Also served, and tasted before these, were a 1978 Bourgogne from a name I've not seen before and which had a lovely nose but no fruit, and a corked 99 Latour Beaune.
2002 Francois and Pascal Reverdy Sancerre (pinot noir)
Acridly weedy on first opening, but it opened to show some cherry notes with passion fruit and a bit of animale on the herbs. Would never know it was pinot if I hadn't read it on the bottle. Nobody flat-out loved it, but it was fun to taste and talk about.
1999 Ken Wright Pinot Noir
Served blind as a mystery wine. The game was over in two questions from me: "Oregon?" and "98 or 99?". Obviously, it was typical of both: flowers instead of spice, resolved tannins, medium color with fading rim, some stewed fruit flavors. Passive storage shows accelerated development, but quite pleasant.
2001 Loring "Clos Pepe" Pinot Noir
Santa Rita Hills, California
Vivid black cherry and plum nose jumped right out of the glass. Good weight with sweet, effortless fruit that was frankly rather welcoming--finally, a wine we didn't have to work for. A slight vanilla note made no secret of the oak, but it integrated well. Very good.
1995 Swan Estate pinot noir
Bing cherries, black plums, sweet fennel and iodine here. Still noticeably tannic but the fruit's open and showing well. Overall, amazingly youthful for a 10+ year old pinot--it has years to go.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov