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Catching Up

June 2, 2009

Moving the house put the breaks on regular updates for the short term. Below are my quick notes for some of the highlights of the last few weeks:

Haand Bryggeriet ‘Dark Force’ Wheat Stout: Soup-like density and robustness. Prunes, bitter-cocoa, Kenyan coffee, currant on the nose and palate. Large-scaled, but not gobby. Hop character livens and balances. Extroardinary stout – one of the most compelling I’ve had.

Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA: Nervy hopped character and citric fruited nose. Smooth palate transition, integrated and flowing. I wouldn’t go so far as to say elegant, but definitly more finessed than the Avery and Founders. Pure pleasure.

Founders ‘Double Trouble’ Imperial IPA: Richer in body and slightly sappier on the palate than the DFH 90 – but in a very similar class quality-wise. Maybe a pinch less residual sugar or molasses character would suite my palate more, but this is a very solid IIPA that would pair well with cheeses or spicier cuisine.

Avery ‘Maharaja’ Imperial IPA: A one-two punch of  vibrant grapefruit hoppiness on the frontend, and carmelly maltiness on the back. Extreme, but tasty despite being disjointed. Too fierce to daily drinking.

Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale: The Belgian Trippel is a difficult style to own, and this comes reasonably close but ultimately doesn’t take me anyplace new. Bananas, white raisins, clove and coriander on the nose. Great lacing and carbonation, yet the overall character is a bit fat and laborious on the palate. Candied sweetness on the backend and  not the last word in complexity. Fair, but Fin du Monde has more flair as far as New World Trippels I Would Drink First.

Domaine Guion Bourgueil ‘Cuvee Domaine’ 2007: As solid a cabernet franc as you will find for sub-$15.  On the riper side on the nose, but brightly fresh and clean on the palate. Correct, honest, natural and expressive, especially on the 2nd day, where the fruit subsided to revealed a tangy minerality on the back-end. I’m not sure of the estate’s soil, but there is a schisty-flintiness here that is unmistakable. House red. A Chambers Street Wines Direct Import.

Domaine De Reuilly ‘Blanc Les Pierres Plates’ 2007: Pungently cirtric – my mind goes straight to seafood – anything you’d squeeze a lemon on would be a beautiful partner. Shrimp, oysters, even lobster or crab. Some minerality on the backend, but right now the fruit is ruling the palate and nose.  A touch of grass too. Lightning acidity. There is clear quality here – it’s hard to find great Loire Sauvignon ~$20 that can compete with Sancerre and Pouilly Fume, but this can. A Kermit Lynch import.

Peybonhomme-les-Tours Bordeaux ‘Le Clairet de Peybonhomme’ 2007: Old-skool Clairet – created deliberately using very short (several hours?) of skin contact during maceration to pull a unique salmon-iron color. Character-ful and delicate – with Cabernet Franc and Merlot offering cherries, peppers , some herb-garden and floral notes  – clean and fresh, alive and fun. Killer value and fantabulously awesome label art that might be stolen from someone’s grandma’s boudoir. A Chambers Street Wines Direct Import.

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