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Bill Spohn


He put the 'bar' in 'barrister'




Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:31 pm


Vancouver BC

WTN: Monthly Lunch - Margaux, Talbot, De Toren, Dow, Tirecul

by Bill Spohn » Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:50 pm

Monthly blind tasting lunch notes

1999 Ch Pavillon de Margaux – great start! Lanolin nose at first, a solid wine on palate with a mineral/dry finish, rich. Kept getting better and better.

2001 Tirecul La Graviere – the dry version of the Madame, which I had not tasted before. Great lemony honeyed nose with some vanilla. Also some colour and good weight and lots of complexity on palate. 60% Semillon, 20% sauv blanc 20% muscadelle.

2002 Daniel Lenko Signature Chardonnay – small producer from Niagara. Wine pretty light in the nose department but fuller in mouth, obviously well made. Touch competition.

1998 Vincent Girardin Pommard Les Rugiens – classic non-stinky pinot nose, some spice, floral highlights and an orange peel thing going on. Medium body, long clean acidic finish. Great with the dish of chanterelles in veal reduction.

1986 Ch. Talbot – I never featured this obvious Bordeaux as a 1986 until we had worked our way through the other possible vintages. It had the edge of rusticity, typical of this chateau but the tannins were considerably softer than I expected for the vintage. Wonderful flavour concentration and excellent length. Kept coming back to this one!

1985 Phelps Insignia – this wine was showing contrarily harder than expected! Dark and much mintier than the last bottle I tasted, it was smooth and has lots of time left. Impressive.

2000 Poplar Grove Reserve – made in small lots of 80% merlot, 20% cab franc, this local wine did fit into the Bordeaux mould but it was heavy going after the previous wines. Darker, warmer, sweeter, with some cocoa . Good length

1998 Terlan Porphyr Lagrein – an oddball from the Alto Adige, showing a real coffee nose, a slight leanness but reasonable body. Almost impossible to nail this as Italian. – much more like some international cab/merlot blend.

2003 Carm Reserva – a very young wine from the Douro made from Tinta Nacional, Franca and Roriz aged in American oak. Warm ripe nose, the wine quite tannic and hard to read right now. Good enough to pick up and lay away to see what will happen to it.

2002 De Toren Fusion V – an international style of Cape wine blended from the 5 Bordeaux varietals. Vitamin sort of nose, and ripe. Still fairly tannic, and clean acidic finish. Needs time.

2000 Ravenswood Monte Rosso Zinfandel – I am a big zin fan, but this one wasn’t showing much zin character. Ripe but no berries, warm on palate with soft tannin. Pleasant but surprised the heck out of me when we found out what it was. I had to go home and pop a cork on a Turley 1996 Old Vines just to check out my palate calibration…..

1983 Dow Port – hot nose, and hot in mouth, a bit sweet but not Grahams level and good length. Very nice and a great way to end a lunch – except that one of our group perpetrated another wine on us.

Fort Wine Company Blueberry Wine - we decided this wasn’t a grape wine pretty quickly, but it was well made and finished dry and could have been very nice in the summer. Pink, with an unusual bubblegum and cheese nose, ot would make a great sorbet.

Our host couldn’t resist pulling something else in kind:

Forbidden Fruit Black Cherry Cerise d’Eve – a 17% wine with sweet cinnamon nose, apples in the mouth and a shot of ginger. Actually not a bad way to end a lunch.
Last edited by Bill Spohn on Sun Oct 22, 2006 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Mike Conner


Ultra geek




Fri Mar 24, 2006 11:35 am


Knoxville, TN

Re: WTN _ Monthly Lunch - Margaux, Talbot, De Toren, Dow, Tirecul

by Mike Conner » Sun Oct 22, 2006 7:28 am


As always, thanks for the notes.

I wasn't aware that Tirecul had changed the style of La Graviere... when my buddy and I bought in '95 and '96 (cheap at the time since Parker had just scored the Madame 100-ish points, and the Graviere just a measly 94-ish points, and a few retailers hadn't jumped the price), the Graviere was a "basic" sweet wine (with some botrytis) and the Madame was the top sweet bottling (lots of yum factor).



In search of the perfect QPR wine.... does it exist?
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FLDG Dishwasher




Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm


The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: WTN: Monthly Lunch - Margaux, Talbot, De Toren, Dow, Tirecul

by Jenise » Sun Oct 22, 2006 3:48 pm

Bill, my notes:

1999 Ch Pavillon de Margaux: unusually pale, almost clear. Sheepy nose with a lot of minerality with no initial fruit, so was surprised to find that it didn't contain any semillon. Interesting wine, quite unlike any sauv blanc I've ever had. Very good.

2001 Tirecul La Graviere: Custard with lemon and lavender honey. Very substantial body. Great wine, drinking perfectly right now. As Les commented, would be a good dry wine match for Foie Gras. Outstanding.

Note to Mike: This was my bottle. I was unaware that Tirecul even made a dry wine until I saw these at auction, and I apparently have a lot of company in the U.S. in that regard as I could find nary a tasting note, just one mention in fact from some bloke who was trying to feed three hungry men for under $20 in Brooklyn, NY.

2002 Daniel Lenko Signature Chardonnay: unmistakably chardonnay. Sweet ripe fruit but very flinty with some structure, and completely absent any tropical flavors. This is what I want chardonnay to be. Excellent.

1998 Vincent Girardin Pommard Les Rugiens: cherry and potpourri with orange peel. Good fruit. A very good Burgundy, though I couldn't peg it as Pommard.

1986 Ch. Talbot: One sniff and I swooned.
Yes, you are my love, you thing in this glass.
Lovely fruit, with perfume and minerality. I do not drink enough Talbots to guess immediately that this was Talbot, but someone like Covert who does would immediately have gotten it I think. My thoughts progressed from Margaux to Graves to St. Julien, but I couldn't zero in any better than that. A great bottle. Outstanding.

1985 Phelps Insignia: Lovely wine, a truly perfect bottle of one of California's more distinctive wines. Outstanding.

2000 Poplar Grove Reserve: Dark, sweet, rich, new world, and I taste mostly merlot. Very primary, no secondary development. Very good, but it needs time to show more.

1998 Terlan Porphyr Lagrein: cabbish, with minerality and smoke. Along with it's older brother the 95, the only good lagrein I've ever had.

2003 Carm Reserva: I don't own a single bottle of Portugese dry red wine, but here's a candidate. I guessed that it was Portugese, it having an almost opaque grapiness to it that all young Portugese wines seem to have. Lovely balance and big texture, lots of potential.

2002 De Toren Fusion V: Vitamin nose and salty mid-palate on mostly warm red fruit. Odd. Not bad, but odd. Some secondary development had me guessing older, '98 to 2000. Impossible to read origins, but I was surprised that it was South African as it's not nearly as traditional as South Africans usually are. Good, but.

2000 Ravenswood Monte Rosso Zinfandel: As always, we knew whose wine this was from the getgo, and that gentleman's warm passive apartment closet storage always throws one's wine-identification abilities out of whack. Sometimes the storage is to the good, actually;l the accelerated curve usually shows to advantage in young but ageable Rhones this guy loves. But on American wines like zin, it takes the berry flavors out and leaves cooked red fruit and spice. Not entirely unpleasant and not in fact unzinlike, but definitely unRavenswoodlike.

1983 Dow Port: plummy fruit, hot finish. No surprise that it's an 83 and a Dow's.

Fort Wine Company (Fort Langley, BC) Blueberry Wine: my wine. And to me it tastes more of fresh strawberry than blueberry, but the big deal is that unusual cheese nose which is why it was served with the cheese plate. Made in a dry style, this was a gift from the winemaker, Richard Roseweir, who wanted to know what a bunch of wine geeks would say when a fruit wine was popped on them blind. This winery makes nothing but fruit wines, which I have never cared for but these wines downright amazed me for being both so credible and enjoyable. The winery, which is actually part of a working cranberry farm, makes six dry and six dessert wines. I'm going to serve their white cranberry (made from juvenile berries harvested in early August) on Thanksgiving.

Forbidden Fruit Black Cherry Cerise d’Eve – nose of red apple skin and cinnamon and a note of caramel and sandalwood. Same in the mouth, was actually surprised that it was cherry. Complex and viscuous, very good.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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