, clean cork. This was drinking exceptionally well. Nose of dried cherries and florals. On the palate fully mature with dried cherry, resolved tannins, earthy complexity nice finish. Really enjoyable to share (at least virtually) with friends.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
2017 Domaine Monier Perréol St. Joseph Blanc France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
Consumed over 3 nights. This producer is becoming one of my favorites for St. Joseph Blanc - a real mouthful of rich delicious, yet well balanced Marsanne. Should have bought a case of these when there was more on the shelf.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2017 Thibaud Boudignon Anjou France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Anjou
Another Zoom Happy Hour - popped this open after finishing the last glass of the Monier-Perreol St. Joseph Blanc and it was quite a jarring transition. The acidity here is so bright and tart particularly in contrast to the fatter Northern Rhone. This has all the stuff in the right places though, bright and mineral with juicy tropical fruit. Really zesty on the gums. Enjoyable!
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
2018 Benanti Etna Bianco Italy, Sicily, Etna DOC
Thursday night Zoom Happy Hour with friends. Transitioning to this after a glass of the Boudignon Anjou Blanc - quite different. Love the texture of the Carricante - there is a richness that is supported by bright acidity and minerals. Apple and pear, with almost a sea saltiness on the finish and some waxy texture. Delicious and a great value at $24.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Roagna Langhe Rosso Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
Finishing the evening up with a glass of red - this was a pop and pour. My preference would be to let these sit for a few more years, but during quarantine you work with what you have on hand. Aromatic nose of red fruit and dried flowers. Light colored and light bodied, red fruits, tannins, and some notes of tea leaves and spice. Enjoyable - but suspect a couple of years would soften the tannins a bit.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 8 - Quarantine Week 6 - Friday 4/17 - Thursday 4/23 (8 notes)

The news in NYC seems to be getting better - the curve flatter - less sirens blaring down the street all day long. The days are getting longer and spring has fully arrived. Things seem a bit more hopeful. Shelter in place order extended to May 15th. We can do this!!

Friday night family Happy Hour switched from FaceTime to Zoom this week after getting my mother-in-law set up on the Zoom app. Huge improvement in connectivity and clarity.

Saturday night take-in dinner tonight was PIZZA!!! It was friggin awesome - can't believe it had been so long since we have had it. Again ordered double so we could have leftovers.

A fun new experience this week with a blind tasting for charity organized by some NYC wine lovers. We each received the same bottle wrapped in tin foil and submitted our guesses on-line. Sunday we had a Zoom reveal and raised a nice amount of money for service worker relief. Seems as if it will be a weekly event. The winemaker was Pierre Cotton from Beaujolais, on Tuesday we followed up with a live Zoom Chat from his property where he walked us around to see the vineyards and discussed his winemaking process.

Our Thursday Zoom call was expanded this week to included everyone's parents as special guests. Fun to connect with everyone and here some interesting stories from their memories of WWII and their parents reflections on life during the Spanish Flu. Lot's to be learned from this generation.

White
2010 Marie et Pierre Bénetière Condrieu France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu
Opened our second bottle for the Friday weekly Family Zoom Happy Hour - consistent with first bottle - good but not a standout. Not a repurchase for me at this price point - '07 was much better.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Copain Syrah Les Voisins USA, California, North Coast, Yorkville Highlands
Popped and poured this for our weekly Family Zoom Happy Hour. Pleasantly surprised - this was quite tasty - really crunchy, juicy red fruit (cranberry notes), tannins resolved, acidity bright and an enjoyable savory finish.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
2018 Clusel-Roch Condrieu Verchery France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu
Weekly Sat night on-line/off-line. Quite different to the '07/10 Benetiere Condrieu we had recently - this was young and fresh. Very floral and fragrant nose. On the palate fleshy white peaches, mild acids and a long mineral finish - less beeswax than I pick up generally in older vintages. Very enjoyable - would definitely purchase again but if not for quarantine would like to let this age a bit for further complexity.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 Pierre Cotton Côte de Brouilly 100% Cotton France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Côte de Brouilly
Blind wine. Color is dark red but a bit translucent. Lots of red fruit and a touch of funk on the nose. Crunchy juicy red fruits, brights acidity, medium weight, some herbal stemmy notes. My guess was 2017 Gamay Beaujolais - Morgon Foillard Cote du Py. I was feeling strongly that it was Beaujolais and this is the producer I have had the most. Tasty wine and got to zoom with the winemaker a few days later to learn more about his wines. Fun tasting!
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Portlandia Vintners Pinot Noir Momtazi Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
Consumed over three nights - declined on night 3. I don't drink much Pinot Noir and almost none from the US. This was a very nice bottle for the price point. Really acid and red fruit driven, crunchy and juicy on the palate, with a lighter mouthfeel and a savory finish. Enjoyed.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Laherte Frères Champagne Rosé Ultradition France, Champagne
Disgorged 10-18, 100% Meunier, Dosage 6.5-8.5g. Did a reload on these by local delivery for quarantine. A very easy drinking rosé, red fruited with minerals - lively but more simple. For the price point, I am quite happy.

Arrived in the morning and popped this for the weekly Thursday Zoom call with friends. This week was "Meet the Parents" night - everyone invited their separately quarantined parents to join in - to ease loneliness and share the fun.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2017 Giuseppe E Figlio Mascarello Langhe Nebbiolo dai Vigneti di Proprietà Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
Arrived today and popped open for our Thursday Zoom call with friends. Pale, translucent red color. Fragrant nose of red berries, florals and herbs. Light weight mouth feel, elegant and silky with some tannins around the edge, red fruits and a bit of spice on finish. Enjoyable!
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2017 Domaine Jamet Côtes du Rhône Blanc France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
2nd set of quarantine cases from local retailers arrived today - happy to get 6 of these from Crush. 50% Marsanne, 30% Viognier, 10% each Roussanne & Grenache Blanc. Drank this over 2 nights on (Day 1 and Day 3). Really delicious right now, but suspect this will add weight with a few years of cellar time. Floral aromatics, stone fruit with apricot and citrus and that lovely character from he Viognier adds depth here. A great effort!
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 9 - Quarantine Week 7 - Friday 4/24 - Thursday 4/30 (8 notes)

NYC CoronaVirus news is improving, but Cabin Fever and desperation about being trapped inside for another month is at an all time high. How the heck are we going to make it through the summer months??? Again realize we are very fortunate to have the option of sheltering safely at home, with plenty of food to eat and work from home conditions. It is the lack of access to the outdoors which is wearing on us. Tough to socially distance on the streets - on nice days the walking paths and sidewalks are full of walkers, runners, and bikers. We have opted to minimize our time outside but we miss the fresh air. A big question we are pondering is whether we should rent a place in the country for the summer so we can spend more time outside when the weather turns hotter - no idea when NYC will be back to some kind of normal. Unfortunately with minimal experience in summer rentals we are quite surprised to see how much this will cost and end up reigning in plans a bit - not an economic environment to be making large commitments.

On Sunday, I did my second Pressoir wine chat on Zoom with Rudolphe Peters from Pierre Peters. Once again I did not have the opportunity to source the wine in advance, but enjoyed learning about this winemaker, the family history and style of the wines. Have enjoyed these wines in the past and look forward to trying more of them in the future.

Tuesday was a gorgeous day - sunny, blue skies and 65 degrees - a perfect day for the Blue Angels/Thunderbirds flyover to salute the health care and first responders. We were able to go on our roof along with about 40 neighbors - all in masks - while still enough space to stand more than 6 feet apart. One little girl said - "Wow mom we are standing near people!" It was very uplifting and we started to feel a little better about the future.

Tuesday evening was the second catch up with my old Boston friends - fun to see how everyone is doing and here about the college admissions process as many of them have graduating seniors (well without actually having any graduation ceremonies this year).

Woohoo!! Our new cloth masks (aka face coverings as DeBlasio now wants us to call them) have arrived. Ordered them about 4 weeks ago off Instagram and was a bit skeptical as to whether they would ever show up. Since we wear them whenever we are outside they need to be washed every night so having more than 3 makes life much easier.

Weekly Zoom calls going strong - family and friends - connecting on-line is the lifeline.

White
2012 Marie et Pierre Bénetière Condrieu Le Riollement France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu
Popped this for the weekly Family Zoom call. Was really excited to try this but have to say, don't think it is ready for prime time yet. I agree with danstrings comment below that it was "steely and mineral" - but to me this came across a bit unyielding. I would like to see more complexity and mouthfeel come through. At this price point ($74), I will hold my second bottle for another 5 years to see what develops.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Copain Pinot Noir Les Voisins USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
Opened for Friday Family Zoom and finished on Saturday Friends Zoom. I didn't taste this until night 2. Purchased from winery at release, but my palate has shifted quite a bit since then so was pleasantly surprised with how this was drinking. No sweet over the top cherry cola flavors here - more tart cherry, with a medium weight mouth feel. I enjoyed the tartness and freshness on the palate.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2018 Hatzidakis Winery Assyrtiko Santorini Familia Greece, Aegean, Cyclades, Santorini
Opened for the Saturday night Friends Happy Hour Zoom. Agree with previous notes that this is a bit of a softer wine, but I also found that the slightly softer acids, let a refreshing salinity come forward, which was really noticeable on the finish. We drank this without the benefit of food, so found this very crushable and enjoyable - bottle disappeared quickly.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Domaine des Tours Vaucluse France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Vaucluse
Opened for the Saturday night On-line/Off-line. Wow what a difference a year makes as I looked back on my note from April 2019. The nose is powerfully and beautifully fragrant - perfumed potpourri and florals. Color is very translucent and pale. On the palate this is more delicate and herbal with red fruits, tea leaves and fragrant herbs. Super light on the palate with a lasting finish. YUM - made me very happy.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2017 Domaine Jamet Côtes du Rhône Blanc France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
Drank this over three nights - no decline and equally enjoyable on all nights. Similar to first bottle drinking really nice - just a lovely northern rhone white blend.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2018 Clos des Mourres Vaucluse Pompette France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Vaucluse
Last bottle of this and that is okay. Opened for a Zoom Happy Hour on Weds with a half bottle leftover that I will use for cooking. Strong herbal fennel note a bit too overpowering.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2012 Château des Tours Côtes du Rhône Blanc France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
Last bottle of this which makes me sad - had meant to hold onto a few, but quarantine is not good for at home supply! Opened this for our Thursday night zoom call and it was a delicious way to start the evening. Consistent with prior experience - this is drinking beautifully now. Deep golden color. Creamy mouthfeel with stone fruit flavors - waxy texture - finishes with honeyed notes. YUM!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2017 Giuseppe E Figlio Mascarello Langhe Nebbiolo dai Vigneti di Proprietà Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
Popped and poured for our Thursday night friends Zoom Happy Hour. We wanted to transition to a lighter red following the '12 Chateau des Tours Blanc. This was the only thing on hand that fit the bill (wish I had grabbed some more as this was the last bottle). Very light mouth meal with dried cherries and herbs and some dusty tannins that grab the tongue on the finish. Very tasty!
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 10 - Quarantine Week 8 - Friday 5/1 - Thursday 5/7 (8 notes)

This week is off to a great start - my local small grocer had gallon jugs of hand sanitizer and bleach available today as well as lots of TP and Paper Towels - thank goodness for small things!!!

On Friday we received our blind bottles for Covid Cuvee #2 - a blind wine tasting event that has so far raised $5,000 in aid of the Service Workers Coalition. This group is providing aid to out of work NYC restaurant workers by providing them with $50 per week grocery vouchers. The wine procurement and shipping are handled by Convive Wines through a donation and the proceeds collected from the participants are given to the charity. This week it was two white wines - particularly challenging as neither of these were in my frame of reference for identification so it was some wild guessing! At the reveal session on Sunday - the organizer arranged for the two winemakers to join the call and talk about their wines.

On Saturday, our friends invited us to join them for a private tasting chat with Maggie Harrison from Antica Terra. The focus of the call was to be on some other producers she loves (our friends picked Vatan, Quintarelli & Selosse). We ended up talking about much broader topics related to the quarantine, her journey into wine, why she loves Vatan's wines so much and the art of drying grapes. A fun and informative 90 minutes.

The weather this weekend was off the charts beautiful - 70+ degrees and lots of sunshine. We took advantage, but still socially distanced by staying away from he Hudson River Park and took long walks both days down to Tribeca and back on city streets (the sidewalks were still fairly empty). So good to get out and move the legs!

Cuomo announced his NY state reopening plans on Monday - unfortunately as we guessed NYC is still a long way from meeting the requirements with only 3 of the 7 metrics met. Suspect we are stuck inside until mid June at least.

Woohoo - found out our local dog groomer is back open for very limited socially distanced intakes. Got an appointment for later in May so the fur ball that is our Cavalier will get her puppy cut and stop leaving massive hairballs all over the apartment! Hey at least one of the 3 of us will be looking good:-)

Great news - we may have found a house to get out of the city for the summer through friends of close friends. Feeling hopeful!

White
2018 Le Sot de l'Ange Touraine-Azay-le-Rideau Sec Symbole France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Touraine-Azay-le-Rideau
Covid Cuvee #2 - wine 1 - blind tasting for charity to support NYC restaurant workers. Opened this for our Friday night Zoom call - revisited on night 2 and again on Sunday for the reveal. Pale color and minimal aromatics. Very high tension on this wine, the acidity is off the charts, tart green mouth watering apple and finishes with mineral chalkiness. My guess was that is 2018 Chablis (not enough experience to guess a producer), my husband thought Chenin Blanc. Turns out he was right. 70% Chenin Blanc and 30% Sauvignon Blanc - made in amphora with no added sulphur. The winemaker Quentin Bourse explained this was atypical soil for the Loire, very rocky with lots of natural acidity. This was my preferred wine of the two, but it needs food to balance the acid.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2017 Domaine Sylvain Pataille Bourgogne-Aligoté France, Burgundy, Bourgogne-Aligoté
Covid Cuvee #2 - wine 2 - blind tasting for charity to support NYC restaurant workers. Opened this for our Friday night Zoom call - revisited on night 2 and again on Sunday for the reveal. Pale color and again minimal aromatics. Much softer than wine #1 (the Chenin/SB blend), less up front acid, more yellow apple than tart green apple, some mineral finish shows more on Days 2 and 3. A bit of wild guess for me, didn't taste like something I was familiar with so I guessed 2018 Aligoté (no idea of producer), which surprisingly turned out to be correct at least for the variety. Sylvaine Pataille explained that his vines are 50 years old (60% from Champ Forey which is limestone and gravel and 40% from Auvonnes which is clay & marl). He explained that much of the Aligoté that is farmed is grown on the fertile soil of the plain, which produces boring fruit. His grapes are grown on more challenging terroir which stresses the vines - he referred to the variety as a "terroir sponge" - which is why the flinty finish comes through on this wine. The Aligoté is one of the last grapes to be harvested and he therefore feels with global warming this will be a variety that continues to expand in production.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Laherte Frères Champagne Rosé Ultradition France, Champagne
Popped this open for our afternoon chat with Maggie Harrison from Antica Terra. Perfect wine for afternoon drinking - light and goes down easy without food - the dosage here keeps it more round and quaffable.
Red
2016 Domaine Jamet Syrah Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes
Popped and poured for the Saturday night Zoom On-line/Off-line. Sure as heck smells like the Northern Rhone - dark fruits and a bit savage. This has improved a bit since the last time I tried in Nov-2018 - lost a bit of its youthful jamminess and leans more to the savory now which I prefer. In a good drinking window but should hold well for at least another 5 years. Tasty!!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Arnot-Roberts Syrah North Coast USA, California, North Coast
Opened as the last bottle for our Sat night Zoom on-line/off-line, just a small glass than held over until Tuesday night with minimal decline. After the Jamet VdP Syrah - this was a bit less powerful but still savory and elegant and showing well. Down to our last bottle now - this has served us very well during quarantine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2017 J.L. Chave Sélection St. Joseph Circa France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
A rare Tuesday night indulgence with the husband - a beautiful day in NYC we decided to try a 7pm pot banging and sunset drink on the common roof deck. Easy to socially distance as only 3 neighbors were up there. The wine delivered nicely as it has continued to do - really easy drinking St. Joseph Blanc.
White - Sparkling
N.V. Brocard Pierre Champagne Brut Tradition France, Champagne
Opened for the Weds Zoom call. This has a rich nose with brioche notes. On the palate a richer mouthfeel, with brioche, softer bubbles and easy drinking style. 80% Pinot Noir, 10% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Blanc, dosage 6g - no disgorgement information on the label. I enjoyed this and it was easy to quaff without food, but not for the lean, racy champagne lover. Stoppered this up and revisited the next evening and it held over well without showing deline.
White
2018 Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet (Hervé Souhaut) Ardèche Blanc France, Rhône, Ardèche
Opened for our Thursday night Zoom Happy Hour in honor of our friend who loves Souhaut - even though we were unable to share. A bit more funk on the nose here than some other St. Joseph Blancs we have been drinking, but this blows off with time in the glass. Some interesting layers here on the palate, with tropical fruit alongside the stone fruit and some good acidity carrying through to the finish. Very enjoyable.

Flight 11 - Quarantine Week 9 - Friday 5/8 - Thursday 5/14 (4 notes)

Friday kicked off with three events:
-The Flat Iron Wines Instagram Live with Alexandre Chartogne from Chartogne-Taillet at 5pm. Opened the '16 Heurtebise for this and it was a total baby killing. First time doing an IG Live and not sure I loved the format - but was happy to have the opportunity to hear about the wines from a grower whose wines I really enjoy!

- Zoom catch up with the Rhone Commanderie members. Decided to open a magnum of 2010 Ogier L'Âme Sœur that I purchased at auction a few years back. Had been saving this for a larger gathering, but what the heck. Interesting to hear how everyone is doing and where they have scattered off to for the quarantine.

- Weekly Family Zoom call - where we proceeded to make a dent in the magnum.

Saturday kicked off with the noon Pressoir at Home session with Jean Gonon - another favorite wine maker. One of my favorite visits on our 2018 trip to the Rhone. We opened the '16 Les Oliviers to taste during the call which was exceptional! That evening we finished up the Gonon, the Heurtebise and the Ogier magnum at our weekly on-line/off-line with friends.

Great news that our summer rental of a friend of friends home in NH is confirmed. Great property on a very large plot of land with direct access to hiking trails and lots of outdoor space. So excited to get out of the city and into nature for the summer!

White - Sparkling
2016 Chartogne-Taillet Champagne Blanc de Blancs Heurtebise France, Champagne
Disgorged Nov-2019, ~5g/litre dosage, 100% Chardonnay. Purchased and opened this for the Flat Iron Instagram Live session with Alexandre Chartogne. Ideally this bottle should be held for another 5 years before opening. Lots of great material here but it is so tightly spooled right now. It only started to peak its head out with an hour in the glass and a bit more on Day 2.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Michel & Stéphane Ogier L'Âme Sœur Syrah de Seyssuel France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes
From Magnum - popped and poured and consumed over two nights. Opened this for Zoom session with the Commanderie followed by the weekly Family Zoom on Friday night. This is drinking in a nice place right now, although I am sure it will continue to hold for many years. Clearly Northern Rhone in style but a bit more modern and concentrated in dark fruit flavors than some of the producers I usually gravitate to. The savory notes lie behind the dark berries, which comes through quite juicy but not in anyway jammy. It gets better with air and is a bit more interesting on Day 2 than Day 1.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2016 Pierre Gonon St. Joseph Blanc Les Oliviers France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
Purchased and opened this for the Saturday Pressoir at Home session with Jean Gonon. Revisited that evening for our weekly On-line/Off-line with friends. It was friggin delicious and I am so glad I have 3 more bottles stashed away at the offsite wine storage. For me probably one of the best expressions of St. Joseph Blanc - silky mouthfeel, rich white peach, fresh acidity and minerals. Lovely way to start the day!
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Laherte Frères Champagne Rosé Ultradition France, Champagne
Opened for my Weds. night Zoom Happy Hour - consumed over 3 nights. Similar to prior experience - easy drinking style rosé champagne. Enjoyable but in retrospect probably not a repurchase at this price point ($45) - as there are others that drink similar for closer to $30.

Flight 12 - Quarantine Week 10 - Friday 5/15 - Thursday 5/21 (6 notes)

The weather really turned the corner this week with Friday and Saturday absolutely warm and lovely outside. On Friday, we decided to venture up to the common roof deck to enjoy some wine. Definitely more busy then it has been, but still able to safely social distance at tables. Pushed back the start of the family call so we could enjoy the sunset and relax a bit.

On a Saturday afternoon walk around the West Village we witnessed a lot of block party style gatherings in the streets. Lots of stoop sitting and mingling outside of bars and restaurants with cocktails and no masks. A little bit concerning as the city's numbers have finally come down so much - but the natives are starting to get restless.

Saturday was 72 degrees and beautiful - so back to the rooftop for pot banging and some champagne before the weekly on-line/offline. All this outdoors time is making us feel alive again!!

We are starting to think about some socially distanced gatherings with friends in NYC - big step!!! Thinking that will be outdoors with masks, perhaps a picnic or a stoop sit, bringing own utensils/plates and food - but perhaps able to share some good bottles of wine. Fun to think about seeing people again.

Thursday was a milestone day to end the week - dog groomer was open and our 9 year Cavalier got an awesome puppy cut! She looks like she lost 5 pounds and it put a bounce in her step. You don't realize how much you miss the small things.

Tried something new on the Thursday night Zoom - a trivia game that I created using Trivia Maker - allows you to share the game screen to the Zoom call. It was fun and a good way to add some diversion. Also crushed the remaining half bottle of Legras BdB and two bottles of the Xavier Gerard Viognier because it was so darn good.

White
2017 Jean-Luc Jamet Côtes du Rhône Couzou France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
Friday night glass of wine on the roof deck - feels almost normal! This is drinking very nicely and seems to disappear far too quickly as we head back downstairs for the weekly family Zoom. Last of our bottles and I will reload on these if I find them.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
2018 Clusel-Roch Condrieu Verchery France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu
Second bottle for the Friday night family Zoom. Very youthful and fresh - more floral and aromatic, with bright stone fruit notes and mineral finish. For me this is probably too young for optimal enjoyment, but during quarantine we drink what we have on hand.
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. José Michel & Fils Champagne Brut Rosé France, Champagne
The Envoyer shipment just arrived so we started the evening with a bottle of this on the roof - gorgeous 70 degree weather today! At $29.99 this is a great value - drinks similar to the Laherte Freres Ultradition rosé we had a few days prior (softer, easy drinking style), but $15 cheaper. Strawberry fruit, some lemon, round in the mouthfeel - easy quaffer.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2017 J.L. Chave Sélection St. Joseph Circa France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
Second bottle of the evening for our weekly Zoom On-line/Off-line. Really enjoy this it just drinks really nicely with that beeswax, white peach and florals. Super tasty.
White - Sparkling
N.V. R. & L. Legras Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
Popped this for the Wednesday night Zoom and finished the bottle the next day. Enjoyable but less interesting than I remember from previous outings. Some toast and lemon zest but the dosage on the finish is sticking out a bit for me tonight.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
2017 Xavier Gerard Viognier France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes
A case of this arrived this morning. Truth be told I was looking at pictures of our 2019 trip to Sydney and remembering we celebrated our bridge climb with two bottles of this at a boozy lunch at the Park Hyatt. Got me thinking about how much I enjoyed this wine for the price so popped on Wine Searcher and low and behold a local wine store has the '17 in stock. A few days later - voila here is my case! In accordance with that memory and our enjoyment of this wine tonight - we crushed two bottles on the Thursday night Zoom - yikes! Super easy drinking Viognier - a rich palate with that beeswax texture, but acidity and minerals that hold the line. Not a wine for everyone but we love Viognier and this is affordable and early drinking yum!
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 13 - Quarantine Week 11 - Friday 5/22 - Thursday 5/28 (16 notes)

Memorial Day Weekend has arrived and the weather on Friday afternoon was great. We signed off early and headed over to Madison Square Park with some sippy cups full of Goutorbe Rosé. Surprised to see they had added the socially distanced circles onto the main lawn we decided to take advantage and parked ourselves in a circle enjoying the afternoon, the city and being in public with other humans (albeit from a safe distance.)

Friday night family call I tried another game from Trivia Maker this one a Family Feud game. Split the family into Born before '63 and 63 or after. Lots of hijinx ensued with the younger team taking home the win. Got to keep mixing things up to keep it fresh.

Saturday was a rainy wash out - so did some baking (lemon poppy scones) and hunkered down and binge watched Season 1 of Goliath with Billy Bob Thornton. Good series. We held off opening wine until the call and then had bad luck with a '64 F. Rinaldi Barolo that I was looking forward to. Moved on to the '08 Desert CF which did not do it for me. Not a wine night.

Sunday was a first - we met friends in person for a socially distanced stoop sit in the afternoon. Wow the pleasure of human company so much fun. Bonus was we got to witness a very small wedding taking place across the street. Feeling alive and human again.

Monday our social fun continued as we met friends for a socially distanced picnic in Bryant Park. Significant amount of hand sanitizer and wipes to wipe down the tables and chairs. Distanced the tables appropriately, brought our own food and glasses but shared the wine. No touching each others bottles. Super pleasant and relaxing way to spend a beautiful afternoon. The catch to these outings is no-one wants to use a public restroom so you keep them to two hours so you can get home before you are desperate. So nice to see friends and be outside - seriously the small things we would have taken for granted before the pandemic become so special!

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Henri Goutorbe Champagne Grand Cru Brut Rosé France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
Received my Envoyer shipment earlier in the week and happy that it included a case of this. A great house Rosé champagne to have around. Friday afternoon was the kickoff to Memorial Day weekend - so we headed over to the local park and enjoyed a bottle of this in our social distanced 6 foot circle. First time in a park sitting on the grass since quarantine started - drinking a delightful Champagne - what is not to love!!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1964 Francesco Rinaldi e Figli Barolo Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
flawed
Decanted this a few hours in advance - cork was a soppy mess and the wine was very brown and quite musty on the nose. Was hoping some airtime would add color and liven up the wine - alas it was not to be. Either corked or just Dead on Arrival - this puppy was undrinkable sadly:-(
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2008 Detert Family Vineyards Cabernet Franc Oakville USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
Opened for the Friday night Zoom call with family. After the miss on the '64 Francesco Rinaldi Barolo we decided to go in an entirely different direction. Perhaps too big a swing for me - while I have appreciated this wine more recently tonight I just felt it was too fruit forward and heavy in alcohol. Didn't have me reaching for more - alas I think my palate has really moved on.
White - Sparkling
2014 Coessens Champagne Millésimé France, Champagne
Popped this open for the Saturday night On-Line/Off-line. First time with this producer and was very impressed. Picked these up from an Envoyer offer last year, without knowing too much about the grower other than some mention of Selosse in the offer. Loved this and thought it really performed above the $60 price point. Simultaneously lots of brioche and crispness really well crafted and delicious! Will look to add more to the cellar.
Red
2017 Franck Balthazar Cornas Sans Soufre Ajouté France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
2nd bottle for the Saturday On-line/Off-line and another winner. Took a bit of a flyer here given the youth, but gosh darn this is drinking really well. The dark juicy, juicy fruit and tart acidity, earth and subtle meaty smoky flavors playing really well together right now. Super delicious!
Red - Sparkling
2017 Podere Giardino Reggiano Suoli Cataldi Italy, Emilia-Romagna, Reggiano
Received this as a gift from house guests after tasting a local wine shop tasting. My impression was that all Lambrusco was a sweet syrupy mess with bubbles, but clearly I was mistaken. This wine is very refreshing - tart red berries and light bubbles - quite gulpable actually and rather pleasant. Not sure I would seek it out but would definitely drink this again if offered.
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Henri Goutorbe Champagne Grand Cru Brut Rosé France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
A first for us during the quarantine - we met up with friends for a socially distance stoop sitting hang. Only four of us - spaced six feet apart and so enjoyable!! Started off with the Goutourbe to toast the milestone. Equally delicious to prior experiences this went down very fast and easy.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2017 Xavier Gerard Viognier France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes
Second bottle for the stoop sit with friends. We love the wine!! To be honest they pretty much straight up hated it - for the same reasons we like it. Rich, unctuous mouthfeel, waxy stone fruit - long finish. No worries more for us:-). I do find that Viognier is one of the more polarizing grape varieties.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Loredan Gasparini Capo di Stato Colli Trevigiani IGT Italy, Veneto, Colli Trevigiani IGT
Enjoyed during our socially distanced stoop sitting with friends. Still quite young with grippy tannins this was a bit of a transition from the Xavier Gerard Viognier. A cab suavignon, merlot, cab franc, merlot blend - this clearly tasted more old world than new as it was not forward and had some good acidity. Would like to revisit this with at least 5 more years of bottle age.
Red
2004 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
Our friends shared this with us as a last quick pour for our socially distanced stoop sitting. Much more powerful with dark fruits than the Italian wine we had prior. I found it a bit too powerful with some heat from alcohol on the finish. My appreciation for Napa cabs has seriously declined, so I am not really a neutral observer.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
1986 Taittinger Champagne Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut France, Champagne
Memorial Day in Bryant Park - our first socially distanced picnic with NYC friends we have not seen since February. This was their generous contribution and a lovely way to kick off the beautiful sunny afternoon. The nose is quite oxidized, but the wine is still very much alive. Super toasty, caramelized brioche, toasted honey, bubbles are barely there but the depth of flavor is lovely. I really dig old champagne and this was a thoroughly enjoyable!
White - Sparkling
N.V. Champagne Suenen Champagne Grand Cru C + C Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
Memorial Day - socially distanced picnic in Bryant Park. After the '86 Taittinger Comté - this was quite a change up, but still interesting and enjoyable. Base wine 2016 - Disgorged 11/6/19, 3 g/l dosage. Super young - this was sacrificed for research and celebration (my friends like Suenen and I think this is one they have not tried yet). More to the racy, energetic side with lots of chalk, fruit leaning to pear flavors and minerals. I quite enjoyed this for a young champagne that definitely seems age worthy - let these lie if you have them.
White
2007 Marie et Pierre Bénetière Condrieu France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu
3rd bottle for our socially distanced picnic. I am on record as a big Viognier fan - and the '07 Condrieu from Benetiere is right on point. A nice age for enjoyment now - this is honeyed with great texture, while retaining acidity and minerality on the finish. Delicious!
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
2018 Ridge Adelaida Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles Adelaida District
Last bottle of the outing and did not have as much, but such and interesting comparison point to the '07 Benetiere Condrieu. While white Rhone varieties, this tasted much leaner and racier than the Condrieu side by side. When sipped alone the varietal character was more noticeable and enjoyable. Still a baby I would hold for a few more years.
White
2015 Eric Texier Côtes du Rhône-Brézème Vieille Roussette Domaine de Pergaud France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône-Brézème
This is one of the higher acid Rhone whites, we have tried this year. Very fresh on the palate, stone fruit, herbs and wet stones. Lovely!
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. José Michel & Fils Champagne Brut Rosé France, Champagne
Such an easy drinking and tasty house champagne. Always enjoyable and a great way to start an evening.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 14 - Quarantine Week 12 - Friday 5/29 - Thursday 6/4 (6 notes)

White - Sparkling
2008 Duménil Champagne Premier Cru Millésimé France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru
First time with this producer, took a flyer on it from the Envoyer offer last year. Not sure I would repeat - I found this a bit soft and apple forward, not as lively or fresh with the dosage a bit prominent. Not terrible, just many choices available that align better with my palate at this price point. ($40).
Red
2017 Franck Balthazar Cornas Sans Soufre Ajouté France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
Second outing with this wine and again it was just delicious! Wow I wish I had purchased more when this was offered. Prices have now gone up quite a bit. Drinking really well now at this young age.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Moussé Fils Champagne 'Rosé Éffusion' Extra Brut France, Champagne
92% Meunier, 8% Pinot Noir - Disgorged 4/3/19 - Dosage 4 g/l. Brought this to an early evening picnic with friends in Madison Square Park. Great way to start the evening. This is red fruited, very fresh and lively without being excessively lean and tight. Open and ready to go. I only wished I bought more than 3.
White
2015 Eric Texier Côtes du Rhône-Brézème Vieille Roussette Domaine de Pergaud France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône-Brézème
Brought to picnic in Mad Sq park with friends. Paired great with Caprese sandwiches on a beautiful evening. Lovely balance here of bright acidity and rich stone fruit. Well made wine and a treat for our friend who prefers wines made in the natural style.
White
N.V. Cidrerie Du Leguer BrutBrut France, Vin de France
Our friend brought this to a picnic in Mad Sq Park and it was delicious. At 5.5% alcohol this is super light and refreshing. Light bubbles, tart red apple and a just light blush of sweetness. This went down super fast - great for summer time drinking.
Red
2009 Arnot-Roberts Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County
Opened as a 3rd bottle on night 1 and I was not interested enough to finish the glass. Revisited on Day 2 and it still wasn't wowing me, seemed to be a bit thin with high acidity - not nearly as interesting as some their other Syrahs from this time period I have opened recently.

Flight 15 - Quarantine Week 13 - Friday 6/5 - Thursday 6/11 (4 notes)

Rounding up supplies and making packing lists this week, as we will head out to NH for the summer on Friday. We are told that good TP (Charmin) and Paper Towels (Bounty) are still hard to come by where we are headed as is meat and chicken. We love Dickson's butcher at Chelsea Market - great to support the local business, so I put in a big order that should hold us for the first 4 weeks of our visit and order a cooler big enough to hold it all. The city is on the verge of phase 1 reopening and our building is starting to get much busier in the elevators. Feeling excited to put some space around us for the summer.

Rosé
2019 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Rosé France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon
Consumed over 3 nights - no decline. Easy drinking summer rosé, lots of fresh acidity but not sure I would seek this out again at $20.
Rosé
2019 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Rosé France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon
Popped this open to enjoy on our roof deck the night before heading out of NYC for the summer. Super fresh and quaffable, but not particularly memorable - perfect for a warm evening.
Red
2007 D.R. Stephens Cabernet Sauvignon Walther Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley
Popped and poured this as a follow up to the Baudry Rosé and what a jarring transition from acid driven rosé to bruising '07 Napa cab. Similar to my prior experience this is a bit clunky lots of extracted dark fruit and heat from the alcohol. Last time we decanted this time we didn't. Either way - one glass was enough and the rest went down the sink. Last of the bunch and not sad to see them go.
White
2003 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
Last night in NYC (for the summer) after this long strange year of Corona Virus. We decided to celebrate and open a special bottle. Chave Blanc is a favorite for both myself and the husband so this was ticket. Dark golden color, was worried it might be oxidized but it was still in great shape. Lovely nose of stone fruit and beeswax. On the palate this has great mouthfeel and some weight, rich stone fruit, but enough balancing acidity and then that long resonating finish. A great way to cap off this crazy isolating quarantine season!

Flight 16 - Quarantine Week 14 - Friday 6/12 - Thursday 6/18 (10 notes)

This week begins the new chapter of our adventure with our move to a log cabin in the woods of NH for the summer. 99 acres of solitude, in the shadow of Mt. Kearsage, just a half mile from the Northern Rail Trail. We rented a very large SUV, wiped it down like crazy and loaded it to the gills, with 9 cases of wine, a cooler of frozen meat from Dickson's, yoga mats, computers, some clothes and the pup and headed north. We took a brief socially distanced stop in VT to say hello to my 86 year old mother in law and her sister - they stay inside and have a table and chairs set up outside their windows - great to see them in person and doing well. 7 hours later we arrived at our destination!! Gosh it is like a whole new world - tons of outdoor space and lots of indoor space as well. Exploring the property, discovering the rail trail - have walked more in the first few days than three months combined in the city. So great to be out in nature away from people and not have to wear a mask! With super close friends living near by, we are looking forward to this relaxing summer.

On Saturday we participated in a virtual tasting with Michael Silacci, the winemaker at Opus One, organized by our friends and the Napa Valley Grape Growers Association. We received all the wines in advance. First up was a vertical tasting of the 2015, 2016 and 2017 (not yet released) vintages. Then we did a tasting from small bottles of a Native Yeast Trial project they had conducted. This was based on a conversation Michael had with Eric Asimov in 2012 regarding the use of Native Yeast in Opus One. Each of the four samples was vilified using grapes from the same block but with 3 different native yeast samples and one blend. The wines were labeled Wolf, Squirrel, Hog and Cocktail (the blend). Pretty unanimously the group preferred the blend (Cocktail), with Hog coming in as the second choice, followed by Wolf with Squirrel in last place. Finally we tried wine made from the fruit of the very young vines on our friend's property. Super young and purple but with a much lighter mouthfeel and concentration.

On Tuesday we took our first attempt at hiking up the Barlowe trail to the summit of Mt. Kearsarge. Needless to say, I called quits after a mile up the mountain - it is going to take some time to get these quarantined legs back into cardio hiking shape. For now daily long walks on the Rail Trail will have to suffice.

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. José Michel & Fils Champagne Brut Rosé France, Champagne
Popped this to celebrate our arrival to the summer rental in NH -after unloading the very full car and digging this out of one of the nine cases of wine. Always enjoyable and easy to drink - a house champagne for us that we reload on whenever Envoyer offers.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2017 Simon Bize Bourgogne Blanc Les Perrières France, Burgundy, Bourgogne Blanc
Nose of green apple, on the palate some tart apple notes, lively acids, with a medium mouthfeel and nice finish. Paired with Annie's Mac & Cheese (quick & easy!) which was gobbled down as we were famished after the long drive and unpacking.
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Moussé Fils Champagne 'Rosé Éffusion' Extra Brut France, Champagne
Opened this as a palate cleanser before our Opus One tasting session. Paired with 80% lean Dickson's beef cheeseburgers on Martin's potato buns - YUM!! What a great combination, the cut of the champagne working super well with the fat of the burger. Once again I am regretting not purchasing more of this when offered.
Red
2015 Opus One USA, California, Napa Valley
Pop and Pour. Tasted in vertical of 15,16,17. As Michael noted, 2015 was a vintage that had a number of significant heat spells and is marked by intense fruit and sometimes excessive ripeness. When pulling together the 2015 vintage he sought to choose lots that showed more restraint. This is the most forward of the three vintages, with dark concentrated fruit and some heat on the finish. This will benefit from additional cellar time and a long decant (at least three hours if opening now).
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Opus One USA, California, Napa Valley
Pop and Pour. Tasted in vertical of 15,16,17. Compared to the 2015, this has much more of a red fruit profile with cherry and strawberry aromatics. Definitely more balanced with a higher level of acidity and some baking spice on the finish. Seems to have more length and layers. Again I would cellar this for another decade or decant for a long time for best expression.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2017 Opus One USA, California, Napa Valley
Pop and Pour. Tasted in vertical of 15,16,17. Not yet released, we had the opportunity to taste this with the winemaker in a virtual tasting. 2017 was the year of the fires. The grapes for this vintage were harvested the morning the fires started and the blend excluded anything that was picked during the fires. This was generally the favorite of the three for the group although I preferred the 2016. The finish on this one was very juicy and lively - very nice!
White
2017 Xavier Gerard Viognier France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes
Chilly Sunday evening in NH with a vacation day on Monday - so time to build a fire and drink some wine. Easy to reach for what has become our house Viognier - this just disappears so quickly from the glass. Consistent with prior notes.
White
2015 Eric Texier Côtes du Rhône-Brézème Vieille Roussette Domaine de Pergaud France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône-Brézème
Following up on the Xavier Gerard Viognier, this wine reads much leaner (I know strange to be talking lean with regards to Northern Rhone whites but at a comparison point this holds true). Love the balance in this wine between the stone fruit and the acids. So good - we pulled the trigger on another case of this. Big thumbs up!
Red
2017 Franck Balthazar Côtes du Rhône France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
This one wants a little air to open up (shows some reduction on the nose) - suggest dumping into a decanter and giving it a heavy swirl. Deep saturated color and berry notes on the nose, the palate is dark fruited and savory on the finish. Scratches the itch for Northern Rhone Syrah at $18. Great choice for a daily drinker.
Red
2017 Franck Balthazar Côtes du Rhône France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
Following up on our experience a few days earlier, we threw this in the decanter for a couple of hours before dinner and paired with burgers from the Big Green Egg. Great pairing - super enjoyable for a simple, inexpensive savory wine.

Flight 17 - Quarantine Week 15 - Friday 6/19 - Thursday 6/25 (11 notes)

Week 2 in NH and we are really enjoying our time here. The week kicks off with our first socially distanced dinner with close friends. Trying to devise new protocols for safe dining, but so nice to have company in person and share food and wine. Two days later we repeat the experience at their place to celebrate Father's Day with them and my friend's dad. Starting to feel human again.

On Saturday we decide to tackle the summit trail to the top of Mt. Sunapee. The trail is supposed to be a bit easier than Mt. Kearsarge. Turns out even though the sign says 2 miles, it is closer to 2.8 miles. Totally whipped by ass, but the views from the top were great. My husband suggests that walking down the ski slopes will be a less tiring descent. Unfortunately the rain begins pouring down as we are making our way through thigh high field grass (yikes!). We arrived back at the car soaked and exhausted. Rookie mistake!!

Meanwhile back at the cabin, a wasp decided to build it's nest directly above the front door. First trip to the hardware store to buy wasp spray and a lot of antics as these city slickers adapt to dealing with new dangers:-). We won the first battle with the wasps! More to come on that later.

Another country life oddity - weekly trips to the transfer station. Each week we have to sort the trash and make our way to the transfer station to deposit the right stuff in the right area. Saturday is now referred to as DUMP DAY!

Did a few visits to the lake shore to let the pup swim this week, she is obsessed with swimming and just loves it. She is turning into a total country dog!

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Henri Goutorbe Champagne Grand Cru Brut Rosé France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
Unsure of disgorgement as not included on bottle. 75% Pinot Noir/ 25% Chardonnay. Some tasty pink bubbles to kick off a socially distanced Friday night BBQ with friends. Love the strawberry notes on this which has become a summertime house champagne for us with sharp pricing from Envoyer.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2008 Seavey Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley
Purchased at release and decanted for about two hours prior to serving. Paired this with Filet Mignons cooked on the big green egg. Classic styled Napa cab with years of life ahead. Despite the ripeness of the year this is still quite balanced, with dark fruits and lots of earth and leather notes that I always equate with Seavey cabernets. Tasty now but imagine it will be better in 2025.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2017 J.L. Chave Sélection St. Joseph Offerus France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
Popped, poured and consumed while playing a rousing game of socially distanced shuffle board. This is savory and dark fruited and while super young, quite easy drinking at this point. Tasty and savory and a good value for more accessible Northern Rhone Syrah.
Red
2008 Copain Syrah Brosseau Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Chalone
Purchased at release. Popped and poured, last bottle of the night - so balance was held over until Day 2. Another good showing for one of these aged Copain Syrahs, savory and mature, with a light mouthfeel - a bit more red fruited than dark. Ready to go now, but should hold for a while in the cellar.
White
2018 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Bourgogne Blanc France, Burgundy, Bourgogne Blanc
Drank this over three days. Some stuck match on the nose. Lots of bright acidity on the palate with almost a viscous mouthfeel, long finish of wet stones and tart apple. Similar performance on Day 1 and Day 2, much softer on Day 3.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Henri Goutorbe Champagne Grand Cru Brut Rosé France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
Father's Day BBQ (socially distanced style) at friend's house. Some pink bubbles to kick off the celebration. Consistent performance with prior - always easy drinking and tasty.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2006 Jacques Cacheux & Fils Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Suchots France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru
Popped and poured. From our friend's cellar, served at alongside the Father's Day BBQ of North Country Beef Franks and salad. This had a lightly fragrant nose of cherries and herbs. Drinking fully mature, soft silky mouth feel, cherries and earth. Very pleasant to drink if not particularly complex. Probably time to drink up within the next few years.
White
2016 Domaine Jean-Claude Marsanne St. Joseph Blanc France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
So clearly a Northern Rhone white - with the richness particularly noticeable after finishing the remainder of the PYCM Bourgogne Blanc to start. White peach stone fruit and some touch of bitterness or pith on the finish. Of the St. Joseph Blancs, I would not repurchase this at $45 price. Much happier with the Chave Circa and Monier Perreols at similar or lower price. So okay but not a wow.
White
2019 Pine Ridge Vineyards Chenin Blanc Viognier USA, California, Central Valley, Clarksburg
Screw top closure - very quaffable. Tart citrus flavors with some added weight and mouthfeel from the Viognier. Easy daily quaffer style at this value price point.
White
2018 Thibaud Boudignon Anjou France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Anjou
Opened this for my weekly Wednesday Zoom. Similar to my experience with prior vintages of this wine it improves with some time in the glass and coming up fridge temp. Lots of natural acidity here with a sharp lemon/lime zing but balanced out my a thicker mouthfeel that coats the palate. I would love to revisit this with a few years of bottle age.
White
2015 Eric Texier Côtes du Rhône-Brézème Vieille Roussette Domaine de Pergaud France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône-Brézème
Beautiful night on the patio - so we decided to open a bottle and enjoy the evening. Consistent with prior experience - lovely balance and complex finish.

Flight 18 - Quarantine Week 16 - Friday 6/26 - Thursday 7/2 (10 notes)

A few new quarantine milestones this week. Friday night we met our friend's for an outdoor dinner at The Refinery restaurant. First dinner at a restaurant since March 7th. The restaurant has a tent with open sides and picnic tables set up in their parking lot. Felt so strange to be dining in public again, but distancing was well spaced and it seemed relatively safe.

On Saturday, my husband's brother and his wife came up from CT and spent the night with us to celebrate his birthday. They had their own bedroom and bathroom and we ate and hung outdoors and on the screen porch. So nice to see family in person and talk and laugh. A really fun and memorable evening even if we did drink a bit too much wine. On Sunday, we all took a 4.5 mile walk on the rail trail to clear the cob webs, before they headed back home.

The hot dry weather was broken up by three straight days of pouring rain (Mon-Weds) - time to get the jigsaw puzzles out.

Thursday was Battle #2 with the wasps - this time they won. After the rain cleared we were happy to get outside again, so we decided to move some lawn chairs that were stacked by the side of the house out onto the shady part of the lawn - to enjoy a beer after working out. My chair was fine all good. Husband picked up his chair and was promptly stung multiple times as there was a wasp nest on the underside of the chair. Total swarm - scooped up the dog ran into the house and treated the wounds. Scary!! Back to the hardware store for more wasp spray. Damn those things are nasty!

Red
2014 Roagna Langhe Rosso Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
Popped this open after returning from our first outdoor restaurant experience since the pandemic started (no wine/only beer). As with prior experience the nose on this is quite aromatic, but the tannins are still rather grippy so probably better to enjoy with food, or give it more cellar time. We did neither..... but still enjoyed it.
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Vilmart & Cie Champagne Premier Cru Cuvée Rubis France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru
My husband's brother and his wife came for dinner to celebrate his birthday, so we dined al fresco on the patio and started the celebration with some bubbles. The Vilmart is probably my favorite NV rosé, so I always reload when these are offered. Lean and juicy with red fruit and a nice cut from the acidity. Perfect way to start the evening.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
Was excited to find a few of these at the NH Wine & Liquor outlet, so we were able to pop one for the BIL's birthday celebration. Drinking very well now, despite being very young. Lots of earth and darker red fruit, with a long finish. The tannins while there are not obtrusive. Obviously this will gain more complexity with age, but approachable now as well.
12 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2017 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Bottle 3 for the birthday celebration, and another find from the NH Wine & Liquor Outlet. Ordinarily I would not open this young a CdP, but it too was drinking well and approachable. Juicy red fruited and aromatic Grenache, with cherries and herbs. Clearly will improve with time, but was pretty darn tasty now.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2007 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley USA, California, Napa Valley
The birthday boy's favorite wine of the evening, this Napa cab was a shift from the champagne, Barbaresco and CdP we started with. Mature and pretty balanced for a ripe year, I still found the contrast in lack of acidity from the previous wines to be fairly jarring to the palate. Cali cabs just are not my thing anymore.
1 person found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
2018 Sharon Weeks Cabernet Sauvignon Cattoo Paso Robles USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
Last bottle of the birthday celebration evening - brought by my SIL who belongs to the Naked Wine club. This was a rather light drinking Cali Cab Sauv - no powerhouse fruit, more acidity than I would have expected from a Paso wine and some green notes. I didn't mind this and found it too be a lighter direction for the last bottle of a long night.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
White
2019 La Capranera Falanghina Italy, Campania, Campania IGT
Picked this up for $14 at the NH Wine & Liquor Outlet - one of the few Italian white selections that was not Pinot Grigio. Quaffable, refreshing Italian white - not memorable but not bad.
White
2017 Xavier Gerard Viognier France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes
Another Wednesday night Zoom with friends - going with the house Viognier. So darn tasty that the bottle never lasts the evening.
White
2018 Sandlands Chenin Blanc Lodi USA, California, Central Valley, Lodi
After tempting the husband to have wine on a work night with the Gerard Viognier, we ended up moving on to the Sandlands Chenin. This has a lot of natural acidity and some of that beeswax mouthfeel, but still super young so I am not getting a lot of other complexity coming through at this point. Recommend holding these for a bit.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. José Michel & Fils Champagne Brut Rosé France, Champagne
After tending to the multiple wasp stings inflicted upon the husband, we decided to console his wounds by having some bubbles. Always delicious and easy to drink this was well earned tonight.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 19 - Quarantine Week 17 - Friday 7/3 - Thursday 7/9 (3 notes)

Fourth of July weekend! Kicked off by making our second attempt on Mt. Kearsarge - made it up to 1.75 miles this time but after 90 minutes decided to quit and head back down - no summit today - next time!!

Our friends took us out on their boat for a couple of hours riding around Lake Sunapee in the afternoon and then back to their house for a BBQ. At this point we are considering ourselves a bubble and have largely dropped a lot of the protocols. Although still keeping separate bathrooms and spacing. Beautiful moon tonight.

On Sunday we visited another brother-in-law and family in Bradford NH and hung out on their deck and did a boat ride on Lake Massasecum. Pup got to do a nice swim in the lake again and was totally thrilled and exhausted.

Revenge of the wasps - as the lawn chair hive got zapped along with an active colony in the stone wall around the patio.

White
2007 Marie et Pierre Bénetière Condrieu France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu
Opened this for a Thursday night Zoom call with a good friend and fellow Rhone enthusiast. So delicious that I got the husband to join me and finish the bottle after the call. This '07 Condreiu is in a perfect place right now - just so luscious and complex - super delicious!
White - Sparkling
2008 Duménil Champagne Premier Cru Millésimé France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru
Popped this for my Wednesday night Zoom and finished up the following evening. Consistent with prior experience, this one is just not for me - way too much dosage coming through on the finish. I find it drinks best super cold and as it warms up in the glass the sweet notes become more prominent. At $40, there are far better choices for my palate.
Red
2017 Delas Frères Côtes du Rhône Saint-Esprit France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
Picked this up at the state run NH Liquor & Wine store - very limited selection of wines from the Rhone. Not too bad for a $12 bottle of wine. Memorable - no, but quaffable and basically pleasant - yes! At this price point not a bad choice to scratch the Rhone itch in lieu of other selections. FYI - I really miss the fabulous selection we have the NYC wine stores!!!

Flight 20 - Quarantine Week 18 - Friday 7/10 - Thursday 7/16 (11 notes)

Friday afternoon - we finally made it to the summit of Mt. Kearsarge - albeit via the entry at Rollins State Park which is a much shorter trail (so a bit of a shortcut). We took the Lincoln Trail which start fairly steep with some scrambling over large boulders, but then starts to flatten out with spectacular views over the valley, before getting a bit steep again to the summit. So fun to finally see the views from the top. Returned via the Rollins trail which is less steep and an easier descent.

Friday night dinner at our place with our good friends. I have been trying my hand at making pizza, so started with homemade Margarita pizzas as an appetizer, followed by turkey tacos and watermelon and feta salad and cherry crisp for desert. All this cooking since quarantine - kind of fun, but a lot more work than dialing for take out.

Saturday we got to Zoom with our wine group friends, after missing our catch ups for a few weeks - so great to reconnect and plan some meet ups in person for later in the summer. Celebrated that call by popping an '08 Dom.

Sunday we explored a new walk around Kezar Lake with an add on to the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge greenway. Just so much nature to explore in solitude here - really good for the soul.

Sunday night we were back at the wasp removal process as the patio wall colony started to get a bit aggressive. Our next step is to call the pest company as this is a bit above our pay grade. Hopefully they can manage the problem as sitting outside is becoming a bit hazardous.

Tuesday night was gorgeous and a bit cool - so we had an outdoor fire pit evening, drinking wine and listening to music. Super chill and relaxing.

White
2018 Azienda Agricola Il Palagetto Vernaccia di San Gimignano Italy, Tuscany, San Gimignano, Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Picked this up at the NH Wine & Liquor outlet - limited selection of any Italian whites other than Pinot Grigio (which there is tons of). At less than $15, this was refreshing and light, with crispness and fruit and some salinity. Paired with homemade margarita pizza fresh from the oven. Enjoyable would repurchase at this price based on the available selections.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2018 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Bourgogne Blanc France, Burgundy, Bourgogne Blanc
2nd time with this wine and pretty consistent experience. Super thick almost oily mouthfeel, offset by searing acidity and tropical fruit flavors. I think that this will come together a bit more with a few years in the cellar, but still fun to try now.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Arnot-Roberts Syrah Hudson Vineyard USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
Last of my 5 bottle allocation from back in the day, and sad to see this one go. My favorite of the A-R Syrahs from this vintage - just a really great effort that benefiting from a decade in the cellar. Drinking at peak right now - savory and lithe, this capture all those meaty, savory, olive notes and has compelling acidity. Not a wine for lovers of new world Syrah - as they might find this is a bit too lean - but right in my wheelhouse.
White - Sparkling
2008 Dom Pérignon Champagne France, Champagne
Opened for Saturday night Zoom with friends - enjoyed on the patio on a lovely evening. Still super young and somewhat tightly strung, but opens up with time in the glass. Ideally I would wait on these, but needs must during the quarantine:-)
7 people found this helpful Comments (3)
White
2017 Domaine Jamet Côtes du Rhône Blanc France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
As a follow up to the '08 Dom - this held it's own surprisingly well. Great naturally acidity alongside the richer stone fruit. Lovely!
Red
2008 Copain Syrah Halcon Vineyard USA, California, North Coast, Yorkville Highlands
Popped this open on Sat night and found it a bit too forward for my tastes. Revisited the rest of the bottle on Tuesday and it had settled in a bit - more of juicy/dark fruited style of Syrah (clearly new world), but enough balance here to make it work. Not my fave - but clearly improved with a few days open in the fridge. I would decant this before serving.
White
2018 Tom Shula Chardonnay USA, California
Very creamy mouthfeel, tropical fruit mango and pineapple - acidity on the finish that feels manufactured.
White
2016 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Blanc La Croix Boissée France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon
Beautiful summer Tuesday night by the firepit for sipping wine. This was drinking really well - probably a bit too young but still very enjoyable. Lots of mouth watering acidity here with a rich mouthfeel and mineral undertones. Yum!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Henri Goutorbe Champagne Grand Cru Brut Rosé France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
Popped for my weekly Weds night Zoom with friends. Always consistent and super tasty - house bubbles for us.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2016 Domaine Jean-Claude Marsanne St. Joseph Blanc France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
Opened for the Thursday Zoom with friends. Enjoyable St. Joseph Blanc, but find a touch of bitterness on finish (not too much but noticeable) for the price point $46 - I would prefer the Monier-Perreol as this is just a bit less complex. Interesting just looked back at my last note on this and I had essentially the same thoughts.
Red
2009 Arnot-Roberts Syrah Griffin's Lair USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Opened for the Thursday night Zoom with friends. Stored since release and this is our last bottle. Dark fruited, good acidity, savory notes - but lacks the interest that was on display in the A-R Hudson Ranch Syrah we opened last week.
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