TN: Beychevelle, Tablas Creek, Turley, J Moreau, Potensac, +++

Had my monthly tasting group over tonight. Since it is almost all industry people and this is the busiest time of the year, i decided to go with no theme. Just bring a bottle to enjoy. And enjoy we did!

Sam brought over a double mag of 1989 Beychevelle that he got for $90 about 10 years ago. it had low ullage and we thought it would be terrible, but thought that it would be fun to at least try it. So first I cut a layer of mold off the top, then chipped the wax with a screwdriver and hammer, then pulled out half the cork with a waiters corkscrew, then pushed the cork in accidentally with the ah-so, then we streaned it through my tea -brewing device into pyrex measuring cups. Finally we poured it into our glasses!

1989 beychevelle - Still good deep purple with only slight browning on the edges. Tobacco, lead pencil, mushroom, and mocha on the nose. very good start. Medium weight with some black cherry fruit and an earthy finish. Silky texture and drank very well for about two hours before a graceful fade. What a treat!

I had a few 89s on hand in case the Beychevelle didn’t show well. Of course I opened them anyway since they were already there.

1989 Potensac - Black fruits on the nose with some red fruits on the front of the palate. Strawberry, raspberry, and cranberry. slightly drying tannin still on the finish. After an hour it put on some weight. IN a nice spot and drinking well, but not an amazing wine.

1989 Chateau la Croix Pomerol - Never heard of these guys before so I had no idea what to expect. Ruby core with slight bricking. Plums, mocha, leather, tobacco…very nice nose! Big and rich on the palate with velvet texture and a nice pomegranate note. Excellent showing from this wine. A pleasant suprise.

1998 J Moreau Chablis Les Clos - Deep golden yellow color. Lemon curd, lees, seashell and caramel…butterscotch…brown sugar. But at an attractive level at first. Huge on the palate with a sea spray note on the finish. However as the wine sat out the oxidized notes came out more and more. After 2 hours it was completely shot. Bummer!

2005 Tablas Creek Tannat - Deep color. Chocolate, huge black fruits, brooding notes of smoke and spice. Bitter chocolate and black cherry on the palate with lots of tannin. Absolutely delicious wine that got better with air and was one of the best of the night. Will age gracefully for years based on this bottle. Seemed very primary still.

2002 Jean Collet Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons -Shy nose, hints of lemon and seashell. Very high acid, steely minerality. Long finish here. got better with air. i liked the style, but some found it lacking fruit. It was definitely acid driven, leaner style.

1999 Abadia Retuerta Rivola - Tobacco, green peppercorn, and oak on the nose. Good weight with black fruits on the palate. Good, but I didn’e spend much time with it.

1994 Brezza Barolo Cannubi - I got suckered into opening this too since I had it sitting on the table. Tar, tobacco, dried leaves, and black cherry on the nose. Very expressive. Sour black cherry on the palate with a nice tannic grip. I thought this was showing pretty well.

2002 D’Arhmilac - Deep black color, leather, blackberry, smoke, and juicy plum on the nose. Showing very young and tight right now as compared to many other 02s. The finish was lacking even with 3 hours in the decanter. I’d like to follow this in 5 years, should show more then.

1993 Clos des Pontifes CdP - Dried herbs, and lots of berry notes…raspberry, cranberry, dingleberry…yup…tons of barnyardy Brett. Overly acidic on the palate. Not a great producer from not a great year with 16 years in the bottle. I hated it but had to clear up the spot in my wine rack so I cracked it. now I don’t have to look at it anymore!

2003 Turley Petit Sirah Hayne Vineyard - Deep color, pitch black really. Huge nose of smoke, plums, roasted meats and black licorice. Massive on the palate as expected and when first popped it showed some RS and alcohol heat. However, when I went back to it an hour or so later it was more in balance. Still a touch sweet but the alcohol integrated. it was actually a pretty balanced (STILL HUGE) wine. Probably the best Turley I have had.

2004 Ceretto Barolo Zonchera - Smoke, licorice, tobacco nose. Medium acid with bright cherry fruit. Pretty tannic and an herbal note on the finish. Drinking well but young. good showing.

Ayala Champagne Rose Majeur Brut - Not a whole lot on the nose. Cherry and strawberry with yeasty notes. Baked apple and pear on the palate with a decent finish. Good but not up to the level of other Ayala Champagnes I have had.

Overall some pretty nice wines and it was fun how there were a few themes that emerged. made for some good comparisons.

Mike – sorry I missed it this time around. You had an interesting lineup of wines. I am curious whether you thought the Turley was “ready” and, if not, how long you think it would take for it to reach readiness. Some of the notes on Turley PS seem to suggest that they are never truly ready.

the turley was ready and SINGING with an hour or so of air. obviously still young, but pretty pleasurable to drink in the bigger/richer style. I’m sure it will last for many years, I would expect the tannins to soften in the next 7-10. But I am in the camp that believes that PS just softens, not gaining much extra complexity. So I wouldn’t see a reason to wait that long with this bottle, though I could be wrong!

It was definitely a young, tannic, beast of a wine. But I can dig that from time to time!

Nice notes Mike…apparently you enjoy the 89 Beychevelle more than I do, the 4 or bottles I’ve had were quite unremarkable…I’m glad you found enjoyment out of it.

Wine can sing? Who knew? I’ll listen harder next time. neener

It was a good showing for the wine, a solid mature bordeaux. What made me so excited was that the Double Mag had pretty low ullage so there were very low expectations. It was fun to open (my first one) and taste. I think my note shows the excitement that the wine was even drinkable.