My tasting report this year is brief due to the fact that I was eating too much (Joe ALWAYS has the best food) and talking too much as there was a huge national contingent of folk I enjoy seeing and don't see enough. But here you go--here is the listing of LOVE Laurent Barth 2006's Love the pinot noir and the pinot gris. But right now I'm an an Alsatian Pinot Gris roll. Antoine Arena The Corsican magician 2007 Carco This is a barrel sample, who knows what will happen but glug glug, I say. Like apricot water--not watery--it just has that kind of purity. Bianco Gentile VdT 2006 Almond, nut and a delightful bitterness in the finish. Carco Rouge 2006: Floral and tannic with refreshing acidity. FINALLY! After tasting the OLIVIER RIVERE Rioja barrel samples for two years in France I got to taste it in bottle right on Lafayette Street. Riviere Rioja Tinto Rayos Uva 2007. 12.5% alcohol (take THAT global warming, my ass) . A mix of tempranillo and garanacha, it is berry, bramble, blueberry, with a bit of compelling dirt and twig and grit. Great little wine. Tinto Rochere 2006 Old vine garnacha mostly and the nose is compelling. Stick it in and sniff. It was less so on the palate but I need to give this one some time, because that nose, with that smidgen of forest honey is lovey. Terre des Chardons My friend Pascaline said, these were just okay. I adore Pascaline, but disagree. I really love these wines. Clairette de Bellegarde 2006 apricot, white flower and an edge of a finish Costieres de-Nimes Rouge Marginal 2007 True syrah for the northern rhone syrah nut, except it's from further south and has that southern richness. Frank Pelliot Man can do no wrong up the in Bugey, which also gets the vote for the most fun region to pronounce. Altesse, Pinot, Mondeuse (which got the Love. Love. Love. as my note...with that vin naturel cinnamon but avoids the vin naturel cliché) Dard et Ribo Crozes-Hermitage Rouge, C'est le Printemps 2007 Licorice, which I don't ever remember but this was just a heartbreaker. Dard Ribo Crozes-Hermitage Blanc 2006 A stormy wine filled with edge. Les Champs Libres VdT Lard, des Choix Rouge 2007 This is what you get when the teacher (Dard & Ribo( team up with their past student, (Hervé Souhaut)-in a syrah/gamay mix. Yes, it is of a type but somehow manages to get the sensual touch of Hervé teamed up with the anti-social charm of my favorite C-H duo. Marcel Richaud Cairanne Rouge 2006 These was deeply delicious, fennel and licorice and more heft than usual. Seemed to have its hemmed pinned up more, so there was more to let down? Domaine de Belliviere Coteaux-du- Loire Le Rouge Gorge 2006 I'm a long time devotee of Eric Nicola's wines but this Rouge Gorge seems to bring me back to the 2002 vintage where it was a coup de coeur. It had the perfect amount of pepper and velvet and cherry and structure and just extremely generous with the pleasure giving. And now.....we have Philippe Pacalet, the talented tossled haired man from Burgundy Pacalet's wines change from day to day, minute to minute, and what was delicious on that 21st of October might not be what thrills you on the 21st day of February, but they will always have something to say of worth. But on that day, they were profound. Let me just bow to the VVillage Nuits St. George (gets me with that Chanel #5 every time) Village Pommard (As always, Love the Pommard) Even the usually backward Chambolles were gorgeous from village to the 1er cru. And the Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Bel Air, breathtaking You see, there was a whole book I didn't taste. Did I go through the Puzelat? No, why? Because I fell down on the job. Did I go through the Luneau Papin or the Texier wines? No. Why? Because I was stressed. The Chidaines? No, just because it doesn't matter, they're gorgeous in any year.