Beyond Wine: Album Review of Assume Form - James Blake

Vinous critic, Neal Martin reviews recently released albums as part of his ongoing Beyond Wine series. Although labeled "Beyond Wine", there is no need to worry about missing out on wine content. Neal makes sure to recommend the perfect wine to enjoy with his album of choice. In his most recent review, Neal recommends a 2016 Riesling Trocken to sip on while listening to James Blake's newest release, Assume Form. Enjoy this excerpt from Neal's album review paired with Trocken Riesling reviews from the Delectable community! ************************************************************************************************ "Last October, when I was driving the kids to school, BBC Radio 6 played a track from Blake’s forthcoming album. “Don’t Miss It” sounded so fragile and spectral, I had to resist leaning down and placing my ear to the car speaker lest I swerve off the road. Once home, I replayed the track (thanks, Spotify; I guess I can’t do that with HMV). I just loved the song. Built around a maudlin piano motif peeled from what sounds like a crackly 78rpm shellac, Blake deftly introduces a celestial choral sample and his own voice warped one way and the other, whilst all the time retaining a Spartan arrangement. The trick is that halfway through, an unexpected key change turns it a bit bluesy. Genius. So-called “sad boy music” turns more “soul boy music.” Assume Form is slightly poppier than its predecessor, The Colour In Anything, which was one big sad emoji of an album. It’s still James Blake, so there’s no fist-pumping EDM anthem to jump around to. Blake’s voice is as brittle and fragile as ever, and at times it fails to really translate the emotion intended. But he has an impressive array of collaborators this time around, including Moses Sumney, Spanish sensation Rosalía, Travis Scott, producer du jour Metro Boomin and no less than the God that is André 3000. The best of these is Rosalía, whose Latin voice lends real warmth to the almost commercial “Barefoot In The Park” and complements Blake’s vocals much better than you would think. The standout might actually be “Can’t Believe The Way We Flow” thanks to an inspired swooning sample of Manhattan’s “It Feels So Good To Be Loved So Bad” (possibly the best song title I’ve heard in years.) Blake creates a celestial, hymnal centrepiece that sounds like it’s raining down from heaven. Generally, Blake is a happier bunny than he has ever been, at least judging by the lyrics. Obviously everything is going well with Jameela Jamil. Occasionally in the past, Blake risked sounding so down in the dumps that it rubbed off on the listener. Sure, there’s always an undercurrent of melancholy, but Assume Form sounds more open and positive. The production is immaculate, much of it in collaboration with Mount Kimbie’s Dom Maker, a mixture of muffled beats and static, and rumbling bass notes to shake your house with intricate percussion. It sounds pretty amazing on a decent audiophile system. If you want to know how music sounds right now, stream Assume Form and relish one of the most innovative musicians forging his own interesting and now happier path. Wine Recommendation: Nothing too heavy, I think. A 2016 Riesling Trocken from Eva Fricke would be just perfect." --Neal Martin, Vinous, Album Review of Assume Form - James Blake , January 2019.

Andreas Laible

Durbacher Plauelrain Klingelberger Spätlese Trocken Riesling 2016

Man I love laible. Totally laible but has a hint of tropicality bc of the vintage. Maybe a bit more hedonistic and less cerebral than usual. Still has that acidity and minerality. What a terrific producer. Bought from fass selections. — 5 years ago

Lyle Fass
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Lyle Fass

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Needs time

Von Winning

Deidesheimer Grainhübel Trocken Riesling 2016

Much more elegant than I expected. Super herbal. Quiet wood but its there for sure. — 5 years ago

J. B. Becker

Wallufer Walkenberg Spätlese trocken Riesling 2013

There’s so much going on here. Medium to full bodied, dry yet anything but austere. Layers of flavors. I’d recommend decanting and this can do well for many more years. — 5 years ago

Neil, Steve and 6 others liked this

Von Winning

Deidesheimer Mäushöhle Riesling 2016

Trocken and taut, mineral and focussed.
Pink grapefruit salade, stony and a touch saline, as well.
— 5 years ago

Riddley, David and 12 others liked this
Marc S

Marc S

Nog ‘n beetje jong voor je 😉

Ritter & van Oetinger

Erbacher Siegelsberg Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese 2003

2003 Ritter & van Oetinger Erbacher Siegelsberg Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese. Dark copper. Intense nose- rich, warm honey, petrol, dried apricot, warm sous-bois. It’s very sweet but has lip-smacking acids. Superb. — 5 years ago

Bill, Mike and 17 others liked this
MaJ CappS

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Love an aged TBA. Yum!

Franz Künstler

Trocken Rheingau Riesling 2017

Stunning acidity! Sweetness, cedar and passion fruit. Progression of salt and stone... fresh and lovely. I want 1.000 bottles of it! — 5 years ago

Weingut Keller

Troken Rheinhessen Riesling 2016

Perhaps still burdened by it’s youth as it’s not overly complex. Admirable it’s it’s purity and precision, but length also falls a bit short. — 5 years ago

Ceccherini and Severn liked this

Martin Müllen

Revival Trocken Mosel Riesling 2016

Decanted ~1hr.
Nose has green apple peel, white peach, under-ripe tangerine juice and wet, decaying granite.
Palate is quite citrus-y, peach notes coming in strong mid-finish, light lingering sweetness and wet mineral dust on the tail end.

Decent wine, not the typical Müllen style, more like a Riesling trying to be a Burgundy, and doing a fairly positive effort in getting there. Future bottles 2022+ minimum.

Continuing to evolve with extended air, getting quite nice!
— 5 years ago

Alex, Angelo and 27 others liked this
Severn Goodwin

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@Lyle Fass Thanks, interesting bottle. 👍
Pinotman /// Andreas

Pinotman /// Andreas

I think simply to young
Lyle Fass

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@Pinotman /// Andreas designed to be drunk young. About fruit.

Weingut Winter

Trocken Riesling 2016

Tasty, crisp & easy drinking. J proclaimed it his “perfect white.” — 5 years ago


Rödelseer Küchenmeister trocken Riesling 2016

Intensely mineral and a little angular on the first night, I vacuum sealed it and now, two days later, it’s much softer and rounder. Still outrageously mineral on the nose, it’s got a bit of bitter apple fruit underneath. So intense but balanced in the mouth. Stones, green apples, soft but zesty. This will improve over the next coupla years. Great value. — 5 years ago

Lyle Fass
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Dawn, David and 15 others liked this
Lyle Fass

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Great 16’s at Weltner