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Ryan M

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WTN: And the title of greatest Pinot Noir I've had goes to

by Ryan M » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:29 pm

Originally this was being saved for our 15th anniversary this past August, but as we had a one month old at the time, I thought it would be a pity to drink it all myself (though in retrospect that wouldn't have been such a bad thing). So I saved it for our family Christmas. And now, I am rather sad that it was my only bottle, and that it doesn't appear to available anywhere.

Thomas, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2002
Medium garnet, orange at the rim. Initially showing very young and primary, as if it were less than 5 years old. Takes 3 hours in the glass to fully open. Outstanding nose with gorgeous aromatics; accentuated blueberry, meaty cherry, loads of fresh ground cloves, darjeeling tea, and sweet earth, all with floral perfume; a stunning beauty of a nose, wow! Identical notes on the palate, with elegant, gorgeous, sweet, Burgundian style fruit; wonderfully juicy acidity with meaty fruit, and spicy cloves; lovely mature gamey notes emerge as it opens fully. Full bodied with a long, penetrating finish. Seductively gorgeous, an elegant stunner. Uncannily like Pommard, to which Thomas’ wines are often compared. The greatest Pinot Noir I’ve ever had, outclassing even some Grand Cru Burgundies. Based on where it is currently, I’d say it needs another 5 - 10 years, and it should be a thing of glory in 10 - 15; has up to 20 strong years ahead, and I wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised to find this still drinking well at age 50. Amazing! 5 Stars [12/23/17]

And here are a few more from our various holiday get togethers.

Les Ailes de Berliquet, Saint Emilion 2012
Grand Cru, 2nd label of Chateau Berliquet. Dark, warm ruby. Very good but low key nose of dark, rich, heady fruit, and wood. On the palate, loads of sweet, juicy black raspberry upfront, followed by meaty currant, a touch of cured tobacco leaf / leather, and then cocoa powder before a finish with lots of smokey earth and a nice note of charred oak. Full bodied and rich, with good density and excellent acid tone; wonderful succulent texture. Very good quality. Showing a bit young still, needs some time in the glass to fully open. Approachable now, but I would give it a few more years, and it should continue to develop nicely for at least another 5 from now. Tasted 3 times with consistent notes. 3.5 Stars [12/20/17]

Quite an extraordinary experience here:

Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards, Chardonnay, Napa/Carneros 1997
Nice color, medium golden yellow, with some orange burnish. Excellent nose of dried pineapple, butterscotch, prominent oak, mature hazelnut, and some mineral, all with dried orange rind; wonderful mature aromatics and depth. On the palate, ripe pear/apricot, pineapple, loads of orange, butterscotch, and wonderful honeyed notes, with spicy oak and mineral. Full bodied, very fresh still, with sweet tart acidity, and a rich, deep texture. Showing its maturity in wonderful ways. Drink now. 4 Stars [12/23/17]

Domaine Jean Roger, Cuvee Tradition, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2015
Medium ruby. Wonderful nose, black raspberry and currant, fig, tobacco leaf, olive, chocolate, spice, and sweet earth; rich and heady but elegant. Identical notes on the palate; loads of rich, succulent, dark berry compote, fig, sweet, succulent tobacco lead, brown spices (cloves, etc), and mineral laden earth. Full bodied, rich, and spicy, but with Burgundian style elegance. Wonderful, succulent texture and a lovely, sweet finish, with substantial spicy tannin. Very young but already approachable, with 10 to 15 years ahead. 4 Stars. [12/23/17]

Cooper & Thief, Red Wine Blend, Cellarmaster’s Select, California 2014
A port style wine, aged 3 months in Bourbon barrels, and that comes through very prominently. Excellent nose of rich, heady, jammy blackberry, with dark chocolate, lots of vanilla, and bourbon notes. Same notes on the palate, with rich but very well toned blackberry, fleshy red plum, chocolate, charred oak, and bourbon; a very nice note of vanilla lingers on the finish. Intense, rich, dense, and penetrating. Just plain delicious stuff. Drink now or in the next 5, maybe 10 years. 3 Stars. [12/23/17]

Bonaval, Cava NV
Light golden yellow. Good nose, rich fruit with some yeasty depth. On the nose and palate, a personality of sweet red apple, a touch of rich stone fruit, and lots of sweet-tart citrus curd, with a hint of honey/nectar, substantial yeast / raw bread dough notes, and mineral. Medium-full, with a sweet texture, lively acid, and lively bubbles. Very nice, and an outstanding value at just $8 from Aldi. 2.5 Stars [12/31/17]

Villa Poggio Salvi, Brunello di Montalcino 2010
Medium ruby/garnet, clear at the rim. Wonderful Montalcino nose, with loads of slightly pungent dried black cherry, sweet red raspberry, red plum, tobacco leaf, dried orange rind, tomato paste, cocoa powder, suede, and dusty, mineral-laden earth, all with notes of incense and spice. Similar notes on the palate, but more reticent; wonderful, pure, sweet cherry, black raspberry, plum, plum tomato (yes, both, not a typo), fresh tobacco leaf, orange, cocoa powder, a touch of spice, dusty earth, and lots of mineral-laden tannin. Full bodied but light-footed, with very prominent citrus acidity, and a wonderful sweet/savory texture. Showing very young still, relatively thin and linear at this stage, but already wonderful. The last glass 24 hours later from the re-corked bottle (no evacuation) had only begun to suggest the additional weight that this will put on as it ages, and also revealed some tertiary notes of game and forest floor (indicating a maturity that will be very similar to the 1997 Poggio Salvi that I had 7 months earlier). Has 15 to 20 years ahead and may evolve slowly, approachable now but needs at least another 5 years. 4 Stars, with excellent upside potential. [1/7/18]
"The sun, with all those planets revolving about it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else to do"
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(avatar: me next to the WIYN 3.5 meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory)
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Jenise

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Re: WTN: And the title of greatest Pinot Noir I've had goes

by Jenise » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:50 pm

Loved your note on the Thomas. Have to ask: do you have any idea how ridiculously hard these wines are to obtain? I've never had the pleasure myself, but I do have a sixpack of the 2015 coming thanks to string pulling thru the friend of a friend, or something like that.
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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Ryan M

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Re: WTN: And the title of greatest Pinot Noir I've had goes

by Ryan M » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:03 pm

Jenise wrote:Loved your note on the Thomas. Have to ask: do you have any idea how ridiculously hard these wines are to obtain? I've never had the pleasure myself, but I do have a sixpack of the 2015 coming thanks to string pulling thru the friend of a friend, or something like that.


My parents got this one as a gift for me years ago (on release I think), and I knew nothing about it at the time. Almost immediately I started to question how on earth they got their hands on it, even though Thomas was somewhat more under the radar then. At the time, they were not the sort to go out of their way to obtain a wine like this. So yes, I got really, really lucky!
"The sun, with all those planets revolving about it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else to do"
Galileo Galilei

(avatar: me next to the WIYN 3.5 meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory)
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Jenise

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Re: WTN: And the title of greatest Pinot Noir I've had goes

by Jenise » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:11 pm

Ryan M wrote:
Jenise wrote:Loved your note on the Thomas. Have to ask: do you have any idea how ridiculously hard these wines are to obtain? I've never had the pleasure myself, but I do have a sixpack of the 2015 coming thanks to string pulling thru the friend of a friend, or something like that.


My parents got this one as a gift for me years ago (on release I think), and I knew nothing about it at the time. Almost immediately I started to question how on earth they got their hands on it, even though Thomas was somewhat more under the radar then. At the time, they were not the sort to go out of their way to obtain a wine like this. So yes, I got really, really lucky!


So no idea how they got it? Thomas is a one-man operation, very low tech. You can't reach him electronically. And everything he makes, which isn't a lot, is 100% sold out to his mailing list. Which for the above reasons is very very very hard to get on.
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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Jason Hagen

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Re: WTN: And the title of greatest Pinot Noir I've had goes

by Jason Hagen » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:14 pm

Ryan M wrote:
Jenise wrote:Loved your note on the Thomas. Have to ask: do you have any idea how ridiculously hard these wines are to obtain? I've never had the pleasure myself, but I do have a sixpack of the 2015 coming thanks to string pulling thru the friend of a friend, or something like that.


My parents got this one as a gift for me years ago (on release I think), and I knew nothing about it at the time. Almost immediately I started to question how on earth they got their hands on it, even though Thomas was somewhat more under the radar then. At the time, they were not the sort to go out of their way to obtain a wine like this. So yes, I got really, really lucky!


Awesome! Thanks for the note and thoughts. http://www.wizers.com/page/page/4039539.htm will generally have Thomas (and anything you want) in stock. But probably not the 02 :D But I think they might on occasion have some hidden stuff.

Jason
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Re: WTN: And the title of greatest Pinot Noir I've had goes

by Ryan M » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:20 pm

Jenise wrote:So no idea how they got it? Thomas is a one-man operation, very low tech. You can't reach him electronically. And everything he makes, which isn't a lot, is 100% sold out to his mailing list. Which for the above reasons is very very very hard to get on.


At a shop in the Kansas City area, but I don't recall which one.
"The sun, with all those planets revolving about it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else to do"
Galileo Galilei

(avatar: me next to the WIYN 3.5 meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory)

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