Some good friends came for dinner last night (and a poodle for Lucy to
play with). One had a gig and was late, but we just saved a plate and
some wine. We had a chicken/barley/garbanzo tagine, a hefty salad,
and plenty of wine.

2008 Nora "Peitan" Albarino
This really seemed harsh and acidic on opening. I really found close
to undrinkable- lemon pledge aromas and not much else. Quite unlike
previous experiences, I put in fridge and then revisited tonight. Much
more what I remembered- white pit fruits with a little lemon, good but
not searing acidity. Strange contrast. Something I ate, something in
glass? I have to believe it was me or an external factor. C- Sat
night, B tonight

NV Pinot Brut Rose (Touraine)
If my old eyes can read tiny print correctly, this is lot L06301. I
think this stuff is great for the price ($19), I can't think of any
under $40 rose Champagne that compares. Lovely fresh red fruits, a
hint of citrus zest, nice chalky edge to finish. B+/A-

2008 Arianna Occhipinti "SP68" *
A Frappato/Nero d'Avola blend (unsure of meaning on name- is this a
pun like the French FRV100? I speak no Italian). I've liked other
Occhipinti wines, but read some disappointing notes on this. Well,
maybe it was because of lowered expectations, but I quite liked. Fresh
and light bodied but with some structure- mostly acidic but a little
tannic. Red cranberry/raspberry fruit, tart but easy to drink. B+

2008 Terres Dorees (JP Brun) Cote de Brouilly
This gets better each time I try. Beautiful deep rich red fruit,
medium bodied with good concentration. Aromas of flowers, smoke,
pencil shavings. Great value. Holds up well overnight. B+/A-

1985 *Villa di Capezzana Carmignano Riserva
OK, no one ages Carmignano 25 years, but I grabbed this for cheap.
Totally expecting it to be a tired wreck, cork came out clean and
solid, and a reasonably sprightly wine emerged. Black cherries and
cassis, smoke, a tad tired but quite tasty. But after about 30 minutes
of air this started falling off a cliff- light tired notes became a
bit dirty ashtray and then that really dominated. B when opened, C
after a while

2004 Conde Valdemar Rioja Reserva
Medium bodied, red plums and cherries, some toasty oak notes, a hint
of dill. Tasty, easy drinking, trying to strike a balance between
modern and traditional I think. B

Some wines that changed (or maybe my tasting is even more inconsistent
that I thought). Long day with meetings and benefit concert today,
just having leftover wine with leftover food.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an
excellent*wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I
wouldn't*drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I
offer no*promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of