Small group lunch last Friday with some interesting wines, tasted blind.
1983 Henri Magnien Gevrey Chambertin – hope must spring eternal for some extreme optimist to haul out this superannuated village wine with any serious hope of it being drinkable, much less decent. Interesting to watch the other more polite tasters trying to find something nice top say about the wine. I called the waiter over after a couple of tastes and asked him to go dump it, it was deader than Cleese’ parrot. I doubt any of the minority of decent wines from this troubled vintage made it past the millennium alive. Oh well.
1999 Louis Jadot Beaune Prem cru – this was an example of a wine that DID make a decent showing. Medium colour, some nice raspberries in the nose, medium sweet entry, balanced and drinking well now, and for a good price.
2003 Unti Syrah Dry Creek – hard one to nail. 15% Grenache noir and 15% alcohol gave us a hot country wine that wasn’t easily guessable as a Sonoma Syrah. I was thinking Aussie, based on the nose alone, but after tasting was perplexed as it was lighter bodied. Not bad, but not my style of Syrah.
1995 Guigal Cote Rotie Brun et Blonde – this is my style of syrah and in fact was the bottle I brought. The Unti was poured first for some reason and the minute I smelled it I called a halt and asked where my wine was as it should be tasted first, so we left the Unti and went on to this one. Very good nose with Jsome raspberry and tapenade, but I thought it had slightly low fruit and slightly high acidity (which actually went well with the course we had with it, a large marrow bone). Not really tired yet, but I think it was better a couple of years ago. Some nice floral elements came out in the nose after airing.
2001 Ch. La Conseillante – a pleasant sweet fruit, obviously claret nose with yet more raspberry fruit detectable, on top of plum, not complex on palate, but pleasant and supple. Not sure what holding this wine will get you – I’d like to have seen some more complex flavours develop but not sure it has it in it. Don’t know if I’d risk long ageing if I owned it.
2001 Philip Togni Cabernet – I love these wines (I am sitting on a 94/95/96 vertical wondering when the time will have come to try it) but found this wine much more forward than the older cabs have been. It showed bright cassis fruit with hints of cinnamon, and was quite sweet across the palate with a long smooth finish. It had excellent length with long lingering taste impressions. It sure has a future, but is so drinkable now that I’ll bet a lot of this won’t be allowed to make old bones.