TNs--14 Talbot, 09 Rion Vosne Beaux monts, 13 Hidden Bench, couple of Sauternes, Biale

What I remember from this weekend’s very fun cottage trip :wink:

2014 Chateau Talbot

I aired this out for a day. When I tasted it at the UGC for that year, it was my wine of the night. It was most people’s wine of the weekend, and I really enjoyed this. Rosehips twirl around red berry and plum fruit nose. The palate has the berry and slightly sweet currant mixed in. Not deep, the term “open-knit” really applies here, as there was a fine, gentle freshness to the wine. I do wish that I’d bought more than one bottle. With a little air, no problem trying one now, though it should easily keep at least a decade more. I kind of am thinking “baby Comtesse” though without that wine’s fabulous sophistication. Still…

2009 Daniel Rion Vosne Romanee Les Beaux Monts

Our friend Tammy brought this and it was just lovely. Decanted for about an hour before I got to it. This does have the velvet sophistication that I can find sometimes in Vosne and is not in any way heavy or showing any surmaturite. Instead, strawberries, touch of cranberry and a shaving of cocoa make their presence felt on the tongue. All of it sort of shimmers there–the mouthfeel is delightful. Finish is a trifle short, but there’s plenty to like about this wine.

2013 Hidden Bench Chard

This was from a mag (I think my friend Walter brought this) and is still showing good, stable apple fruit with some creaminess and a glint of unripe pineapple. What it’s missing for me is extra intensity and persistence. I think the wine is fine and is a great cottage sipper/quaffer, but I also wouldn’t leave any of these more than 2 years from this point.

2007 Chateau Rieussec

I brought this as well and also gave it a day’s slow-ox. And wow, was this ever ready to play ball. Vanilla cream, buttercream, graham cracker, apricot and peach are all playing around here with fine honey interweave in the bouquet. Can a wine be racy and sultry at the same time? 2 days later, it has settled into a banana-tinged caramel candy with apricot and orange notes. The 07 Climens is a bit better (I haven’t had 07 D’Yquem) but not much. From a diminishing stash of mine, I would love to restock on this and will be on the lookout. 94

1989 Chateau Suduiraut

Walter has a bunch of these—some from an original buy and some from a recent-ish rebuy through the LCBO. That second set are the wines I got a hold of and I think this bottle comes from that set. From half, it’s decent, but no more. You can get at sweet yellow fruit and a little of the orange/citrus idea, but the wine does seem a little tired. It’s something that perks up with food (in this case, my peach amaretto fruit soup) but this set of half bottles, anyway, sees this wine in decline.

2018 Biale Black Chicken Zin

I think my friend Dianne brought this and it was always going to get opened for the tomahawk steaks we had for Saturday dinner. This is a great and restrained version of this iconic wine. Lots of bramble and some herbs buttress the black plum and blackberry base. What I like to see and feel is the restraint and balance it shows as it makes its way down your throat. Touches of meats and even maybe a tiny bit of black licorice, but overall a very surehanded feel to this bottling. Liked this a lot.



Nice Mike.
I hope all is well.
I have been thinking about you.
Wishing you and all those in Toronto the very best.
A group that took me in on Zoom for the early COVID days.

Thoughts are mutual, Don—we have been thinking of and talking about you too. I got the report from Nick (who was up for a visit) about the great recent get-together for port, etc. Dave, Jay and Victor all send their best

Hoping you, Pam, Trey, Ashley and the family have all weathered the COVID storm. We will be down there again when we can do it.

Back in action again Mike. Good to see it.

Back in action again Mike. Good to see it.

I met Daniel Rion in 1996 when he was a young, aspiring winemaker trying to do his own thing with his father telling him not to. His wines in those days were pretty tannic and dry, but in the last 10-15 years or so, they have gotten so much better and now he is considered to be a star.

Agreed Blake, a pleasure to drink his wines and a very sure hand across vintages now. Early on, was hard to find the love.

If we take the old Cordier stable of Gruaud Larose, followed by Talbot, followed by Meyney, it seems that I see, and drink, a lot of #1 and #3, but not much Talbot. I have not been following them from the beginning, BUT I have been following them since 1979, when my 1978 bonus consisted of cash and, to make up for ruining by New Year’s Eve, a case of 1975 Gruaud. I have lots of 1989 and 2005 Meyney and I have a smattering of Gruaud, but I do not think I have even tasted a Talbot for over 20 years. Is that just coincidental, or is the production so much lower?

AND by the way, Mike, if you make it to New York, which is now legal, I can open one of the 1975 Gruauds for you. CT says I still have three, which should mean that I have at least one.

Nice to see that note on the 2014 Talbot. I didn’t quite know what to make of it when I had it 3.5 years ago — I was hopeful more cellar time would help it advance beyond it’s “very good, but not great; classic” presentation at that time; sounds like maybe that’s happened, but your comment about loving it at UGC somewhat runs counter to that notion. Either way, glad it was a stellar bottle, and thank you for posting, Mike!

Sure thing, Brian. I always dither about whether to include past impressions in present notes, but the essence of the note is what I think of the wine on the day I drink it. Caveat—I admire a lot more Bordeaux than I love. And sorry for the faulty memory–it was the #1 red wine of that night. The 14 Pape Clement Blanc was the best wine. My note from 2017:

“2014 Chateau Talbot
Elegant—very fragrant, just lovely florals and a bounty of red and blue fruit wafts up the glass. It follows through with all that on the palate, a kinder, gentler and very aristocratic Bordeaux that should have a huge drinking window to it. I bought one of these and may regret holding my purchase to only 1. #2 tonight.”

Jay…I want to—my big east coast trip is already overdue by 6 months. We are still not allowed to cross the land border. I hope to enact the trip sometime next spring. Would love to try that 75 if you wanted to open it!


Thanks, Mike! I will occasionally reference - in a contemporaneous TN - pertinent parts of past experiences with a wine, but tend to favor keeping a TN mostly, if not strictly, about how this bottle tasted at this point in time. I like appending current TNs to old threads, as that allows folks to read old TNs, and see some progression over time. Hope your weekend is peaceful and enjoyable! [cheers.gif]

  • Brian

Thanks Brian—miss you and the California crew. Doing visits with several friends today, always a pick-me-up. Single malt will probably be tomorrow night :slight_smile: Hope you have a great weekend as well.

Dan Rion wines are lovely and very attractively priced. I like his entire line up.