Four bottles with a wee bit of age
With the end of the year approaching I thought it appropriate to start drinking some of the lesser bottles that I have as well as those of which I have several. The 1991 A. Rafanelli Winery, Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County came from the Earthquake Cellar. Though in stellar condition it initially tasted of rather acidic, bright red fruit. I thought it a goner so I switched to the double-decanted 2007 Chateau Pesquie, Quintessence, Ventoux. This bottle of Pesquie delivered the goods both with aromas and in the saline accented flavors. It is a large-framed, robust wine that does not fall victim to the high alcohol level. Many hours later, the Rafanelli fleshed out with cherry flavors that balanced the acidity along with attractive wood notes from age. It ultimately came across as reasonably youthful with only the menthol aspect confirming its age.
Also from the 1990s is the 1998 Viking Wines, Cabernet Sauvignon which we last tasted in 2008. This soft, old wine still sported jammy berries with enough acidity to keep it together. The two wines from the 1990s were enjoyable enough to finish and while worthy of the experience, I would not bother seeking them out. Finally, the 2004 Domaine des Espiers, Cuvee Tradition, Gigonda remains a solid enough, modern wine as it did when last tasted in 2011. Perhaps not the most exciting quartet of wines but I do not mind. I just received a slew of wines from 1947 through 1985 which I will be opening up this winter. These bottles should be tons of fun!
1991 A. Rafanelli Winery, Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Alcohol 13.8%. After a few hours of air the nose became attractive with sweet, old scents of leather and wood box. Though acidic at first this wine fleshed out with cherry fruit, some weight, and watering acidity through the back of the toast. It showed hints of ripe wood and a menthol finish. ** Now.
1998 Viking Wines, Cabernet Sauvignon
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. Alcohol 12.8%. This licorice flavored wine was rounded and a little soft with jammy berries in the finish. The flavors mixed with old wood, old perfume, and a finish of minimal tannins and menthol freshness. The acidity was bound in the softness, giving it just enough liveliness. ** Now.
2004 Domaine des Espiers, Cuvee Tradition, Gigondas
Imported by the Country Vintner. Alcohol 14.5%. Though this developed some nuanced flavors, it largely remained firm. It was quite tannic at first then firm black and red fruit came out. The watering acidity transitioned to a modern finish with a good dose of fine, drying tannins on the tongue. Not too interesting of a wine. ** Now – 2022.
2007 Chateau Pesquie, Quintessence, Ventoux
Imported by Eric Solomon/European Cellars. This wine is a blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache. Alcohol 15%. Aromatic on the nose and rich in the mouth with saline infused black and red fruit. Weighty but not overbearing, this wine is taking on bottle aged complexity but still has the vigor of youth. It has some attractive raciness right now but I think it will benefit from several more years of age. ***(*) Now – 2025.