Wine Talk

Snooth User: outthere

Cali vs France - a very unscientific comparison

Posted by outthere, Apr 8, 2012.

Had a great time yesterday living the wine country life with a good group of friends. Started out the afternoon tasting through the entire lineup of Jemrose wines, from Viognier through Syrah, from '09 through '11 barrel samples matched up against some French counterparts. I'll just say Cali held its' own here as this was the prelude of what was to come.

Afterwards we gathered at a friends home in Bennet Valley where we each brought a Cali Pinot and a Burg priced under $100 and some brought white burgs and Cali Chards. The setting didn't suck either.

 

A lot of nice wines in this lineup but the star by far was the 04 Dauvissat Les Clos. Backing that up in a tight group were the Ceritas Ritchie, the Bouchard Corton and the 2000 Arcaidian. The QPR of the group was the Butteaux. Special mention to the newly released Copain Tous Rosé which at $18 is a steal as well. The Leflaive was premoxed, shocking!

Then it was on to the reds which will go in  another post as these photos aren't loading very well.

edit: the bread came from Whole Foods

Replies

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Reply by dmcker, Apr 8, 2012.

Looks like a *more* than pleasant afternoon in wine country--life must really suck over there! Drinking an Eden Valley shiraz from the Barossa over here in Tokyo right now, with grilled beef (and burdock and potatoes), that's received a high-'90s locally, low-to-middle '90s ranking WA, and think a heartbeat would be far too long for me to consider a switch.  ;-)

Interesting you like the Dauvissat. A mildly controversial maker over the past decade or two, though one also cultily supported by a wealthy segment of the market. 

Would like to hear more. Whose bread, btw?

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Reply by outthere, Apr 8, 2012.

Ah the reds. We had 16 bottles which we did in 4 flights of 3 and 2 flights of 2. We tasted double blind, brown bagged and had to choose Cali or France and our favorite of the flight.

Flight 1:

  • 01 Arcadian Sleepy Hollow
  • 08 Barthod Chambolle-Musigny 1er
  • 09 Ceritas Escarpa

Consensus winner was the Ceritas which was surprising given its youth and the propensity of this producer to not show young.

Cali 1 - France 0

 

Flight 2:

  • 09 Paul Lato Hilliard Bruce Vnyd
  • 07 La Rochelle SLH
  • 05 Tortochot Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru

This one was a no-contest as well as everyone chose the Tortochot as their favorite. The Lato was a mess.

Cali 1 - France 1

Flight 3:

  • 07 Windy Oaks Estate Pinot Santa Cruz
  • 01 Littorai Cerise
  • 99 Jean Grivot Richebourg

Most of us pegged the Windy Oaks as a RRV Pinot. Uh... The Littorai was a VA disaster and we were shocked on the reveal. The Richebourg stole the flight.

Cali 1 - France 2

Flight 4:

  • 07 Ceritas Escarpa
  • 00 Seasmoke "10"
  • 09 Faiveley Les Cazetiers

This was a tough flight as all three wines had their issues. The Ceritas was very ripe, the Seasmoke was undrinkable and the Faiveley was a brett bomb. Winner by default was the Ceritas.

Cali 2 - France 2

Flight 5:

  • 10 Kosta Browne Sonoma County
  • 07 Fourrier Gevrey Chanbertin Les Goulots

Flight 6:

  • 05 Bouchard Volnay Caillerets Cuvée Carnot
  • 07 Copain Monument Tree

 

 

We were split on these two flights as for me the French wines were just getting too weird with Camphor and brett once again. I ended up choosing both the Cali wines even thoguht the KB was a total fruit bomb. The Copain was almost syrah like and it was a nice palate change from the previous wines.

The group as a whole was split.

Cali 3 - France 3 (mine ended up Cali 5 - France 2)

We finished the night off with a few assorted Syrahs that we all could appreciate after all that pinot. All in all an awesome day.

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Reply by dmcker, Apr 8, 2012.

Thanks for the effort to remember, since I'm sure 'notes' taking became more than a chore at some point.  And damn, I'd be more than happy right now with just that last photo's worth (that isn't the Clary Ranch from A-R, is it?--doesn't look like it but can always fantasize)... ;-)

How was the Sea Smoke undrinkable? Damage, or rather just the winemaker?  ;-(  

Sorry to hear about all the brettish- & corkedish-type issues. Especially since I've yet to meet a Kosta Browne that couldn't afford liposuction and bootcamp training topped off by a serious regimen of yoga....

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Reply by outthere, Apr 8, 2012.

The Seasmoke was like drinking cherry liqueur mixed with flat Dr Pepper. Just not enjoyable at all.

I hear you on the KB. I really wasn't ready to admit I picked it but I have a low Brett tolerance so it won by default. Others at the table found some of the aromas I felt were off-putting as something in their wheelhouse. Just how it goes.

The wine we finished off with were leftovers from the previous day when we went on a tour of Anderson Valley with Wells Guthrie. That was a day I'll remember always but you'll have to read about it here -->  http://wineberserkers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=64691 as I'm not up to reposting. 

The AR is the Sonoma Coast.  Got my Clary's ordered for a Cinco de Mayo pick-up date!

Cheers!

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Reply by JonDerry, Apr 8, 2012.

Sounds like a great time, and a fairly even matchup for the two regions/countries. Also agree that Seasmoke is one big pass, but if someone else opens one...it's always interesting. Feel like I should get to know A-R better. Had that Faiveley recently, and while it's obviously young, it wasn't one of my favorites in their lineup. Looking forward to picking up some 2010's in time.

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Reply by outthere, Apr 8, 2012.

Jon, if you like low alc wines then Arnot-Roberts will fit your bill. Pushing the envelope these two are along with Copain.

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Reply by dmcker, Apr 8, 2012.

Not entirely sure about that 'fairly even matchup' since we're seeing some fair specialty knowledge of the Sonoma wine scene right here. Would be curious about the provenance of the French bottles with so many being problematic. Also what California bottles some people in the wine scene in Burgundy might bring to a similar weekend over there. ;-)

Not at all dissing the reportage from you, outthere--au contraire, thank you very much for it. Don't know if it's feeding or assuaging my jones, but it's hitting some sort of spot for me....

 

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Reply by outthere, Apr 8, 2012.

I wouldn't say so many were problematic. The Montrachet was premox which really isn't that uncommon. A couple of the reds were showing Brett but there were a few Cali wines that were undrinkable as well so it evened out as far as I'm concerned.

I tried to be as fair as I could which is why I brought the 05 Torochot Grand Cru which actually cost me $20 more than the Ceritas. Either way it was fun. I got to drink a lot of wines I haven't had before and spend some fun time with fun peeps.

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Reply by dmcker, Apr 9, 2012.

Was the Torochot the one that almost wasn't delivered in time? Wonder what it cost over in Dijon or some place similar...

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Reply by outthere, Apr 9, 2012.

Yep, bought it from Last Bottle on Friday and it didn't make it over the hill for a full week.

 

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Reply by JonDerry, Apr 9, 2012.

Re: the Fairly Even Matchup D,

This is where price might come in to play, and I suppose we'd start trending away from the theme of un-scientific. As you know to get some of the finer Burgs, beyond the villages, the price can routinely get into that $150 - $300+ realm, where I'm not sure CA or North American Pinot gets far north of $100 outside of Wine Spectator WOTY honors.

Maybe there wasn't as much local knowledge or ability to find some of the finer Burgs under $100, though I'm sure we'd all be curious what you would've changed on the French side. i.e., any favorite Burgs of yours that fit the bill?

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Reply by outthere, Apr 9, 2012.

When you consider matchup I think the prices were all in line. The French wines were for the most part about 25-30% more expensivbe than their California counterparts. I'm not flush with burg experience so I got the best I could for my money in a short timeframe. Seems 2005 was considered a great year so I started there and looked for a 1er or Grand Cru. Ended up with the one I brought and an 05 Bouchard Vosne-Romanée. Best I could do in short order.

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Reply by JonDerry, Apr 9, 2012.

& that's what I meant more than anything as far as "fairly even", was in price. I'm no expert on Burgs either, but it seemed like pricing was relatively in-line. Will need some help from D on increasing quality, though from what I'm hearing most of the 05's won't be ready to drink for another decade or so.

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Reply by JonDerry, Apr 11, 2012.

GdP on his sub $100 Burgs, still would like to know your thoughts D

http://www.snooth.com/articles/the-dollar-10-000-cellar-part-two/


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