Kick Off 2008

    So, here it is, the third day in January 2008 and I already have things to worry over for the year. My first worry has also given me my one and only resolution for 2008—I don’t often make resolutions; my view is that one should never mess with imperfection!

Speaking of imperfections, a decade plus has passed, yet the Internet continues to prove its imperfections almost daily. Its major flaw, in my humble opinion, is that while it is a place to retrieve information, it is also a place to retrieve a lot of garbage.

I’m told that when television came on the scene its hucksters told the world about the new communication age and how the medium will be a potent learning tool as well as an instrument to bring people together. Does that sound familiar to anyone on the Internet?

A few days before Christmas, I wrote a blog entry describing some of the wine forum sites that I have frequented. I attempted to capture the flavor of the sites as well as their pluses and minuses. At the same time, I had decided to reduce the amount of time I spend on those sites, mainly because I don’t think I am cut out for what goes on among wine geeks. I’m deeply a wine person, but I am nowhere near what wine geeks seem to be all about, and I’ll stay away from descriptions, lest I wind up on someone’s hacker list.

A few days after Christmas, one of the sites I mentioned was taken down. Accusations have been made as to how it happened and who did it, but the truth about the situation is as likely to rise as a soufflé with a knife stuck in it.

My one and only resolution for 2008 is that I am through posting on wine forum sites. I think I can make better use of my time, even when I don’t make better use of it.

To top off that madness, my New Year began with wine disappointments.

You might remember that I promised to mention specific wines in my 2008 blog entries? Here are two of them.

    My home is within walking distance to the winery that started the vinifera wine revolution in the Finger Lakes. So, when a few visitors spent three days with my wife and me, a visit to that winery (and others) was in order.

We tasted the Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars wines and liked a number of them—always do. The 2006 Dry Riesling is exactly what I seek for that grape variety; blogger Lyle must try this wine!

Anyway, one of the wines under the Chateau Frank label, the one that produces only sparkling wine, was a 2000 Blanc de Noirs. My notes, and the comments by my wife and one of our visitors, made reference to a yeasty, toasty nose and a baked bread quality to the wine that was ever so pleasing. I bought a bottle for us to bring in the New Year.

When we opened the sparkler we could not believe our noses. Where went the yeast and toast? Then we tasted it. It’s fine, but it’s also squeaky clean—no baked bread.

As I said, the wine is fine, and crisply refreshing, but the bottle we opened bore no relationship to the wine we tasted in the tasting room.

I understand that sparklers produced in the Champagne method are prone to bottle variation, but this was no simple variation—this bottle was completely different. I’m going to take a walk over there soon to find out what gives.

The Chateau Frank 2000 Blanc de Noirs (which the winery labels as a Finger Lakes Champagne, and I wish they wouldn’t do that) sells for about $32.

    Next wine.

Ten locales in the Beaujolais region make up the Crus du Beaujolais wines. When right, they hold their own against a few well-regarded Pinot Noir-based wines. Unlike the Beaujolais Villages or the lowly Nouveau, these wines are elegant and age-worthy, but not the Georges DuBoeuf 2005 Juliénas that I opened.

I’m not sure what the technical problem is with this wine, but it’s surely flawed. I detected a touch of volatile acidity, but that’s about all I detected that was in any way connected to wine. It did not suffer from TCA in the nose or on the cork, but it had no fruit, no balance, no life, just as if it were infected with TCA. Oddly, the 13% alcohol on the label doesn’t even shine through this wine.

The wine comes from the 2005 vintage, which, by all accounts, was supposed to be a textbook example of the way it’s supposed to be in Burgundy and Beaujolais. But a textbook Juliénas should offer juicy berries and a touch of spice. This wine proves that you can’t just go by the vintage; someone can make a sow’s ear out of a silk purse, and apparently, someone has.

The wine was only a $12 loss, but annoying nonetheless, as it was scheduled to match a certain breast of duck, which, I might add, did quite well against a Gewurztraminer that I’ll talk about some other time.

Lyle Dr Frank’s Crus du Beauj



Copyright, Thomas Pellechia
January 2008. All rights reserved.

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