Featured User: Severn Goodwin

Severn lives in the rural Berkshire Hills of scenic western Massachusetts with his life partner of 14 years (recently upgraded to spousal status in 2017), along with their four rescue cats (fur-kids). During a recent vacation to France, he was inducted into the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin at the Château du Clos de Vougeot, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. An avid gardener, he spends countless late autumn hours preserving the harvest for a superficial apocalypse or just pasta and pizza sauces in the following months. Severn is a project architect of over 20 years, working for an international design and construction management firm specializing in the business of food. He plans and constructs facilities with a robust, food-safe design mindset for the top 100 global food and beverage companies, as well as specialty ingredient manufacturers. Delectable: What sparked your passion for wine? Severn: The first bottles that got me excited were the initial release of wines from the iconic golfer Greg Norman. His estates made approachable wine that drew me in at the primary stage of my palate development. Traveling a lot for business has led me to a multitude of wine opportunities. In 2003, one of my favorites was discovering how enjoyable a well-made Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon could be with a seemingly random selection of a bottle of 1999 Freemark Abbey during a dinner in Lacrosse, WI. The bottle and producer changed my life, and I never looked back. I still have fond memories of consuming a bottle of 1989 Freemark Abbey Sycamore Vineyard Cabernet, then drinking a bottle of 1989 Château Pichon Longueville Baron within a week and remarking at how alike they were in many aspects aside from cost. Freemark Abbey is still a hallmark of our collection to this day. D: What wine region are you wild about right now? S: The Baden region in southwestern Germany is producing some of the best values in Pinot Noir, Müller-Thurgau and Pinot Blanc. For a fraction of the cost, the qualities of these wines are equal to their counterparts from the best in Europe. They bring freshness, energetic fruit and ageability, and are well deserving of exploration for wine education. D: What is the most unusual wine you’ve ever tried? S: A 1995 Arinto Poço do Lobo from Caves São João in the Bairrada region of Portugal. It was only a couple years ago that I tasted this bottle for the first time and I believe it’s close to the current vintage release. Some of these high-acid white wines from Portugal and Spain will age for decades before they begin to show the complexity hiding in the bottle. My taste memory is lemon curd and savory portobello mushroom, an unusual combination for most white wines. D: What is your golden rule for wine? S: Above all other wine rules, just share a bottle with new and old friends. Wine collecting is a self-interested activity which can be a generous joy when corks are pulled in good company. Try to experience wines across multiple vintages and areas. As your palate develops, you will start to understand how weather and geography can play a role in a variety you might not care for until you find that right-for-you region. D: Say you’re not allowed to have wine. What is your second option? S: As much as I understand the benefit of oak aging for wine, I am not a fan of wines with heavy, wooded aspects. Bourbon Whiskey, on the other hand, does quite nicely with oak aging. Sweet yet spicy fruits with caramel and vanilla, oh how I also adore thee. D: Choose a movie, book, quote, or song and pair it with a wine. S: Maceo Parker, “Life on Planet Groove” - I call it jazz but Maceo calls it 98% funky stuff. This was an album introduced to me by a coworker while working retail in the late 1990s. I was just stunned by the energy and finesse of this live-recorded work as it runs its course for about 75 minutes. For me a perfect pairing would be this album with Riesling from Martin Müllen. They are beautiful wines that will evolve and go through many facets as the bottle opens with air and patience. D: If you were a wine, what wine would you be? S: Beaujolais! A baby to Burgundy…maybe? But in the right hands, in the right terroir, in the right vintage, you will find bottles that will just blow your mind with quality. You will be delighted by how much money you did not spend for this satisfaction.

Hubert Lamy

Derriére Chez Edouard Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Chardonnay 2013

Only back home for three days since our grand excursion, oh Burgundy how I miss you and your beautiful landscapes with tiny villages.
(I don't miss how tall my damn grass grew in the lawn during our absence!)

Flinty nose with beautiful white flowers.
Flint, minerals, lime-honey on the palate, acidity is noticable but not distracting. Finish is like forever. We will attempt to restrain ourselves from drinking this whole bottle this evening, as based on recent Saint Aubin tastings, this will continue to evolve with air and patience. I feel this bottle is still young, many years ahead for enjoyment.

Thanks
@David T for turning me towards Lamy... I'll be back for more!

24hr Update: So creamy, beautiful Chardonnay fruit, yellow apple, faint flinty notes today, acidy is still noticable, and enjoyable. I'm not sure I like it more or less than the initial approach, it's a different, also great, wine today.
— 10 months ago

Ira, P and 17 others liked this
David T

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Welcome back. Glad you are enjoying the Lamy. Very good Burgundy that hasn’t hit the stratosphere in pricing.
P A

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@Severn Goodwin Severn Great Delectable article I particularly like your golden rule. Congratulations to you and happy tasting Cheers from Canada 🍷🇨🇦🇺🇸

Freemark Abbey

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1974

7 May 2018

Dining in the best, semi-unknown, Vietnamese restaurant in all of Paris, with a very deep wine list, where the chef/owner was drinking the leftover bottles on day 2 of the '76 Judgement of Paris, and this bottle is on the wine list for €190, you bet you drink it! This was his last bottle, no more FAW on the wine list now.

Dusty cherry, leather, slight mint note on the tail end of the finish, easily 10+ years left on this bottle, tannins are completely resolved.
— 10 months ago

Matt, Jeff and 22 others liked this
Evan Bienstock

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@Severn Goodwin what restaurant? I also know a great Vietnamese restaurant in Paris... 🤔
Severn Goodwin

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@Evan Bienstock Tan Dinh, 60 Rue de Verneuil
Evan Bienstock

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@Severn Goodwin thats the one. I know the chef/owner. Will be in Paris in 2 weeks.

Caves São João

Poço do Lobo Arinto 1995

Still too young, acidity bright, better on day two. — 2 years ago

Long Meadow Ranch

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Decanting now...

A random purchase from a semi-defunct wine shop (I believe he's been trying to close for 2 years now... But no buyer's), never heard of this bottle before.
13.5% Alcohol and it may impair your ability to operate machinery, according to the back label, other than that, it's a blank book for me, so notes forthcoming...

If anyone has had this, post up a comment. Thanks.

On the nose we have black cherry, green pepper and black pepper.
On the palate, currently lacking concentration but continuing to improve, black currant, black pepper, tobacco and voilet.
Amazingly this wine paired quite nicely with the grilled asparagus accompanying our flap steak with a fresh chimichurri made from foraged ramps (wild leeks), a local delicacy for only a few weeks in the Berkshires.
— 10 months ago

Eric, P and 25 others liked this
P A

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@Severn Goodwin Severn never heard of it but 2005 was an ok vintage for Napa after coming off a really good 2004. I look forward to your thoughts but until then don’t operate any machinery. Cheers 🍷
Severn Goodwin

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@Phil A thanks, I knew '05 was iffy, but for $44 I was willing to chance.

Domaine L'Enclos

Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne Rosé Blend 2013

Getting close to the end of our value rosé aging experiment. This was an old favorite of ours, used to buy at least two cases on every release. It was very fruit forward, and at $8 it was easy on the wallet, perfect summer sipper. Alas our palates have changed over the years, and we stopped buying this in 2015. Fortunately we have plenty of other bottles to distract us.
(50% Merlot / 50% Cabernet Franc)

The color is very orange-orange-salmon, quite cool looking.
Nose is mineral with fresh Clementine.
Palate is so fresh and singing (thanks to Stelvin closures), I'd venture this bottle still has 1-2 years left without concern. Clementine, white flowers, medium finish. I'm all smiles at how well this bottle is drinking today.
— 10 months ago

Mike, P and 14 others liked this

Boundary Breaks Vineyard

No. 110 grand Finger Lakes Riesling 2016

Go Celtics, Semi-Finals Game 7! Giving this bottle some air, notes soon...

Inaugural release. This bottle is made from late harvested grapes, similar to how you'd make a sweeter style wine, but they made a very dry style instead.

Color is very light gold, similar to what I'd expect in Condrieu (Viognier).
Nose has light Trimethyl Dihydronapthalene notes, wet slate, oxidized apple.
Palate is not giving up much (similar to the point spread on this evening's game), lightly astringent green apple, maybe candle wax(?), green apple skin. Very likely I'll have a 24hr Update.

(Note to future self, don't touch the rest of the bottles for at least 5-7 years.)

24hr Update: Notes same as above, this bottle is tight and needs time, interesting citrus (lemon) pith component on the palate today.
— 10 months ago

P, Ron and 20 others liked this
David T

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Tight game. Come on Celtics!
Severn Goodwin

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Argh, damn you LeBron. If the C's could have sunk 1 out of 3 baskets in the 4th this would have been a totally different outcome. 😕

Marqués de Murrieta

Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial Rioja Tempranillo Blend 2005

Tasty and dusty, late season ripe raspberry, blueberry and chocolate; finish runs about 2 minutes.

48hr Update: Nose is intense mocha cherry, palate is still beautiful. Suggest a 24 hour decant on future bottles, much better experience.
— 10 months ago

Shay, David and 23 others liked this
Severn Goodwin

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Nice add!
Jason and Jennie

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Wish I had decanted this
Severn Goodwin

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Can't win them all.

Renardat-Fâche

Cerdon Bugey Sparkling Rosé Poulsard Gamay 2017

A new-to-me Bugey, imported by the Dressner team, hopefully it's at least as good at the Bottex (K Lynch). Notes to follow...

Decent but not as good as my usual version on this AOC. Seems to be excessively frizante with a light head of foam at the top of our glasses. Color is beautiful, clear ruby, like a early summer raspberry a few days from peak ripening. Nose is tight, mashed strawberry is faint. Palate is refreshing, my standard note of strawberry-raspberry juice stands, but lacking some concentration. Great summer sipper.

More enjoyable, we're sitting on the patio looking at our rock wall and watching the newest version of baby Chipmunks (3) running about, wrestling, drinking water from the low bird bath and enjoying a little snack of bird seeds which my wife provided, she says they can't go hungry...
— 10 months ago

Veronica, James and 11 others liked this

Enderle & Moll

Liaison Pinot Noir 2015

WOW 🎆...every time we open this bottle I am just floored at the QPR, nothing beats it. For a sub $30 Spätburgunder, I'll take this every vintage.

On the nose we have black pepper and luscious, ripe blackberries/strawberries, perhaps violet sneaking up on you.
On the palate, so smooth with chalky Pinot fruits, sweet spice notes, earthy/loamy minerals and oh the cherries, they just keep coming at you!

Finish is forever, minium 3-4 hour decant required.

Paired with some beautiful 🐖 chops from a 1/2 pig we purchased last fall... Farmer direct, it's the best way to know the quality of your food.
— 10 months ago

Paul, David and 29 others liked this
Pinotman /// Andreas

Pinotman /// Andreas

Cool 😎 review nice picture how do you do the screen split?
Severn Goodwin

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Collage feature in Google Photos... Although it does annoy me because I can't arrange what goes where, the software selects orientation without user input. I'm searching for a better app to do just this. I know that @David T can (should) be able to do this already with iOS.
David T

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There are a number of free apps. Pic Frame, Pic Jointer, etc...I’d be surprised if there wasn’t something equivalent available for Android.