TN: 18 wines on a Saturday afternoon


A group of us got together to open some bottles blind and do some “holiday shopping”. The theme was “not from North America”. Blind tasting is hard, but it gets harder when you know everyone elses cellars and factor that into your guess. This time, many of us, tried to stretch out a bit. Lots of good wines, nothing incredible although there were many wines I had not tried before and that is always fun and appreciated. Thanks to Bob for hosting. Thanks to Tom and Dave for the food. Let’s not wait so long for the next time.

  • 2000 Weingut Hirsch Riesling Alte Reben Zöbinger Gaisberg - Austria, Niederösterreich, Kamptal
    Golden in color. The nose has honey and a slight petrol note. Not completely dry which curprised me. Complex with a pineapple and mineral note. More pineapple on the finish. I really thought this wine was in a very good place. Not showing its age IMO. (91 pts.)
  • 2004 Radford Dale Riesling Old Vines High Altitude - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Eden Valley
    Blind this had me stumped. Light golden in color. The nose was a bit metallic and seemed slightly oxidized. Also some orange peel. Thin and a good amount of acidity. Once I saw what it was, it made more sense. The metallic note seemed more petrol. was it air or the power of the mind. I am not sure, but i liked it better after knowing what it was. Still, not my favorite expression of Riesling. (85 pts.)
  • 1999 Domaine de l’Oratoire St Martin Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne Cuvée Prestige - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne
    Ruby in color, mostly clear and bright. The nose is dusty with plenty of funk and slight cherry notes. Soft. Light cherries on the palate. Just lacking some oomph. (86 pts.)
  • 2000 Domaine de l’Oratoire St Martin Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne Cuvée Prestige - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne
    The best of the three IMO although some said they got some spritz on the palate. I did not notice that but I did get a lot of acidity. Dusty, musty nose with cassis and black raspberries. On the palatte, this is sweet on the attack. Complex. Black raspberries. Good acidity. Lots of tannins. Long finish. I liked this wine. (89 pts.)
  • 2001 Domaine de l’Oratoire St Martin Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne Cuvée Prestige - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne
    Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright. The nose is dusty with cherries and leather. Complex. On the palate, this has tart cherries. Seems slightly over the hill though. A bitterness mars the finish. Drink up. (88 pts.)
  • 2001 Emilio Clemente Utiel-Requena Crianza - Spain, Valencia, Utiel-Requena
    Ruby in color, clear and bright. The nose has black cherries, black licorice and slight leather notes. On the palate, black cherry cough syrup. Slight tannins. this seems quite young still. (90 pts.)
  • 1999 Luigi Pira Barolo Marenca - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Ruby in color, clear and bright. The only Barolo I noted blind. The nose is dusty with cherries and tar. Medium bodied. The palate seems a bit muted with good acidity. After about two hours, it was clear, this wine was corked. I wondered earlier on, but was not sure. then it really showed the TCA. Too bad. NR (flawed)
  • 2000 Bodegas y Viñedos Maurodos Toro Viña San Román - Spain, Castilla y León, Toro
    Purple/ruby in color. The nose is very unique with cinammon, spice (allspice?) and cherries. A bit thin at first but with air it builds out. Young and very tannic. (90 pts.)
  • 2001 Mount Mary Quintet - Australia, Victoria, Port Phillip, Yarra Valley
    Blind I thought this was Bordeaux. If Charlie had not brought it, I would not have even thought Oz. Ruby in color with some purple swirls. Mostly clear and bright. The nose is dusty, complex with cassis, cherries, pencil led and a bit of tobacco. A bit tart with great cherry and cassis fruit. Excellent acidity. Long finsih. 12.5% Alc. Very impressive. (91 pts.)
  • 1999 Coriole Mary Kathleen - Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale
    I liked this even better than the mount Mary due to its complexity. Ruby?purple in color. The nose is dusty black raspberries with graphite and some mint. I was not surprised to find this from Oz. Complex and restrained with great fruit. Medium tannins. I thought this perhaps had some Shiraz, but I was wrong. Another new wine for me that was very good. (92 pts.)
  • 1996 Cavallotto Barolo Bricco Boschis - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Blind, I had no clue that this was Barolo. Still, I enjoyed it. Ruby in color, clear and bright. There was little nose. With coaxing, I got earthy cherries. More raspberries on the paalte. Very one dimensional and simple. Medium tannins. I had no clue what this wass, but thought perhaps a Rhone wine of some kind. Still, it was pleasurable drinking. (88 pts.)
  • 1998 Buil & Giné Falset St. Gregori - Spain, Catalunya, Tarragona, Falset
    Ruby in color, clear and bright. The nose has a lot of funk with cherries, black olives and iodine. I am guessing some Monastrell here, but don’t know the grapes. On the palate, more black cherries. Nice acidity. Nice wine that is very Rhone like. 13.25% Alc. (87 pts.)
  • 1998 Silvio Grasso Barolo Bricco Luciani - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    My favorite wine on this afternoon. Ruby in color, clear and bright. The nose is dusty with cherries, cassis, graphite and tar. Soft texture. Mature and complex. Cherries on the palate with excellent minerality. Slight tannins. I thought this was from the southwest of France, but in retrospect, I should have guessed this. Jeff brought it, and I think I factored that into my decision. (92 pts.)
  • 2004 Marquis Philips Cabernet Sauvignon S2 - Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale
    Not sure if this was an off bottle. Inky purple in color. The nose has tons of alcohol. Disjointed. A dead animal note but lots of black raspberry fruit. A bit better on the nose with sweet black raspberry jam. Some pepper. This was very alcoholic tasting. I suppose some must have liked it more than I but there was little discussion on this wine. (82 pts.)
  • 1997 Rainoldi Valtellina Superiore - Sassella Riserva - Italy, Lombardia, Valtellina, Valtellina Superiore - Sassella
    Light ruby in color. The nose is dusty with cherries and roses. Complex on the palate but a bit faded. Cherries with mild tannins. Surprisingly, I thought this put on weight and body and color as the afternoon progressed. Never a block buster, but a nice mature nebbiolo.
  • 2001 Il Molino di Grace Gratius Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    Ruby/purple in color but slightly cloudy. The nose has cherries and oak with hints of cassis. Some complexity on the palate, but still seems youthful. Nice finish. We discussed the producer a lot (who has some Cleveland ties). I like them very much, but I am not ready to put them in the top tier (yet). Very fruit forward stuff. (90 pts.)
  • 2006 McPrice Myers Hommage a Stevan Larner Larner Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
    Mike added this after the tasting. Off theme but that’s ok. Magenta purple in color. The nose has raspberries, cocoa, black raspberries and grilled meats. Sweet black cherry fruit on the palate. Easy to drink with some heat (probably needs just a bit of air) and slight tannins. Very gulpable wine but also quite interesting. (92 pts.)
  • 2001 Señorío de Sarría Reserva Especial - Spain, Navarra
    Dark purple in color with some maroon. Dusty cherries and hints of dill on the nose. Sweet black cherry fruit on the palate and also a prune note. Lots of tannins, but this was popped and poured right near the end so perhaps some air will help this settle out. Some dill follows thru to the palate. Very modern wine. I thought it was mostly Tempranillo, but others thought Garnacha. Perhaps a blend? (89 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Loren, what a fantastic variety of wines - regions and vintages alike.

On the Barolos (Baroli?), too bad about the Pira, but nice to see yet another great review of a '98 Barolo with the Grasso. It seems rather clear that the '98’s are drinking well (early) now.

Quite the fun blind line-up. Guesses based on cellar knowledge can improve the chances of nailing a wine along with woeful embarassment. Thanks for the TN for the 98 Silvio Grasso Barolo…2 in the cellar and hadn’t tried one yet. Jeff has good taste.


Thanks for the notes Loren. Those Mount Marys age well. You should try one sometime with a bit more age.