Les Tastevins du Lac is dedicated to camaraderie in pursuit of joie de vino! This blog serves as an informal forum on wine, food and travel.... Cheers! Steve Adams


Sunday, March 29, 2020

1994 Bodegas Alejandro Fernández Pesquera Gran Reserva Janus

Janus is a Gran Reserva cuvee produced only in the best years... 1982, 1986, 1991, 1994, 1995 and 2003 so far, and sourced from best Viña Alta parcels.

Irresistible, pluperfectly aged red and blue fruit. Beautifully complex, lush mid palate with burnished tannins. Lengthy finish with hints of cedar, leather and tobacco. 

What a beautiful example of aged Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero. Paired beautifully with steak enchiladas.

Excellent article on vigneron Alejandro Fernández:

Saturday, March 28, 2020

2008 Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici Riserva Antonio

Enjoyed this over the course of several days, and it saw improvement each day. I've had this wine next to the 2006 Mastroberardino Riserva, and the oak treatment on the 2008 seemed obtrusive. On its own, the 2008 is quite nice, especially with food. It is hard to compare any wine to the ethereal beauty of the 2006 Mastroberardino Riserva.

The 2008 Mastroberardino Riserva Antonio was produced to commemorate the life of Antonio Mastroberardino who passed away in 2014. It is made with fruit from their Montemarano vineyard and is aged for 30 months in a combination of botte grande and barrique. 

Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici Riserva is one of my favorite wines in the world. The alluring red fruit, spice, anise and sous bois are presented in such a way that the Aglianico varietal reaches its utmost potential via the amazing Campanian terroir. 

2015 Fontodi Chianti Classico

15% abv (excessive, IMO)

Morello cherry with hints of mint and pepper. As with other Fontodi wines, I find the oak to be a bit obtrusive. Better with food than on its own.

Day 2 saw a bit of mellowing and more of the fruit to take center stage, which I suppose bodes well for further cellaring.

Paired with lamb sugo rigatoni accented with onion agrodolce and Parmigiano Reggiano.

Friday, March 27, 2020

2016 Bérêche et fils Les Monts Fournois Coteaux Champenois

My first experience with Coteaux Champenois. This is a delightful wine. Lovely 12% abv. 
100% Chardonnay. 

I am a fan of Bérêche Champagne so was very much looking forward to trying their still wines.

Lemon curd upfront with honeysuckle and passionfruit midpalate. Nice vein of salinity on the finish. Pear and herb on the nose. Not particularly floral. 

Lush mouthfeel that suggests malolactic fermentation with extended lees contact
Reminds me more of Meursault than Puligny-Montrachet

Producer notes:
Chardonnay from the southward-facing parcel "Les Monts Fournois" , planted by massale selection in 1961 within the Ludes 1er cru in Montagne de Reims. 
Fermentation occurs on the lees in neutral french oak. Aged for 18 months in french oak barrique. Around 37 cases produced.

Still delicious on day 2 paired with fried oysters garnished with dill creme fraiche. 

The Meursault-like character is confirmed yet within the parameters of the inimitable Bérêche style 👍🍾

Thursday, March 19, 2020

2009 Kanzler and 2015 Lingua Franca

All of the restaurants in North Carolina are shut down as of today. When Waffle House closes down, then things have gone too goddam far....

Paired with seared tuna on the grill at home:

- 2009 Kanzler normale was very tasty, but not in the same league as 2009 Kanzler Reserve 

- 2015 Lingua Franca Ryans Plow was very fine, if young. Classic Oregon with a bit of rhubarb on the nose

- 1974 Borgogno Barolo was shot

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Marie Courtin Résonance Extra Brut (2014)

12% abv
Disgorged July 2018
Zero dosage 
100% Pinot Noir 

A "wow" champagne with beautiful energy and freshness! Red currant fruit underlain by an elegantly dry framework of tonic and chalk. The non-dosage, pinot noir-driven palate is absolutely intoxicating. Fine bubbles contribute greatly to the overall texture and balance. Very alluring nose of florals with hints of mint.

I love this wine and look forward to trying more cuvee's.

Producer Notes:

Dominique Moreau’s 2.5ha of vines are all located within a single parcel in the village of Polisot, in the Côte des Bars. The winery is named after her Grandmother.

Rêsonance cuvee is produced from massale selection pinot noir grown from a top of slope parcel on Kimmeridgian limestone.

The name "Résonance” refers to the balancing energies of earth and sky that affect the creation of a wine from its surrounding terroir. 

Indigenous yeast is used in the winemaking. After an eight to ten day fermentation, the wine undergoes full malolactic fermentation. Résonance spends nine to twelve months in stainless steel tank and is then bottled and left on the lees for about two and a half years.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

NV Bérêche et Fils Rive Gauche Extra Brut (2014)

An interesting counterpoint to the beautiful Bérêche  Le Cran (2010) that we enjoyed last weekend, and a first foray for me with a 100% Pinot Meunier Champagne. 

This edition of Rive Gauche  is still young at this juncture. Several more years of cellaring should bring out more nuance. 

Right now, it exhibits a bold attack with ripe, intense fruit. Yet there is a somewhat monolithic earthiness (typical to Pinot Meunier, I believe) that holds the wine back from invoking the emotional response that some of the other Bérêche cuvee's, like Rilly-La-Montagne and Le Cran, are able to. 

Producer notes:

"From Mareuil-le-Port in Vallée de la Marne where the source vines were planted in 1969 on pure clay (no chalk) on a north-facing, late-ripening slope. Fermented with natural yeasts in barrels and aged for eight months on the lees before the tirage. (No malolactic). The vin clair is kept for three years under natural cork.
Disgorged as Extra Brut in October 2017, this release of Rive Gauche is based entirely on the 2014 vintage (but is not a vintaged Champagne). Dosage is 3 g/l."

Saturday, February 22, 2020

NV Bérêche et Fils Le Cran Extra Brut (2010)

Disgorged November 2017
3 g/l dosage
50% Chardonnay 50% Pinot Noir 

OMG, what a wine! 👍🍾
For me, I give Le Cran the edge over Dom Perignon and Cristal in terms of character, intensity and sheer thrill...

Riveting slightly oxidative nose of honeycrisp apples, flowers and hints of yeast. Very fine, playful mousse.

Taut, thrilling palate of tart red berry, iodine and chalk with a wonderfully complex, dry saline finish.

Paired with:

- Risotto al Salto (rice cake with Asiago-Parmesan fondue with bits of crispy Prosciutto)

- Whole roasted Branzino with a delicious Mediterranean version of Pommes Anna with cherry tomatoes and capers.

Autolysis reference 

Producer notes:

"Since joining their father Jean-Pierre in 2004 and 2008 respectively, Raphaël and Vincent Bérêche have risen to the head of the class of Champagne’s corp of elite grower producers.

Integral to the Bérèche style is the systematic suppression of malolactic fermentation, a method that allows the Le Cran cuvee to showcase the complexity of its 40 year-old, Premier Cru fruit while retaining the nervy acidity of Ludes (Montagne de Reims).

The “Cran” vineyard was planted to Chardonnay on west–facing hills in 1969, and the “St. Jean” vineyard was planted to Pinot Noir on east-facing hills in 1973. Together these two vineyards, in dense, chalky soil provide the structure for a long-lived, powerful yet elegant Champagne from the two varieties.

The wine is fermented and aged in neutral barrels before the vin clair is assembled. Then the wine receives its second fermentation in bottle under cork–a hugely labor-intensive practice, which produces discreet, elegant bubbles. 

Wines are bottled around May, without filtration and with a natural cold-settling, achieved by opening all of the cellar’s windows and waiting for three days.

A small dosage, usually 3–6 g/l, depending on the vintage is added after the manual disgorgement. Unlike many growers who are embracing the idea of concentrated must for the dosage, Bérèche adamantly prefers a traditional liqueur.

The original Bérêche estate is centered around 2.5 hectares of vines established by Leon and Albert Bérêche in 1847. Successive generations expanded the property, and today there are a total of 9.5 ha in and around the communes of Craon de Ludes, Ormes, Trépail, and Mailly, all in the Montagne de Reims, as well as the area around Mareuil-le-Port on the left bank of the Marne. The 0.15 ha Mailly parcel, acquired in 2012, is their first Grand Cru vineyard. "

(Le Cran T-Shirt photo courtesy Donald Pennet, taken at Bérêche cellars)