As a newly minted member of the once a month-Monday tasting group it was my turn to pick the wines.
There were a lot of outstanding invites to some heavy hitters and they all came through, it’s sometimes intimidating when you have a couple advanced candidates and a MS at the table…
A quick backstory… Years ago I had an odd infatuation with Seattle, I was a homer from Portland and any chance I could get I would commute up here, Plane, train or automobile… I eventually moved here in 00’ and all the while I visited this small Iconic wine shop (Champion). I remember seeing multiple older 1st growths, Grand Cru Burgundy, and all in all just a lot of older wines. On my most recent visit I purchased the 79’ Redmon Cab and 81’ Tyrells Pinot (Both for around $50), having no idea what I would do with them but drink em’, I decided to base my whole blind tasting around these two wines.
I filled out the rest of the tastings with wine from my cellar.
Since there were so many heavy hitters I wanted to lead them away from a theme or an idea, this was a true double blind with no idea what the theme was, except they knew there was a theme.
Onto the wines…
81’ Tyrell’s Pinot- Extremely light, transparent, this wine had just enough life to show a light berry note with a hint of oak, really cool to see a wine at this age, especially an Aussie Pinot that was 11.9 %.
99’ Panther Creek ‘Arcus’- Really lovely nose of cola, oak, bing cherry, dark fruits, forest floor and very autumnal, ripe in the mouth with lifted acid, this wine and flight was pegged as being Burgundy and this a PC.
04’ Gouges ‘Pruliers’- The mess of the night, can you say Green Meanies anyone. I don’t know what worse… Green meanies or green meanies with the structure and blockiness of Gouges wines when young. Most people found this offensive. I feel sorry for the Som who mentioned he has a six pack and it will ‘come around’.
84’ Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Pinot (MAG)- wow, I say that with all lower case letters. At first this wine was a vinegar mess, and suddenly it came out of it’s shell and showed crazy aromatics for about an hour, then it died or closed down, one never really knows. I was absolutely amaze that a Pinot that was nearly 30 years old could still be viable. I’m glad I bought this at auction.
79’ Redmon Cabernet- Sunday morning breakfast, Bacon, eggs, toast, sausage, fantastic wine that was a real treat with the last legs of life left.
91’ Laurel Glen Sonoma Cab- I will say that Patrick Campbell is the best Sonoma wine maker (or California) there is, it’s too bad he sold his winery. Crisp in the nose with Cassis, Band aid, mountain tree leaf, high toned with great acid, this was a joy to drink, the MS and the Advanced candidate had this pegged as BDX, each said a different bank.
06’ Um… This wine was horrible, the sad part is we all new the winemaker, he used to work for someone I know and we all fell over laughing, it was a oh’ snap moment. The wine was Kirsch royale with VA galore, extra ripe and alcoholic in the mouth this wine was a mess. The sad part is that most people pegged this as being Aussie, not Washington, which it was.
90’ Heitz Martha’s- If you have had Martha’s before this was easy to recognize. Nothing but Eucalyptus, Mint, a cool refreshing note comes through and as the wine opens it becomes more cassis and leaf. This wine was so young, the color was still red with a Burgundy hue, fantastic. Long in the mouth with ripe tannin and a long mineral laced finish.