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WOW! Wines...

This topic comes up from time to time on other boards.

We all have the wines that made us go "wow!" initially, and helped get us into serious wine drinking in the first place. But I keep having those experiences -- new wines that still just turn me on and make me learn something new, yet. So call this a "continuing education" thread.

What wines have you had recently that just made you go: "wow"?

For me, I had three this past Wednesday...

1991 Leroy Clos de la Roche
1997 DRC La Tache
2001 La Spinetta Barolo Campe

(The other wines I've had in 2008 that would make the list -- that simply made me go "WOW!" -- would be the 2005 Mas de Boislauzon CdP Cuvee du Quet, the 2001 Armand Rousseau Chambertin, and believe it or not, in terms of "wow" factor, the 2006 Dettori Bianco)

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  1. whiner... i think we agreed about dettori on another thread.
    i do have to say that the others you mention above are "wow"worthy as well of course!!!
    but the unexpected is what makes the dettori even more of a wow wine.

    so on that level some of the other wows that i have had recently were:

    Domaine Berthet Bondet Chateau Chalon 1999
    Clos Rougeard Saumur-Champigny "Les Poyeux" 1996
    Jacques Selosse Substance
    Nikolaihoff Steiner Hund "Reserve" 2003

    6 Replies
    1. re: bowmore36

      I LOVE Selosse! It is so hard to find in the US right now.

      And I agree, tasting something TOTALLY unlike anything you've ever had before, in a price range you don't expect to provide a terrific experience, really is a wonderful type of "wow".

      Actually, the Mas de Boislauzon was like that, too. Having had many of the more famous and (sometimes much) more expensive 2005 CdPs, I was blown away by how good this one was, even in the context of the vintage.

      1. re: whiner

        here is an asimov article written less than a year ago

        http://thepour.blogs.nytimes.com/2007...

        i have seen it in very few restaurants... the last was jean-georges. a friend also picked up some for me from a retailer in nyc but the name escapes me. they only recv'd one case. hopefully we will see some more!!!

        1. re: bowmore36

          Crush in NYC. Don't know if this is the retailer you're thinking of. I think they still have both the Initiale and Substance. They might even have a vintage one.

          www.crushwineco.com

        2. re: whiner

          Love the Boilauzon. Good price, too.

        3. re: bowmore36

          Just picked up a bottle of the 03 Rougeard and I'm really looking forward to drinking it. Guess I better wait a few more years?

          I had a Ramey Chardonnay recently which really impressed me, especially since I so rarely like Cali chards. It was really well-balanced and not at all heavy. Perfect with a lobster roll on a sunny summer day.

          1. re: oolah

            not necessarily... seems like the 03's, from the warmth of the , should be great drinking now and not much reward will come with extended age. always fun stuff whenever consumed. i just had some 02 not too long ago which was great as well

        4. As a category, the most revelatory wines for me this year have been the 2005 Mosel rieslings, now developing a bit of maturity...

          Numerous vineyards produced "wines of the decade" in 2005, you can almost throw darts at them. Fruit concentrations are incredible, even by Mosel standards, some spatleses drink like dessert wines. They get my vote.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Chicago Mike

            "drink like dessert wines"?? is that a positive?

            1. re: bowmore36

              well, in terms of concentration, absolutely.

              1. re: Chicago Mike

                i guess that is one of those wonders of wine... like ripping into a case of 05 la madiniere cote rotie from cuilleron just to get that THWAK of fruit before it says so long for years.... the other 11 will remain in tact for some time

                for full enjoyment now i'm having a lot of fun with some of the '04 germans. muehlenhoff erdener treppchen kab... still around 15 on the shelf that is pretty spot on now.

          2. The other night I had 2001 Bruno Rocca Barbaresco Rabaja and it grew on me for a couple hours until we only had a glass left each and by then it was soaring, total 'wow' factor, and then I had to savor the last sips. Sad moment.

            The 2005 John Duval "Entity" Shiraz made me say 'wow' considering the price. Twice this year.

            And a 1999 Paolo Scavino Barolo "Cannubi" wowed me at dinner last month.

            Looking forward to the 2007 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose I plan to enjoy one hot afternoon. Should be a great rose.

            Here's to great wine.

            2 Replies
              1. re: Whits48

                <Looking forward to the 2007 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose I plan to enjoy one hot afternoon. Should be a great rose.>

                It is! We drank ours Sunday night. ;>D

              2. Nice. I like the continuing education thread.

                1999 Giacomo Conterno Barolo
                An ultra-classic barolo, seemingly not of this century. Oh wait, it's not...

                1997 Trinchero Barbera d'Asti
                I didn't know that Barbera could taste like this.

                1994 Hanzell Chardonnay, Sonoma
                2004 Leeuwin Chardonnay, Art Series, Margaret River
                There's hope for New World chardonnay after all. Reminded me of that the greatness of chardonnay, when done properly, is unsurpassed.

                2001 Nicolas Joly Savennières, Coulée de Serrant
                I'm so confused, this is chenin???? I don't know if I like it, but damn if it isn't unique. It's the most philosophical wine I've had. I have no clue if that last sentence made any sense.

                13 Replies
                1. re: mengathon

                  It's not chenin, it's not Savennières. It's Joly.
                  This guy would probably do magic in my aunt Scheindl's backyard as well.
                  More on Joly in his recently translated book "What Is Biodynamic Wine: The Quality, the Taste, the Terroir"

                  http://www.amazon.com/What-Biodynamic...

                  1. re: mengathon

                    Yup, it's Chenin, but it's made in a controlled oxidized style.
                    You experience the wine in waves -- that very hop-like, toasted barley entry,
                    which fades to caramel and brioche, which blows off and reveals the beautiful citrus and herbs.
                    Lots more here on this recently revived thread:
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/443001

                    Nice to "see" you, meng...

                    1. re: maria lorraine

                      Aww thanks Maria, good to see you too.

                      I loved that the Joly people served everything at room temperature, and out of a decanter. The first thing I thought of was an opened bottle of champagne that had sat around too long.

                      Actually thinking about it a little more, isn't it at least somewhat likely that they take away the Savennières AOC from him for not being typical of the region a la the Beaujolais l'Ancien Terres Dorées fiasco? There's gotta be a few jealous winemakers?

                      1. re: mengathon

                        The INAO French authorities de-classified the 2007 Domaine des Terres Dorées, declaring it atypical of Beaujolais, even though Brun's Beaujolais has often been described over the years as having personality and being reflective of Beaujolais terroir. The INAO found flaws in the 2007: rubber, mushrooms and VA.

                        In contrast, Joly's Clos de Coulée de Serrant is its own AOC. It's own AOC! It's the only single chateau in France that is a separate AOC.

                        Joly has "defined" his AOC's style -- Joly IS the AOC style, and besides that, he's formidable -- kind of a bad ass -- and I bet the INAO doesn't want to mess with him!

                        I'd love to see the INAO try to tell Joly that his wines were un-Joly! Or that they had noticed that his wines were, um, a little oxidized???

                        What's unusual is that Joly is applauded for his distinct wines, whereas Brun's Beaujolais are also distinct -- but *too* distinct for Beaujolais, or outside what's been described a narrow, standardized style of Beaujolais. Brun has also been in the INAO crosshairs for years, so maybe the INAO were especially tough on him for the 2007 vintage.

                        Of course, what Joly has to back him up -- which Brun doesn't -- is an individual and unique piece of land. The Clos de Coulée de Serrant AOC deserves to be separate from the other Savennieres AOCs -- the Savennieres-Roche-aux-Moines AOC and the "regular" Savennieres AOC. It's on a particular site on the Loire, higher up, and protected from the elements. The slope of the land is steeper and the vines are older than the other Savennieres. Joly can get away with more unusual qualities in his wines because he's the only one making them! Well, that and being a bad ass!

                        1. re: maria lorraine

                          "It's the only single chateau in France that is a separate AOC"

                          What about Château-Grillet ?

                          1. re: RicRios

                            I knew I should have said ", I believe." after I wrote that!

                            You're right...Château-Grillet is another one.

                            I wonder how many single-estate AOCs there are.

                          2. re: maria lorraine

                            Thanks for the clarification, Maria. I wasn't aware Coulée de Serrant was its own AOC; I had thought it was within the general Savennières AOC.

                            I had thought Château-Grillet and Romanée-Conti were the only monopoles. Now that I think of it, isn't La Tâche its own AOC as well?

                              1. re: mengathon

                                Monsieurdammes, faites attention!

                                A monopole does not necessarily constitute an AOC.

                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopole...

                                List of monopoles (in need of expansion
                                )In Burgundy:

                                Vinyard Name Class Commune(Village) Owner
                                Corton "Clos des Marechaudes" Grand Cru Aloxe-Corton Albert Bichot
                                Chablis "La Moutonne" Grand Cru Chablis Albert Bichot (Domaine Long Depaquit)
                                Ruchottes-Chambertin "Clos des Ruchotte" Grand Cru Gevrey-Chambertin Armand Rousseau
                                Clos de Tart Grand Cru Morey-Saint-Denis Mommessin
                                Clos des Lambray Grand Cru Morey-Saint-Denis Domaine des Lambrays
                                Romanée-Conti Grand Cru Vosne-Romanée Domaine de la Romanée-Conti
                                La Tâche Grand Cru Vosne-Romanée Domaine de la Romanée-Conti
                                La Grande Rue Grand Cru Vosne-Romanée Domaine François Lamarche
                                La Romanée Grand Cru Vosne-Romanée Comte Liger-Belair (Château de Vosne-Romanée)
                                Clos de l'ecu Premier Cru Beaune Faiveley
                                Clos des Ursule Premier Cru Beaune Louis Jadot
                                Clos Napoléon (previously aux Cheuzots) Premier Cru Fixin Pierre Gelin
                                Clos Saint Paul Premier Cru Givry Domaine Silvestre Du Closel
                                Clos des Myglands Premier Cru Mercurey Faiveley
                                Le Clos de Thorey Premier Cru Nuits-Saint-Georges Antonin Rodet
                                Clos des Épeneaux Premier Cru Pommard Comte Armand
                                Clos de la Commaraine Premier Cru Pommard Jabulet-Vercherre
                                Fremiets Clos de la Rougeotte Premier Cru Volnay Bouchard Pere & Fils
                                Clos des Ducs Premier Cru Volnay Marquis d'Angerville
                                Clos des Réas Premier Cru Vosne-Romanée Michel Gros
                                Clos de la Chaume Gaufriot Village Beaune Antonin Guyon
                                Clos la Marche Village Mercurey Louis Max
                                Clos des Ursulines Village Pommard Albert Bichot (Domaine du Pavillon)
                                Clos de Fontaine Village Vosne-Romanée Anne Fraçoise Gros
                                Clos Blanc de Vougeot Village Vougeot Domaine de la Vougeraie

                                Others

                                Château-Grillet AOC, of Château Grillet.
                                In Bourgogne region, most of the vinyards which classified as Grand Cru have their own appellation (AOC). However, for some cases, several vinyards have one appellation. For example, 7 Grand Crus exists in Chablis region, but only one appellation "Chablis Grand Cru" is given to them. Corton Grand Cru, the largest Grand Cru in Bourgogne, has 26 sub vinyards in it.

                                Chablis "La Moutonne" is not recognized as Grand Cru by INAO, but BIVB (Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne) recognizes it as Grand Cru.

                                1. re: RicRios

                                  Yeah I had read this page earlier, and was thoroughly confused. I was always under the impression that the monopoles only existed as an appellation.

                                  There are lots of inconsistencies between your link and these:

                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...
                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chateau_...

                                  I guess it's just a matter of how a monopole is defined.

                                  1. re: mengathon

                                    Fact of the matter is, we need to come up with an aswer to the original question by Madame lorraine:

                                    "I wonder how many single-estate AOCs there are"

                                      1. re: maria lorraine

                                        Tough job!
                                        Some bits & pieces to start:

                                        http://closdesfees.com/blog2/index.ph...

                                        Romanée-Conti
                                        la Tâche
                                        Château Grillet
                                        Coulée de Serrant

                                        "... Je vous laisse compléter la liste, cela fera un peu d'animation dans les commentaires..."

                                        Clos de Tart (Mommesin ) http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clos-de-...

                                        DAMASSINE ? http://www.schnapsforum.ch/de/01_news...

                      2. My most recent wine "WOW" moment was a Bollinger Grande Annee Rose Brut 1999 that I was drinking right after a Salon 1996 that was almost as WOW, but not quite. My first real Wow was about 15-18 years ago with a 1963 port, it think a Taylor