I posted this on another wine board and then thought some people here might be interested. I was supposed to have my two closest 'wine friends' over who almost never get a chance to see one another (I think they haven't been to the same dinner party in three years) but one had to cancel at the last minute, so it was just three of us having cheese, salami, olives, lamb burgers, grilled onions and peppers and roasted potatoes with rosemary (you know, to keep this 'chow-y'). The night progressed into us watching Sweeny Todd while continuing to eat the lamb burgers, which I found amusing, given the subject matter of the movie. :-)
Anyway, we drank...
2006 Cascina Degliulivi Filagnotti Gavi This is a Gavi aged in chestnut barrels. I was told I would get the chestnut particularly when I breathed out through my nose. And that is totally true! Medium-light bodied with good acidity, this was actually best a little warmer than I expected -- probably in the low 50's F -- where the nose and palate wre more expressive. Notes of medium-bright fleshy fruits like white peaches and apricots, as well as rose petals and CHESTNUTS! This wasn't a remarkably complex wine, but still very interesting and quite enjoyable. Score errs on the side of too high for sheer intellectual factor. 90
2002 Rocche dei Manzoni Langhe Pinonero (Best after about an hour and a half in the decanter -- after about 3 hours the wine began to oxidize in the decanter just a touch...) This is so weird! It is somewhere between a Pinot and a Barolo! Chocolate-covered cherries, rose petals, and a hint of tar and brown spice on the nose and palate. Medium-full bodied palate with good acidity and long, tannic finish. This is really a mind bender... I don't know if I would have pegged this as Nebbiolo or Pinot if I had been tasted on it blind. It really does have that great Piedmont earth. Best (Italian) Pinot Nero I've tasted. 92
2005 Cuvee du Quet Chateauneuf-du-Pape I don't know why... maybe the stars were aligned just so, maybe someone poured the wrong wine into this bottle... I just don't know... but this wine that neither DJ nor I had ever heard of, that he brought over because he liked the shelf talker and the label and it was the right price ($50's) was a revelation neither of us had even hoped for. The nose was perfect young CdP with red and black fruits galore. Tiny berries married to flowers and CdP barnyard but in the best way. The nose soared from the glass -- no need to coax here. The palate was full bodied and opulent yet with enough tannin and acidity to give great structure and lift. Dark red ruits galore! The mouthfeel is amazing and more Syrah-like than one might expect given that the taste is mostly Grenache. The finish lasted at least a minute. This reminded me of the 2001 Pegau upon release -- only better. As I said, I've never heard of this before, and I feel a bit strange telling people to run out and buy it up, but for me, last night, this bottle: 95
2005 Taz Syrah Goat Rock The blueberry syrup that goes in blueberry muffin mix married to some black raspberries with a litte brown spice thrown in. That is the nose, palate, and finish. The mouthfeel is a little syrup-y and lacking good backbone. The next day the new oak on this was showing a lot more and this came off as more Aussie. A little sweet. This is a nice New World Syrah; not exactly my style, but good for what it is. 88.5