I needed a drink last night, and so three wine lovers hastily convened for a night of various vinuous delights...
2000 Patrick Lesec Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Galets Blonds - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (10/27/2006)
Fairly light in colour, with cherries, flowers and earthy notes on the nice nose. Medium bodied palate, with cherries, plums, earth and a slight garrigue note. Grenache very dominant now, perhaps a bit tart at the end. Didn't impress me as much as the previous bottle I had - closed down? (B+)
2003 Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (10/27/2006)
Tasted blind. Deep purple in color, with a light nose of brown sugar and rich plums. Seemed rather Oz-like on the nose - I was thinking shiraz here. A blast of very rich (slightly sweet) redfruits in the front of the palate, then substantial tannins kicked in at the end. Couldn't hazard a guess with this one - I might have half-heartedly suggested Zinfandel - and when the wine was revealed I was rather shocked: this was not a CNP to me. Actually, I thought it was an abomination of a CNP; too ripe and rather unbalanced right now, although time will hopefully improve the latter. Not my style... (B/B+)
2001 Tedeschi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 'Monte Olmi' - Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico (10/27/2006)
Tasted blind. Medium brick in colour. A very exotic nose: slight medicinal notes, orange peel and rich cherries. Sweet Blackberries, plums and watermelon (!) on the rich, slightly sweet palate, with some slight tannins at the end. Very interesting wine that could only be an amarone. In a few years this should be much better, but it was delicious now too, especially after about 4 hours in the decanter. Glad I have one of these in the cellar. (A-)
1998 Lingenfelder Freinsheimer Goldberg Riesling Auslese - Germany, Pfalz (10/27/2006)
I bought 4 bottles of this on sale, and had my last one last night. Earlier editions were quite nice, but not really exciting. Somewhat light, and a little simple I thought. But this one was singing from the get-go! A lovely gold/orange in colour, with lots of mango on the great nose, and also lime, minerals, botrytis notes, petrol and even some caramel notes. Lots of complexity on the palate too, with melon, mango, pears and a hint of petrol. Big, rich, balanced, complex, very tasty. My wine of the night! So sad I don't have any more... (A)
2002 Two Hands Brave Faces - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley (10/27/2006)
Hazy notes on this one, the last wine of the night. Medium purple in colour, with a sweet coconut note. Sweet plums on the smooth rich palate: too sweet and simple for me. I really enjoyed an Angels Share from 2002 from this producer, but this wine was too confected. Bleh. (B)
Kipper enjoyed the Pegau much more than I, so various slurs about the palate of the other person was thrown around the room. It's only my first taste of the 2003, but for the life of me I can't understand how so many people can rave about this wine. I have two bottles, so time will tell if I'll eat my words or not. But right now, this bottle - yech!!!
Obviously, the sweetness of the Amarone didn't bother me, but in the Two Hands and Pegau wine, it was a major turnoff. Was I just more accepting of the sweetness because Amarone are 'supposed' to be sweet (i.e., its simply a learned affective response), whereas CNP and shiraz aren't supposed to be sweet? Why is it that one characteristic in one wine seems like an enhancement (e.g., petrol in an aged German riesling) whereas in another wine its a flaw (e.g., petrol in an aged Loire chenin- yuk!)? How much of wine appreciation is based on social conventions and collective decisions about how certain wines 'should' taste?