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Bill Spohn

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WTN: Beaucastel St Jean Chapoutier Fox Coutet

by Bill Spohn » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:32 pm

Notes from a blind lunch tasting.

2006 Daniel Dampt Chablis Cote de Lechet – about what I expected here – classic wet stone and lime nose, excellent acidity, more lemon than lime on palate and clean fresh end.

2011 Cellar Ca Pla Mas d’En Compte Priorat – an unusually Priorat blanco made from picpoul and white Grenache, this had tons of flavour, an oaky lemon nose, and full mouth feel. Very nice.

2002 La Pousse d’Or Corton Clos de Roi – medium colour, and faint hints of vinyl over a predominantly raspberry nose. Decent up front fruit and tons of acidity. This wine is in a nice place right now.

1989 Ch. de Beaucastel CNduP – I had done a recent vertical lunch of Beaucastel and the bottle of 89 brought to that had seemed prematurely aged and weak to me based on my previous tasting, which were admittedly a few years back, so I decided to bring a bottle from my cellar and take a second look. Sure enough, this was a totally different wine, great fill, mature claret colour with edges starting to get paler, slightly war nose with only a whiff of funk when opened and that cleared quickly (most of the Beaucastels I’ve been tasting recently have been completely clean with none of the brettiness complained of when they were first bottled). Soft tannin, good stuffing and very good length. Don’t expect this to get any better, it has peaked, but it is holding well.

2002 Ch. St. Jean Merlot St. Jean Estate Vineyard – much darker wine with a ripe cocoa nose, smooth with sweet entry and medium length. Typical cal-merlot – pleasant but not complex.

1995 Chapoutier Crozes Hermitages Les Varonniers – I had never tasted this wine before and found it to be very good – so much so that there was no way I’d have guessed it as a Crozes. Dark, peppery Rhone nose with some wood smoke and ripe fruit. Mellow, smooth, balanced and ready!

2000 Fox Creek JSM – readily identifiable as an Aussie by nose, it showed sweet ripe jammy fruit, and a jammy entry as well, but the ripeness was not unreasonable in the mouth, and it carried it off fairly well. Blend of shiraz, can sauv and cab franc. Not as good as the killer 1998.

1999 Ch. Coutet Barsac – medium amber colour, peach rather than apricot in the nose, smooth entry with immediate acidity, not too sweet, clean. A refreshing, lighter weight luncheon Barsac!
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Re: WTN: Beaucastel St Jean Chapoutier Fox Coutet

by Jenise » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:13 pm

Bill, my notes (including the '91 Ridge Lytton Springs not listed):

2006 Daniel Dampt Chablis Cote de Lechet – Boy did you and I have different impressions of this wine, but it's owing to our different threshholds for oxidation which we've noted before. My notes say "flint, petrol, lemon cream, premox." There wasn't enough to disguise it's Chablis address, but enough to dampen my enthusiasm for it. (Btw, Drew and Alvie agreed about the oxidation.) It's owner didn't agree about the oxidation at the time, but he opened another bottle since last Friday and it was a much different and better wine.

2011 Cellar Cal Pla Mas d’En Compte Priorat – The first two things that had to be ruled out were 'chardonnay' and 'California anything-else' due to the forefront of toasty oak. With time in the glass, though, it mellowed considerably and went through phases featuring baskets of peaches and one of the most unusual things I've ever smelled on a white wine: the aroma of roasting coffee beans. Not coffee itself, but the smell of the green beans losing their color. Bizarre, but I loved it. The list of grapes also includes xarel-lo.

2002 La Pousse d’Or Corton Clos de Roi – Very elegant wine that reads in the glass for exactly what it is, both place and vintage. I love Pousse d'Ors (and am especially keen on their Volnays).

1989 Ch. de Beaucastel CNduP – What you said. This was a perfect bottle of '89, drinking beautifully now. Thank you!

2002 Ch. St. Jean Merlot St. Jean Estate Vineyard – I don't dislike merlot but this one didn't impress--it was just okay.

1995 Chapoutier Crozes Hermitages Les Varonniers – What you said--wasn't as tarry and green-olive dominant as most Crozes, and I'd not have guessed it either. Btw, this is also true of a case of the '06 I have had a lot of trouble keeping my hands off of.

2000 Fox Creek JSM – One whiff and you know it's Australian. Also has the tell-tale sweet-sour lactose aroma and flavor so typical of many McClaren Vale syrahs that I personally don't care for. It's not unlike the smell of a wet baby diaper. I can't get past it to be objective about Fox Creek's wines.

1991 Ridge Lytton Springs Surprising ripeness on this, but it stops short of jammy and the wine's brambly complexities carry the day. An excellent example of an aged Lytton Springs and a good ending for the dry red portion of our program!

1999 Ch. Coutet Barsac – What you said. Would also note that these were 375's. Loved this!
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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