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Bill Spohn


He put the 'bar' in 'barrister'




Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:31 pm


Vancouver BC

WTN: Clos Des Papes Argiano Bernardus Tempier

by Bill Spohn » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:23 pm

Blind tasting lunch notes:

Elisabeth Goutorbe "Cuvée Eclatante" Brut Champagne – slight sweetness in the nose with apple aromas, up front sweetness on palate, finishing crisply. Nice job.

2011 Taille aux Loups Montlouis ‘Les Dix Arpents’ – I’d bought the killer Remus Plus from this producer and wanted to try this wine also in our market, so brought it along to lunch. Best party by far was the nose, which showed excellent Chenin notes of lemon and flowers with hints of bergamot. On palate quite soft in the mouth despite adequate terminal acidity. Not good value at the price ($27)

2004 Dom. Latour Giraud Meursault Charmes – corked, dammit! Started out right after pouring as a ‘WTF is that nose. Went back a couple of minutes later and the wet cardboard had come right to the fore. C’est dommage!

1995 Clos des Papes CNduP – surprisingly light garnetty colour, quite attractive, a nose that had me waffling a bit between Burgundy and the Rhone, ending up finally in the right place, with white pepper hints and dark fruit. On palate this once fairly tannic wine has arrived! Now smooth and elegant, this wine has a long silky finish and was an all round winner. Time to find the case I have hiding in the cellar as this has hit prime time in a very convincing way, though there should be no rush.

2000 Bernardus Pinot Noir Gary’s Vineyard (Monterey) – not a familiar producer for me – I think I’ve only had their wines once or twice and both times it was the Marinus cab blend. Another lovely garnet colour, sweet pinot fruit and spice in the nose, but restraint, not so much that you’d mistake it for a Burg but heading in that direction. Long harmonious finish with mint popping up to add further flavour interest.

2000 Vignalta Gemola IGT – this dark Bordeaux blend from Veneto had a slightly ripe nose and a nose of soy mixed with significant VA and slight hints of raisin. Medium bodied and the quite dry finish seemed at odds with the expectations formed based on the nose. Decent wine.

2007 Grgic Plavac Mali – a Mike Grgich Croatian endeavour, this wine was a stumper. Very unusual salty leathery nose made you think of new shoes at the seaside – really! Balanced wine with up front soft tannin, interesting. Plavac is a hybrid of two native grapes, one of which is Zinfandel (under it’s ancestral Croatian name).

1996 Argiano Solengo – a blend of cab, merlot, petit verdot and syrah, the latter component was what leapt out of the glass at us despite the fact that it is a minor player in terms of percentage. Dark medium bodied wine that had a killer nose of toasted bread, some cassis and hints of cinnamon, it had significant tannin yet was fairly smooth and soft on palate with excellent midpalate fruit concentration and a long dry finish. I liked this a lot! First bottle I’ve opened since I bought this on release.

2001 Dom. Tempier Bandol – rich Rhonish nose on this basic non-reserve wine, sweet in the mouth and with black pepper coming in on the finish. Nice mouth feel. Shows fairly mature now.

Christopher’s Rare Old Verdelho Madeira – bottled for the 1969 investiture of the Prince of Wales, this was a browning medium colour, had a classic nose of walnuts and orange peel, a bit of residual sugar but not over my threshold (I am a Sercial kind of guy), and real persistence and length. Very nice. Probably an 80 year old blend or so. (Thanks, Jenise!)
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FLDG Dishwasher




Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm


The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: WTN: Clos Des Papes Argiano Bernardus Tempier

by Jenise » Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:56 pm

Elisabeth Goutorbe "Cuvée Eclatante" Brut Champagne – Very nice as you say, but I did find it a bit too sweet for a Brut. Minor complaint, though.

2011 Taille aux Loups Montlouis ‘Les Dix Arpents’ – Agree with your assessment.

1995 Clos des Papes CNduP – My favorite red of the day. Leathery Rhone nose with so much substance on the palate along with the white pepper, I went North instead of South in my guessing. Divine.

2000 Bernardus Pinot Noir Garys' Vineyard (Monterey) – An obviously well aged pinot with what struck me at first as black fruit along with some tobacco-y green notes--could see it being a Ken Wright from Willamette. But all that softened in the glass somewhat with time. Though not the minerally red fruit typical of most Garys' (Bill, note the placement of the apostrophe, it's owned by two Gary's), the herbal tomato leaf thing so typical of pinots in this area did eventually materialize along with, surprise surprise, quite a bit of mint. No matter, it was harmonious and impressive for its age. Liked it a lot. The first pinot I've had from Bernardus.

2000 Vignalta Gemola IGT – Going to differ with you here. Some wines age well, some fade, and some just go into a dark hole. This was the last example, the soy and vinegar nose only had mud to offer on the palate. This is where the last Pavie I brought to lunch went (though a bottle enjoyed at home later was fine), and a few other wines I've opened or experienced at group events like this. I don't understand what causes this or why others don't object to what I do so strongly, but I know that once a wine is there you can't tell pinot from cabernet from merlot from zinfandel--and the wines are as dark to look at as the mud they taste like. I'm a van of Vignalta Gemola but did not think this a good bottle.

2007 Grgic Plavac Mali – your description is perfect. But it was so odd! I opened it at home to 1) ascertain that it was lunch-worthy, and 2) pending the results of item 1 decant for two hours, as all notes I'd read from others suggested this was neccessary. At home it was interesting and definitely worthy, full of baked cherries and leathery in the right way. But later, on the table, it was embarrassing. Sorry!

1996 Argiano Solengo – Can't improve on your description. Loved this, it's drinking perfectly now.

2001 Dom. Tempier Bandol – Very good, but at peak.

Christopher’s Rare Old Verdelho Madeira – Okay, not just bottled for the 1969 investiture of the Prince of Wales, it was bottled for and available ONLY to the royal family. It was never offered at retail. This bottle came from Charles' own collection, and was bottle number 11 (I also own bottle 13). Unfortunately, though properly stored it was a leaker and I recently discovered that it had lost almost a third of its contents. So I stood it up and decided to share with my Canadian friends, cuz who would get the historical significance better than you guys? That said, onto the wine itself: dates, dried figs, walnuts, butterscotch and orange peel. Only lightly sweet. Splendid, I thought.
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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