Let us begin again, all ye lovers of things bacchanalian!
So when we last left off, Fizban was trying to find new liquor to drink, Robos and JWF were on their bourbon high horse, and I was spending waaaaaaaay to much money on various liqueurs to experiment with drinks to try and serve at work. I've also been on a Châteauneuf-du-Pape kick, so here's the list of my recent reviews
2006 Châteauneuf du Pape, Dom. de la Millière. Great herbal bouquet of thyme and kale and pepper. Nice and acidic, with a little lemon peel. Decent tannic structure, all sorts of terroir going on. Loads of spice in the back of the tongue, with a bit of plum and blackberry in the front. Great introduction into studying French wines!
Comte de Lauze Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 2005: what a great wine! As soon as I popped the cork, I knew I was in for a treat: the end of the cork was light purple! I've been dealing with barolos extensively for almost a year now, and I've never been able to pick out the tar from the famous bouquet of "tar and roses," however it popped right out in the nose, along with a little lavender. The most immediate note that jumped in the palate was chocolate -- another standard note I'd never been able to pick out, which was follow by gamey notes, leather, salt, and grass. Very little fruit in this one -- just some strawberry from the grenache. Medium body, little support from tannin structure, but hey -- it's a CDP. Really glad with this pickup.
La Bernadine 2001: Doesn't taste like a CDP at all. Boring fruit bomb, from bouquet to finish.
Coudoulet de Beaucastel, 2006 Côtes de Rhône.
Bouquet: Very tight smell. Could really pick anything out. Powerful and hot.
Taste: Tight and complex. It took me half an hour with this bad boy to really isolate a flavor -- thyme. However, the flavor is HUGE - it's all over your palate. The immediate taste is a peppery kick on the tip of your tongue and masculine tannins. It gives way to a great, juicy acidity and lots of provencal herbs -- mostly thyme and rosemary. The end is very gamey and a few tobacco notes.
Finish: extremely long, aided by the nice acidity level. The tobacco and thyme notes really shine in the finish.
Overall: GREAT value. Really hits all the areas of a CDP. This is one of the most complex wines I've had, and at under $30 you really can't beat it. I both desire to try the famed Château de Beaucastel and fear that it isn't worth the $100 price jump. If you want to try out an available CDP (although technically not a AOC CDP) try this one out.
Also, I never posted my review of the Vintage 21 year old Rye. It's pretty interesting. The bouquet is all sorts of pepper and citrus peel. The taste is FIRE FIRE FIRE. It's amazing. If drinking a fireball were a pleasurable experience, it would taste like this. The real shine, however, is in the finish. I think it's over two minutes long! And ALLLLLLL the flavor comes out in the finish: orange peel, white pepper, banana, tobacco. Simply AMAZING. Well worth the $70 price. I also had Ole Rip Van Winkle 13 year old. It's another heat bomb with a superb finish. The taste on the palate is not as hot, so there's more mouth action going on, but the finish is not as long.
I want to continue with my trek through France. I was thinking about staying near the Rhone, and perhaps trying out some Hermitage. However, I'm wondering if I should venture elsewhere and try something different. Does anyone have any suggestions.
I also want to pick up some more liquors. I was thinking about trying to make some pousse cafes, and perhaps picking up some Creme Yvette or Violet Liquor and trying it out.
Also, my friend Jim Meehan was on the Jimmy Fallon show making winter drinks! Congrats. The show isn't on youtube, but here's a link.
He's the bartender of the original neo-speak easy in NYC, Please Don't Tell. He's a pretty rad dude, and he's living the life -- he goes around the world and advises new establishments on how to set up their bar.
And here's him and a cocktail historian, Dave Wondrich, making what is, 100 years on, STILL the coolest cocktail ever made: the Blue Blazer, invented by the original bartender, Jerry Thomas.