Good to finally get some of my local blind tasting group together again (after quite a hiatus) for some drinks at my place. A fun evening as always, some bottles that certainly underperformed for my expectations, but overall some very good wines on a relaxed Thursday evening.
2007 Franz Künstler Hochheimer Stielweg Riesling Alte Reben
Not as stony as I recollect from a bottle I opened a couple of years ago, the fruit's more up front here; ripe citrus and pear with gentle floral accents on a dry, medium weight frame. Nicely balanced with bright acids, and drinking well right now.
2009 Marcel Lapierre Morgon
Seems to have closed down, and doesn't show the vibrant, sappy red fruit that made this so great on release. Time and air brings some of it out, along with gentle floral and spicy accents, but I'm leaving my other bottles alone for a lot longer.
2008 Philippe Pacalet Nuits St. Georges
Nothing particularly interesting here. Sour cherry and cranberry flavours, tart and thin with the sharp acidity giving it an almost spritzy sensation on the palate. I like Pacalet, but I'm not a fan of this wine.
1985 Château Léoville Barton
Not a great showing. A weird, funky, almost ashy topnote over the fruit, and none of the complexity and finesse I'd expect from this producer. Don't think this is a representative bottle, as I've had a lot better from Barton.
1966 Château Giscours
Best showing I've had from any of my '66 Giscours by far. This one (from a bottle with a high shoulder fill) is really showing superbly. Mature fruit, leather, dried floral notes and savoury tobacco and earthy flavours all coming together seamlessly into a very polished, elegant whole. There's a brightness and vibrancy to the fruit that I didn't find in my earlier experiences with this, a silken texture with tannins fully integrated, and impressive length. Fantastic. My WOTN by far.
2003 Wendouree Cabernet-Malbec
A bit of a shock initially being poured right after the old Bordeaux, but this is great stuff. Initially it's full of ripe, almost roasted red and dark fruit but with a little air the fruit calms down and it develops those classic Wendouree smoky and eucalyptus-laden aromatics. There's plenty of fine grained tannin here and bright acidity that keeps the fruit very fresh, but at the same time it's very enjoyable to drink now (and not showing the overpowering structure that some of the Wendourees can.)
2004 Adelina Shiraz
This was a brutally tannic beast when I last tasted it, but a couple of years later (and with some decanting well ahead of time) it's calmed down a lot more and is really quite enjoyable. Powerful, ripe red and dark fruits with peppery, smoky and earthy accents, though still showing a lot of tannic grip on the back end. It's a bigger, riper wine than the Wendouree that was poured alongside, but there's definitely a stylistic kinship here and I'm glad I still have another bottle (not to be touched for many years.)
2001 Edmunds St. John Syrah
Hmm, not the best showing of this and showing little of the savoury/leathery complexity that I recall from prior bottles. Bright red and dark fruits, a bit high toned but also a bit simple and one note. 'No great wines, only great bottles' comes to mind, but I'll be hopefully for my last remaining bottle...
1997 Edmunds St. John Syrah Fenaughty
This is more like it. Layers of savoury, leathery, herbal and earthy notes around fresh red fruits and black olives; complex, wonderfully balanced and drinking superbly right now.
2001 Eugen Müller Forster Kirchenstück Riesling Auslese
Opened this as I was looking for a rich Auslese for the end of the meal, and I recall this having plenty of sweetness a couple of years ago. This seems to have really changed (for the better) since I last had it; the fruit isn't as ripe and sweet, and there's much more complexity apparent with maturing smoky, creamy and honeycomb notes, and powerful acidity beneath that keeps it really vibrant and focused.
Late night cellar pull:
2009 Domaine de Montille Pommard 1er Cru Les Pèzerolles
From half bottle, and just a stunning bottle of Burgundy (again). A core of ripe, sappy red fruited flavours tinged by floral, stemmy and more savoury notes that keep developing as this sits in the glass. It certainly shows the ripeness of '09, but there's also a remarkable sense of polish and finesse to the mouthfeel, and just stunning balance. I love what De Montille's been producing in the last few vintages - Etienne is making some really stunning wines there.