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A Trio of Well-Priced Italian Wines

January 24, 2013 Leave a comment

Just another short post for today.  I am working on a few longer posts for this month and also gearing up for the UGC 2010 Bordeaux tasting tonight.  I have a big backlog of tasting notes to publish so I shall start with these three Italian wines.  I definitely recommend the Ocone and the Torre Vento.  Both are good wines for the money which may be drunk over some time.  I am on the fence with the Apicella.  It starts with an engaging nose but the flavors drop off in the mouth.  It should work well as a wine to begin otherwise it might be best to try other vintages or wines from the producer.  The Ocone and Apicella were purchased at Chambers Street Wines.  The Torre Vento was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2007 Ocone, Apollo, Aglianico del Taburno – $16
Imported by Polaner Selections.  This wine is 100% Aglianico sourced from certified organic vineyards at 200-400 meters on soils of limestone.  It is fermented and undergoes malolactic fermentation in vertical wood vats.  It is aged for one year in stainless steel followed by six months in barrique.  Alcohol 13%.  There is a light nose of firm black fruit and a bit of perfume.  In the mouth there is black, smokey fruit, focused ripeness, and a perfumed wood nature.  The flavors remain a little ripe with a firm, rugged core of fruit.  There are drying, firm tannins and firmer flavors in the finish.  Heck, the wine firms up with air.  Has potential and could use a touch of age.  **(*) Now-2019.

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2011 Giuseppe Apicella, Piedirosso, Colli di Salerno IGT – $14
Imported by Wine Emporium.  This wine is a blend of 85% Piedirosso and 15% other varietals.  The fruit is destemmed and vinified in stainless steel tanks. Alcohol 12%  The color was a light cherry rose.  The nose reveals fresh red berries, some purple fruit along with pepper in a fine and attractive manner.  In the mouth the flavors are bright and tart with young red fruit, pepper notes, and fresh acidity.  It is rather like a light Gamay.  The flavors are simpler in the finish where there are some tannins followed by firmness in the aftertaste.  ** Now-2014.

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2003 Torre Vento, Sine Nomine, Rosso Riserva, Salice Salentino – $16
Imported by Wine Wave.  This wine is a blend of 90% Negroamaro and 10% Malvasia Nera which was aged for two years in French oak barriques.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The light to medium strength nose is more pungent with evergreen and herbed, red fruit.  There are fresh, herbs and red fruit in the mouth.  The flavors take on black red fruit with acidity that causes the back of the tongue to salivate.  There is a wood note in the finish.  Nice wine.  *** Now-2023.

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Another Chardonnay With Age

January 23, 2013 1 comment

I have been fortunate this winter to not only receive the bottle of 2004 Chateau St Jean Chardonnay from Julia but this bottle of 2005 Sans Permis from Lou.  From what I gather the Sans Permis winery was the work of George Van Duzer who brought on Thomas Rivers Brown as the consulting winemaker.  The two met when they worked at Turley.  The goal was to produce wine from the greatest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards without any obvious influence from the winemaker.   They released their first wines in 2004 then closed just several years later in 2008.  A number of these wines have been offered at close-out prices and I was fortunate to taste a bottle thanks to Lou.  This bottle was fully mature and best on its first night when it showed all around balance.  In a way it reminds me of the 2002 Bouchard, Meursault Genevrieres I got to taste last week.  It has been an interesting week of Chardonnay experience.

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2005 Sans Permis, Chardonnay, La Chanson, Santa Barbara County –
This wine is 100% Chardonnay sourced from  Bien Nacido Vineyard and Solomon Hills Vineyard.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The color is a light amber gold.  The light nose reveals ripe apple with a hint of nuts.  In the mouth this medium bodied wine is younger in profile.  It has a round mouth, almost creamy, with baking spiced yellow fruit, a little nutty, acidity, and some weight.  By the third night the nose became overwhelmingly nutty so I suspect this is fully mature.   *** Now.

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Three Chardonnay From Chateau St Jean

January 23, 2013 Leave a comment

As part of our ongoing quest to find affordable California Chardonnay we tried the 2009 Chateau St Jean, Belle Terre Vineyard and Robert Young Vineyard.  Both of these are single-vineyard wines with the former undergoing malolactic fermentation while the later does not.  In reviewing my tasting notes they do read rather decent.  They are lighter in a sense with interesting flavors but the barrel notes seemed obvious and offset.  It kept distracting me.

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As if by intuition Julia gave me a bottle of the 2004 Reserve, Robert Young Vineyard.  I do not drink much aged Chardonnay so I had no idea what to expect.  It turned out to be quite good!  There are similarities between the 2004 Reserve and the 2009 regular Chardonnay.  But the quality of the fruit is better and so is the overall integration with the 2004 Reserve.  What struck me most is how fresh and lively it was.  Now this bottle was pulled from Julia’s EuroCave so storage was ideal.   I should think this will drink well for another five years or so.  Thank you Julia!  The two 2009 Chateau St Jean bottles were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2009 Chateau St Jean,  Chardonnay, Belle Terre Vineyard, Alexander Valley – $22
This wine is 100% Chardonnay which barrel fermented, underwent malolactic fermentation then was aged for eight months in 55% new French oak barrels.  Alcohol 14.4%.  The color was a light golden straw.  The light to medium strength nose revealed yellow fruit, texture, and a little toast.  In the mouth there were somewhat weighty flavors riding on a wave of acidity.  There was a little bramble at first then acidity came through.  The flavors smooth out as ripe yellow and white fruit integrated with barrel toast.  The flavors are a bit tart in the middle with a citrus note.  It eventually shows more minerals as the flavors dry out leaving a lipstick finish.  ** Now.

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2009 Chateau St Jean, Chardonnay, Robert Young Vineyard, Alexander Valley – $22
This wine is 100% Chardonnay which did not undergo malolactic fermentation and was aged in oak.  Alcohol 14.4%.  The nose was light with yellow fruit, butter, and spiced fruit.  In the mouth the flavors are weighty and begin with interesting, spiced fruit.  There are lemon flavors in the middle as it becomes more exotic.  There is a little low-lying barrel note in the aftertaste.  ** Now-2014.

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2004 Chateau St Jean, Chardonnay, Reserve, Robert Young Vineyard, Alexander Valley –
This wine is 100% Chardonnay which was barrel fermented then aged sur lie.  Alcohol 14.6%.  The color was a light to medium golden-yellow.  There was a very light nose.  In the mouth the wine starts with honied weight to the fat, yellow fruit, and spiced pears.  There is acidity from the beginning with barrel notes poking through.  The back of the throat salivates as the barrel note returns.  There is a nice mouthfeel with some freshness, good integration, and lemon notes.  Surprisingly it is rather youthful.  *** Now-2018.

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A Pair From Sicily

January 22, 2013 Leave a comment

I recently tried my second wine made from the indigenous Sicilian varietal Perricone.  The 2009 Castellucci Miano was my first followed by this featured bottle from Valdibella.  Both bottles of Perricone were lighter wines leaning towards black red fruit with structure for the short-term.  They are interesting wines but I recommend them for those curious to try a new varietal.  A step up is the Fattorie Romeo del Castello, Allegracore which I certainly recommend to all for $3 more.  This is an affordable wine from Mt Etna which is quite fresh with pleasing tartness and rather attractive tannins.  These wines were purchased from Chambers Street Wines.

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2010 Valdibella, Acamante, Perricone, Sicily – $19
Imported by T. Elenteny Imports.  This wine is 100% Perricone sourced from Catarratto vineyard at 300-500 meters.  It was fermented with indigenous yeasts.  Alcohol 12%.  The nose revealed light red fruit with peppery spiced shrimp shells (I know, quite a description coming from me.)  On the second day there were aromas of delicate black red fruit.  In the mouth there was dry, bright red fruit then black red fruit which mixed with minerals and acidity.  There were fine+ tannins on the front of the tongue.  Dry.  ** Now-2015.

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2009 Fattorie Romeo del Castello, Allegracore, Etna Rosso – $22
Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections.  This wine is a blend of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappucino sourced from vineyards at 700 meters.  It was fermented in stainless steel vats.  Alcohol 13%.  The color was a light cranberry garnet.  The light nose was interesting with pungent red fruit.  In the mouth there was initially black red fruit which lay low on the tongue.  Then it steps through with acidity driven, dry black fruit flavors.  It became tart with a little orange citrus note.  There was a dry, textured, mineral finish with almost chewy, flavorful tannins.  *** Now – 2019.

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The Brilliant 2009 Didier Barral, Faugeres

January 22, 2013 1 comment

The first wine I drank from Domaine Leon Barral is the 2007 Cuvee Valiniere.  Though I have had a few different bottles afterwards it has remained the most impressive wine I have drunk from the estate.  Didier Barral produces three red wines: Faugeres, Faugeres Jadis, and Faugeres Valiniere.   I recently picked up the least expensive 2009 Faugeres.  Simply put, this is the most exciting red wine I have recently drunk in this price point.

Upon first tasting this wine I emailed Phil stating “Oh My! 2009 Leon Barral, Faugeres rocks!!! And I just opened it.”  Phil tried a bottle a few days later.  He reacted, “It tastes like a f*cked up mix of Morgon and CDP!  Great stuff.”  This wine drinks beautifully with just a little bit of air so it is hard to resist.  Jenn and I loved our bottle so much we finished it in one night.  Normally we taste over two nights.  I highly recommend you try it as soon as possible.  This got me so excited that I will figure out a way to taste the two more expensive cuvees.  This wine was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2009 Domaine Leon Barral, Faugeres – $30
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is a blend of 50% Carignan, 30% Grenache, and 20% Cinsault sourced from 40-70 year old vines on soils of schist.  The wine is fermented in cement cuves using  indigenous yeasts, macerated in an old wooden vat then aged for two years in cement and stainless steel cuves.  Alcohol 13%.  The nose is light to medium in strength with complex and engaging aromas of berries and minerals.  In the mouth this medium bodied wine has ripe strawberry, cherry, along with other red and blue fruits which follow the nose.  There are powdery sweet spices which are very expansive and lifted.  There are plenty of ripe tannins which coat the lips and cheeks.  The aftertaste leaves soft and earthy flavors in the mouth.  With air a ripe, black-cherry note comes out.   **** Now-2020.

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Notes From the Dump Bin

January 21, 2013 Leave a comment

On a recent visit to MacArthur Beverages I picked up more dump bin materials.  There are a number of reasons why a bottle might be dumped.  In this case the Clos de los Siete had an incredibly stained label and the two other bottles showed signs of leakage.  I do not normally buy leakers but after having recent success with the 2007 Coudoulet de Beaucastel, I thought, why not?  Under the foil the La Bastide Saint Dominique had a purple and white stained neck but the top of the cork looked normal.  The fill was high and in breaking the cork in half it looked like some wine might have made its way through it.  The wine itself was in outstanding condition and thoroughly enjoyable.  The Domaine de la Mordoree showed a very thick, jam like vein of leakage alongside the bottle and slightly lower fill.  I quickly identified the culprit as a thin fold on the side of the cork.  Now I am not advocating you start purchasing bottles with signs of leakage, certainly not fresh leakage.  But the right bottle at the right price might yield a pleasant surprise.

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2008 Clos de los Siete, Mendoza –
Imported by Dourthe USA.  Alcohol 14.6%.  This wine is a blend of 56% Malbec, 21% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Syrah, and 2% Petit Verdot.  The light nose revealed dark aromas, roast earth, and became a little pungent with air.  In the mouth there were dark, robust fruit flavors, roast earth, and a touch of salt.  There was soft weight to the wine a little vanilla note, and fine textured, ripe tannins in both the finish and aftertaste.  With air it showed good integration of acidity, good grip, and blackness.  *** Now-2023.

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2010 La Bastide Saint Dominique, Chateauneuf du Pape –
Imported by Simon N Cellars.  This wine is a blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre, and 5% Cinsault sourced from 25-80 year old vines.  It was aged for 18 months.  Alcohol 15%.  The color was a medium cherry garnet.  The light nose revealed deep dark fruit and brambly red berries.  In the mouth there was dense, almost grainy blue and red fruit along with notes of wood box.  The finish was full of black fruit with some fruit liquor, grainy ripeness, and a minerally black fruit aftertaste.  This wine has power and a rounded personality.  There were some very fine tannins in the aftertaste.  ***(*) Now-2028.

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2009 Domaine de la Mordoree, La Reine des Bois, Lirac –
Imported by Kysela Pere et Fils.  This wine is a blend of 33% Grenache, 33% Mourvedre, and 33% Syrah sourced from 40-year-old vines.  It is aged in a combination of enameled steel tanks, oak barrels, and oak tuns.  Alcohol 14.5%.  There was a light to medium strength nose of Kirsch and black fruit.  In the mouth there was a bit of roast earth, black and red fruit, fine structure, and closely held ripeness.  There was a powerful fine tannic structure on both nights, almost too powerful.  If this resolves with time it might merit a higher score.  *** 2018-2023.

The 2010 Bouchard Pere et Fils Tasting

January 18, 2013 4 comments

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This week I was fortunate to be invited to a 2010 vintage tasting of the wines of Bouchard Pere et Fils. Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils states 2010 is “a very promising vintage.” The harvest started September 20th and finished October 1st. The grapes were small with very concentrated juice with yields ending up 15-20% lower than average for both red and white. The bottling dates were a little earlier than normal.

This is an annual event organized by Panos Kakaviatos with the help of Henriot who provided ten different wines. The tasting dinner was held at Lavandou who provided us with two long tables at the front of the restaurant where we could spread out. Present were Karl and Adelaide Keller, Howard and Nancy Cooper, Amy Ray, Darryl Priest, Ben Giliberti, Paul Marquardt, Tim O’Rourke, David Choi, Ken Brown, Kevin Shin, Maria Denton, Annette and Christian Schiller, and Panos Kakaviatos. There were ten different wines served all of which were finished bottles save for the barrel sample of Montrachet. There were two bottles of each wine so there was plenty of wine for each person to taste. Many of us brought our own glasses to taste from. In addition to the 2010 Bouchard wines provided by Henriot everyone contributed an extra bottle or two.

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Champagne Starter.

We started off with a bit of Champagne as people gathered, said hello, and took their seats. I particularly liked the 2006 J. L Vergnon, Resonance.

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NV Veuve Fourney & Fils, Brut Nature, Blanc de Blancs, Premier Cru, Champagne
Imported by Simon N Cellars. This wine is 100% Chardonnay. Alcohol 12%. The light nose was dry with yeasty aromas and a touch of sweet biscuit. In the mouth there were green apple flavors to start with firm bubbles which coarsely dissipated. Then there was slightly sweeter fruit and a tart finish. ** Now.

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2006 J. L. Vergnon, Resonance Grand Cru Brut, Champagne
Imported by Wegandt-Metzler. This wine is 100% Chardonnay vinified in stainless steel. Disgorged October 2011. Alcohol 12%. The light to medium strength nose was more interesting. There were finer bubbles in the mouth which had good strength before turning into a mousse. The very fine mousse mixed with acidity on the tip of the tongue. Nice aftertaste. A second bottle also showed well. *** Now.

The 2010 White Wines

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The white wines were enjoyable with quality increasing from Village to Premier Cru to Grand Cru. With the Meursault Les Clous showing darker fruit the Beaune Clos Saint-Landry had a distinctive tropical note which set it apart. The Corton-Charlemagne was a strong step up with its lemon notes and balance for aging. This acted as a springboard for the Montrachet whose nose was immediately distinctive and attractive. At first the nose was more impressionable than in the mouth. But I was fortunate to find some remaining later in the tasting, there was only one bottle after all, and it had developed tremendously with air. It is amazing to think this is a barrel sample and not finished.

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2010 Bouchard Pere & Fils, Meursault Les Clous, Village
Imported by Henriot. This wine is 100% Chardonnay sourced from soils of calcareous marls on a hard platform. It was aged for 8-10 months in up to 15% new oak. Alcohol 13.5%. There was a light nose of tighter, darker fruit. In the mouth there was similarly tight fruit with a creamy touch that was focused. There were some spices and a barrel note in the aftertaste. ** 2015-2019.

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2010 Bouchard Pere & Fils, Beaune Clos Saint-Landry, Premier Cru
Imported by Henriot This wine is 100% Chardonnay sourced from soils of limestone and clay with marls. It was aged for 8-12 months in up to 15% new oak. Alcohol 13.5%. The light nose was a touch fruitier with more tropical aromas and some floral notes. In the mouth it was a bit structured with a hint of tropical fruit and young grip. There were apples and stones in the aftertaste. **(*) Now-2019.

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2010 Bouchard Pere & Fils, Corton-Charlemagne, Grand Cru
Imported by Henriot. This wine is 100% Chardonnay sourced from predominantly limestone soils and clay. It was aged for 12-14 months in up to 20% new oak. Alcohol 14%. The light to medium strength nose tilted towards lemons. In the mouth the white fruit slowly expanded in the mouth with good acidity. This balanced wine has structure for aging. There were lemon notes and minerality as the wine warmed and breathed. ***(*) Now-2028.

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2010 Bouchard Pere & Fils, Montrachet, Grand Cru
Imported by Henriot. Barrel Sample. This wine is 100% Chardonnay sourced from soils of gravelly limestone. It was aged for 12-14 months in up to 20% new oak. Alcohol 14%. The light to medium nose was aromatic and complex with flinty aromas and deep fruit. It opened up over the course of the glass. There was good depth in the mouth with spices and a broader, weighty nature. There finish was nice as well as the spiced aftertaste. Upon revisiting there was ripe lemons and spice in the beginning. An oily mouthfeel developed along with a fine, almost grainy texture. Clearly the best thus far, precise, focused, and determined. ****(*) Now-2033.

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The 2010 Red Wines

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The red wines were fun with the Beaune Teurons a good start. It was more forward and young, compared to the red-fruited Savigny-Les-Beaune which though tight, was more complete. The Volnay Cailleret was a great step forward and a wine I kept revisiting throughout the night. It was my favorite red along with the Beaune Greves Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus. The Volnay Cailleret shows more purple and black notes as if born of stone and able to weather age. The Beaune Graves Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus is more old-school in flavor with depth, lightness and perfume. Both were completely different and very attractive.

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2010 Bouchard Pere & Fils, Beaune Teurons, Premier Cru
Imported by Henriot. This wine is 100% Pinot Noir made from estate and purchased fruit. It was aged 8-14 months in 20-40% new oak. Alcohol 13.5%. There was a light, good nose of finely delineated red and black fruit. In the mouth there was good, racy black cherry fruit. The flavors were simpler but worked with the juicy acidity and the blacker red racy vein. There were fine tannins which coated the tongue and lips. It has a young, attractive personality which was somewhat forward. **(*) 2016-2023.

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2010 Bouchard Pere & Fils, Savigny-Les-Beaune, Village
Imported by Henriot. This wine is 100% Pinot Noir made from estate and purchased fruit. It was aged 8-14 months in 20-40% new oak. Alcohol 13%. There was a light, tight nose with slightly deeper, dark red cherry fruit. In the mouth there was brighter red fruit, leaning towards cran-raspberry. The acidity and fruit were integrated with a little Pinot note in the aftertaste. *** Now-2023?

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2010 Bouchard Pere & Fils, Volnay Cailleret, Ancienne Cuvee Carnot, Premier Cru
Imported by Henriot. This wine is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from soils of thin limestone and clay on cracked rock. It was aged 10-18 months in 60-85% new oak. Alcohol 13.5%. The light nose bore the fine scent of red and purple fruit. In the mouth there was a bit of a creamy start as the wine rounded out with a black and red mineral vein. There was controlled ripeness to the flavors which became blacker with air. There was a powdery sweetness in the finish. Nice. Youthful. **** Now-2033.

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2010 Bouchard Pere & Fils, Gevrey-Chambertin, Village
Imported by Henriot. This wine is 100% Pinot Noir made from estate and purchased fruit. It was aged 8-14 months in 20-40% new oak. Alcohol 13%. There was a very light and tight nose which was not that appealing, sort of blend of fruits and vegetables. In the mouth there was firm red fruit, athletic, and a core of ripe red fruit. There were fine, strong tannins which powered through the aftertaste. Upon revisiting a second bottle it showed a bit better but was still my least favorite of the reds. *(*) 2015-2019.

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2010 Bouchard Pere & Fils, Vosne-Romanee, Village
Imported by Henriot. This wine is 100% Pinot Noir made from estate and purchased fruit. It was aged 8-14 months in 20-40% new oak. Alcohol 13%. The nose was very light with exotic berries. In the mouth there was tart red fruit, more cranberry flavors, then very fine tannins. This is very young and the tannins are quite strong. ** 2018-2028.

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2010 Bouchard Pere & Fils, Beaune Greves Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus, Premier Cru
Imported by Henriot. This wine is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from soils of limestone and clay. It was aged 10-18 months in 60-85% new oak. Alcohol 13.5%. The very light nose bore fine, black and mulberry aromas. In the mouth there was old-school flavors of light, red fruit. It was finely articulated. The acidity, tannins, and fruit were all in balance as the flavors slowly expanded. There was a perfumed, lipstick finish with black, focused fruit. You can drink it now with extended air but best to cellar. **** Now-2033.

Other Wines

The appetizers started to arrive so we cleansed our palates somewhat before moving on to the other wines. Of these I thought the NV Jean Piere Bouchard, In Florescence well-done with a mixture of flavors and bubbles which persisted through the finish. The 2002 Domaine de Courcel, Pommard Grand Clos Des Epenots sported a refined, attractive nose but in the mouth it revealed it still needs to be cellared. I took a break during my entree to drink a little wine. I then resumed tasting the other wines and revisited some of the 2010 Bouchard wines. A pair of wines from Weingut Himmel appeared with the 1999 Weingut Himmel, Hochheimer Hoelle Riesling Spatlese drinking well. It was an appropriate finish before the two bottles of Chateau Climens.

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NV Andre Clouet, Un Jour de 1911, Champagne
Imported by Village Wine Imports. Alcohol 12%. There was a light autumnal color. There was a light to medium strength nose of oxidative, baked apples. In the mouth there were aggressive bubbles, plenty of acidity then bubbles and flavor just disappear. The flavors were older in the mouth, in an oxidative style with a long aftertaste. A bit disjointed in nature but still had some appealing aspects. Flawed.

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2002 Bouchard Pere & Fils, Meursault Genevrieres, Premier Cru
Imported by Cliquot. Alcohol 12%? There was a nutty very mature nose with a touch of ripeness. In the mouth the flavors were short. The acidity was still present. There was a gently ripe aftertaste. Drank best with food. ** Past.

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NV Jean Pierre Bouchard, In Florescence Blanc de Noirs Brut, Champagne
Imported by Potomac Selections. This wine is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from lieu-dit Cote de Val Vilaine. Alcohol 12.5%. There was a fine nose with a mixture of yeast, apples, and sweet biscuit. In the mouth there were very fine bubbles, sweet biscuit flavors, and bubbles which lasted through the finish. Well done. *** Now-2018.

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2002 Domaine de Courcel, Pommard Grand Clos Des Epenots, Premier Cru
Imported by Chateau & Estate. There was a fine perfumed nose which was attractive with finely wooded aromas. In the mouth there were fine flavors, structured wood box notes, and a sense of its age but more is required. Young. ***(*) 2018-2028.

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1981 Bouchard Pere & Fils, Chevalier-Montracher, Grand Cru
Imported by Vintage Wine Company. Alcohol 13%. The color was a light amber. There was a creamy-like texture but the flavors were over the hill. Nutty with plenty of acidity. There was a structure of fine, ripe tannins. * Past.

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1996 Weingut Himmel, Hochheimer Kirchenstuck Riesling Spatlese, Rheingau
Alcohol 8.5%. The color was a tawny amber which looked old. The very light nose was a bit nondescript. In the mouth the flavors were better and not as old. There was a little weight to the tooty fruity flavors in the middle, a little petrol, and some tartness. A bit of grip developed in the finish. ** Now-2018.

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1999 Weingut Himmer, Hochheimer Hoelle Riesling Spatlese, Rheingau
This had a better color of light, golden straw. In the mouth there was racy fruit, good grip, a rather young personality, and good residual sugar which mixed with the acidity. ***(*) Now-2028.

The Dessert Wines

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The last two wines were a treat. Not only was it my first time drinking Chateau Climens but I got to drink two different vintages. I wanted to bring a bottle of Sauternes to the tasting because I figured there would be a lot of Champagne and I am on a bit of a Sauternes kick. Many thanks to Phil for helping me select this bottle from 2004. I found the nose delightfully complex and really engaging in the mouth. It is one of those wines which I would be hard pressed to not drink it right now despite decades of life and development ahead. Lastly the 1975 Chateau Climens with 29 additional years of age was only slightly darker than the 2004. It was not as complex but had really good acidity and liveliness.

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2004 Chateau Climens, Barsac, Premier Cru
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. This wine is 100% Semillon sourced from 20-year-old vines. It was vinified in 35-45% new oak then aged for 20-24 months. Alcohol 13.5%. The medium strength nose was very complex with Christmas spices and exotic aromas. In the mouth the Christmas spices continued with mouthfilling, rich flavors of vanilla, and apricot. This is a seductive wine with viscosity and good acidity. A real treat to drink right now. ****(*) Now-2043.

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1975 Chateau Climens, Sauternes-Barsac, Premier Cru
Imported by Charles Lefranc Cellars. This wine is 100% Semillon which was fermented in casks then aged for two years in 25% new oak. Alcohol 12%. There was a light nose of petrol and wood box. In the mouth there was still up-front white fruit, apple flavors, and acidity. With air the fruit because a bit creamed. This was not as complex nor as long in the mouth. Nevertheless still a lovely drink. Quite elegant at almost forty years of age, still has levity, and should last for some time. **** Now-2035.

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