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Salil

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WTN: Blind tasting at my place

by Salil » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:33 am

Good to finally get some of my local blind tasting group together again (after quite a hiatus) for some drinks at my place. A fun evening as always, some bottles that certainly underperformed for my expectations, but overall some very good wines on a relaxed Thursday evening.

Starter:
2007 Franz Künstler Hochheimer Stielweg Riesling Alte Reben
Not as stony as I recollect from a bottle I opened a couple of years ago, the fruit's more up front here; ripe citrus and pear with gentle floral accents on a dry, medium weight frame. Nicely balanced with bright acids, and drinking well right now.

Flight 1:
2009 Marcel Lapierre Morgon
Seems to have closed down, and doesn't show the vibrant, sappy red fruit that made this so great on release. Time and air brings some of it out, along with gentle floral and spicy accents, but I'm leaving my other bottles alone for a lot longer.
2008 Philippe Pacalet Nuits St. Georges
Nothing particularly interesting here. Sour cherry and cranberry flavours, tart and thin with the sharp acidity giving it an almost spritzy sensation on the palate. I like Pacalet, but I'm not a fan of this wine.

Flight 2:
1985 Château Léoville Barton
Not a great showing. A weird, funky, almost ashy topnote over the fruit, and none of the complexity and finesse I'd expect from this producer. Don't think this is a representative bottle, as I've had a lot better from Barton.
1966 Château Giscours
Best showing I've had from any of my '66 Giscours by far. This one (from a bottle with a high shoulder fill) is really showing superbly. Mature fruit, leather, dried floral notes and savoury tobacco and earthy flavours all coming together seamlessly into a very polished, elegant whole. There's a brightness and vibrancy to the fruit that I didn't find in my earlier experiences with this, a silken texture with tannins fully integrated, and impressive length. Fantastic. My WOTN by far.

Flight 3:
2003 Wendouree Cabernet-Malbec
A bit of a shock initially being poured right after the old Bordeaux, but this is great stuff. Initially it's full of ripe, almost roasted red and dark fruit but with a little air the fruit calms down and it develops those classic Wendouree smoky and eucalyptus-laden aromatics. There's plenty of fine grained tannin here and bright acidity that keeps the fruit very fresh, but at the same time it's very enjoyable to drink now (and not showing the overpowering structure that some of the Wendourees can.)
2004 Adelina Shiraz
This was a brutally tannic beast when I last tasted it, but a couple of years later (and with some decanting well ahead of time) it's calmed down a lot more and is really quite enjoyable. Powerful, ripe red and dark fruits with peppery, smoky and earthy accents, though still showing a lot of tannic grip on the back end. It's a bigger, riper wine than the Wendouree that was poured alongside, but there's definitely a stylistic kinship here and I'm glad I still have another bottle (not to be touched for many years.)

Flight 4:
2001 Edmunds St. John Syrah
Hmm, not the best showing of this and showing little of the savoury/leathery complexity that I recall from prior bottles. Bright red and dark fruits, a bit high toned but also a bit simple and one note. 'No great wines, only great bottles' comes to mind, but I'll be hopefully for my last remaining bottle...
1997 Edmunds St. John Syrah Fenaughty
This is more like it. Layers of savoury, leathery, herbal and earthy notes around fresh red fruits and black olives; complex, wonderfully balanced and drinking superbly right now.

"Dessert":
2001 Eugen Müller Forster Kirchenstück Riesling Auslese
Opened this as I was looking for a rich Auslese for the end of the meal, and I recall this having plenty of sweetness a couple of years ago. This seems to have really changed (for the better) since I last had it; the fruit isn't as ripe and sweet, and there's much more complexity apparent with maturing smoky, creamy and honeycomb notes, and powerful acidity beneath that keeps it really vibrant and focused.

Late night cellar pull:
2009 Domaine de Montille Pommard 1er Cru Les Pèzerolles
From half bottle, and just a stunning bottle of Burgundy (again). A core of ripe, sappy red fruited flavours tinged by floral, stemmy and more savoury notes that keep developing as this sits in the glass. It certainly shows the ripeness of '09, but there's also a remarkable sense of polish and finesse to the mouthfeel, and just stunning balance. I love what De Montille's been producing in the last few vintages - Etienne is making some really stunning wines there.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: Blind tasting at my place

by David M. Bueker » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:58 am

Thanks again for a great tasting. The food was excellent as well.

The Kunstler was quite good, though I found it anything but dry.

I enjoyed the Lapierre Morgon much more than everyone else. The fruit was hiding a bit, but came out more and more as time went on. Did not enjoy the Pacalet at all, finding it very sour and hard.

The Giscours was the surprise of the night. It was so youthful (I guessed mid-80s). If I thought there was any profit to be made in faking Giscours then I would have suspected a fake due to its extreme youtfulness. Alas I doubt there's a market for fake Giscours.

Too bad about the Barton. I have had much better bottles.

I did not much care for the Wendouree or the Adelina, but they were such a shock to the system after the Bordeaux. Perhaps in another context.

The 2001 ESJ was not showing well, though it did flesh out a bit with some air. Still I have had better bottles recently. The '97 Fenaughty was just delicious.

Really enjoyed my quick taste of the de Montille. Light but substantial.

Finally, I was honestly shocked by the Eugen Muller. I too was expecting something richer, and it came across as nearly a feinherb style. It was quite tasty, but not at all what I thought it would be.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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Rahsaan

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Re: WTN: Blind tasting at my place

by Rahsaan » Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:56 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:The 2001 ESJ was not showing well, though it did flesh out a bit with some air. Still I have had better bottles recently..


I've had two glorious bottles in the past month or so. Developed a bit with air but were still pretty tasty from the beginning. Hopefully my luck continues with the last bottle!
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Michael Malinoski

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Re: WTN: Blind tasting at my place

by Michael Malinoski » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:52 pm

Great notes, Salil, thanks! Especially appreciate the different views on the 2009 Lapierre Morgon. Been wondering whether to dip a toe on that. Still not sure, but at least some good points to think about!

-Michael
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Salil

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Re: WTN: Blind tasting at my place

by Salil » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:31 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:The Giscours was the surprise of the night. It was so youthful (I guessed mid-80s). If I thought there was any profit to be made in faking Giscours then I would have suspected a fake due to its extreme youtfulness. Alas I doubt there's a market for fake Giscours.

Thank heavens for that. I've had some tremendous bottles of 1966 and 1970 Giscours from a lot I purchased last year from HDH, that came with the promise of excellent provenance. Paid less per bottle than I would have for a bottle of the 2009 or the 2010 Giscours. Hopefully that won't change, and I won't have to start worrying about fakes there.

Really enjoyed my quick taste of the de Montille. Light but substantial.

The wines (since Etienne has taken over) have become some of my favorite in Burgundy in recent vintages. Incredibly polished, elegant and graceful, traditional and delicate, but not as brutally structured as the old Hubert de Montille wines were. And so remarkably consistent across vintages - I've heard people knocking some of the 2006 Volnays and various 2007s for one reason or another, but the De Montille wines I've had from those years have been magnificent. A recent bottle of the '08 Greves was just amazing - one of the palest, most delicate and fragrant wines I've had, to the point I had to double-check the bottle and make sure I hadn't opened a Truchot.
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David Lole

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Re: WTN: Blind tasting at my place

by David Lole » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:44 pm

"1985 Château Léoville Barton
Not a great showing. A weird, funky, almost ashy topnote over the fruit, and none of the complexity and finesse I'd expect from this producer. Don't think this is a representative bottle, as I've had a lot better from Barton."

Had one of the above between Christmas and New year and it was terrific. Bad luck with this one.
Cheers,

David
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Re: WTN: Blind tasting at my place

by David Lole » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:51 pm

"2003 Wendouree Cabernet-Malbec
A bit of a shock initially being poured right after the old Bordeaux, but this is great stuff. Initially it's full of ripe, almost roasted red and dark fruit but with a little air the fruit calms down and it develops those classic Wendouree smoky and eucalyptus-laden aromatics. There's plenty of fine grained tannin here and bright acidity that keeps the fruit very fresh, but at the same time it's very enjoyable to drink now (and not showing the overpowering structure that some of the Wendourees can.)"

Over the last decade or so, Tony Brady finally woke up to the fact that wine is in fact a beverage and should be pleasant to drink at some stage in your life. For a while there I thought this winery was intent on making wine's that were never pleasant. Many took so long to come around (if at all!), I just gave up on them and sold everything I had collected over many years.
Cheers,

David

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