Wyncroft, Cristal, Faiveley, Bois de Boursan, Pegau, Armaillac, Pape Clement, SQN Labels

At Brad Baker’s (Champagne Warrior), with Jim Lester, Brad Cook, Jim & Cheryl Brennan (+ kids), George Heritier, Kid Adams, Paul Ragheb, Jim Baker (Brad’s dad), and Dale Wilson. Great friends and wonderful wines. An evening to be thankful for being alive.

2009 Wyncroft Avonlea Riesling - beautiful McIntosh apple, slate, young & steely 88.

2006 Wyncroft Chardonnay - Lemond curd, mineral, austere & high acid, very young 89? 2nd bottle better fruit 92.

1986 Chartron & Trebuchet St Aubin La Chateniere - Honeyed, med bodied, smokey, faded fruit, but not oxidized, just old.

2008 Wyncroft Riesling Vendage Tardive (VT) - huge floral nose, dry honey essence, minerals & good acid, an immense and powerfull wine 95.

Despite taking private lessons from Brad baker and Brad Cook, Champagne is still not in my roundhouse, I really don’t feel like I have the ability to judge them on a 100 point scale, so out of 5 stars:

2002 Cristal - very austere, a champagne for the future? ***
1999 Cristal - Good fruit, enjoyable ****
1996 Cristal - Toasty, raspberry ****
1989 Cristal - Sweet brioche, only slightly petillant - deliscious *****

2007 Faiveley Mercury Clos des Myglands - rose petal nose, sweet fruit, a bit austere, moderate finish 87.

2006 Faiveley Mercury Clos des Myglands - a deep dark fruit nose, but green tannins and fruit lacking 80.

2006 Wyncroft Shou - amazing ringer for a Pauillac, tobacco, med bodied, good balance, not a blockbuster, but a great effort for a challenging Michigan vintage for reds 89.

2006 Bois de Boursan Chateauneuf du Pape - Sweet, weird, disjointed and hot. Another overripe CndP Grenache “fruit bomb” with no structure. 75.

1998 Pegau - dark fruit nose, wonderful balance, still has big fruit, and tannin, young 93.

2003 Pegau - Massive, sweet fruit, very new world, hardly recognizable as a Chateauneuf du Pape, but enjoyable to drink 90.

2001 Chateau Armaillac - Med bodied, good balance, lovely 89.

1995 Pape Clement - great Bordeaux! Gorgeous balance - big fuit & tannins, still very young, LONG life ahead 95.

2007 SQN Labels Syrah - Black, hugh nose that you can smell from across the room as soon as the bottle was opened (the only othr time I have every had this happen was with a 1982 Cheval Blanc), massive, but too medicinal, like a cocktail of cough syrup and Nyquil, moderate finish 89?


These are very good notes. Thanks! I’ve had each of the Cristal’s and think your assessment is spot on! Esp the 89 which, although tasty, suffers from a lack of bubbles IMO.

What a cool array of wines! [thankyou.gif]

Wow. 2006 Bois de Boursan is anything but a fruit bomb. I have had this wine many times and completely disagree with your estimation of that wine. Jean Paul Versino harvests early, the wine is aged in old wood foudre and the abv is low. This along with Pegau and a few others are considered the more traditional of the CdPs. Did someone sneak you a Cristia, Barroche Pure or something? You should retaste.

I didn’t take any notes, but I think I enjoyed the Boursan.

There was also an 02 Huet Petillant, that I recall as having a lot of minerality.

Paul Raghib was kind enough to bring the SQN, and I agree with Errol’s assessment on it.

Sounds like a great evening. Thread drift - How is the 04 Wyncroft Chard drinking, have you had it recently? Do I need to worry about it?


Nice notes; it was a fun time and a good group of wines. There were a few other sparklers (Huet, NV Roederer, Canadian bubbly, (2) damaged 98 Grande Dames) and stills of which the Wyncroft 06 Pinot and Wyncroft 08 Riesling December Harvest were really good. I didn’t get to try the Boursan until the next morning, but I did enjoy it.

As for the Cristal foursome, I liked the 99 the most and the 02 the least. The 89 was better 4-5 years ago for my palate when it had more fruit, but it is still enjoyable today. The 96 was also nice although it had an odd mustiness on the nose that took 20 or so minutes to blow off.

The Wyncroft Riesling VT was very, very good. A great wine.

Loren - The 04 Wyncroft Chardonnay is drinking nicely now, but I am going to cellar mine for a bit longer as I like them with some age.

As a side note, I had an 03 Wyncroft Chard recently, and it had come around nicely. The 03 was rather cool-styled and somewhat austere on release, but has filled out nicely over the past few years.

Loren, maybe there was something off with this bottle. It was also cloudy, and reminded me a bit of a bad bottle of 1998 Marcoux. I can’t say that I drink CndP every week, but have been drinking them regularly since the 1989 vintage. IMHO, what was there in my glass was sweet, fruity and flabby. Off bottle, maybe? The 2003 Pegau was disappointing too. Sure it was concentrated, but if I had tasted it blind, I would have guessed it as 99 point Dr Big Jay Spanish Garnacha.

2003 was a hot vintage. 2006 was not. 2007 was. Maybe an off bottle. I hate overripe wines and love Bois de Boursan.

Errol, thanks for the notes. Sounds like a great evening.

I am not so bullish on the Shou '06. But that Riesling VT sounds like a very strong canidate for the Ohio vs Michigan Wine Clash this year.


Hi Andrew!

I am usually not a big advocate of the Shou, prior to that evening, I had only had one other prior vintage that I really liked, it was from a ripe vintage, but I don’t remember which. But the 2006 did surprise me; I would be interested to see this in a blind flight of Bordeaux. However for the price ($45), it doesn’t represent good QPR to me. Fortunately, Jim has said that he has no trouble selling the miniscule amounts he makes, so I don’t feel too bad about not being enthusiastic about one of his wines. My usual purchased of Wyncroft are the Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and sometimes a Riesling. I did not ask, and it is probably a tender point with him, but I wonder if he will tinker with his Gewurtztraminer and add a touch of residual sugar to it, otherwise it is just too dry for my taste.

And speaking of ripe vintages of Shou, I was dismayed to hear that Jim had to dump the entire 2007 vintage down the drain as it was infested with Asian Ladybugs (pyrazine). That must have been heartbreaking for him. What a vintage to lose.

Finally, Jim didn’t bring a bottle of his Russian River (CA) Syrah with him, but I have tasted this a few times, and it is pretty good and worth buying, even if it won’t qualify for The Clash!