It was another wine filled evening last night at Terroir with a few 31 Days of Natural Wine contributors, 31 Days planner Cory Cartwright, Spanish importer José Pastor and assorted other fans of the fermented grapes of the world all in the house. We enjoyed a good variety of wines, some of them humble and tasty, others of fancier pedigree and unmistakable quality. Here's a rundown:
Equipo Navazos La Bota de Fino No. 15
I've been meaning to try one of Equipo Navazos' sherries for a while now, and thanks to José Pastor I had the opportunity to do so last night. Likening it to the Jacques Selosse Cuvee Substance of the sherry world, José explained to me how this is a negociant selection of a few of the finest barrels (averaging 10 years of age) of Valdespino Fino. It is bottled unfiltered, a rarity in Jerez. Think of your favorite fino. Intensify and amplify the unmistakable sea salt, nuts and fruit aromas. Add a significant amount of weight, richness and texture to the palate, but do no subtract any of the grace and elegance which typify good Fino. There you have it, my new favorite fino sherry. Rare and tough to find, though I have every intention to track some down to have around home. It's that simple, I got to have it.
2007 Becker Landgraf Riesling Feinherb
Satiny texture, bright and clean stone fruits, well made Rheinhessen riesling. This is a great accompaniment to most (if not all) of the Chinese dishes at Heaven's Dog, where José and I loaded up on some tasty veges and a bit of pork prior to drinking.
2006 Les Cretes Petite Arvine 'Vigne Champorette'
Waxy textured, with plums, yellow fruit skins, and a ripe, plump, juicy yet still fresh flavor profile. Fun.
2006 Franck Peillot Bugey Mondeuse
Gritty cherry fruits, with some minerals, moderately assertive tannins and a bitter snap to the finish.
1978 Lopez de Heredia Viña Bosconia Rioja Gran Reserva
Soft, very savory, earthy, slightly smoky and reminiscent a bit of aged Cote Rotie. If this bottle is any indication (and given the variation, this is not necessarily any indication) then this wine should probably be drunk within the next several years. It's very good, for sure, though not nearly as wound up, high toned and high acid as the '81. While I really enjoyed this '78, it did not really remind me of Bosconia's typically Burgundy-like flavors and textures.
2000 Pierre Overnoy Arbois Pupillin Blanc
The unbelievably high acidity in this wine made up for what I perceived as an acid deficit in the Bosconia drunk before this. For a grape I love so much, I have such a tough time describing savagnin sometimes, especially when it's as piercing, cutting and chiseled as this. At this moment, the only thing I can liken the sensation to is listening carefully to how the high hat cymbals were mixed in many mid 70's Jamaican recordings.
Big thank you to Cory for organizing the party. It's always fun to see familiar faces while meeting some new folks as well.