Posts Tagged ‘Alsace’

Tasting Wines with Potomac Selections at MacArthur Beverages

September 7, 2012 Leave a comment

This week I stopped by MacArthur Beverages to pick up some recently arrived wines.  To my excitement John Spina of Potomac Selections was pouring six of his wines.  It is bound to be fun when half of the wines are at least six years old!  My favorite wine was the Lopez de Heredia, Cubillo for its interesting aromas and combination of maturity and youthfulness.  The Buil & Gine is a fun, vigorous wine which is evocative of Montsant.  The wines of Domaine de Monpertuis seem to be popping up lately with this Cotes du Rhone showing well.  The Hacienda del Plata is a fresh, strong value in Argentine wines.  Of the whites the White Rock balanced ripe fruit and oak with acidity and structure.  The richly aromatic nose of the Charles Schleret was good fun to smell.  Below you will find my brief impressions of these wines.  Note, I used a glass which my nose barely fit in.

2009 White Rock, Chardonnay, Napa Valley – $28
This wine is 100% Chardonnay which was fermented in barrel with 15% undergoing malolactic fermentation with indigenous yeasts.  It was aged on the lees for 10 months in 5% new French oak. Alcohol 13.9%.  The color is a light yellow.  The medium strength nose revealed some ripe, textured fruit and sweet oak.  In the mouth the flavors were a bit tropical showing more restraint than the nose.  The yellow fruit had a moderate richness which was framed in some structure containing some acidity and light wood notes.  Drink over the short-term.

2005 Charles Schleret, Riesling Herrenweg, Alsace – $26
Imported by Neal Rosenthal. This wine is 100% Riesling which was fermented in stainless steel tanks.  The color was a light+ vibrant yellow-green.  The nose was rich with finely textured aromas of yellow fruit and underlying tropical notes.  In the mouth it was very focused with soft flavors, a little dry in delivery, floral notes, a nice mouth feel, and some tannins and spice in the aftertaste.  For drinking now.

2005 Bodegas R. Lopez de Heredia, Cubillo, Crianza, Rioja – $25
Imported by Think Global Wines.  This wine is a blend of 65% Tempranillo, 25% Garnacho, 5% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo which was fermented in large oak vats and aged for three years in barrel. TA 6 g/l, Alcohol 13%.  The color was a medium garnet.  The medium strength nose revealed maturing aromas of red fruit.  In the mouth there was fresh cherry fruit with very lively sour acidity, a little grip, fresh fruit, and some mature wood notes.  Drinkable now but will be fine over the next five years or so.

2010 Domaine de Monpertuis, Cotes du Rhone – $18
Imported by Neal Rosenthal.  This wine is a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah. The fruit was fermented and aged in cement vats.  I thought this bottle was softer and more approachable that what I have previous tried.  The fruit was lively with flavors of violets and pepper.  Well done and drinkable now.

2006 Buil & Gine, Baboix, Montsant – $26
Imported by Think Global Wines.  This wine is a blend of Grenache, Carignan, Merlot, Tempranillo, and Cabernet Sauvignon which underwent malolactic fermentation then was aged for 12 months in French and American oak.  Alcohol 14%.  The color was a very dark and grapey ruby/garnet.  The light nose was a little herbaceous with floral purple fruits and violets.  In the mouth the flavors were generous with grip, ripe drying tannins, brambly fruit.  The wine is youthful with a satisfying inky finish.  Drink now for vigor or over the next five to ten years.

2010 Hacienda del Plata, Malbec, Zagal, Mendoza – $14
Imported by Cana Selections.  This wine is 100% Malbec sourced from the Las Marias Vineyard located at 921 meters on soils of clay loam with alluvial deposits.  It was aged for eight months with 60% in stainless steel tanks and 40% in French and American oak.  RS 2.25 g/L, TA 5.0 g/L, RS 2.25 g/L, Alcohol 13.4%.  This too was dark with a purple ruby color.  The nose was fresh with grapey, purple aromas.  In the mouth the flavors were round with a finely textured, youthful purple fruit, coffee notes, and concentration.  It was a little spicy in the finish along with the ripe fruit.  Drink now for freshness or over the short-term.

Three Solid Values

With the rather hot weather of the last month I have found myself drinking the less expensive wines I have recently reviewed. This has given me the opportunity to catch up on notes from earlier this summer.  The three wines featured in today’s post are all solid values which are reasonably priced.  If I had to pick one of these wines for today’s hot and humid 100 F weather then I would grab the Iby.  Decant it for one hour and give it a slight chill.  You will find it refreshing. These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

2010 Domaine Mader, Riesling, Alsace – $16
Imported by Elite Wines Imports.  This wine is 100% Riesling.  Tasted over three nights the nose started off fresh and tart before developing a honeyed low-lying aroma.  In the mouth there were fresh flavors of white and green fruits.  The flinty acidity started to overwhelm the fruit midpalate but then things balanced out as some sweet spices came out in the finish.  Best drunk with food.  ** Now-2015.

2010 Iby, Classic, Blaufrankisch, Burgenland- $16
Imported by Domaine Select Wine Estates.  This wine is 100% Blaufrankisch sourced from 3-30 year old vines.  It was aged for seven months in large Austrian casks.  Tasted over two nights there were brighter black cherry fruit with a good core of fruit running through.  The flavors were a touch tart at first with mild notes of pomegranate and citrus.  With air a hint of blue fruit came out and the wine became chewy.  ** Now-2015.

2007 Conti Leone de Castris, 50th Vendemmia Riserva, Salice Salentino, – $13
Imported by Winebow.  This wine is a blend of 90% Negroamaro and 10% Malvasia Nera sourced from vines planted in 1952.  It was fermented in stainless steel followed by aging 12 months in 5-year-old French oak barrels.  The nose revealed subtle black berry fruit and floral notes.  In the mouth the wine starts off soft but tights up with flavors of cherry along with dark red and black fruit.  This takes an hour or so to open up.  There is a soft nature but it still has focus.  There is puckering acidity followed by tart tannins in the finish.  A solid drink.  ** Now-2016.

Lou and I Pull Some Corks

Lou and I gathered this past week to taste an uncoordinated selection of wines.  Surprisingly we both opened up 2005 Pinot Noirs and were separately convinced we knew which bottle was ours!  Except for our Alsatian wine, this was a satisfying group of wines to taste and drink.

The Chateau d’Orschwihr was interesting to taste from a tactile perspective but was otherwise not worth drinking. The Stepping Stone rose strikes the balance of being rich and refreshing at the same time.  I found myself drinking a few small pours before we sat down to our tasting.  Make sure your bottle is not too cold and that you consume it on the first night.  Many thanks to Craig Camp for providing the sample.  The Carlo Hauner has good components but is in a simpler, primary state right now.  I would cellar it for another year or two.  The Tenuta Mazzolino is entering maturity with the nose in a more advanced state than the mouth.  While it is easily drinkable now I suspect it will be even better after several years.  It is attractively priced.  My first ever Sea Smoke was a treat.  It needed an hour or so of air to take shape and deliver its lovely goods.  While it tastes young compared to the Mazzolino I would not hesitate to drink a bottle.

2005 Chateau d’Orschwihr, Pinot Blanc, Bollenberg, Alsace – $12
Imported by Langdon Shiverick.  This wine is 100% Pinot Blanc sourced from 50 year old vines.  The color was light to medium auburn yellow.  The light to medium nose revealed ripe, fallen apples, and some oxidized notes.  In the mouth there was a good mouthfeel with noticeable residual sugar.  The flavors were simple with nuts and mushroom juice.  There was still good acidity, pebbly texture, and filling aftertaste.  * Past.

2011 Cornerstone, Stepping Stone, Corallina,  Syrah Rose, Napa Valley – $20
This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from the Oak Knoll District.  The fruit was whole cluster pressed, fermented in stainless steel, then aged for five months in French oak.  This was a medium copper-rose color.  The light to medium ripe nose revealed strawberries and good red fruit.  In the mouth there was higher-toned red fruit followed by sweet spices.  It starts with some body at first then develops a good mouthfeel and borders on the richer side of roses.  The finish is dry and a little spicy.  This was satisfying and quenching to drink on the first night.  Sample provided by winery.  *** Now-2013.

2009 Carlo Hauner, Hiera, Sicily – $20
Imported by Bacchanal Wine Imports.  This wine is a blend of Calabrese, Alicante, and Nocera sourced from volcanic soils.  The varietals are separately fermented in stainless steel then blended and aged for three months in oak barriques.  The nose revealed higher-toned, focused, and simpler aromas.  In the mouth the tart but good red fruit leaned towards an orange citrus sweetness.  There is some ripeness and with time flavors of dried cranberry and black cherry comes out.  There are sweet, lip-coating spices, finely grained, drying tannins, and a touch of candied flavors in the finish.  *** 2014-2017.

2005 Tenuta Mazzolino, Noir Folon, Oltrepo Pavese – $30
Imported by Michael R. Downey Selections.  This wine is 100% Piont Noir which was aged for 12 months in barrique.  There was a medium strength, aromatic nose of ripe fruit, minerals, and wood box which smelled of maturity.  With air there was sweet, dried craisins which were lovely to smell.  In the mouth the flavors were more concentrated than the nose with red fruit which was slow to expand but still a lovely follow on.  With time there were black fruit flavors which left a delicate, ethereal coating on the lips.  There was a low-lying aftertaste of black fruit, tang, and a touch of earth.  ***(*) Now-2020.

2005 Sea Smoke, Pinot Noir, Southing, Santa Rita Hills
This wine is 100% Pinot Noir which was destemmed then aged for 16 months in 65% new and 35% used French oak.  The color was a light+ ruby with a hint of garnet.  The nose revealed dried herbs along with cool blue and black fruit.  At first the wine almost let loose with ripe blue and black fruit.  Clearly a Pinot Noir this was the most mouthfilling wine of the evening.  There was lots of body and good pebbly texture.  With time it became focused with beautifully layered fruit underpinned by lively spices on the tongue.  There was a spicy note in the finish and an incensed aftertaste.  **** Now-2017.

The 2012 Robert Kacher Spring Portfolio Tasting: Alsace

From the Alsatian part of the portfolio we tasted through the wines of Domaine Mure and Domaine Ehrhart.  Between these two estates fifteen wines were poured representing sparkling Crement d’Alsace, still wines made from Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Auxerrois, Gewurztraminer, and Riesling, and two late-harvest offerings of Gewurztraminer Vendange Tardive and Selection de Grains Nobles.  That is quite a variety!

Domaine Mure

Of these wines I particularly enjoyed the two Rieslings along with the Gewurztraminer Vendange Tardive.  For those who want a big Gewurztraminer experience give the Selection a try.

NV Mure, Crement d’Alsace, Brut
There was a bit of rich botrytis to the nose.  In the mouth the interesting fruit came forward on explosive bubbles that popped into softness.

2010 Mure, Pinot Blanc, Signature
There was a good textured nose of floral white fruit.  In the mouth there were ripe apples with a touch of sweet spice before the tart finish.  There was a round quality in the cheeks.

2009 Mure, Riesling, Grand Cru Vorbourg
The nose was subtle with grainy aromas.  In the mouth there was laser-beam precise fruit powered by acidity.  The particular flavors were supported by ample acidity before the good aftertaste of tart and textured apples.  Nice.

2009 Mure, Riesling, Clos St Landelin
This had a subtle though more lifted nose of crunchy aromas.  In the mouth the flavors were spritely on the tongue with a touch of petrol then apple with plenty of focus and power.  There were even some drying tannins.  Nice.

2010 Mure, Pinot Gris, Signature
This was smoother in the mouth with less acidity than the Rieslings.  There was good perfumed fruit in the finish and aftertaste.

2010 Mure, Gewurztraminer, Signature
There was a lovely floral and fruity nose, very Gewurztraminer.  In the mouth the flavors were textured and combined with more residual sugar.  Showing more acidity than the previous Pinot Gris there was ample floral, sweet fruit, and a long aftertaste.

2007 Mure, Gewurztraminer, Clos St Landelin, Vendange Tardive
This was light-yellow in the glass.  In the mouth it was succulent with lightly racy, yellow fruit and a sweet, oily (nut-oil) texture.

Domaine Ehrhart (Domaine St Remy in Europe)

Of these wines I enjoyed the last five offerings (though the Crement d’Alsace was a strong start).  The two wines from Herrenweg showed good texture, the Pinot Gris Im Berg had a nice oily feel, and Selection de Grains Nobles was all around lovely.  If I generalized a description of these wines I would say they had an approachfulness which makes them very easy to taste (or drink for those at home).

NV Ehrhart, Crement d’Alsace
This wine is 100% Chardonnay produced by Methode Traditionnelle.  The nose was a little yeasty.  In the mouth there was ripe fruit with good explosive, lively bubbles, and a touch of racy flavor.

2010 Ehrhart, Pinot Auxerrois, Val St Gregoire
There was a focused, textured nose.  This wine was easy gong in terms of fruit and acidity, with a cool chewy quality, and some sweet spice.

2010 Ehrhart, Riesling, Vieilles Vignes
The nose bore tropical fruit.  In the mouth it was laid back, easy to drink, with dry sweet tannins, and a touch of watering acidity in the aftertaste.

2010 Ehrhart, Riesling, Herrenweg
There was a nose of stones. In the mouth the flavors were fine and textured, a bit sweet, with a touch of petrol-like fruit.  The yellow fruit was racy and good to swish around the mouth.

2010 Ehrhart, Riesling, Grand Cru Hengst
This wine is 100% Riesling sourced from higher and deep soils at 250-280 meters.  There was good depth in the mouth, complex flavors, good acidity, balance, and a racy personality.  Nice, should age well.

2010 Ehrhart, Pinot Gris, Im Berg
This had restrainted ripe fruit tilting towards tart-white.  The acidity was supporting with a nice mouthfeel, oily, and lovely.

2010 Ehrhart, Gewurztraminer, Herrenweg
The fruit in the nose steps out with stone aromas.  In the mouth there was sweet residual sugar with perfumed, oily fruit, good balance between mouthfeel and acidity, along with lots of texture.

2005 Ehrhart, Gewurztraminer, Selection de Grains Nobles
This is produced only ever 5-10 years from the lieu-dit “Markon.” (sp?)  This was tropical, racy and lithe with a familiar perfume, beautiful texture, dense, complex and ripe.  The long finish left flavors of orange and rose blossom.  Lovely and a special treat to taste.

The Author and Corinne Ehrhart

Tasting a Mixture of Wines with Lou

Last week Lou and I got together for an impromptu tasting.  I had just picked up the 1999 Kruger-Rumpf from MacArthur Beverages so I brought that along with the only other bottle I had from this estate.  Lou had already opened the Albert Mann so he decided to decant the Lilian Ladouys followed by the Caronne Ste Gemme.  Of the two Kruger-Rumpfs I was absolutely surprised by the youthful character of the 1999!  It has the energetic acidity I so much love in a German Riesling, the impeccable quality of a library release, and a great price.  The 2005 was markedly different with riper fruit and more obvious residual sugar.  I agree with Lou in that I doubt it will reach the heights of the 1999 but it should certainly develop with some age.  For me the Albert Mann was polarizing.  While it was absolutely amazing to smell an ocean in my wine glass, the aromas were quite strong.  In the mouth it had a lovely mouthfeel and the stuffing for a long life.  I suspect others will enjoy this wine more than I did.  The two Bordeaux were in a similar state of maturity with rather similar flavors.    The Lilian Ladouys bore redder and cooler fruit whereas the Caronne Ste Gemme had riper and darker fruit.  While both are approachable, the fruit was still primary so I would continue to cellar them.

1999 Weingut Kruger-Rumpf, Riesling Spatlese, Munsterer Pittersberg, Nahe – $32
A Terry Theise Selection imported by Michael Skurnik.  This wine is 100% Riesling sourced from a 5.5 hectare vineyard on soils of Devonian slate. This was a light yellow color, a touch lighter than the 2005.  The nose was more aromatic than the 2005 with matchstick, dried herbs, and white fruit.  In the mouth the flavors of white fruit and orange citrus notes was delivered with textured acidity on the tongue.  The fruit remained fresh and bright throughout with good acidity and a lively personality.  The fruit became tarter in the finish with dried herbs in the aftertaste.  This young wine is drinkable now though will live a long time.  *** Now-2025.

2005 Weingut Kruger-Rumpf, Riesling Spatlese, Munsterer Daudenpflanzer, Nahe – $19 (at the time)
A Terry Theise Selection imported by Michael Skurnik.  This wine is 100% Riesling sourced from a 1.7 hectare vineyard on soils of decomposed quartzite with loess.  The color was light yellow and slightly darker than the 1999.  The nose bore riper fruit, petrol, and heavier aromas.  In the mouth there was more residual sugar beneath the weightier flavors.  The initial fruit faded, leaving a long dark aftertaste of fruity-tooty flavors.  On the second night the flavors were front-loaded with good interwoven flavor and texture before things tightened up with a short aftertaste.  I would cellar this for development.  **(*) 2017-2022.

2008 Albert Mann, Pinot Gris, Rosenberg, Alsace –
This had been open for two days.  The aromatic nose smelled like the sea with its briny, kept notes.  In the mouth there was surprisingly good texture and focus with only hints of briny flavors to the yellow fruit.  This was lovely in the mouth with an oily character.  On the next night the nose became overpowering with seaside aromas. Unique.  ** Now-2025.

2006 Chateau Lilian Ladouys, Saint-Estephe, Cru Bourgeois Superieur – $16
This wine is an approximate blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Franc sourced from ninety plots of vines averaging 40 years of age. The wine is aged 16-18 months in one-third new oak barrels. The color was a touch garnet. There was a fresh nose of red berries and menthol with a generally fruity nature. In the mouth there was cool structure, acidity, and very fine tannins. ** 2015-2019.

2006 Chateau Caronne Ste. Gemme, Haute-Medoc, Cru Bourgeois –
This wine is an approximate blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot sourced from an average of 25-year-old vines.  The wine is aged for 12 months in 20% new barriques.  The color leaned towards ruby.  There was denser, riper, dark red fruit.  The wine was a little spicy with good structure and acidity.  The flavors became blacker in the finish with a hint of minerality and drying but a bit chewy, tannins.  ** 2015-2022.

Tasting A Variety of Wines at Lou’s

We recently joined Lou and Adriene for dinner and wine in their newly renovated dining room….and kitchen.  I think the wine bottles look great on the marble countertop!  There was not much attempt to coordinating the wines and I am finding such diversity enlivening.  The Albert Morot and La Sirena were decanted a few hours ahead of time by Lou whereas the Fidelitas saw less than an hour of air.  As usual the leftover wine was divided up, dosed with Private Preserve, then retasted the next night.  The La Sirena was a standout wine for me, a lovely treat that I believe all of us very much enjoyed.  The Albert Morot is still young and in its oscillations revealed hints of what its future will be.  This was Jenn’s favorite wine of the evening.  The Charles Schleret was beguiling youthful, fresh, and virtually unchanged over both nights.  The Faury is an infant which should age while you drink the 2009.  What I remember most is that the evening was so relaxing.  We gently floated through the cheese, wine, and dinner, happily chatting with no regard to time.

2005 Domaine Charles Schleret, Riesling Herrenweg, Alsace – $24
Imported by Neal Rosenthal.  The delicate aromas of Riesling fruit step out of the glass and reveal a delicate, floral perfume.  In the mouth the gently ripe fruit mixed with spice, lively acidity, and controlled ripeness before expansive darker flavors come out.  Tastes young.  On the second night the flavors tightened up a touch in the aftertaste otherwise it remained virtually unchanged.  Easy to drink and will undoubtedly drink for a long time.  *** Now-2022.

2010 Domaine Faury, St Joseph Blanc – $28
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is a blend of 60% Marsanne and 40% Roussane.  The light to medium nose is of delicate sweet herbs and white fruit, florals, and perhaps passion fruit.  In the mouth the bright white fruit flavors mix with stones in the supple, fruity body.  On the second night the acidity was well-integrated and the aftertaste had drying spices on the tongue.  Light compared to the 2009 vintage and in need of age.  **(*)  2015-2022.

2009 Bruno Clavelier, Bourgogne Passetoutgraine, Vieilles Vignes – $15
Imported by MacArthur Beverages.  This is a blend of old-vine Gamay and Pinot Noir.  Opened the night before. The nose was piercing with raspberry aromas and some spicy, Big-Red.  In the mouth the flavors bore gritty citrus tartness before becoming tart and cardboard-like.  * Now.

2007 Albert Morot, Beaune Toussaints 1er Cru, Beaune – $25
Imported by Robert Kacher.  This wine is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from 40-year-old vines.  It was aged for 16 months in new and old oak.  In the glass the color was a light garnet with a tinge of rose.  The nose bore brighter red fruit, a touch of celery, and a hint of Italian parsley.  In the mouth the flavors were focused with bluer-red fruit, a minerally acidity throughout that worked well with the wood notes.  This refreshing wine opened up to reveal roasted meats, herbs, and a richer nose.  On the first evening it did tighten up at time and on the second night it was less aromatic, tight, and youthful.  I would age this a bit more.  *** 2015-2022.

2003 La Sirena, Syrah, Santa Ynez Valley
From the wines of Heidi Barrett she is famous for being the winemaker at Screaming Eagle, Dalla Valle, Grace Family, and others.  This wine is 100% Syrah aged for 20 months in oak.  In the glass the color was medium+ ruby with some garnet.  The nose was finely textured with vanilla notes and quite a stand out.  The flavors in the mouth were expansive with blue and black fruit, controlled power, and a youthfulness with some age.  With air it became ripe, gritty, and showed flavors of waffles with maple syrup.  On the second night it still showed lively blueberry flavors, concentration, and orange juice acidity.  Nice!  **** Now-2020.

2007 Fidelitas, Red Wine, Boushey Vineyard, Yakima Valley – $36
This wine is a blend of 53% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 7% Cabernet Franc which underwent malolactic fermentation in barrel then was aged for 24 months in 50% new and 50% used American and French oak.  This wine was powdery with sweet spices, vanilla, in a soft personality. The flavors in the finish tilted towards cinnamon spice with a soft aftertaste.  On the second night the wine tightened up for the better with ripe black fruit, pleasing warm acidity, and a stone sheen.  I suspect this will not make old bones.  ** Now-2015.

Two Interesting French Wines

November 4, 2011 2 comments

Blason Madiran, Image from Clos Fardet

The two wines featured in this post are a bit unique.  Phil will pull out weird or unusual bottles for me to try and I always purchase them. The Clos Fardet is a selection that recently arrived at the store and one that Phil said I must try. When I was at Weygandt Wines for Champagne Day I asked Matt to select six bottles of red wine priced $25 or less. While I would have been happy to try six different cuvees from Domaine des Aphillanthes, I decided to give Matt free reign. A self-described acid freak (that being vinuous acidity) he pulled a diverse selection. The Albert Mann is the first tasted from the group picked by Matt. Tannat that has extende barrel aging…aged Pinot Noir from Alsace…let’s pull the corks!  I want to taste everything.

Clos Fardet, Image from Clos Fardet

The Clos Fardet is imported by Wine Tradition and available for $15 at MacArthurs. The Albert Mann is imported by Weygandt Wines and available for $25 at the Weygandt Wines store. I would recommend both of these wines though I would venture the Albert Mann might appeal to a broader group.  But for those who are curious step outside your comfort zone and grab the Clos Fardet as well.

2005 Clos Fardet, Cuvee Moutoue Fardet, Madiran
This wine is 98% Tannat and 2% Cabernet Franc. The Tannat fruit is sourced from 0.6 Hectares of vines planted in 1961 and 0.11 Hectares of vines planted in 1964.  The wine was aged for 36 months in 400 liter barrels  There is a raspberry, earthy nose evocative of extended aging. The raspberry fruit follows in the mouth then turns dark in flavor. This wine is less fruit-driven with an aspect that reminds me of very traditional producers, like Mourre du Tendre, that employ extended barrel aging. There are very fine tannins that make for a drying finish. The aftertaste is lifted with notes of stone and a resinous/pine hint. *** Now.

2004 Domaine Albert Mann, Grand H, Pinot Noir, Alsace
This is garnet color in the glass that is showing age. I found red fruit and green pepper on the nose with Jenn adding “peppery and grassy.” In the mouth, the dark red fruit was gravelly, a little juicy, earthy, and fairly weighty. There is dark toast in the finish before the flavors simplify in the aftertaste but then an interesting incense note coast the tongue and mouth. The fine+ textured, ripe tannins are enjoyable. “Definitely interesting,” summed up Jenn. *** Now.

Tasting Notes from the 1999 Dinner


Here are my tasting notes from our 1999 dinner.  I was running around a bit so my notes are a bit casual.  However, Lou will eventually be posting his notes.  He was able to taste the Trimbach and Meulenhof on the second night.

The Whites

1999 Jean Noel Gagnard , Clos de la Maltroye 1er Cru, Chassagne-Montrachet, Burgundy
This wine had a light nose of yeast, toasted, and reduction.  It was rounder in the mouth, a bit coarse with tannins and some heat.  There was apple-like acidity and some lavender/perfume with air.  This was drinkable but not in the best shape.  Good thing it was a bin-end.  * Now.

1999 Trimbach, Gewurztraminer, Cuvee des Seigneurs Ribeaupierre, Alsace
This showed a light-medium color of straw with touches of gold.  A light to medium nose of tropical fruit.  In the mouth there were steely flavors of mango in this medium bodied wine.  The flavors leaned towards floral highlights.  It was a little flabby towards the finish.  ** Now.

The Reds

1999 Torbreck, The Steading, Barossa (Group 1st, My 1st)
The nose revealed waves of rich fruit and spices galore.  The rich fruit continued into the mouth with a youthful core of black fruits and lovely spices in the aftertaste.  A very well made wine with good complexity.  **** Now-2017.

1999 R.H. Phillips, EXP Viaje, Syrah (Group 2nd)
This had the sweetest nose of the reds.  It came across as a rather young wine with ample red fruit, pepper, and spices in the finish.  There were darker fruit flavors in the aftertaste.  On the second night it was just a softer version as there were gobs of fruit and spice and a dark fruit aftertaste.  ***(*) Now-2019.

1999 Bruno Clair, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St. Jacques, 1er Cru (Group 3rd, My 3rd)
This showed softer, more fruit driven flavors.  It had a strong, pure Pinot Noir like profile.  It was a very enjoyable and easy wine to drink.  It is still young and only just starting to show hints of complexity.  My only complaint is that the flavors thinned out a bit in the finish.  **(*) 2015-2022.

1999 Fattoria de Felsina Berardanga, Rancia, Chianti Classico (Group 4th, My 2nd)
This sported a light, lithe nose of blackcurrant.  There were fine tannins that coated the mouth.  Good aftertaste, good wine.  On the second night it had a light, scented nose followed by calm, complex flavors in the mouth.  It was still going strong.  **** Now-2017.

1999 Chateau Musar, Bekaa Valley (Group tied 5th)
A little bit of nail polish on the night.  Then sweet, round fruit in the mouth, lean finish and flavors turning towards bright blue fruit.  A seriously underperforming bottle and nothing like the one I had last year. * Now.

1999 Tardieu-Laurent, Vieilles Vignes, Saint-Joseph (Group tied 5th, My 4th)
This had flavors of red fruit with an underlying layer of supportive dark fruit.  It turned towards red fruit in the finish, somewhat tart, but with a nice woodsy character.  ** Now-2015.

1999 Hardys, Shiraz, Eileen Hardy, South Australia (Group 7th)
This had one of the darkest core of color.  It strutted New World Syrah aromas with Eucalyptus notes that reminded me if Jim Barry’s Cover Drive.  The flavors followed the nose.  The long aftertaste persisted with red fruits and herbs.  On the second night it continued to sport Eucalyptus that was very fresh and pure.  ** Now-2017.

1999 Paitin di Pasquero-Elia, Barbaresco (Group 8th)
Very old-looking with a lot of bricking and some garnet.  This had a restrained nose, volatile acidity, and just hints of complex, light fruit.  But in the mouth the fruit was also very learn and overwhelmed by a heavy amount of harsh tannins and coarse aftertaste.  On the second night it still had a wooded nose, lean fruit, and overwhelming tannins. * Now.

1999 E. Pira and Figli, Via Nuova, Barolo (Group 9th)
A light color in the glass.  There was a lifted nose of cedar.  In the mouth there were woodsy flavors of roses, light+ acidity, and coarse but ripe tannins that coated the lips.  It came across as totally shut down.  On the second night it showed more scented roses on the nose.  In the mouth the fruit was gritty and red, with dark red fruit in the aftertaste.  More lip coating tannins. *(**) 2017-2022.

1999 Font de Michelle, Cuvee Etienne Gonnet,Chateauneuf du Pape (Corked)
This wine was corked.  Not Rated.


1999 Meulenhof, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Auslese, Mosel
I was running around at this point so I did not take a note.  But I remember a lovely golden color, good lush flavors there were perfectly supported by the acidity.  There is plenty of life left but so easy to drink.  A bargain at $25 per 500 mL.  *** Now-2022.

Extra Wines

1999 Domaine Les Paillieres, Gigondas
In the glass there is a medium ruby/garnet core.  This wine is still young, shows good dark fruit, minerals, and some inky/glycerine qualities.  The flavors turn towards pepper in the finish followed by good, coarse tannins that coat the mouth.  A very drinkable wine.  *** Now-2015.

1999 Gourt du Mautens, Cotes du Rhone Villages, Rasteau
A very youthful wine with grippy, gritty fruit flavors.  A little bit of freshness, nice mouthfeel, and plenty of fine tannins from wood.  Even less advanced than the Paillieres.  I preferred the Paillieres.  **(*) 2015-2019.

1999 Domaine du Caillou, Chateauneuf du Pape
A lighter, more acidic style of Chateauneuf.  There were medium round blue fruit flavors.  ** Now.

1999 Domaine de la Pinede, Chateauneuf du Pape (Corked)
This wine was corked.  Not Rated.

A 1999 Tasting and Dinner

On Saturday a small group crammed in to our small dinning room for a 1999 themed evening. All of the wines were of the 1999 vintage and all of the dishes were inspired by Gourmet and Bon Appetit recipes from 1999. It was an eclectic group in terms of wine experience.  Many of the bottles still contain leftover wine.  I will retaste the wines tonight then post my notes tomorrow.

White Wines
1999 Jean Noel Gagnard , Clos de la Maltroye 1er Cru, Chassagne-Montrachet, Burgundy
1999 Trimbach, Gewurztraminer, Cuvee des Seigneurs Ribeaupierre, Alsace

The ten red wines were double-decanted two hours ahead of time then brown bagged.  I have listed the red wines in order of group preference.  The Torbreck is a lovely wine and appeared to be universally liked.  The R.H. Phillips demonstrated its new world style and remains youthful.  The Bruno Clair was easy to drink and is just starting to gain complexity.  The Felsina is a really good wine and is consistently pleasing across vintages.  I personally thought the Musar was underperforming and has issues.  The Tardieu-Laurent pleased with its modern style charms.  The Hardy’s had an Aussie eucalyptus quality to it.  I thought the Paitin was coarse and showing some VA.  the Pira and Figli is quite young and shutdown but will be lovely in the future.

Red Wines
1999 Torbreck, The Steading, Barossa
1999 R.H. Phillips, EXP Viaje, Syrah
1999 Bruno Clair, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St. Jacques, 1er Cru
1999 Fattoria de Felsina Berardanga, Rancia, Chianti Classico
1999 Chateau Musar, Bekka Valley
1999 Tardieu-Laurent, Vieilles Vignes, Saint-Joseph
1999 Hardys, Shiraz, Eileen Hardy, South Australia
1999 Paitin di Pasquero-Elia, Barbaresco
1999 E. Pira and Figli, Via Nuova, Barolo
1999 Font de Michelle, Cuvee Etienne Gonnet,Chateauneuf du Pape (Corked)

Sweet Wine
1999 Meulenhof, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Auslese, Mosel

Bonus Wines
1999 Domaine Les Paillieres, Gigondas
1999 Gourt du Mautens, Cotes du Rhone Villages, Rasteau
1999 Domaine du Caillou, Chateauneuf du Pape
1999 Domaine de la Pinede, Chateauneuf du Pape (Corked)