Dec. 8 2017 notes
We saw some special bottles show up for the holiday lunch.
2013 Camel Valley Brut – my first wine from Cornwall (though I did wonder where they found camels in England). Light colour, good mousse, clean apple nose and clean crisp finish. Made from chard, pinot and seyval banc in equal measures. Good ringer for champers.
2006 William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses – an elegant wine with elegance and delicacy in the nose but very good fruit on palate and a long refreshing, slightly ripe finish.
2011 Rhys Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard – markedly darker colour than the previous wine, some really nice pear and vanilla in the nose, juicy fruit and long smooth finish. Very nice!
2002 Zind Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Clos Windsbuhl – wow! Perfect wine with the foie gras we had. Lots of colour, Botrytis hints in the nose mixed with lemon, apricot, and some jammy orange peel. Not nearly as sweet on palate as the nose suggested, but perfect with the food and a long clean dry finish. For me, probably the wine of the day.
2004 Domaine Pegau Cuvee Laurence – they hold this longer in wood than the regular cuvee, which is intended to make the wine drinkable early. In my experience that doesn’t entail it having a drinking window that ends earlier than the regular wine – old Laurence lasts very well (still have a bottle of 90 awaiting me in the cellar). This showed very nice blueberry abd red fruit in the nose, and the requisite waft of pepper, and a mushroomy earthy element I loved. Good length, drinking very well now but no rush at all.
1996 Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts – paler colour, with some browning at the edges. Nose of slightly funky dark fruit, with some earthy notes, and excellent in the mouth with good flavour concentration and a long dry slightly tannic finish.
1990 Leoville Barton – colour midway between the previous wines, and a nose of sweet fruit with evident tobacco and herbs. In the mouth, not quite as full as the last bottle I had, but fair balance – it seemed a tad narrow at first but opened up over time.
1990 Antinori Solaia – it had been awhile since I had this IGT and the big fruit in the nose mislead me to thoughts non-Italian at first. Slightly ripe fruit on palate and still surprisingly tannic in the finish. Wasn’t quite as well integrated as the ast bottle I opened, but still enjoyable.
1989 Chapoutier Hermitage La Sizeranne – good colour for the age, but a bit closed in the nose. Faultless on palate, though, with a great combination of sweet fruit and soft tannin, all in balance. Nose developed some garrigue and black olive, and some meatiness but was never hat one would call effusive.
2000 Giscours – not sure what was going on with this wine. I cheked others’ notes and found it varied all over the place with some loving it and some rating it quite low. Maybe a case of some bad shipment, but the wine wasn’t heat spoiled, it just lacked fruit on palate, though the nose was pretty good. I rarely see such a lack of harmony in a wine where some components are good and some just falling short of decent. Puzzling.
1995 Ch. Magdelaine – I’m adding this in although I opened it the next day for some music listening. Interestingly I checked other notes after I wrote mine and there were lots of ‘over the hill’, dried out’, ‘lean and unforgiving’. All of that bore zero resemblance to the wine I opened (the first bottle from a case, as I’ve been waiting on the 95s). It was balanced and had good fruit levels and a very nice nose of fruit, earth and tobacco. The uplifting element was the sweet fruit in mid-palate that made it such a pleasant wine to drink. Don’t know what is going on out there – bad batches, poor cellar conditions – who knows. This right bank wine drinks perfectly now. As of the 2012 year, this wine sadly no longer exists – merged into the next door property.
1977 Grahams Port – now showing noticeably paler colour than in the past, this wine had violet and plum notes in the nose, and wasn’t as sweet on palate as most Grahams are. Long sweet finish with hints of caramel and spice. If the Zind hadn’t already won my heart, this would have been in the running.