TNs--94 Monte Bello, 09 Perez Sketch, 05 La Fleur de Bouard

The occasion was a visit into town by Angelo Manioudakis from Boston. Friend and recent BBer Jay Shampur joined us for dinner at Beerbistro. It’s changed hands, but the food was still quite good and we enjoyed talking to our server Nathan.

2009 Raul Perez Sketch Albarino

I’m so happy I’ve befriended Jay. Thanks to him, I’m getting the chance to make my way through the truly unique and individual wines of this producer. Even more fun for Angelo, who’s never had Albarino like this before. Again, over time, I found the bouquet coruscates through a panoply of scents, from bright pink grapefruit-laced fruit, through a certain spicy side and then to lanolin and perhaps unsweetened vanilla that bring Chenin Blanc to mind. Palate starts with round, white fruit and some more citrus, but that gets replaced with real salinity and a dash of sea air on the tongue too. Later, migrates to sweet green peas or snap peas for me, along with some fresh herbs, and later picks up a sweeter tone with some melon. Having had the 08 and a chance to think about it, I think the 08 is the better, deeper and more complex wine, but the 09 definitely delivered more pleasure and enjoyment for me today.

1994 Ridge Monte Bello

Angelo was legion to tote this along with him. He commented that he’s actually had somewhat erratic results. Though we didn’t get the chance to taste it decanted or a day later, I’m not sure it would have truly disclosed secret fires in the end. A nose of dusty cocoa, small dark berry and a hint of tobacco is grudgingly coaxed. At first, this seems thin on entry to the palate, and I found the most interest on the breathe-back, with coffee and boysenberry accents. But those kind of faded away too with more time in the glass. This certainly has lines and some elegance, but it is missing the distinctive-distinguished blend of presence that I associate with Montys. I am still privileged to have had the chance to try.

2005 La Fleur de Bouard

This is redolent with tobacco, real—and I mean real—pain grille and extending into slightly roasted fruit. Palate replays with some small notes of chestnut, I think, and very gripping tannins right now—this is a total baby still. But it has very fine, long lines and great length in the mouth. Both Jay and I feel we would be happy to drink this all on its own without food and still derive lots of enjoyment. Excellent QPR here and many, many years of development ahead.

I hope we have the chance to connect with Angelo again soon—it was a sincere pleasure to have met him.