Quick, off the cuff, laundry list post. Errors in spelling and grammar may ensue....
2004 Stephane Tissot Selection Arbois
70% Chard, 30% Savagnin. Sous Voile (semi-oxidative.) Showing quite nicely, actually. Reminded me of 06 Tournelles Savagnin with more body and oxidation, 05 Puffeney Cuvee Sacha with less brightness. Not bad for Tissot, might have enjoyed it more if my mood was better for critical wine drinking.
2001 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Crianza Rioja
Full disclaimer: we sell this wine where I work. I was really pleased how well this $15 wine is showing. An important reminder that reserva vs gran reserva vs crianza is not of nearly as much importance as quality of your fruit and what you do (or perhaps better put, don't do) when you're making your wine. Sort of the funky bass player philosophy that the notes one does not play make your playing sound better, funkier. This is pretty much organically grown fruit from Rioja Alavesa, fermented with native yeasts, judiciously sulphured (don't know the specs, just know what I taste) and plain delicious. I bought a case of 2004 because it should age in a similar way - less ripe vintage but every bit as structured. 15 year old crianza? No problem. Hey, favorite wine bar, if you're reading I'll bring you samples by and maybe you can buy some wine from this importer - good shit.
3 Fonteinen Kriek Schaerbeekse
This was fucking awesome: great balance between sour, savor, and fruit, lots of fancy fucking cherry fruit. I enjoyed this with McDuff last weekend at Max's in Baltimore. Here is a more informative note from importer Shelton Brothers: "Armand Debelder's most special Kriek, brewed with Belgium's famous Schaerbeekse cherries, renowned for their incredible color and flavor. Loads of these rare and expensive sour cherries, pits and all, are poured into aging casks of lambic, where they are gradually infused into the beer. The result is a delectable blend of sourness from the lambic and a slight hint of sweetness from the ridiculous quantity of cherries employed. Naturally, no sugars, sweeteners, or artifical flavors are used."
Montseny Iberian Ale
Really delicious, subtle hop influence, dry, clean, thirst quenching beer that is easy drinking in that Spanish and Italian beer type of way, minus the lack of body and polish that some of these beers using cheap hops can show.
Haandbrygeriet Norwegian IPA
Hey, California brewers! Why don't more of you make pale ale in this northern European style: slightly bitter hop punch but restrained, balanced, and well...drinkable? Somehow northern European 'hoppy' I can handle. American hoppy? No thanks.
1989 Vieux Telegraphe 'La Crau' Chateauneuf du Pape
Another imbibement shared with DMcD in Bmore, in this case during a most ill advised dinner at a truly terrible restaurant in Little Italy. I will not go into further detail about the dining but I do accept full responsibility for the decision made. Anyway, this wine showed strangely young, tannic, simple and closed. Bad storage? In a weird phase? Forged bottle? While it would be a strange one to forge given its relative lack of collector status, stranger things have happened. If co-op wine from Fitou can be counterfeited then anything is possible, right?
1995 Vieux Telegraphe 'La Crau' Chateauneuf du Pape and 1995 Les Cailloux Chateauneuf du Pape
Both brought in by a generous longtime customer. Les Cailloux - browning color, stale spice cabinet aromas, celery salt. Mort. VT - really delicious. Showing good development, balanced acidity, intense fruit, loads of complexity. Wonderful now, should continue to improve another decade.
MV Manekin Cellars Rioja Blend
I can be extravagant, yes, but I also have some frugal blood in me: must be my eastern European shtetl heritage. Anyway, after I conducted a Rioja tasting for my co-workers, I poured the dregs into a single bottle. Almost entirely traditional Riojas, mind you, but from different producers and vintages, with different levels of age (crianza, reserva, etc). These wines were included: 2005 Contino Reserva, 2003 La Rioja Alta Viña Alberdi Reserva; 2003 Peciña Crianza; 2001 Cune Imperial Reserva; 2000 La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva; 2000 Lopez de Heredia Viña Tondonia Reserva; 2000 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva. Not a successful experiment. As far as the individual components, my clear choice for tastiest wine of the bunch would be the Ardanza - that wine is showing incredibly right now.