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A Casual Tasting of Currently Available Wines

June 23, 2011 3 comments

Lou came over this week to taste wine with Jenn and myself. We typically pick a theme but this time, excited about all of the wines that we have not tried, we decided to taste six currently available wines. We coordinated no further than arranging to have two whites and four reds. All of the red wines were decanted about half an hour before tasting. As there were six wines and only three of us, there were leftovers of every bottle.

Wines on the Table

I was almost overwhelmed by this tasting. We usually taste through a spectrum in quality. But this time all of the wines were very good, very interesting, and all but one were affordable.  I thought the two white wines complemented each other very well with my personal preferrence being the Domaine Faury.  Of the reds I equally enjoyed the Vieilleneuve, Mastro Janni, and Barral.

2007 Domaine de L’Aigle a Deux Tetes, En Griffez Chardonnay, Vieilles Vignes, Jura
This was purchased for $24 at Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is from a 1 hectare plot of very old Chardonnay vines.  This is a very pale wine.  The medium intensity nose was very fresh with long-lasting yeasty aromas.  In the mouth there were apple-like flavors delivered in a crisp manner with a flint/stone quality.  The wine turned tart with plenty of acidity in the finish.  On the second night the nose was almost overwhelmed by an oxidated/flor aroma.  The flavors immediately mimiced the nose as the entire wine showed a tart and acidic nature.  I preferred it the first night.  ** Now.

2009 Domaine Faury, Blanc, Saint-Joseph
This was purchased for $26 at MacArthur’s.  This wine is a blend of 80% Marsanne and 20% Roussane.  The nose was very fresh with delicate aromas.  In the mouth there were flavors of almonds, some sweet white peaches, and stone fruit.  There were very nice flint flavors in this supple wine.  I really liked the mouthfeel.  On the second night the nose became richer.  The almond and stone fruit flavors were more pronounced.  The aftertaste now left a lovely, oily coating on the lips.  A lovely wine and one worth seeking out.  **** Now-2017.

2009 Domaine Vieilleneuve, En Griffe, Cotes du Rhone
Lou bought this wine at the Saint Georges location of Le Vin en Tete in Paris.  He thinks it was less than 20 Euros.  Note, the textured glass “label.”  This wine is produced from a four hecatre plot of 50 year old Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvedre.  This had a medium, grapey color.  The nose was comprised of clean, higher-pitched red fruit blend of raspberry and Kirsch, along with a little alcohol.  For Jenn it reminded her of “olive alcohol.”  I was not prepared for the full-bore dusty, ripe red fruit flavors that took over my mouth.  There was good acidity, some sweet spices, and a sweet finish.  There was a warmish aftertaste.  This was amazingly preserved on the second night.  The nose was effusive of raspberries.  In the mouth it developed a black tea flavor that complemented the raspberries.  The ripe, sweet, dusty red flavors start out strong but start to fade by the aftertaste.  *** 2015-2022.

2006 Mastro Janni, San Pio, Toscano
This was purchased for $30 at MacArthur’s.  This wine is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Sangiovese which spent 18 months aging in new and old barrels.  There were lower tones on the nose, with an interesting lanolin/”Gunk” hand cleaner scent, and some black fruit.  In the mouth this was tighter, with linear black fruit, tons of minerals, and sweet tannins.  With air the acidity and tart fruit eventually balance out.  It is quite nice and comes across as young.  I really like the minerally, black fruit flavors.  ***(*) 2015-2019.

2008 Rotie Cellars, Southern Blend, Washington
This was purchased for ~$30 at Esquine Wine in Seattle.  This wine is a blend of 70% Grenache, 15% Syrah, and 15% Mourvedre.  This had the lightest nose of restrained, strong red fruits.  In the mouth the black/red fruit is mixed with fine tannins and delivers some glycerine in the finish.  It is a well made wine but lighter than the three other red wines.  There is a slight, metallic hint.  It never expanded in flavor or potential during the first night.  On the second night the restrained feeling was lifted and it still showed a light profile all around.  There black/red fruit was still dominant and the very fine tannins more obvious.  A good wine but not as interesting as the other three.  **(*) 2015-2019.

2007 Domaine Leon Barral, Valiniere, Faugeres
This wine was purchased for $62 at MacArthur’s.  It is a blend of 80% Mourvedre and 20% Syrah.  The Mourvedre vines are 15 years old and the Syrah are 30 years old.  The soils are of schiste, the vineyards are fertilized with manure from the estate, indigenous yeasts are used, and no sulfur is used.  Wow, there was good stuff here in this dark wine.  The nose contained darker perfumed fruits and sage.  There were layers of scented berries in the mouth that were expansive.  The dusty flavors continued into the rich finish and aftertaste.  This showed better when it was a cooler temperature.  On the second night the dusty fruit flavors became saltier and a little more austere.  The dark flavors continued in the finish and aftertaste.  The wine continued to build and progress in the mouth.  Great stuff!  This is worth seeking out and really should be cellared a few more years.  ****(*) 2015-2022.

Lou Taking Notes