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End of 2023 + 1/1/24 - Martha's, Felseneck, Champagnes, and more

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Jan 2, 2024, 1:56:34 PMJan 2
Wednesday we had another family dinner at Betsy’s sister, adding nephew’s girlfriend in who couldn’t be there Christmas. Cal had made a trip to Arthur Ave that morning,.Brischetta with mozzarella and prosciutto, carrot risotto with chili crisp, followed by pesto lasagna, cod piccata, broccoli rabe, and then cheese and dessert.

NV Grongnet Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Crisp, zesty, green apple and a little citrus and chalk. Fine value. B+

2022 Collestefano Verdicchio di Matelica. Maybe a tad riper than some vintages. Pit fruit, citrus, saline. /B/B+

1996 Vignaioli (Pertinace) Vigneto Castellizzano Barbaresco
Tannins resolved, good acids, black cherry and dried cherry with orange zest and a little tobacco. Fully mature, pleasant Nebbiolo. B

Thursday duck legs with onion/carrots, potatoes with accidental yuzu Bordier, and salad
2005 Bitouzet-Prieur Volnay
Open and easy, pleasant but not screaming Volnay or 2005 B-

Friday was pizzas (a struggle to get dough that was a bit wet to launch in Ooni) prosciutto/arugula, margherita)
NV Barbichon Blanc des Noirs Extra Brut (dg 10/17)
Toast and smoke, lovely citrus fruit, long, elegant. I liked this a LOT more than a bottle a year or two ago. B++

Saturday was roast striped bass, fried rice, and romanesco, with the 2014 Ramonet Bourgogne Blanc. There’s some of the expected mint, but this doesn’t have the verve I’d expect from 2014 or from Ramonet. Sweet pear, a little empty, a little short. The wine or the Nomacorc? B- wine, C- value.

Sunday we had some friends over for NYE. We toasted the arrival of 2024 in London, Cape Verde, and Nuuk, but by time Brazil rolled around our guests were headed out the door.

Oysters, smoked halibut with curry mayo on green apple, shrimp cocktails, followed by a crudo of scallop/radishes,
Marguet Shaman 18 Champagne
Nectarine, honeycrisp apple, and pastry dough, a little smoky note, nice mousse with a chalky finish. B+/A-

Agrapart 7 Crus Champagne (dg 6/22)
Appley, some bread dough, not as good as a bottle (earlier disgorgement) a few months ago, needs time in bottle I think B- for now

Composed salad with tahini dressing, then standing rib roast, with a potato tart with ikura and potato chips, broccoli rabe
1986 Sociando-Mallet
Still some hearty tannin, cassis fruit, some cedar and a hint of bell pepper. B/B+

1987 Heitz Martha’sVineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Just a stunning bottle of this, black cherry and currant with mint/eucalyptus, cigar box, and grilled meats. Complex, complete, and very long. A/A-

Chocolate roll (basically a bouche de noel) and a cheese course (with Betsy’s quince paste)
2002 Baumard Quarts de Chaume (375)
Honey, quince (someone remarked on its resemblance to the membrillo), sweet apple. Nice. balanced, but not super complex. B/B+

New Years Day, Betsy made Ottolenghi’s ham with cloves and clementines, I made the hoppin’ john and collards. I thought I was opening the 2011 Schafer-Frohlich Felseneck GG, but instead it was the 2015 Schafer-Frohlich Felseneck GG. Very young, but glorious just the same. Citrus, herbs, slate, and gunsmoke. Deep, focused, and extremely long. I loved, but regret my only bottle, A-/A

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C drinkable. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.

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