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SFJoe

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Everything posted by SFJoe

  1. I think they don't need to add the CO2, it's more retaining the stuff left over from fermentation.
  2. A sad tale. '79s are nearing the end of their days. First growths still good, but when you go down the ladder a bit, they are fading. I would open it soon and have a backup bottle. I have enjoyed a lot of wines from the vintage, but they were always on the lighter side.'81s not dissimilar. it had changed color in the bottle. i let my mom keep it. not sure if she drank it or threw it away Requiescat in pace.
  3. The joke passes me by. Anyhow, I'd never had the wine. I'd had Huet fizz from that vintage multiple times, but I think nothing else. Deduction. Stone cold recognition of a wine you've had before is of course the easiest model of all, but you don't always get that opportunity.
  4. But the sort of subtraction you suggest is definitely part of the game. I was tasting with a group of ITB folk once at Francois Pinon's stand at the Salon des Vins. I think it might have been 2002, IIRC he was pouring us 2001s. Your vintage chart will not call out 2001 as a famous Vouvray vintage, but Francois wanted to make the excellent point that it was still a vintage that could age interestingly. He poured us a demi-sec wine and said, "This is from a vintage somewhat similar to 2001." People started guessing bullshit, but I could tell it was a wine much as you say, older than '71, but not as old as '59 or earlier famous vintages, and it wasn't as rich as a '61 or a '62 would have been. 1964 happens to be a Vouvray vintage with good late summer weather until the harvest was caught by the rains, much like 2001.But a good enough vintage to keep some (you find them in the market). Francois' wine had good underlying fruit, but was a little bit dilute. So I called '64 and won the cork, which sits on a shelf in my dining room. Information about what it *could* be definitely enters into things, and bracketing and so on are part of it. Space does not permit me to enumerate my frequent humiliations at this, only my famous successes. But Malcom Gladwell, et al., need to get out more.
  5. A sad tale. '79s are nearing the end of their days. First growths still good, but when you go down the ladder a bit, they are fading. I would open it soon and have a backup bottle. I have enjoyed a lot of wines from the vintage, but they were always on the lighter side.'81s not dissimilar.
  6. From the period between, it could be '62, '64, '66, and most of all '61. Once you know you're in Bordeaux, of course. But sure, a '68 would be a different beast. '59s have a richness without the harder tannin of '61. But you have to be sure it isn't '55. I have seen the trick done often enough, and have even done it myself on occasion. You have to have tried enough of the wines. It helped to have started a while ago when they were cheaper. You don't always get the vintage on the first guess--I have guessed '59 when the real answer was '55, but that was my second guess.
  7. '70 Beychevelle should be great, and has been, in the last 2 years for me. The '59 was spectacular.
  8. And St. John's is a pretty cool port, I'm really glad to have gotten here for a couple of days. When else do you get to see actual Ediacarian fossils?
  9. The urge to flee would have to be large, from a professional POV. OTOH, we did not have to go far to find some nice chanterelles. I have never really experienced a forest as dense as the spruces and firs in Avalon. It is even worse than pygmy forest in coastal California. I wonder if there are missing megafauna that used to browse it to a different state?
  10. Had some very tasty cod cheeks in NYC a week ago, BTW, from the Lobster Pot. I have not been "screeched in."
  11. A much better choice would be Bacalao. Wish this had been a dinner destination, but it worked out for lunch. Tasty cods' tongues, great bacalao fritters, and the most useful wine list in the city for me. Somehow much cheaper, but also much better chosen than anywhere else. Also an honorable mention for Cinched. Didn't arrive in time for dinner, but apparently Chef is proud of his charcuterie, and when two hungry travelers arrived asking for it after they had started cleaning the kitchen, he was kind enough to do a plate ("anything for people who want charcuterie"). Next trip would be Bacalao and Cinched, with Raymond's if someone else was buying. Did not get to the Reluctant Chef, though it seemed interesting.
  12. If anyone was thinking of going to Bianca, think again. Apparently they used to have some good wine and good food, but that just ain't the case anymore. They still advertise a Best of Award of Blah Blah from the Wine Spectator, but that must have been from a past life, because there is really, really nothing to drink unless you fancy $140 Guigal regular St. Joseph. Just terrible wines. My seared foie gras arrived almost frozen in the middle, which presaged a theme for the night--almost everything had been totally prepared in advance and held, then incompetently prepared for final service. Even things ordinarily made a la minute in any decent place. Butter-poached lobster was overcooked, when the usual problem is the reverse. They didn't overcook the pasta by so much. It's about the kindest thing I can say about them. Flee.
  13. Raymond's is very, very good, on tonight's evidence. It has the most sophisticated and knowledgeable wine service in St. John's. The list is full of $600 bottles of Grand Cru Burgs from 3rd tier producers. Curiously, there was what seemed almost like a prom night component to the crowd--rich locals in their early 20s on a big night out. But the place is terribly expensive compared to other cities farther down the coast (like NYC). Beautiful setting, great view of St. John's spectacular harbor entrance, very good food.
  14. In the wilds of Newfoundland, we are reduced to '94 Roche aux Moines (a BYO bottle, of course). My heart and liver both bleed for the poor oppressed inhabitants of this island, who need to rise up and exterminate their miserable liquor monopoly. I haven't seen such terrible, and hideously expensive, stuff in my life. We brought the better part of a case to see us through, and I only wish there were a way to BYO in restaurants.
  15. Just as calibration for the unwary readers of Malcom Gladwell, et al., the guys at my lunch a few weeks ago who guessed respectively '59 Margaux and '59 Palmer for a blind pour of '59 Beychevelle did not really require the extra hint that they were in reds. Neither of them in the trade. But they were in '59 in their first guess, and in the neighborhood for their second. And this is not a good guess from my cellar, I don't have a lot of Bordeaux. People who actually know anything about wine do not regularly struggle with this question, nor do they think it is interesting or revealing about wine. This would be more the province of the Daily Mail, or occasionally the New Yorker.
  16. [obvious dreck for something worth $$$, obvious hype for the same, obvious this and obvious that.] I don't suppose that anyone here thinks that money and ego=expertise. Former participants notwithstanding.
  17. Well, that would be one easy cheat. Reds without much tannin would be another. Oaky whites tannic from their barrels. Poulsard. Carbonic anything. That kind of thing.
  18. But given everything we know about taste perception, a second glass of the same wine isn't the same wine, if you know what I mean.
  19. A friend of mine was recently forced to taste wines in in FMRI experiment. It turns out it's different delivered by tube when you're lying on your back in a noisy machine. They then had him blind taste the tough panel, which he correctly spotted as 7 each of 2 different wines. They told him that most of their subjects didn't know. So it can be done.
  20. These are the same people who give out points.
  21. I know you're joking, but in all seriousness it actually is a fact that people can't even tell red wine from white in blind tests. As long as I can pick the "people," the "red wine," and the "white wine," I bet I can make this true every time. I bet I could also consistently arrange the opposite outcome with different choices. I would bet large sums.
  22. Now for the real gloating--I make Anson Mills popcorn using the reserved fat from the duck breasts.
  23. They had one head of garlic, lovingly wrapped in plastic on a half-clamshell.
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