Notes from an impromptu wine lunch:
1987 Lopes Heredia Vina Tondonia Blanco – an almost salty tag to this nose, and some oak as well in this medium yellow wine. Lemony notes in the finish lifted it. If you enjoy old style oxidative white Rioja, this was pretty good.
2001 Ch. La Tour Martillac – excellent currant and oak nose, soft tannin, medium length no rush.
1999 Quinta do Crasto Tinta Cao – Crasto does single varietal wines (Cao, Nacional, Roriz) that can be interesting. I’d opted for this as one guest was Portuguese. Funky nose with fruit and green hints, medium fruit level, soft tannin and medium length. Ready now.
2005 François Parent Volnay 1er Cru Les Fremiets – Corked. Damn!
1985 Ch. Chasse Spleen – what a nice claret! Resolved tannin, velvety mouth feel, abundant fruit and medium length finish. Very good.
2001 Ch. La Louviere – surprising depth in this nose and a very tasty wine that should continue for some years.
2015 Culmina Unicus – this is the only Gruner Veltliner made in BC and it is striking. Citrus and passionfruit nose, full of fruit, clean and balanced. Shows promise for this varietal here.
1994 Quintessa – the very first vintage for this Napa winery. Very claret like nose, not as sweet as many Cal-cabs (this is a Bordeaux bend) with red currant, then right into a sweet entry, fairly big but smooth on palate and a long sweet finish. Well made wine.
1998 Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz – this continues to drink well, showing a slightly odd rubbery nose right out of the bottle, but that abated and became less funky with dark fruit and peppery hints. Good concentration – the wine avoids the overly sweet fruit bomb aspects that are present in a significant number of wines from this vintage.