Recovering from the spring flu made the nose and tastebuds less dependable than they otherwise would be, but allows one the chance to taste without the dust of cumberance.
Cos dEstournel, St. Estephe, 1986
Not much to thrill here, old maroonish red with old cedar paneling, perhaps some soft rose. in the mouth, a fight between fruit and tannin, stern but still youthful in feeling. Scrunching on black currants with the pips intact. A B+
Barone Cornacchia, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, 'Vigna le Coste', 2001
A deep dark black cherry color. Camphorish black fruits on the nose, with dark cherries, berries, and chocolatey dusty tannins on the end. Youngish (by 1-2 years), but drinkable. Good concentration, but lacking in a little something to make it superlative. B+ Note: I've been liking MdA's as good 'pizza wine' night wines. They are supple but concentrated, masculine but with a perfumed presence.
Riecine, Toscana IGT, 'la Gioia', 1998 Dark cherry-maroon. Anise and peppermint-cherry on the nose. Sour cherry and mint with a bit of charry oak on the end. Rather gripping tannins. The strength at the finish make me think fruit will lose to the tannins in the future. Merely B
Tenuta di Gracciano Della Seta, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, 2003
Medium light maroon with a plum tint. Cherry and herbed-licorice scents, with cherry and anise on the palate, chalky tannins. Better chilled than at room temp, and also showing better the next day. Simple, and lacking in typical sangio acidity. B
Dom. Weinbach, Gewurztraminer, Altenbourg 'Cuvee Laurence', 1999
From the Clos des Capuchins site. The color was a very mature deep amber-gold. A changeable nose, alternating light rose petal, petrol, very slight hint of rubbing alcohol. Rose water appears again in the mouth, along with peach-apricot jam, clove and ginger that's been cut and sitting on the board for a few hours, also slight burnt turbinado sugar and spicy botrytis. Only mildly sweet, like a demi-sec Vouvray. Despite feeling simple, there is no clumsiness here, only good winemaking, but perhaps the vintage character shows its hand? B+
and lastly, and certainly least:
a Clarendon Hills Shiraz Moritz Vineyard 1999. This was better 2 years ago. Now the wood shows and the brew tastes more confected than before. Age has not been kind to this. Yeech.