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1980s Beaucastel and Burgundy at the Woodberry Kitchen

Darryl and Nancy organized a small wine dinner at the Woodberry Kitchen in order to partake in ramps and old Châteauneuf du Pape.  Roland, Richard, and I joined them one fine evening this week.  Fortunately we had extra bottles in tow for this evening was marked by an unfortunate series of off and underperforming bottles.  A shame then that two vintages of 1983 and 1985 Von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser, from two different sources were off.  A 1981 Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe, Chateauneuf du Pape had a bad cork and despite a heroic effort by the wine to correct itself, it remained ultimately marred.  The 1978 Chateau Cos D’Estournel, Saint-Estephe was more advanced than I had expected.

Thus the white wine highlight of the evening included the fine 1992 Zind Humbrecht, Riesling Rangen de Thann Clos St. Urbain, Alsace which still needs air for full pleasure.  It has a kiss of petrol followed by nuts and lively acidity.

For the red wines my favorites include a 1982 Thorin, Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, Chambolle-Musigny.  This represents a smaller and gentler example of an old-school mature Burgundy.  I enjoyed my glass and would happily have this as a house wine.  The mature Burgundy set the stage for a well-cared bottle of 1981 Chateau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf du Pape.  The last time I tasted this wine, my glass came from the dregs.  This time I had a proper pour which I kept around for an hour or so.  Good stuff!  This deep wine should drink at its peak for several more years.  In complete contrast the 1986 Chateau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf du Pape is yet to reach full maturity, instead it offers brighter, fruitier red flavors.  It will not achieve the depth of the 1981 but it does have that Beaucastel familiarity.

 

2011 Champy, Chassagne-Montrachet
Imported by Schneider’s of Capitol Hill.  Alcohol 11%.  A golden straw color greets.  The flinty nose makes way to a rounded, slight dense start backed by glycerin.  There are yeast and chalk flavors but the wine lacks verve from enough acidity.  ** Now.

NV Bereche, Vallee 66 Mois de Cave, Champagne
This wine is a blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay.  Bottled 07/07/2010.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The nose is slightly oxidized with aromas of apple orchard.  The bubbles quickly become creamy with a fine vein of prickle.  The flavors have strength with chalky, fruit, and a slightly bitter finish.  It tastes fully mature.  *** Now.

1985 Von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser, Riesling Spatlese Abtsberg, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
Consigned from a private source to Zachy’s 2016 Rieslingfeier auction. Imported by Wine Cellars LTD.  Alcohol 11%-14%.  The nose is very aromatic and smells exactly like pure gasoline.  There is a fruity start backed by the petrol note a bit of grip then the wine completely fades off.  There is a strange lack of acidity.  Not Rated.

1992 Zind Humbrecht, Riesling Rangen de Thann Clos St. Urbain, Alsace
This also sports a bit of petrol on the nose.  In the mouth is a nutty, bitter, and coconut start.  This wine has ample acidity providing a lively start then drier middle before the acidity returns in the end.  With air it fleshes out a bit to bring the acidity in balance.  *** Now but will last.

1982 Thorin, Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, Chambolle-Musigny
Acquired from private collection by Acker Merrall & Condit.  Alcohol 11.9%-13.9%.  There is sweet fruit on the nose then violets and attractive, sweaty leather aromas.  In the mouth are sweet flavors that coat the tongue and a slight vibrancy.  A small example of a well-tasting old Burgundy.  *** Now.

1981 Chateau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf du Pape
Robert Haas Selections imported by Vineyard Brands.  This is in fine condition with sweet aromas and wood box complexity.  In the mouth are gently sweet flavors of perfumed strawberry which eventually take on fat.  There are pervasive flavors of leather, animale notes, blood, and an old-school perfumed aftertaste. **** Now – 2023.

1981 Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe, Chateauneuf du Pape
No signs of seepage but cork was loose with a bit of wine on top of it.  Prominent volatile acidity and band-aids on the nose.  With air it cleans up a bit but can’t shape it.  The wine is fruity, supple, and weight but is marred by a band-aid flavor.  Not Rated.

1986 Chateau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf du Pape
Imported by the Rare Wine Co.  Lighter in color than the 1981.  In the mouth are surprisingly young, reddish fruit flavors, a grippy nature, and brighter acidity.  This wine has both more structure and youthful grip.  It is not yet at full maturity but is gaining fat.  ***(*) Now – 2027.

1978 Chateau Cos D’Estournel, Saint-Estephe – $18.95
Shipped by Les Vieux Celliers.  Imported by  The Stacole Co.  Dried banana on the nose.  In the mouth this is more advanced with red fruit, bananas, old greenhouse infused flavors, and a short finish.  ** Now.

1983 Von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser, Reisling Auslese Abstberg  No. 125, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
Acquired from a private collection by Chambers Street Wines.  Imported by Schenk USA.  Alcohol 9%.  Signs of seepage and the cork dropped in the bottle.  A beautiful orange color and attractive, scented marmalade nose.  Sadly it is undrinkable.  Not Rated.

Lou and I taste excellent bottles of Jean Noel Gagnard, Marisa Cuomo, and Torrione

February 2, 2015 1 comment

Lou and I gathered last week to taste more Italian red wine.  Before we started Lou generously opened a bottle of 2000 Domaine Jean Noel Gagnard, Chassagne-Montrachet Maltroie 1er Cru.  I have minimal experience with mature white Burgundy but this handful continues to surprise me with how they gracefully age and become satisfying to drink.  When we sat down to dinner this is what I drank.  Right now it offers up definitely lemon flavors that show weight and some structure.  Unbreached bottles should last for sometime but once opened, drink it in one evening.  Our bottle of 2007 Sella & Mosca, Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva  proved to be past its peak drinking.  Perhaps I am being a bit harsh, you could drink it, but there was no need in the company of the other wines and its price is not precious.  One sniff of the licorice based aromas focused my attention on the 2010 Marisa Cuomo, Furore Rosso, Costa d’Amalfi.  This wine had the most personality out of all the wines we tasted.  Whether it is the combination of Piedirosso and coastal vineyards will require further research.  This bottle remained firm until the third night so I strongly recommend you cellar at least one bottle for a few years.  While the Cuomo is unique the 2011 Torrione, Petrolo, Toscana is clearly a satisfying wine that will benefit from short-term aging.  I can see why it won Tre Bicchieri and suggest you rest a bottle next to the Cuomo.  Of the pair of 2009s, the 2009 Enrico Santini, Poggio Al Moro, Bolgheri was my favorite over the 2009 Elisabetta Geppetti, Pelofino, Maremma.  The Santini offered a core of dark red fruit delivered in a fresh wine whereas the Geppetti was a bit hollow with its jelly and dark roast flavors.  The Santini also conveyed the strength of the 2009 vintage.

WithLou1

2000 Domaine Jean Noel Gagnard, Chassagne-Montrachet Maltroie 1er Cru –
Imported by Ex Cellars Wine Agencies.  This wine is 100% Chardonnay that was barrel fermented then aged up to 18 months in new and used oak.  Alcohol ?%.  It was a golden, mature color with a little toast and other hard to place aromas.  In the mouth were flavors of ripe and tart lemon fruit the showed some weight, mixed with sage, and still had structure wrapped up by a nice tang at the end.  With air it developed an old wood hint as well as a mineral finish.  Best on the first night.  **** Now-2020.

WithLou3

2007 Sella & Mosca, Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva – $13
Imported by Palm Bay International.  This wine is 100% Cannonau that was fermented in stainless steel vats then aged for 2 years in large Slavonian oak barrels.  Alcohol 14%.  There were pruned fruit aromas on the nose.  In the mouth were black and red fruit that had a hint of freshness and firm tannins.  Though this wine was clearly alive it was also past its peak drinking. * Now.

WithLou2

2010 Marisa Cuomo, Furore Rosso, Costa d’Amalfi – $30
Imported by Panebianco.  This wine is a blend of 50% Piedirosso and 50% Aglianico sourced from terraced coastal vineyards that underwent malolactic fermentation and 6 months aging in used French oak barriques.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color was a medium black cherry.  The nose remained interesting with licorice-like aromas.  Tasted over three nights, this wine barely budged the first two nights.  It offered unique flavors of floral infused black fruit that were firm and young.  The wine was certainly interesting with a mineral, racy bit, and tart flavors on the tongue.  It developed a savory hint and watering acidity.  ***(*) 2017-2025.

WithLou4

2011 Torrione, Petrolo, Toscana – $29
Imported by Vintus.  This wine is a blend of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from vines that reach back to the 1970s. The wine was fermented with indigenous yeasts in a mixture of French oak barriques, large oak barrels, and cement vats followed by 15 months of aging in French oak barriques and large oak barrels.  This period includes 6 months on the lees.  Alcohol 14%. The nose bore young, red and mixed fruit aromas that eventually showed raspberry candy and smoke.  In the mouth were plentiful flavors of tart, red fruit that had attractive grip and dried herb notes.  Over three nights the wine showed good presence in the mouth with a citric red fruit start, tang, grip, and a finish of black fruit, tannins, and acidity.  A good, young wine.  ***(*) 2016-2023.

WithLou6

2009 Enrico Santini, Poggio Al Moro, Bolgheri – $22
Imported by Vintus.  This wine is a blend of 30% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah, and 10% Merlot that was fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel followed by three months aging in French oak barrels.   Alcohol 13.8%.  The black cherry and garnet color was followed by a plum nose.  In the mouth were pleasing flavors of dark, red mixed fruit then a core of flavor with a strong, fresh structure.  With air the acidity showed perfect integration with the strong structure leaving ripe, drying tannins on the gums. *** Now-2020.

WithLou5

2009 Elisabetta Geppetti, Pelofino, Maremma – $18
Imported by Nickolas Imports.  This wine is a blend of Sangiovese, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc.  Alcohol 13.5%.  As Lou noted, there were jelly aromas on the subtle nose.  In the mouth the flavors were a little soft and a touch hollow.  There was a strong structure, dark roast notes, and eventually the wine firmed up with texture to the jelly fruit.  ** Now-2017.

WithLou7

Anniversary drinks at Fleurie in Charlottesville

November 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Fleurie1

Jenn and I celebrated our latest wedding anniversary by spending a family weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.  The one person I happen to know there is Erin Barbour Scala (Thinking-Drinking).  We previous met in New York City during her days as sommelier at Public NYC followed by The Musket Room.  Having had diverse and fantastic wines with her before I knew there was no other choice than to dine at Fleurie restaurant where both she and her husband are now based.  As Wine Director, Erin’s wine list focuses in on France and Virginia but she is far too curious to neglect the rest of the world as was evidenced by her selections that night.  We were greeted to glasses of NV Rolet, Crement de Jura for ourselves and locally made sparkling grape juice for our daughter.  The Rolet was great by itself, accessible with a nice balance of yeast and fruit.  It left me thirsty for more wine.

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I select the wines we drink at home on a daily basis so it is nice to step away from making any choices.  We gave no direction to Erin as to what we felt like drinking or avoiding.  With Coravin in hand Erin proceeded to pour a utterly fun variety of wines.  To go with our shrimp risotto with carrots and shellfish sauce she poured the 2009 Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot, Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chaumes.  It was utterly satisfying and drank spot-on with its balance of maturity, fruit, and supportive toast.  Jenn’s herb crusted halibut was joined by the 2010 Schäfer-Fröhlich, Bockenauer Felseneck, Riesling trocken Grosses Gewächs, Nahe.  The glass was incredibly and persistently aromatic with herbs, stones, and some petrol with great balance in the mouth.  Great stuff! For my venison Erin poured two different red wines.  The 2011 Avennia, Sestina, Columbia Valley is a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc blend with fruit sourced from the Bacchus and Red Willow vineyards.  It was forward and complex with darker, racy fruit that was hard to resist.  Avennia was only launched in 2010 so if this second vintage is an example of their other wines this is a new name to follow.  My second red wine was completely different being the 2010 Cambridge Road, Dovetail, Martinborough.  As Erin pointed out this field blend of mostly Pinot Noir with Syrah is not such an oddity given the affinity for these varieties to perform in cooler climates.  Its oscillation between Pinot Noir and Syrah aromas was rather intriguing.

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With our trio of desserts and petit fours came the King Family Vineyards, Loreley, Monticello. This pure Petit Manseng wine was made in the vin de paille style.  She poured this wine because it shares the same name as our daughter.  It was a touching end to our meal.  If you are in the Charlottesville area or need a break from the city I strongly recommend you dine at Fleurie.  Due to the Coravin you can drink almost anything on the list by the glass.  With a large order of wines soon to be added there will be even more reasons to stop by.

An Older-Wine Dinner at Joan’s House

February 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Joan has been a lover of fine wine for quite some time. She has bought a variety of wines over the years both from local stores and also on national and international wine trips. She has held on to particular bottles which she likes to bring out once they are mature. Joan recently hosted a dinner so that she could open the 1992 and 1993 Beringer, Private Reserve. The wines this evening were lovely. With the exception of the completely faded fruit of the Veedercrest all of the bottles were in great shape and developed throughout the course of the evening. My thanks go out to Joan for hosting an evening of wonderful food and wine.

2010 Domaine du Pas de l’Escalette, Les clapas Blanc, VdP de l’Herault
Imported by Elite Wines. This a blend of 40% Carignan Blanc, 30% Granache Blanc, and 30% Terret Bourret. Though a lighter color in the glass the nose was medium strength with focused aromas of white flowers and stones. This medium bodied wine offered lemon flavors with plenty of stone notes, tilting towards a tart profile with green apple flavors. This was a fresh wine that is young and will benefit from short-term cellaring. If you must drink it now then decant it for one to two hours. *** 2015-2019.

2009 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey, Les Caillerets, Chassagne Montracher 1er Cru
Imported by MacArthur Beverages. Two-thirds of the fruit is sourced from 60-year-old vines with the remaining third from 20-year-old vines. The nose was young with a subtle ripeness of fruit mixed with flint. The gentle texture bore apple-like tart fruit which developed lifted flavors of flint as the wine breathed. There were some toast notes in the finish. This tight wine slowly developed before the bottle was finished, this definitely requires cellaring before it will reveal its full personality. **(**) 2017-2022.

Opening the red wines

After the Bouillabaise we moved onto the red wines. Joan cooked braised short-ribs accompanied by roasted Brussel sprouts and root vegetables. The Veedercrest and Beringers had been stood up a day or two ahead and opened shortly before being poured. The Judd’s Hill had been double-decanted to remove sediment thus had four to five hours of air.

Corks from the 1974 Veedercrest and 1993 Beringer

I did not start with the best luck in removing the corks. The Judd’s Hill cork crumbled in two using a waiter’s corkscrew and the 1992 Beringer cork got stuck. So I switched to my poor-man’s Durand corkscrew composed of the worm from a Screwpull and an Ah-So. This worked wonders with the Beringer corks. The Veedercrest cork did not want to come out so at Lou’s advice I put the bottle on the floor between my feet. After some concentrated tugging and twisting it finally came free!

1974 Veedercrest Vineyards, Petite Sirah, Cask YUG 77 Batch 2, Sonoma County
This was a vibrant medium garnet color. The musky nose was animale with dark fruit notes. Eventually the musk blew off to reveal a nose of old wood. The flavors were light in the mouth, still a little acidity to keep things going. The fruit had faded way leaving old sweet wood notes. * Now.

1992 Beringer, Cabernet Sauvignon, Private Reserve, Napa Valley
This is a blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from 57% Bancroft Ranch, 21% State Lane, 14% St. Helena Home, and 5% Chabot along with Cabernet Franc from Bancroft. Each vineyard was aged for two years in new French oak before blending. This was a medium garnet color. The nose was medium strength with aromas of meat stew, a little roast, and Hoison sauce (or was it sweet soy sauce?). The complex flavors were very expansive at the start before a midpalate of tart red and black fruit flavors. With air the roast veggies and soy/Hoison sauce remained but the fruit became riper and balanced everything out. **** Now-2017.

1993 Beringer, Cabernet Sauvignon, Private Reserve, Napa Valley
This is a blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from 62% Bancroft Ranch, 24% St. Helena Home, and 11% Tre Colline along with 2% Cabernet Franc from Bancroft and 1% Cabernet Franc from Tre Colline. Each vineyard was aged for two years in new French oak before blending. The nose was subtler than the 1992 with the fruit more primary and aromas of herbs. In the mouth the youthful flavors were subtler, a little chewy as they were mixed with grapey tannins. There was a lovely cedar box component in the tart and gritty finish. **** Now-2019.

1997 Judd’s Hill, Cabernet Sauvignon
This is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Franc. Compared to the Beringers the nose was simpler with riper fruit and tobacco with the aromas becoming delineated with air. In the mouth the youthful and tight flavors were of tart red fruit, tobacco, and cedar. But over the evening it started to open up very well. This is a lovely wine just hinting at maturity and will undoubtedly develop for many years to come. ***(*) 2015-2025.

After the red wines we moved onto a trio of desserts made by Joan’s friend Patty. To accompany the fruit tart, rice pudding, and apple cobbler Joan offered a selection of dessert wines with Lou picking one from the Loire. Located within the Coteaux du Layon the village of Chaume sets its own requirements which include a significantly higher minimum level of sugar from grapes that must be affected by botrytis (noble rot) or passerillage (drying of the grapes by the sun). Joan used to drink quite a few wines from Chaume with this particular bottle purchased for $23 from MacArthur Beverages some years ago. After trying this bottle I am kicking myself for being content to read about these sweet wines made from Chenin Blanc instead of actually drinking them!

1997 Domaine Cady, Coteaux du Layon Chaume
Imported by Vintner Select. There was a woodsy amber color. This was fun to smell with aromas of maderized pear and apple that opened up rapidly. In the mouth the flavors were well-perfumed with lots of residual sugar but good acidity, plenty of sweet spices, flavors of apricot, and an unctuous caramelized apple-cinnamon and sugar vein. Incredibly tasty and enjoyed by all. **** Now-2025.

Lou, Joan, and the Author

Tasting Robert Kacher Selections at MacArthurs

December 6, 2011 Leave a comment

This past Saturday I managed to squeeze in a short visit to MacArthurs to taste several wines poured by Bobby Kacher.  For over two decades Bobby has imported wines from his base in Washington, DC.  Though there was a continuous crowd of approximately one dozen people, he poured the wines, kept track of what everyone was drinking, meticulously managed the bottle temperatures, checked every glass before handing them over, and kept up an engaging banter.  To demonstrate the development of secondary aromas and flavors for one customer, he opened up a bottle of the 2007 Vernand Ambroise, Les Vaucrains.  My notes are a bit better than usual for a store tasting because the pours were decent and wine glasses were used.

This was a fun tasting.  I always enjoy tasting wines that I have not picked out and particularly enjoy tasting outside of the regions we typically drink from.  The Domaine Thomas, Domaine Santa Duc, and Chauvenet-Chaupin are all pleasing and interesting wines appropriately priced between $24-$35 per bottle.  At the higher-end of the selections I would be happy simply smelling glasses of the Ogier and Bertrand Ambroise.

2010 Domaine Thomas & Fils, La Crele, Sancerre – $23.99
This wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc sourced from the La Crele vineyard.  This vineyard is located on a hillside with soils of limestone and small rocks.  The vines are 35 years old.  A strong, lifted nose of  subdued tropical fruits with good citrus and grassy components.  In the mouth there is a good mouth feel with balanced acidity.  After we had tasted the Santa Duc, Bobby poured us a second glass of this wine to demonstrate the purity of the nose.  Quite a nice wine. Not Rated.

2009 Domaine Marc Morey & Fils, En Virondot, Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru – $69.99
This wine is 100% Chardonnay sourced from a steep, rocky section.  There is a rich, delineated nose with some toast aromas.  In the mouth there are green apple flavors, an undertone of vanilla, and crisp apple-like acidity.  The fruit is textured with tannins becoming evident towards the finish.  This wine is young and need time for the oak to integrate.  But I must admit that I rather liked the tannins. Not Rated.

2009 Domaine Santa Duc, Cuvee Tradition, Gigondas – $29.99
This wine is a blend of 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre, and 5% Cinsault.  The nose sported pure red fruit and a little earthiness.  In the mouth the lovely textured red fruit lifted and expanded midpalate before the incensed finish.  The mouth is completely covered by the time of the long aftertaste.  There is a nice quality to this wine as the fruit turns darker with blue/black berries in the finish. Not Rated.

2007 Michele & Stephane Ogier, Cote-Rotie – $79.99
This wine is 100% Syrah with 70% sourced from Cote Blonde and 30% from Cote Brune.  The vines are 18-63 years of age.  This was incredibly aromatic, the most out of all wines tasted this day.  The nose was earthy and textured with aromas of red and black berries.  In the mouth the flavors were more subtle with red, grainy fruit and a cool finish.  Right now the nose steals the show but hopefully in a few years it will develop in the mouth. Not Rated.

2009 Chauvenet-Chaupin, Cotes de Nuits-Villages – $34.99
This wine is 100% Pinot Noir.  A nose of red fruit.  In the mouth there are brambly red berries, good body, and a mineral-incense aspect.  The fruit turns bluer midpalate with a fine texture before becoming lifted in the aftertaste.  This should develop for a few years but it is absolutely pleasing at this point. Not Rated.

2009 Domaine Joblot, Clos  de la Servoisine, Givry 1er Cru – $39.99
This wine is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from very rocky, limestone rich soils.  This was lighter and more structured than the Chauvenet-Chaupin.  With more obvious oak, there is a complex midpalate, and long finish.  Very young at this point. Not Rated.

2007 Bertrand Ambroise, 1er Cru “Les Vaucrains, Nuits Saint Georges – $79.99
This wine is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from 50+ year old vines then aged in 100% new oak.  The nose immediately revealed developed aromas of earthy, maturing fruit.  In the mouth there were ample flavors of red fruit that are still precise.  There is plenty of supporting acidity, still very fine tannins, and somewhat of a lifted aftertaste.  I would give this a few more years of age or several hours in the decanter. Not Rated.

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.

Dessert

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)