2006 Pepière, Muscadet Clos des Briords:
12% alcohol; upon opening, good Muscadet with a sour edge – put aside for another day.
Day two: a little better but still sour; not my favorite CdB.

1999 Thomas, Pinot Noir:
13% alcohol; the nose is bottle bouquet and an October pile of dried leaves left into November and then disturbed, with hints of dried cherries and soy; the palate is so smooth and resolved with tremendous complexity, balance and finesse, more savory than sweet; long and aged finish. Maybe, just past it’s prime, but so close as to keep one quiet when smelling and tasting. With a pasta dish with zucchini and cream, wonderful!

1991 Chateau Montelena, Cabernet Sauvignon:
14.01% alcohol (according to the label), bought on release; powerful and expansive aromas of cassis, blackberry and anthracite; the flavors are the same, pure and intense, concentrated, a texture of velvet, completely integrated, good grip, finesse and an endless finish. The texture and purity of this wine are so extraordinary; I can’t remember any other wine like it. Showing fresh and young even though its 20 years old. A masterpiece of CA cabernet!
Superb with burgers, oven fries and sautéed mushrooms.
(Aside: No mistaking this for Bordeaux; not near the complexity or myriad nuance. Yet this shows how delightful cabernet grown in CA can be on its own.
Moreover, the texture here may be unique; it does not slip over into that milk-shake texture that many of the cult cabs. made infamous because of its purity and acidity.
Finally, a domestic wine well worth cellaring twenty years.)

1999 Chevillon, Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Vaucrains:
13.5% alcohol; at first quite closed and maybe, slightly reduced (which seemed to blow off), decanted 1½ hours, opens over the course of the evening, although never completely; full, dark fruit, some iron, smells like a mixture of pinot and mourvèdre; very rich in the mouth with a distinct and nuanced stone/mineral component, more complex than expected, intense and gives the impression of latent power; medium length with good grip. Basso profundo in the pinot chorus and certainly in need of further cellaring but really came alive with grilled mushrooms in marinara with cheese.

Best, Jim


Nice note on the 1999 Thomas. Good to know they can age a bit.


'91 Cabs seem to be doing very well indeed - I had excellent bottles of the “regular” Stag’s Leap Napa, Frog’s Leap, Newton, and Mondavi Napa this past year!

Nicely articulated notes, as always, Jim.

Like you, I purchased the 1991 Montelena Estate at release. I had a bottle at the tail end of last summer with some friends. My first thought after tasting it was ‘profound’. I think well-stored bottles will continue to drink well for many years.


Lesson, it must be in a shell/closed…or you have damaged product. This is one of the best CdB I have ever tried, simply fantastic when I tried it multiple times 2-3yrs ago. Perhaps ‘sour’ means too much acidity showing? Too lean/minerally in it’s bite? Truly, the grapes in that '06 Cdb show a high level of ripeness, such that it’s a slightly richer wine than a more ‘classic’ old-school Muscadet.

Vastly superior to the '07, which when released was still too tight & lean for my preferences such that the '07 CdB tasted too similar to the lesser bottlings from that vintage. In fact when I spoke to Loire specialist, co-owner of Chambers Street Wine, David Lillie, he mentioned that he thought/recommened the '07 CdB he was selling at the time as an ‘oustanding’ CdB, yet after I told him what I thought of the '07 as compared to the '06- his reply: 'Well the ‘06 is a great Muscadet!’ I can’t argue that, I think so too. I’ve got Mags of that.