Notes from a blind tasting lunch:
After a highly focussed tasting last month (St. Julien wines) we went completely open this time and wound up with an interesting range of wine.
Louis Vallon Cremant de Bordeaux Blanc de Noirs – this bubbly was clearly not a Champagne but we figured it was a Cremant from some other French area – Bordeaux was not high up on our list of options! Clean, crisp and with some very nice fruit aromas, we liked this one.
2008 Laurent-Perrier Champagne Brut Millésimé – nice contrast with this wine. Darker colour, diner mousse, clean, crisp and with a nice citrus finish.
2016 Tantalus Vineyards Riesling Old Vines – this B.C. wine was my starter wine, a style that is very dry but still with a richness to it. Showing well.
2020 Domaine Tempier Bandol Blanc – I like these wines a lot and don’t see them nearly often enough. Light colour, some nice honey and lemon in the nose, plus a distinctive hit of marijuana (not that I’d know, of course). Very good!
1997 Joseph Swan Zinfandel Zeigler Vd. Russian River Valley – lovely old style Zin, fairly dark with a rather cabernet like nose, almost elegant.
1997 Turley Zinfandel Moore Earthquake Vd. – this was the antithesis of the other Zin (we were being accused of conspiracy to bring the same vintage of the same varietal but it was just chance). This one was 16.8% alcohol, was quite dark and had a sweet nose of dark berries and a smooth feel without intrusive tannins. It carried the alcohol quite well.
2010 Longview Vineyard Shiraz The Piece – one of those ludicrous cluttered Aussie labels that are very hard to decipher (I expect they do that just to be annoying). The degree of mint was no surprise and peppery mint in the nose gave way to more on palate with smooth ripe fruit. Probably what I would reach for if I were BBQing a wallaby!
2005 Clos St. Jean Cahors – produced by a producer I hadn’t seen before, Famille Jouffreau. The sort of malbec I enjoy, rounded mellow ready to drink style. Decent showing perhaps getting a little long in the tooth now.
2011 Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie Cuvée Classique Ampodium - obvious syrah, rather dense but opened up over and hour or so to show a sort os southern Rhone feast with black olive, dried tomato, and black pepper. Not profound but very good.
2016 Woodenhead Charbono, Guido Venturi Vineyard – dark purple and with a nose of vanilla oak and cherry, but on the simple side. I used to pick up Charbonos from Inglenook in the old days as they had some character but this isn’t that. Plus whenever I hear the name ‘Charbono’ I can’t help thinking to myself that Cher did the right thing by cutting Sonny free.
The final wine was my choice as host and I opted to do a comparison between it and the young Riesling I had opened with:
2004 Weingut Max Ferd. Richter Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese – nose of petrol, pear and citrus and well integrated fruit on palate. Very much to my taste and a good example of a mature Spatlese, but I’m not sure how many of the other tastesr share by attraction to this style. A whopping 8% alcohol!