1 too small 1 too big 1 just right

Catching up on three bottles from this week I didn’t write about, and deserve mention.

2010 DOMAINE DE PIGNAN CdP France 14.0 One of the most boring CdP’s I can remember, just absolutely devoid of anything interesting… No Grenache roundness or vegetal nuance, no significant complexities from Mourve or SY either. Bland and vapid, completely lacking any tertiary polish one would assume from a decade of age as well. Kept looking for something–ANYTHING–to glow… Tasted it over two nights and opened back-ups each evening, as this thing just will NOT express anything beyond washed-out red blend nothingness.

2013 GOLDENEYE Pinot Noir Gowan Creek Vyd Anderson Valley 14.5 A huge chocolate-coated monster of disgustingly-ripe Pinot, rivaling Belle Glos and Sea Smoke in black, syrupy, bad-syrah-like concentration. Burdened by lavish oak treatment and reeking of sugar, NO ONE wants pinot like this–at least no one I want to drink wine with. Kinda embarrassing, frankly–as I am a fan of their wines classically, though the switch to *marketable* pinots to match the offerings from the Napa Cab houses (insert, like, five names here) has been noticeable. This isn’t Anderson Valley Pinot. Absolutely NOT.

2003 CHATEAU DE CANDALE ME/CF 80/20 St. Emilion Grand Cru Bordeaux 15.0 A supremely ripe year and an inexpensive St. Em GC with a SHOCKING number in the ABV slot on the label. Despite that–and 18 years of unknown provenance–it manages to glow with rich abandon. Chalky and dense, a black density in the glass showing only a sliver of brick at the extreme rim. Ripe and sweet to basically-California dimensions, grinding bitter angst and peppery heat against chubby lush cherry syrup layered in folds of aged patina. I have quite a few of these, but they are on the fast-track for drinking. Though they continue to amaze, I lack faith in pushing them much further. 15-oh Californian’s can’t do it, and my positive outlook on this one lacks faith. But so far……


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