Thursday, May 21, 2009

Some more music

This time it's not a golden oldie but the complete opposite. 
Amazing especially given the circumstances.  Zee Avi is a jazz/folk vocalist & songwriter. The 23 year old Malaysian from Borneo was posting youtube videos until being "discovered" and was offered contracts by several US record companies.

More songs on the link below - enjoy!!

2008 Bordeaux - Selling one's soul

Most of you won't believe this but the winehunter bought 2008 Bordeaux En-Primuer. Alright, accuse me of selling out, turncoat whatever - I admit it!! Anway, let's see if this works out.
Given the pricing and the vintage there were some relatively good values to be had especially in the early days. Duhart-Milon @ $400/case was to me a complete no brainer. Owned by Lafite, quality has been improving steadily. Pontet-Canet; too hard to resist. The 2003 were yummy, 2008 costs less and should be even better. 

On the other hand, some of the top rated wines have shot up tremendously especially after Robert Parker gave higher marks than were expected. 1st growths like Lafite have doubled since initial offering...  Greed is back. Either way, this should be fun to watch and try when it finally gets delivered.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

An adventure down history.

For many, collecting antiques can be a fanatical pastime. For wine lovers, this road is fraught with uncertainty but also wonderful surprises. Last night, we had disappointments but we had some wonderful surprises as well - such is life.  We had 2 vintages which bookended the beginning and the worst parts of the previous large financial disaster - the great depression of the early 20th century. Is this where we are in the latest equivalent of the 21st century? - who knows.

1929 Beaune - Doctor Barolet selection ( H. Villamont)

A great many significant events occured in 1929 which would reshape the later parts of the 20th century - a monumental year by any measure.
  • The beginning of the great depression ushered in by the stock market crash in the United States
  • The first public telephone booth call was made
  • The Vatican was established as an independent jurisdiction by the Lateran treaty
  • The first Academy awards were given out
  • The EEG was invented
What a surprise on opening this 80-year old wine -  it was still alive & kicking! The color was light but healthy. Immediately on opening, smells of plums, hints of tea and a touch of figs. Balanced and consistent on the palate, fine tannins but not the quite the kind you expect from a GC on the Nuit side.  Over the course of 10-15 minutes of air contact the tannins started to reassert themselves and had a bit of an edge - this then softened over the next 15-20 minutes. Surprisingly, the nose reminds me of Armand Rosseau's Chambertin. In the mouth, it's a slightly different story - again definitely not GC finesse. It had the energy, balance, acidity, complexity. A wonderful experience trying, experiencing and partaking in history.

1933- Beaune Premier Bouchard Pere

As the US started bottoming out here were the highlights of historical events of 1933
  • Construction of the Golden Gate bridge begins
  • Newsweek magazines is published
  • Franklin D Roosevelt becomes US president and begins the "New Deal"
  • Nissan Motors begins operation
  • Adolph Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany and the Nazi party comes into power
Holy cow! This thing does not resemble a 76 year old wine. It must have been suspended animation. Color is extremely deep and young ( given the age) - you would have confused this for at most a 20 year old Burgundy. Nose is a bit more reserved not as seductive and complex as the the 1929; bit more monolithic as well on the palate.  Compared to the previous bottle this was more of a "bulldog" - tough and wound up. Tannic structure was more heavy and to me not as fine as the previous bottle ( again these are both Beaunes! ). Nit-picking aside, given that is Bouchard is 76 years old - completely amazing condition. Hope I'm in that good shape when or if I get there.

1949 - Moet & Chandon Rose

Some landmark geopolitical events shaped this year and for years to come.
  • The People's Republic of China is officially proclaimed
  • Chiang Kai Shek's army retreats to Taiwan
  • The Federal Republic of Germany is officialy founded.

I had high hopes for this one but it was not to be. DOA. Oxydised, no go. Blech.