2004 Giacosa Nebbiolo d’Alba Valmaggiore:
Bright cherry with a bit of tar on the nose . . . and something that almost, but not quite, smells like insecticide; medium bodied and quite dry in the mouth with significant tannin and a stony quality; long, somewhat drying finish. OK, this tasting note doesn’t make it sound spectacular but, it is. The purity of each element, the way they meld into something heady and more enticing, and the exceptional character in the finish – this is very fine and has a long life in the cellar despite a good showing this evening.
2003 Giacosa Nebbiolo d’Alba Valmaggiore:
Not near the clarity and focus of the above wine; still good nebbiolo that, despite its amped-up delivery is true to its place and vintage. Good with pizza but, IMO, not worth the extra tariff for the vineyard designate.
(Aside: I should say that the 2003 is a good nebbiolo d’Alba and representative of that DOC, albeit larger than normal. The 2004, OTOH, is more Barbaresco or Barolo-like in delivery and hence, exceeds its DOC label.)
1995 Laurel Glen, Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Mountain:
No brett or VA; some secondary development and bottle bouquet; varietally correct and detailed with cassis and old furniture aromas, very clear and clean fruit flavors with layers of accents including stone, herb and decay; long and intense finish. ‘Not many CA cabernets I care a twit about but this could make me reconsider.
2005 Michel Tete, Juliénas Dom. du Clos de Fief:
Starts tight with straightforward gamay odors and ripe, pure flavors; after about two hours in the decanter it loosens up and shows some complexity, minerality and focused fruit aromas and flavors; also its length extends and layers out. Clearly needs cellaring but some time decanted helps to get a glimpse of where this is headed – a very good place, indeed.
2005 Luneau-Papin, Muscadet Dom. Pierre de La Grange:
Sweet resin and grapefruit skin smells along with notes of rock and waterfall; more fruit in the mouth than the nose would have me believe – amplitude and depth with good concentration and sustain. A young wine but a nice showing.
2005 Dom. du Clos Naudin (Foreau), Vouvray Sec:
Citrus skin, honey and flowers on the nose – layered but discreet; bright and etched in the mouth with similar flavors and a peppery note that’s hard to describe – everything is punched up a notch – concentrated, intense, very pure and balanced with much greater depth than anticipated; unusually long. Surprisingly, still pretty open and generous. IMO, this will age into one of the better examples of its AOC; limitless potential.