Monday, January 14, 2008

Cymande - Listen Up

Cymande was a group of Jamaican and Guyanese emmigrants to England. Their music is tight, soulful, and timeless. I really enjoy the way this Cymande fan captures in his video the album art and shows a bit more of what the band was trying to accomplish with their music.

I drank a wine from the Jeffersonian era! Palo Cortado, pt. III

And it was not a Th J Lafitte counterfeit bottle. Rather, it was a real deal bottle of Hidalgo Palo Cortado Viejo V.O.R.S. OK, to be honest the solera was begun in colonial times, which might represent .3333333% of the contents in the bottle. But I'm still going to count it as the oldest wine I have tasted to date. It was phenomenal. Endlessly fascinating to sniff, this sherry showed incredibly complex, nutty, dried fruit flavors with great acidity, and a silken texture that only a whole lot of age can provide. For roughly $120 you can enjoy the same experience, as well as help to save a rare species of Spanish eagle. Now how could you pass that up?

Puzelat Pd'A and other fun stuff at Terroir

Saturday night I went back to San Francisco's premier spot for enjoying natural wines - Terroir. Once we had settled in and started browsing for a bottle to enjoy, Guilhaume gave us a taste of the 2005 Tissot Poulsard. It was nice - fresh berry fruit, light tannins, direct and simple, just what I expected. With a bit of direction from Guilhaume, we ended up starting off with a bottle of 2006 Thierry Puzelat 'La Tesniere' Pineau d'Aunis. It was their last bottle and they're unable to buy more for the time-being, so it was a generous and appreciated rec. The wine was very, very good. A mix of wild strawberries and bramble on the nose. More of the same on the palate, tremendous purity of fruit and terrific balance. The tannins though were certainly firm, but very fine. In fact, the power of the wine and the firm tannin structure brought Barbera to mind, as did the slightly resiny, stick to your gums quality of the wine. But the fresh, bright quality of the fruit was all Loire valley; 14.5% abv did not at all detract from this wine.

In the Burgundian - and opposite Billy Joel style come to think of it - we had a bottle of white following our red, a humble bottle of 2005 Dr. Burklin Wolf Estate riesling. It was bright, nicely dry, fleshy, with yellow stone fruit and a bit of flinty minerality. Throughout the evening, Guilhaume and a few others poured a few other wines for us to taste(thanks, guys!):

2003 Tissot Chardonnay - This was pleasantly funky for a Tissot wine; I've found their other stuff to be pretty straight ahead. It is a savory, slightly spicy number, sort of village Meursault like, without the mid-palate richness and heft.

2003 Frick Riesling - Biodynamic Alsace riesling, here. It is made in a slightly oxidized style. Broad and creamy, it tasted like Riesling grown in some heavily clay based soil.

There was a pretty '05 Mercurey and I don't recall the producer's name. Also someone very generously brought in a bottle of 1986 Macon Village from botrytized chardonnay grapes (?) I forget the specs on this one, but it sure was one rare bird.

On this particular evening, Terroir once again came correct.