Mark was “counseling” a couple with a cellar who had kind of lost track of what they liked. He suggested a tasting, and it blossomed into a charity tasting for the organization I run- win win! He rounded up some generous souls, and we met at Crabtree’s Kittle House last night. I had a “pizette” with sushi tuna and (very mild) jalapenos, followed by a delicious guinea hen main.
Starter was provided by Mark, a 1983 JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese Goldkapsel. I was very excited to taste this, and it did have great acidic balance and some wonderful petrol, orange blossom, and honied notes, there was also something musty, that came into focus as light TCA (at least to me and couple others at my end, I think others disagreed). A shame.
1989 Latour Haut Brion
Somewhat funky nose at first, and I thought soft and a bit clipped on the palate. It did seem to gain body and lenght with some air, and some rather classic cigarbox and leather notes. B+ by the end
1990 La Louviere
I’ve always liked this wine, and this bottle reminded me of why. Lovely midbodied claret, ripe with a plush texture and good length. A-
This was a bit bretty, but not enough to really bother me, but overall it was a stolid and slightly dull effort. B-
1986 Silver Oak Alexander Valley
Nice showing, nice herbal notes over some red fruit, cedar, fairly low acid but not enough (for me) to detract, good wine. B+
1998 Petite Eglise
A Pomerol I don’t remember encountering before. Ripe/overripe, soft, jammy. C+
1996 Leoville Barton
Somewhat tannic, lots of herb, cassis fruit, I thought the acids were a bit spiky/unintegrated. Needs some time to come together. B
1996 Haut Batailley
Surprisingly ready, mild tannins, not especially expressive, but a little lead pencil over dark fruit. Didn’t excite me. B/B-
1996 Pontet Canet
I thought this quite nice in a mid-modern style of Bordeaux- plush texture, full fruited, some wood but not really sticking out. Would be nice with a steak now but I’d give more time for wood and tannin to integrate. A-/B+
1996 Calon Segur
My favorite of the ‘96s. Full and rich, blackcurrants with coffee, graphite, spice. Not at all hard to drink now but clearly can last. A-
Fun night with good people, and raised money for a good cause to boot. Thanks to Tommy and Marcia for their generosity with wines, Mark for organizing, and all for their generosity and good humor.
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.