My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

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Ryan Gilmour
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My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#1 Post by Ryan Gilmour » March 23rd, 2020, 9:16 pm

As I said, my first publicly broadcasted TN, mostly to hear others thoughts about Chateau de Fonsalette.

Chateau de Fonsalette Cotes du Rhone Reserve (they're all reserve) 2003

Pnp to surprising acidity and well balanced alc even in this warm vintage as I understand. Beautiful crystal, pale to medium garnet almost bordering on orange. Burgundy like sharper red fruit such as cranberry, as well as herbal, white pepper and earthy notes on first opening lead to sweeter strawberry and raspberry notes alongside those richer herbal and earth tones by hour 4.

Paid 90 usd for it a few days ago, seemed worth the price of admission based on rarity and my enjoyment.

All criticism considered constructive.

Cheers!

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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#2 Post by Alan Rath » March 23rd, 2020, 9:21 pm

Ryan, that’s a wonderful note! Even if a little surprising for this wine and vintage, but you certainly made me wish I had some to drink [cheers.gif]
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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#3 Post by Cris Whetstone » March 23rd, 2020, 9:28 pm

Nicely done.

I'd say if you are calling an 03 S Rhone Burgundy like, you have a high tolerance for pain. [wink.gif]
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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#4 Post by Ryan Gilmour » March 23rd, 2020, 9:31 pm

Cris Whetstone wrote:
March 23rd, 2020, 9:28 pm
Nicely done.

I'd say if you are calling an 03 S Rhone Burgundy like, you have a high tolerance for pain. [wink.gif]
Haha I just meant the red fruit character upon first opening not necessarily the structure, etc. (Be gentle haha) Just wanted to express that to my palate the fruit seemed to open up and become sweeter with time.

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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#5 Post by Cris Whetstone » March 23rd, 2020, 9:38 pm

Just messing with you. To be an honest taster you have to have a high tolerance for surprises. Always taste the wine. Not the label. Looks like you've succeeded. [cheers.gif]
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Well....

#6 Post by TomHill » March 23rd, 2020, 9:45 pm

Well, Ryan....short, yes...boring, not...and I should know. Sounds better than I would have expected it to be.
Send us #2 now.
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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#7 Post by Ryan Gilmour » March 23rd, 2020, 9:58 pm

Thanks all for the kind words! To pontificate further I preferred it in the Riedel Vinum Burgundy over the Bordeaux and I thought it paired brilliantly with my Columbia black-tail venison.

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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#8 Post by Kris Patten » March 23rd, 2020, 10:06 pm

Rayas did very well in 2003 and avoided many of the pitfalls so many fell into in 2003 from the Rayas label to Fonsalette to Domaine des Tours.

All were very light colors, intense aromatics, with kirsch and strawberry.

Great note Ryan.
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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#9 Post by Ryan Gilmour » March 24th, 2020, 8:57 am

Kris Patten wrote:
March 23rd, 2020, 10:06 pm
Rayas did very well in 2003 and avoided many of the pitfalls so many fell into in 2003 from the Rayas label to Fonsalette to Domaine des Tours.

All were very light colors, intense aromatics, with kirsch and strawberry.

Great note Ryan.
Thanks Kris!

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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#10 Post by Jud Reis » March 24th, 2020, 9:40 am

Great note Ryan - keep them coming.

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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#11 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » March 24th, 2020, 6:53 pm

Cris Whetstone wrote:
March 23rd, 2020, 9:38 pm
Just messing with you. To be an honest taster you have to have a high tolerance for surprises. Always taste the wine. Not the label. Looks like you've succeeded. [cheers.gif]
Well said.

The TN too Ryan, keep them coming. I would have expected a much riper wine, I appreciate the heads up.
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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#12 Post by Ryan Gilmour » March 24th, 2020, 7:10 pm

Thanks fellas, it's certainly ripe but just more balanced than I thought it may be given the age and vintage, again ymmv with my accuracy.

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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#13 Post by bmckenney » March 24th, 2020, 7:22 pm

Where are you located in Canada? I noticed your remark on the Gramercy thread and not being able to get WA wine easily. Out west? East?
Surprised you were able to procure this wine in Canada. Surprised there are any left in Canada. I do believe I had a couple of these about12 years ago when i started out. 2004 too which was better. I bought a lot of Fonsalette back then. and Pignan. I have a 2005 Pignan that I have been saving and about ready to give a twirl. But never splurged for Rayas. Like Kris said, Rayas did pretty well in that vintage considering. I can see why you would use the Burgandy metaphor. Very much more feminine and a finesse wine. A bit of warmth to it though, but not too distracting. Would be interesting to have a taste today. Check out Beaucastel CdP or the Coudoulet with some age if you like the southern Rhone. Cheaper than Rayas and different, but top tier Rhone. More masculine but same good quality. And if you're going to spend $90 on a wine, target better vintages for that money. you could have done better for $90 in today's currency and market IMO. That is my only criticism of your TN! But it is eerily similar to what my first TN would be/was.
Last edited by bmckenney on March 24th, 2020, 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#14 Post by Ryan Gilmour » March 24th, 2020, 7:39 pm

bmckenney wrote:
March 24th, 2020, 7:22 pm
Where are you located in Canada? I noticed your remark on the Gramercy thread and not being able to get WA wine easily. Out west? East?
Surprised you were able to procure this wine in Canada. Surprised there are any left in Canada. I do believe I had a couple of these about12 years ago when i started out. 2004 too which was better. I bought a lot of Fonsalette back then. and Pignan. But never splurged for Rayas. Like Kris said, Rayas did pretty well in that vintage considering. I can see why you would use the Burgandy metaphor. Very much more feminine and a finesse wine. A bit of warmth to it though, but not too distracting. Would be interesting to have a taste today. Check out Beaucastel CdP or the Coudoulet with some age if you like the southern Rhone. Cheaper than Rayas and different, but top tier Rhone. More masculine but same good quality. And if you're going to spend $90 on a wine, target better vintages for that money. you could have done better for $90 in today's currency and market IMO. That is my only criticism of your TN! But it is eerily similar to what my first TN would be.
Hi Bryan, I'm on Vancouver Island. I buy lots of Washington wine actually, but I'm starting to see it's only worth the time and money to bring back higher end bottles, atleast with BCs byzantine import laws. Ya I was quite surprised to come across it in a private shop here and knowing the rarity and the unlikelihood of ever getting the chance to try a real Rayas I thought I'd splurge a little bit. I see quite a bit of Beaucastel and I have a couple 16s that I imagine should be held for a decade plus, but any with bottle age I've come across have wanted a premium. I should be able to get something mid 2000s though, 2004 is what youd recommend?

Cheers!

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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#15 Post by alan weinberg » March 24th, 2020, 8:30 pm

super note.

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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#16 Post by JonathanG » March 24th, 2020, 8:37 pm

I found the note short, boring and probably inaccurate.



(j/k it was a great note, far better than I could do!!)
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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#17 Post by Andy Sc » March 24th, 2020, 11:44 pm

Pretty good note! thx for that.

Here's Andrew Jeffords guide on how to write tasting notes:

1: No fruit salad
Analogical descriptors are useful – if used in moderation. Limit yourself to half a dozen at most, ideally those with some sensual kinship with one another.

2: Remember the structure
A wine’s structure, shape and texture are just as interesting as its aroma and flavour; don’t forget to analyse and describe these.

3: Balance is all
Balance and harmony are highly valued by drinkers, and a hallmark of all great wines. If a wine has these qualities, how? If not, how not? What’s wrong?

4: Be partisan
If you like it, make sure we know that, and why. If you don’t, make sure we know that, and why.

5: Be comprehensive
If you have time, give the wine a little context. Tell us its past and future. Mention other wines from somewhere else it might be useful to compare it with. [Put it in context with its region, its peers, its vintage, other vintages of the same wine, other wines of the producer, etc.]


People mostly forget to really dive into 4 and 5 which I, as I read tasting notes, find the most interesting parts. As a reader it far less interesting to know that you had these 12 different aromas (and I know that a Cheval Blanc has usually a great balance), than why it was a great or a bad experience and how it does compare to other wines from the vitnage, region, same winery, etc., etc.
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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#18 Post by Mark C Johnson » March 25th, 2020, 2:35 am

Andy Sc wrote:
March 24th, 2020, 11:44 pm
Pretty good note! thx for that.

Here's Andrew Jeffords guide on how to write tasting notes:

1: No fruit salad
Analogical descriptors are useful – if used in moderation. Limit yourself to half a dozen at most, ideally those with some sensual kinship with one another.

2: Remember the structure
A wine’s structure, shape and texture are just as interesting as its aroma and flavour; don’t forget to analyse and describe these.

3: Balance is all
Balance and harmony are highly valued by drinkers, and a hallmark of all great wines. If a wine has these qualities, how? If not, how not? What’s wrong?

4: Be partisan
If you like it, make sure we know that, and why. If you don’t, make sure we know that, and why.

5: Be comprehensive
If you have time, give the wine a little context. Tell us its past and future. Mention other wines from somewhere else it might be useful to compare it with. [Put it in context with its region, its peers, its vintage, other vintages of the same wine, other wines of the producer, etc.]


People mostly forget to really dive into 4 and 5 which I, as I read tasting notes, find the most interesting parts. As a reader it far less interesting to know that you had these 12 different aromas (and I know that a Cheval Blanc has usually a great balance), than why it was a great or a bad experience and how it does compare to other wines from the vitnage, region, same winery, etc., etc.
Wow! Great tips. Thanks to the two Andrews!
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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#19 Post by David Glasser » March 25th, 2020, 2:44 pm

Great first note.
We can all now say we followed you from the start!

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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#20 Post by Jonathan H » March 25th, 2020, 5:10 pm

Ryan Gilmour wrote:
March 24th, 2020, 7:39 pm
bmckenney wrote:
March 24th, 2020, 7:22 pm
Where are you located in Canada? I noticed your remark on the Gramercy thread and not being able to get WA wine easily. Out west? East?
Surprised you were able to procure this wine in Canada. Surprised there are any left in Canada. I do believe I had a couple of these about12 years ago when i started out. 2004 too which was better. I bought a lot of Fonsalette back then. and Pignan. But never splurged for Rayas. Like Kris said, Rayas did pretty well in that vintage considering. I can see why you would use the Burgandy metaphor. Very much more feminine and a finesse wine. A bit of warmth to it though, but not too distracting. Would be interesting to have a taste today. Check out Beaucastel CdP or the Coudoulet with some age if you like the southern Rhone. Cheaper than Rayas and different, but top tier Rhone. More masculine but same good quality. And if you're going to spend $90 on a wine, target better vintages for that money. you could have done better for $90 in today's currency and market IMO. That is my only criticism of your TN! But it is eerily similar to what my first TN would be.
Hi Bryan, I'm on Vancouver Island. I buy lots of Washington wine actually, but I'm starting to see it's only worth the time and money to bring back higher end bottles, atleast with BCs byzantine import laws. Ya I was quite surprised to come across it in a private shop here and knowing the rarity and the unlikelihood of ever getting the chance to try a real Rayas I thought I'd splurge a little bit. I see quite a bit of Beaucastel and I have a couple 16s that I imagine should be held for a decade plus, but any with bottle age I've come across have wanted a premium. I should be able to get something mid 2000s though, 2004 is what youd recommend?

Cheers!
$90 is actually pretty reasonable for Fonsalette nowadays. You can call yourself lucky just finding some on the shelf. Canada definitely gets Reynaud's wines, just not much of it - and virtually none of it will hit the shelves.

Loved your TN. One of my favourite wines.
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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#21 Post by GregT » March 25th, 2020, 5:24 pm

Ryan - don't worry about writing notes. If you want some good tips, look at the Critic Bingo thread:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=139826&hilit=critic+bingo

The more vapid and fluffy the verbiage, the better. And if you can repeat yourself a few times in the note, that's good, but it's even better if you can contradict yourself and throw in a non-sequitur. Once you're able to do that with ease, you'll ascend into the pantheon of brilliant reviewers. It might also help if you got yourself a random descriptor generator that you could use.

I haven't had that Fonsalette in years and I would have thought that the 2003 would be browning by now. No idea it had become so expensive either! Glad you enjoyed it.

Stick around and post some more!

[cheers.gif]
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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#22 Post by Ryan Gilmour » March 26th, 2020, 8:04 am

Thanks for the tips!

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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#23 Post by David Cooper » March 27th, 2020, 9:57 am

Well done. If you enjoy making notes and being part of a community consider using Cellartracker.

There were some Fonsalette wines at the BCLDB a few years ago. I think the 09 version of this one was around $160.

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Re: My First TN (short/boring/probably inaccurate)

#24 Post by Mel Knox » March 27th, 2020, 10:52 am

Ryan G,
Two comments:
1/you will never be as short and boring as Tom Hill...so don't even try!
2/Tax on wine in BC is pretty high...consider a career in smuggling
ITB

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