A good friend Josh Leader is in town to play some golf so Roger ended up hosting our Tuesday lunch bunch tasting yesterday - the weather is just fine outside if not a little to windy . Diane made some great dishes to go with the wines including a great onion tart and Vietnamese beef stew. We had a small flight of Williams Selyem chardonnays and then a set of x7 Williams Selyem pinot noirs from the Allen vineyard - fun stuff. This was the first time I had ever seen a chard from Williams Selyem - not sure I’d buy in the future to tell you the truth. All were poured blind and scores were taken before the wines were revealed…
2011 Williams Selyem Chardonnay Allen Vineyard: This had the prettiest nose to me - nice ripe pear with touches of cold creme caramel - I picked up touches of roasted herbs. Lighter acid profile than the upcoming 2012 but still a pleasure to sip.
2003 Williams Selyem Chardonnay Heintz Vineyard: This was off a bit - a little to much VA which is what others picked up. Stinky cheese, acetone - some redeeming qualities toward the end in the mouth. With food this came off much better I must say. Still not all that good…
2012 Williams Selyem Chardonnay Heintz Vineyard: Another fun and young chardonnay which did have some qualities which were very similar to the 2003 Heintz - none of the VA though. More oak here is what I noted - still balanced and overall a good drink.
Medium garnet color, touches of savory herbal undertones here, blackberry, menthol, elegant but just not a blockbuster showing. Least delineated of the bunch IMHO. This was the '99 Allen vineyard which got 5th place overall.
Mild dusty cherry - lovely and silky. Overall nicely balanced and a joy to try - lovely stuff that drank well on its own IMHO. This was the '02 Allen vineyard which got 3rd overall.
Complicated - not complex like one of the tasters described . Touches of acetone (slight VA?), touches of heat, buttery flavors at the end. Not all that good of a showing. This was the '01 Allen vineyard and got last place.
Nice cherry aromas here and most “burgundian” … Lots of nice red fruits here, good acidity, balanced throughout, touches of some very nice cola flavors, pepper and slight spice throughout. This was the '94 Allen vineyard which got 2nd overall.
Smoked cherry aromas, dark berries, light pepper, expanded in the glass nicely, forest floor, carried nice weight all the way until the end. Nice… This was the '93 Allen vineyard which got 1st place overall.
Elegant and savory - well balanced. Daft touches of cola and spices - more savory cherry. Loved this one to tell you the truth - elegant. This was the '91 Allen vineyard and got 2nd place overall.
Primary fruit here - darkest of the flight. Balanced sweet berry fruit, tea, touches of maple syrup (oak?), lovely fruit throughout — Young still… This was the '00 Allen vineyard which got 6th place overall.
Next up for me and Josh is dinner at my place under the stars this coming Saturday night. I have some fun stuff planned - hopefully !
A BIG thanks to Roger for arranging this great tasting, both fun and educational to see the Allen vynd express itself over so many vintages.
Thanks for the notes John. I guess I liked the 2012 Chard more than you did, but then again PN is really their game. I was pleasantly surprised how little change there was in the style when Bob Cabral took over. I probably shouldn’t have dropped out then…
WS is all fine and dandy…but what we really really want…in my best Spice Girls voice…are all those notes from Paulee??? Did I miss them somewhere…or are you just getting too old and lazy now…like me???
CA PN that shines with age is an outlier in my experience, but this proves that it can be done consistantly well. Great lunch and tasting. Thanks Roger for hosting and Bill for filling in a couple of missing wines.
Roger- my bad- I forgot to mention the surprise of the whole lunch.
Ficklin Port , vintage 1953, bottled in 57 if I remember correctly. Medium amber color, rich nose of hazel nuts/pecans, mid body of tangerine peel and other dried fruits; amazing acidity giving it a lightness on the palate like the best 30-40 yr Colheita’s. Absolutely a world class fortified wine. Many thanks!!
Nice note on the Ficklin Port, Bill. Your observations were on the money; a real treat !
Roger mentioned he had been saving this for a birthday celebration for Diane, so his generosity in sharing this remarkable wine with us gets double thanks. Hope he saved some for Diane.
This was the third gathering of the Lunch Bunch this month - the previous tasting was Burgundy from 2002, hosted by David Partain, and the first one this month was a tasting of Grand Cru Alsatian Rieslings.
Late to respond to thread, as we’ve been participating in a golf invitational this week. I’ve been keeping these wines for years, with the idea that we would have a vertical…so this was the time. I certainly wasn’t disappointed, as the wines in general showed quite well. Amazing to see how well they have held up, and many still have life left in them for further cellaring. It will be interesting to see if the new winemaker continues on the same style. Diane did an outstanding job imo with the lunch…I’m a lucky guy . And yes Richard, it is hard to believe, no burgs in this tasting…We’ve had a lot of burgs this past week, with Josh Leader being here as my invitational partner…