- 2001 Kerpen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese * Artist Label - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
Very good showing for this riesling. Lots of zest and verve, with plenty of complexity, this bottle was fresher than some others opened recently. There's definitely some creaminess, petrol and burnt orange showing that it has some miles on it, but there's still lots of youthful slate and granny smith apple. Very good length and paired surprisingly well with carne cruda. I'd drink these soon. 91 pts.
- 2001 Rotllan Torra Priorat Tirant - Spain, Catalunya, Priorat
Nice bottle, filled with Priorat goodness of ripe black fruits, licorice, iodine, liquid basalt, and all stitched together by high acidity and high alcohol. Lush, expressive and sexy tonight. I think these are getting a bit blowsy/soft and should be enjoyed sooner than later, as they lose their tension. Others liked it more. 91 pts.
- 2000 Grand Veneur Les Origines - France, Rhone, Chateauneuf
I decanted this for 2 hours before tasting, this CDP is ready to go. Big bouquet and fleshy palate with classic Provencal notes of lavender, rosemary, and kirsch. Nothing over the top here. Solid, ready, and easy to enjoy. 90-91 pts.
- 1995 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve - USA, California, Napa Valley
Disappointing showing. It avoids the heaviness or flatness that other Mondavi Reserve cabs from the 90's have shown of late; rather, this 95 is very green tonight. The bouquet is all bell pepper with a wintergreen note. The palate is better would good fruit and lots of freshness. I don't mind a less ripe style, but this bottle is a miss. 85 pts.
- 1995 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate - USA, California, Napa Valley
Classic Montelena, with a great core of perfectly-balanced Cali Cab fruit. A remarkably consistent wine from vintage to vintage. This was deep, balanced, mature yet fresh, and may improve over the next 5 years. Lacks some of the flash of the 91 and depth of the 92 Montelenas, but still very good. My only quibble is it showed fairly one-dimensional next to the clarets. 92+ pts.
- 1993 Roagna Barolo Riserva La Rocca e La Pira - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
This barolo was very good, showing very young and full (it's recent library or a late release, I believe). It had a very nice bouquet of flowers, menthol and cherries. The wine was refined and understated, with good grip and acidity, with a fair store of tannins still. Showed much better with red meat. Overall lacking an extra gear right now, but it does appear to have more time to unfurl. 91+ pts.
- 1983 Château Canon - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
Perfect fill and cork. This showed very well, a bit more elegant than other bottles I've had of this, with everything very well integrated, mature yet vigorous, only needing a bit more complexity. There is some cinnamon on the nose giving some Right Bank flash next to the St Julien, some herbs, excellent brightness, good stuffing and mouthfeel, super silky, going strong. 93-94 pts.
- 1985 Château Léoville Poyferré - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
Lovely, classic, mature Left Banker. Lots of Bordeaux character, with cedar, plummy fruit with a nice, rounded midpalate and good depth. Nothing too flashy, just class in a glass. My WOTN by a hair. 93-94 pts.
- 1986 Raymond Lafon - France, Bordeaux, Sauternes
Pitch-perfect Sauternes. Mature, classy, refined, with excellent acidity and tension, this 86 was just right. All the normal Sauternes descriptors apply here, I just sat back and savored this one. Not as deep as the 88s nor as flashy as the 90s, there was something about the balance here that I loved. 93 pts.