These notes are from a tasting organized by Denny Wang of Yats Wine Cellars. A $10.00 ticket comes with 5 stubs which you tear off the ticket for a taste of a wine on offer. There were six stations each with a selection of about 5 wines on average. The stations were Bordeaux Red, Burgundy Red, Rhone Red, White, Port and Sparkling. Although it was supposed to be a French evening, I guess Denny couldn't help but include a Port station, Port being his favorite wine.
I shared tastes with 3 other friends who also bought tickets so we were able to taste a good assortment.
Sparkling wine included a Marquise de Pompadour from India which I was curious about but opted instead for the Canard-Duchene Brut Rose Champagne NV - Salmon pink. Rather heavy, which is how I like my Champagne. Plenty or fruit with a hint of sweetness. Toasty and spicy. Very nice.
Among the whites we tried these:
Moulin de Gassac Figaro 1999 Vin de Pays d'Herault - If I understood the back label right (it was in French) this is 80% Clairette and 10% Vermentino. I don't know what the other 10% is. Very soft, hint of flowers and peach. Simple but with character. Good, refreshing sipper.
Leflaive St. Aubin 1er Cru La Chateniere 1998 - A little oaky but good. Nearly New Worldy in style. Good.
Louis Latour Chassagne-Montrachet 1998 - Very good. Gentle. Long finish. Finely balanced. The good acid structure would make this an excellent food wine.
Boillot Meursault 1971 - Surprisingly lively with some good fruit. Just past its peak but still drinking very well now.
From Bordeaux we sampled:
Chateau La Mothe 1978 Haut Medoc - Unfortunately bad oxidized.
Domaine de Chevalier 1987 Graves - Clearly on the decline. Fruit fading and acid becoming prominent. Some tobacco and cherry. Very dry. Still drinkable but fading fast.
Chateau Certan Marzelle 1980 Pomerol - Vibrant, young. Classic Bordeaux nose of cedar. Warm, woody-spicy flavor. My wine of the night! Outstanding stuff!
I tasted only one Burgundy but what a wine!
Thorin-Chambert Aloxe-Corton 1957 - Still a rather dark color for such an oldie. Young tasting. Good structure. A very slight hint of oxidation. A little spicy. Going strong and showing quite well.
From the Rhone we had:
Boissiere Gigondas 1993 - Stinky, terrible nose. Past that, powerful, tannic wine with good fruit and finish.
Jaboulet Cote Rotie Les Jumelles 1980 - From a double magnum. I had this wine a year or so ago and it was tired thing way past its prime. This example was much better. Soft, strawberry fruit, tannic in the finish. Not the thing I associate with Cote Rotie but a solid wine in any case.
We finished with some Port:
Offley LBV 1994 - Extremely sweet and spirity. Simple and in your face style wine. Can age many more years. Nice in its way but I suspect a tiring drink.
Barros Colheita 1992 - Lots of raisins, berry fruit. Warm. Excellent balance. Very good and a great wine to end the evening.