We kicked off the 19th Virtual Wine Tasting with this French rosé, served at room temp and chilled for comparison. The wine is a lovely pale orange in the glass. The tasters found aromas and flavors of apricot, almond, tangerine, strawberry, citrus, marzipan and pink grapefruit. The chilled version was more intense with peach, quince, citrus, honeysuckle and green pear on the nose and peach, rhubarb (?), orange and crab apples on the palate. We felt the wine was a touch sour with a bitter aftertaste. The room temp version had medium acidity whilst the chilled one was more acidic. Overall I give the wine 88 points. Drink now with smoked salmon, shrimp cocktail or a salad Nicoise. At $20 per, it gets 3 stars from me. Salut….
My friend Jimbo is in town and I promised him some good wine. Back in 2003 I bought three cases of this stuff and now I am opening bottle #26, having tasted the evolution over the past 15 years or so. This was a spectacular example of perfectly aged Bordeaux. It is at peak right now, showing layers of tertiary fruit, rich cassis, gentle acidity and soft tannins. Balanced perfectly with a sublime mouthfeel. I’m super happy with the results of my patient cellaring. I believe this cost me $59 back in the day, now it will run over $100. A good deal if you ask me that gets 92 points and 5 stars. Probably need to think about the rest of the case as I don’t think there is much left in the tank with this claret. Here are my class notes. Salut….
Chateau Lynch Bages 2001, Pauillac, France 13.0% ABV
- Appearance- Deep garnet
- Pronounced nose of dried blackberry (Cassis), leather, earth, tobacco, cedar, forest floor. Fully developed.
- Palate- dry, medium (-) acidity, medium (-) tannins, medium alcohol, medium body, pronounced flavors of dried blackberry (cassis), tobacco, leather, forest floor and charred wood. Long finish.
- Conclusion- outstanding quality, drink now: not suitable for aging or further aging.
I picked up a few bottles of this summer stunner from Costco for $15 each. Served well chilled on a hot afternoon it was delicious, light and fruity. It is medium salmon colored and has a delightful nose of orange peel, nectarine, lemon and peach. On the palate I also sensed acacia. Medium acidity and a medium body lead to a refreshing mouthfeel. The finish of this dry blend of Grenache and Cinsault was relatively short and crisp. I really enjoyed it and for the price, this 89 point wine gets 4 stars. Drink this summer! Salut….
Twenty years ago I bought a case of this Fifth Growth Bordeaux. Last year I gave this bottle as a house warming gift to friends, who sat on it and waited for my return. This past weekend we opened it in all its glory- it was delicious.
Totally showing its age with some serious bricking and sediment in the bottle, it is medium tawny in color. The nose is loaded with tertiary flavors of tobacco, cedar, leather, stewed prune and cinnamon stick. The palate is super smooth with tannins that are so integrated and balanced by a modicum of acidity. The fruit flavors have pretty much disappeared- it’s all about the tertiary notes. Classic Bourdaux that’s been aged with a smooth mouth feel.
Tell you what- there’s still some back end juiciness and tannic grip which tell me this wine has a little more life in it! Tremendous value when I bought it back in the day. 92 points, which is amazing considering the pros went with high 80’s when they first tasted it. The ’01 Left Bank vintage has outperformed anyones expectations as can be witnessed by this exceptional bottle that is currently running $80 at auction. 5 stars, but drink this delicate juice sooner rather than later. Salut….
For my wine class- a Southern France blend.
Appearance- Medium ruby with thin legs.
Nose- Medium (+) intensity with aromas of blackberry, black plum, raspberry, toast, licorice, game and is developing.
Palate- Dry, medium acidity, medium (+) tannins, high alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) flavors of blackberry, black plum, raspberry, charred wood and licorice. Medium finish.
Conclusions- very good quality wine that can be drunk now and has potential for aging.
A delicious, rustic blend of 40% Old Vine (70 yrs) Carignan, 30% Syrah and 30% Grenache. Very tannic and I could feel the alcohol, needs a juicy Ribeye. For $30 it gets 5 stars cause I really like it and give it 92 points. Drink till 2028. Salut….
One of this week’s assignements for my wine course is to discuss and taste a Burgundy. Here goes:
I have selected a 1er Cru wine to taste from the Côte D’Or. Located in Savigny-Lès-Beaune, the Vergelesses vineyard is southeast facing with a gentle slope. The wine is a Pinot Noir that has been vinified with wild yeasts having been hand picked and cultivated without chemicals. It has been aged for 18 months in French oak barrels.
The Pinot Noir grape is notoriously difficult to grow and produce quality wine, it requires a lot of attention and is susceptible to disease and rot. It has a difficult time ripening and needs a cool to moderate climate. Situated in the central part of Burgundy, this vineyard gets the right weather and with the aspect being southeast, it gets the maximum sunshine ensuring full ripeness. The gently slope allows some extra degree of sunshine for the grapes as well as good drainage.
Hand picking the ripe berries makes for a more uniform selection of grapes and raises the overall quality whilst the use of French oak barrels adds complexity, which is compounded by the use of wild yeasts.
Jean Féry & Fils Savigny-Lès-Beaune 1er Cru Les Vergelesses 2010, France 13% ABV
- Appearance- Clear, pale garnet with watery legs.
- Nose- Pronounced aromas of red cherry, redcurrant, stewed fruit, clove and smoke. Developing.
- Palate- Dry, high acidity, medium (-) tannin, medium alcohol, medium (-) body, medium intensity flavors of red cherry, strawberry, redcurrant, smoke, prune. The finish is medium (+).
- Conclusion- A very good wine that can be drunk now but has potential for aging.
Ps. This is the second 1er Cru I have opened this week that I think is too young, even at 10+ years. I really like the way this one is developing, the tertiary flavors are starting to come out. I have two more bottles to sit on and watch the evolution over the next 5 years or so.
So, I am going with 92 points and for $50, this is a great deal on semi-aged Burgundy that gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
I have been sitting on this Pinot for many years, letting it age gracefully. The time has come as I needed to taste a Burgundy for my wine course. Here are the technicalities:
Appearance- Pale garnet with watery legs.
Nose- Medium intensity, aromas of dried cherry, strawberry, mushroom, forest floor, Rooibos Tea and truffle. Fully developed
Palate- dry, medium (+) acidity, medium (-) tannin, medium alcohol, medium (-) body, medium (+) flavor intensity, long finish. Flavors of cherry, strawberry, Rooibos tea, forest floor.
Quality- very good with potential for more aging.
In layman’s terms, this is a delicious yet young 1er Cru Burgundy. I enjoyed it more as the night went along but could not help but feel a tinge of regret, opening it probably 5 years too soon. I was hoping for many more tertiary notes, a little less tannin. I can only guess at the cost- $75? It gets 92 points from me and is a 5 star effort in the Burgundy minefield of red wine. Paired with grilled Rack of Lamb. I wish I had another bouteille…. Drink from 2025-2030. Salut….
I was looking for a steely Chardonnay to pair with Pork Tomahawk ribs, this Chablis happened to be on sale so I thought I was on to a winner….. It was tasty, sure, but not exactly what I was hoping for. It runs a pale gold in the glass with big legs. On the nose it is not very pronounced. I get lemon, quince, green apple, pineapple, passion fruit and iodine. The palate is slightly more intense, dry and quite acidic. I was looking forward to that part- the cut. Unfortunately the wine was actually a bit too big-bodied for my needs. It lacked the flinty minerality and only offered a touch of saline. The alcohol was evident BTW. If you want an un-oaked Chardy that is actually very tasty, this one can be had for $25. It gets 88 points from me with a drink now rec. 3 stars. Salut….
We enjoyed this classic Sauternes dessert wine whilst watching 48 hours, a classic wine paired with a classic movie. I have drunk the 2006 on several occasions, this later vintage is just as scrumptious. Detailed notes were not taken, just a brief impression. Pale gold. Pronounced nose of peach, apricot, honey, orange marmalade and candied citrus peel. Sweet, luscious and viscous with honeyed orange peel, stone fruits and almonds on the palate. Simply delicious. Medium acidity and loads of body make for a gorgeous mouthfeel. This wine is young and will develop nicely till 2040. A stunner that runs $ 28- 93 points and 5 stars for a treat! Lovely at youth, it will age gracefully. Salut….
My friend Arty was tidying up her office last week and stumbled upon three bottles of wine that had been left over from various functions. They were all standing upright and at least 8-14 years old. I promised to dispose of them for her, so last night we sampled two of the three. I started out with this Pinot Noir from France. The bottle suffered from severe cork failure. However- this entry level Pinot is actually holding up quite well in the glass. It is showing a touch of bricking, a Garnet color and it’s see-through with a bit of sediment. The nose gives me stewed plums, cherries and strawberry. There is a hay component that I’m finding very interesting but it’s mostly cooked fruit which signifies it’s plateau of maturity. The tannins are fully integrated at this point and there is a modicum of acidity that gives me a little bite at the finish. I’m surprised this one has made it so long but it’s a drink now situation. Overall 91 points and kudos to the winemaker for crafting such a pleasurable mature Vin de Pays. Surprisingly it only runs 12.5% abv, a relative lightweight! Newer vintages will cost $18, making this wine a steal worthy of 5 stars. Salut….