choose your destiny

giovedì 30 giugno 2011

el gatto

cat on sidewalk in los angeles. june 2011

sabato 25 giugno 2011

1999 Puligny-Montrachet, non c'è male!

Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet ''Les Pucelles'' 1999

Was excited to try this wine tonight, and to see how this 1999 Puligny-Montrachet held up after 12 years in the cellar.  The Grand Cru Montrachet vineyard (of 8 hectares divided between Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet) can age very well and is considered the greatest land for making age worthy dry white wine in the world.  I'm a believer after tasting the 1995 Domaine Ramonet Montrachet last year which may have been the best shit I have ever drank as far as white wine is concerned.  But how about some vin from the Puligny side of things?  This wine was quite enjoyable, a bit passed it's peak but still with some life in the acidity, complex layers, gun flint, and a smoothness to it.  Although a bit oxidized and not having the lifespan in the cellar like some Grand Cru's do, it poured out a damn pleasing glass of old white wine.

Coppa bread and scrambled eggs

venerdì 24 giugno 2011

Coenobium 2009! pleasing the crowd

The Coenobium 2009 on Wednesday night at Mission Bar & Tapas really pleased the crowd...
When my friend Caitlin Harrison brought out this bottle during the wine dinner, I knew it would be my favorite of the night. This wine from the Monastero Suore Cistercensi is a Lazio Bianco IGT blend of 45% Trebbiano 35% Malvasia and 25% Verdicchio.  The nuns along with the consultant winemaker Giampiero Bea created this unctuous white with skin contact giving it a slight oxidative character and fresh yet fairly complex layers.  I picked up some beautiful hibiscus and quince notes that were so unique and delicious.  They also make another white, similar blend with 15 days skin contact called ''Rusticum'' that I will now be on the prowl for...
looking for a gorgeous summer wine? Hunt down this gem!

I also experienced the a 100% Counoise, a red wine grape grown primarily in the Rhone Valley.  A small percentage is allowed in Chateauneuf du Pape but its quite rare to find a 100% Counoise bottling as it sometimes lacks depth and tannin.  This Domaine Monpertuis 2009 had great acidity which made it work with most of the food, even if it lacked some elements it was still very enjoyable.

martedì 21 giugno 2011

A swig of Dolcetto

Today, the first day of summer I reopened a bottle of Oddero Dolcetto d'Alba 2009 from last night which i had with a panino con prosciutto.  Fresh ciabatta bread, a couple slices of Prosciutto di Parma, extra virgin olive oil and a bit of lettuce maybe.  This simple combination wins me over every single time!

Dolcetto has been compared to Beaujolais by wine writers and although I prefer Dolcetto, I would agree that they both have that fresh versatility that can pair easily with a range of different foods.  This 2009 Dolcetto by Oddero goes through fermentation and maceration for about 12 days in stainless steel containers.  It's then aged in stainless steel, bottled the next spring and released by the summer.  What you get is an easy drinking, versatile, fresh wine showing a true character of the Dolcetto grape. Don't let the name ''Dolcetto'' lead you down the wrong path (dolce = sweet in italian).  The word comes from the Langhe in Piedmont and refers to the grape rather than the wine.  It has long been a grape eaten at the table in the Langhe during the autumn along with seasonal pears and boiled chestnuts. 

I have tasted many Oddero wines, and they produce some of my favorite Barolo's (mainly the Brunate) and a very interesting Langhe Nebbiolo but this was my first time tasting their Dolcetto.
The wine had a nice ruby-red colour, purple tints and that Dolcetto fruit-filled nose.  A zingy black cherry fruit that was perfectly balanced by earthy notes, a nice acidity and appealing tannin.  I thought it was showing best the next day when the wine opened up a bit and all the components came through.  At around $16 a bottle this is a fun everyday wine to work with.

giovedì 16 giugno 2011

June photo slide

A few selected shots from an eventful last month on the west coast snowboarding, camping, surfing, sipping and smokin' before cruising back east for the summer....

Last chair up a very snowy Mammoth Mountain in June, Chair 1
Method into June skies
Four days of frends, debauchery, music, mayhem, whiskey and fires
Pre-Frendly Gathering warmup ralley with the Squid

Squid diving into a dog or two

J-Town organizing morning events, Frendly Gathering 2011
The reactions of 6 during Stairway to Heaven intro performed by Led Zeplica, Frendly Gathering 2011
A very loose Squid during Led Zeplica concert, Frendly Gathering 2011
Frendly Gathering, Day 1 aftermath (photo by A. Maness)
A late season Rusty Trombone performed by Shayne Pospisil

Red pepper
Vintage Pin ball
A swirl of G.D. Vajra Barolo Albe 2004
Pizza Margherita
Heading to the waves, Oceanside, CA

Pre-game driving to the Billabong, Design for Humanity Hollywood, CA

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