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Old Tasting Notes

It has been two months since I last published Old Tasting Notes.  So as not to clog subscriber’s inboxes I will be publishing ten sets of notes throughout the week.  These notes were written from December 2007 through April 2008 and were posted on eBob.  While I started consistently writing  notes in 2005 it was not until 2007 that I started to post them online.  This period predates my habit of taking pictures of bottles so these posts are just plain text.  I hope you enjoy them!

Five Wines From France

Three Wines With Some Age

Two Affordable French Wines

 

More Old Notes

I have posted the old tasting notes that previous appeared on the Old Tasting Notes page.  I have also posted several additional sets of tasting notes and added some pictures.  Enjoy!

 

Old Rhone Tasting Notes

1994-2003 Pride Mountain Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting

1983 Warre’s and 1985 Dow’s

1999 California, Washington, and Bordeaux wine dinner

Mostly Bordeaux Tasting at Lou’s

Washington State and Others

DC Old Gems Offline

 

Old Tasting Notes

I originally created an Old Tasting Notes page to archive my old notes and posts.  The WordPress software that I use works great with blog posts.  I like how my posts may be searched, viewed by category or tag, and also by archive date.  Static pages do not have that level of integration.  I will be now be entering all of these old notes as posts that use the original creation date and are tagged as Old Tasting Notes.  I have posted four old notes this morning (links below) and this afternoon will move those found in the existing Old Tasting Notes page to blog posts.  Enjoy!

1966/1970/1977 Graham’s/Taylor’s/Warre’s vintage port

1990-2004 Pegau Vertical in DC

1998 Gigondas

DC Chateauneuf du Pape at Lavandou

New World Syrah and Cabernets at Jace’s House, 18 March 2011

These notes are from a tasting that Lou and I attended at Jace’s House.  My brief notes are below.

The Bubbly and Whites

N.V. Ulysse Collin, Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs, Champagne
The light nose was yeasty.  In the mouth there were apple flavors, almost salty, and nice acidity.

1995 Château Pape Clement, Blanc, Pessac-Leognan, Graves
The nose was oxidized.  Flavors of tart apples, clearly past its prime, wood, almost Jura-like, with its persistent oxidized aftertaste.  Seen better days.

1999 Domaine Borgeot, Santenay 1er Cru Clos de la Comme, Santenay 1er Cru
The nose was light and refreshing.  With air there were sweet fruit flavors, crisp acidity that caused the mouth to water, still steely, with almost fine tannins.  A good drink!

The Cabernet Sauvignons

2002 Karl Lawrence, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
This was clearly young, clamped down, sporting primary dark fruits with a dose of tannin. I’d sit on this for a few years.

1997 Heitz Cellar, Cabernet Sauvignon, Trailside Vineyard, Rutherford, Napa Valley
This was my favorite of the first flight. There were ample amounts of ripe fruit with a lovely amount of earthiness and spice. It was big and dense in the mouth without being over done and took on a racy character through the evening.

1991 Beringer Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Private Reserve, Napa Valley
This was my second favorite of the flight. I got a bit of menthol on the nose. It did not have the weight or power of the Heitz but was lovely and plenty of life left.

2000 Bodegas Caro (Barons de Rothschild / Catena) Caro, Mendoza
This was my least favorite of the night. An almost off-putting nose like the inside of a perfumed, old chest of drawers with dense, sweet aromas.

1985 Dunn Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
This was my third favorite of the flight. It had a lovely, garnet color to it. It tilted towards tart, sour red fruits with a bit of greenish on the finish. The fruit was a bit too tart in my mind.

The Syrahs

2007 DuMOL, Syrah, Eddie’s Patch, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
This was my least favorite of the Syrah’s. It had an odd, light nose but in the mouth it was rich, creamy, lovely feel but as a whole it was almost out of control.

2007 Betz Family, Syrah, La Côte Rousse, Red Mountain, Columbia Valley
This was my second favorite. The light nose moved on to structured, blue fruit, and tannins. It showed a young, inky personality that clearly needs more time. I’d sit on this for several years.

2007 Cayuse, Syrah, Cailloux Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley
This was a clear standout with its light, spiced fruits and a creamy, lifted palate. A nice wine and so easy to drink. My favorite of the Syrahs.

2007 Tensley, Syrah, Colson Canyon Vineyard, Santa Barbara County
This surprised me at the end of the night when it finally showed rich, spiced fruit. But the heat at the end was just too distracting. Drink this one cool!

2001 Long Vineyards, Johannisberg Riesling Botrytis, Napa Valley
The wine was a caramel color in the glass.  There was a light+ nose of botrytis, fresh caramel flavors, apples, but not enough acidity.

2006 Josef Lentsch, Trockenbeerenauslese Dankbarkeit, Neusiedlersee, Burgenland
This showed fresh fruit, ethereal, lots of fresh fruit, acidity, and grip with a creamy coating.  Quite nice.

DC Old Gems Offline

October 2, 2010 1 comment

This past Saturday eight of us gathered on our deck for a casual tasting of 20+ year old wines. Present were Lou F., Joan R., Chris B., Marjorie H., Shane V., Denise V., Jenn, and myself. We drank the whites followed by the reds and wrapped up with the ports. We drank the red wines in vintage order. I didn’t take detailed notes as we were mostly standing around talking. The whites weren’t so hot but the reds and ports were very good. The 1964, 1966, 1970, and 1984 were the favorite reds of the evening. I love knowing that 40-50 year old wines can be rocking.

1983 Dr. H. Thanisch, Braunberger Jusser Sonnenuhr Spatlese, Mosel Saar Ruwer
1990 Louis Latour, Corton-Charlemagne GC
1992 Louis Latour, Corton-Charlemagne GC
We started with the 1983 Thanisch, it had a light petrol nose but was very dry and devoid of most fruit. With swirling you could coax more out of it but seemed stalled after half an hour. The 1990 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne was cloudy with slight signs of seepage and while drinkable, was not good. Sharp nose, harsh up front but suprising smooth finish and aftertaste. And the 1992 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne was crystal clear, assertive, some minerals very brutish slightly tannic but OK.

1964 Louis Martini, Special Selection, Cabernet Sauvignon en magnum


1966 Louis Martini, Special Selection, Cabernet Sauvignon en magnum
So then on to the Martini’s. Both the 1964 and 1966 were drinking really well and never faded off. The 1964 had the stronger nose at first. Lots of cab sauv cedar. The 1964 was softer, more mature, and all around integrated whereas the 1966 had more youthful fruit to it and some tannins. They held on all evening and were clearly well stored. There was 1.5 glasses left of each magnum that we drank the next night, still good but little versions of the night before.

1970 Ch. Pichon Lalande, Pauillac


1978 Ch. Pichon Lalande, Pauillac
The 1970 Pichon Lalande was lovely and in great condition. Clearly a very good wine from a very good vintage. Glorious nose, well rounded in the mouth, lovely and it was a step up over the 1978 which was a mini version. The 60s and 70s were the favorite wines of the evening for us. If you tasted these four blind you’d swear Martini’s were from Bordeaux (which is what I had been told in the past).

1982 Ch. Montelena, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
1984 Ch. Montelena, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Then a big stylist change to the 1982 Montelena. An initially strong nose, cedar, some dust, earthier and more mature than the 1984. The 1984 Montelena was lovey with dark berries and shoe leather, still on the young side and somewhat primary and developed through the evening. The most potential out of all of the wines.

1990 Ravenswood, Pickberry, Sonoma County
1990 Ridge, Cabernet Sauvignon, York Creek
The 1990 Ravenswood sucked, not a bad bottle, stored in a cold room since release, but not good stuff. Disjointed roasted fruit, tannins, etc. I believe this was the first wine dumped. The 1990 Ridge was austere in comparison but after several hours it showed as a lithe wine with tart red fruit, ample acidity, well made, good mouthfeel almost still young with fine tannic finish. The 1990 was not as good as the 1960s and 1970s so I think it suffered in comparison.

1970 Warre’s vintage port
1970 Dow’s vintage port
And then the ports. 1970 Dow’s showed sweeter, primary fruit and the 1970 Warre’s was more complex, feminine, and interesting. Both lovely bottles of port. Jenn and I absolutely love vintage port and wish we could drink more.

Washington State and Others

March 6, 2010 2 comments
A small group of us got together for a last minute, casual tasting this weekend by the warmth of a roaring fire. Present were Lou, Shane, Denise, Jenn and myself. The wines were brown-bagged for fun. The two cabs were served last and everyone was aware they would be distinctly different. The K Vintners, Abeja, and O’Shea Scarborough were double-decanted one hour prior to the tasting. Everything else was double-decanted right before the tasting.

At the end everyone commented on the pleasure of tasting a diverse set of wines. The K Vintners bottle stumped two of the tasters who couldn’t figure out where it was from and were leaning towards Australia. The Tardieu-Laurent continued to significantly develop throughout the night and suffered in ranking as a result. The Hogue was quite lovely and firing on all cylinders. I thought the Thelema offered a South African profile.

2007 Tardieu-Laurent, Rasteau Vieilles Vignes
This is 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah aged in new and one year old oak casks. At first a light nose of earthy, wild aromas. It was very tight in the mouth, with not a lot coming out. But after an hour it morphed showing sweeter red, gritty fruit, with raspberry candy flavors in a powerful frame. Definitely young. Another taster commented that it was soft and subtle.

2006 Shane, The Unknown, Syrah, Sonoma County
125 cases of this were made by Shane Finley. When he is not working at Kostra Browne he makes these wines. Showing a light-plus nose of brighter, red fruit, and smoke from toast. This was the biggest, roundest, and most extracted of all showing bluer fruit in the finish. This was a standout and could use some more time to integrate. Another taster found there to be more fruit and slight more viscous body than the T-L.

2007 K Vintners, Pheasant Vineyard, Syrah, Walla Walla
191 cases were made from a vineyard only planted in 2000 on the Wahluke Slope! This wine sported a very light nose of dark fruit. It had good mouth feel, dark red fruit, and a camphor-like aftertaste. The tannins creep up in the finish, where some acidity comes out as dark fruit flavors fill the mouth. Still young but a pleasure to drink. Another taster noted the licorice and tar overtones along with higher acidity and found it a very nice wine to drink.

2007 Abeja, Syrah, Walla Walla
200-300 cases were made from fruit grown at 1310 feetat the cooler Mill Creek Vineyard. A light-plus nose of toasty oak. The tightly wound dark fruit rounded out and opened up with more air to take on a bluer tint. It had an expanding aftertaste. This one didn’t give up much but seemed, perhaps, to have potential. Others found this one tannic! On the second night it fell apart into a disjointed mess that we dumped.

2005 O’Shea Scarborough, The Immortal, Syrah, Columbia Valley
Less than 75 cases made of this inaugural vintage from Lewis Vineyard. A nose and palate of tart, red raspberry fruit, “sour patch” flavors and a very tart finish. This was rather polarizing and clearly the least favor wine of the night. One commented it was dark, tinny, and chalky. This held together better than the Abeja on the second night but was not enjoyable to drink and was dumped.

1999 Hogue, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley
Made from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon with varying amounts of Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc aged two years in oak barrels. The Cab comes from Wahluke Slope. A good medium nose screaming dusty Bordeaux. In the mouth there were round flavors, of dusty, gritty fruit perfumed with cinnamon spice. It thinned out a bit in the finish This is drinking really well right now.

2001 Thelema, Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch
100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 20 months in French oak, half new. A mature nose of eucalyptus. This showed softer, looser-knit fruit withblack currant and dark berries spreading out into a soft, flowy finish.

Mostly Bordeaux Tasting at Lou’s

September 26, 2009 1 comment

Earlier in the winter a group of us gathered at Lou’s house to taste some of his Bordeaux. Lou couldn’t find his 1982 Ch. Potensac so he substituted the 1984 Pesquera instead. That turned out to be a lovely treat. All of the wines were decanted about 1-1.5 hours prior to the tasting. The four Pomerols were served as the first flight with the remaining four in the second flight. The 1982 Branaire and the 1984 Pesquera were my favorite of the evening.

Flight #1 – 1982 Pomerol

1982 Ch. Rouget, Pomerol
This wine contains 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc that spent 24-30 months in barrel. This showed a light, stink nose of some hay and green notes. This bottle had the most dried out fruit out of all of the wines served. It still contained a core of tannins.

1982 Ch. L’Enclos, Pomerol
This wine contains 80% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Malbec that spent 20 months in barrels and vats. A nose of dark fruit followed by dark fruit and minerals in the mouth. Holding together better than the Rouget.

1982 Ch. La Croix, Pomerol
This wine contains 60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 20-24 months in barrel. The strongest nose of the first flight. Green but not menthol aromas. In the mouth there were berries, green fruit, that put on weight with air. A medium-strength aftertaste and a bit more acidity. To me the best of the first flight.

1982 Ch. De Sales, Pomerol
This wine contains 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 18-22 months in barrel. The lightest color of the first flight. An advanced browning color. Some cheesey funk on the nose. Somewhat sulphuric in the mouth, with hints of youthfulness but faded fast.

Flight #2 – The rest!

1982 Ch. Branaire (Duluc-Ducru), St. Julien
This wine contains 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot that spent 18-24 months in barrel. A light youthful nose of dark sugar, cinnamon, and leather aromas. In the mouth flavors of red fruit, black currant were delivered with good body and good tannins in the aftertaste. Easily the best of the 1982s.

1988 Ch. Meyney, St. Estephe
This wine contains 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot that spent 16 months in barrel. A light, young, tight nose. Rather tannic, greener, higher-pitched fruit than the 1986. The nose opened with air. The wine seemed to oscillate throughout the evening and at times was quite good. This was somewhat beguiling because the wine couldn’t decide to be present itself as young and shutdown or opening up to middle-age. I’d cellar this one longer to find out.

1986 Ch. Meyney, St. Estephe
This wine contains 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot that spent 16 months in barrel. A softer nose than the 1988 that left impression of dark berries and lemon. This was still fairly tannic and showed redder fruit in the aftertaste.

1984 Pesquera, Ribera del Duero
A unique, strong nose of red berries and cedar. With air ripe, red fruit come out to complete this well-balanced wine. A lovely treat, this drinks well now but will easily last. On the second night it was still going strong.

For dessert
2001 Rappahanock, Vidal Blanc, Virginia
A light color of amber. A nose of tart, bright, apricots. More apricots in the mouth. They were sweet and almost too cloying.