1999 Woodward Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon Dedication Series, Columbia Valley
With John and Annabelle at Bar Sajor. Berries, mint and chocolate. Not as good as the last bottle, though not flawed. Just showed a little more mature and altogether less profound.
2011 St. Innocent Pinot Noir Villages Cuvée Willamette ValleyLight bodied with tart red cherry, taut acidity and rosemary. Very good and especially nice with food, but it reminds me less of a typical Oregon pinot than a light, cool vintage Beaujolais or one of those odd light red French grapes Dressner imports.
2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc Horse Heaven Vineyard
This wine's getting lots of attention because of the Wine Speck nom, but I found it a bit floral and haunted by a bit of residual sugar. Far, far better is their plain, not-Horse Heaven designated 2012 Sauvignon--refreshing, assertive and $5 less to boot.
2011 Matthews Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Blackboard Columbia Valley
Balanced and refreshing with minerals, lime, raw green bean and herb. Excellent value in WA sauv blanc. Total Wine currently carries at $11--it's our new house white, I went back for case.
2012 Mer Soleil Chardonnay Silver Unoaked Santa Lucia Highlands
More weight than the last Silver I recall tasting, but more residual sugar and lower acid. Poured a glass to drink before dinner and found it too heavy to drink.
2010 Azienda Agricola Musella Ripasso della Valpolicella Superiore
Good red fruit aroma, low tannins, silky, elegantly feminine. Though some ripassos can hold awhile in the cellar, this one seems to be at its best for enjoying now. Thanks for the recco, Bonnie.
2008 Joseph Drouhin / Drouhin-Vaudon Chablis 1er Cru
I sipped and sipped, trying to convince myself that there was more there. But there wasn't: mild and simplistic, it's a tragic little underachiever for a 1er Cru. No oxidation present, but I won't tempt fate and hold my remaining bottles much longer.
2005 Domaine Ninot Mercurey Vieilles Vignes
Got excited about this wine's initial flavors of maturing pinot with all the tea and dried flower notes among the sour cherries, but the midpalate couldn't hang on through a second glass. Would seem to have had a short peak awhile back and I missed it. Damn.
2009 Clos Pegase Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
As JayW said: "Briary blackberry bramble with licorice and earth. Well structured, with soft tannins and fairly high acid." Medium-plus body, needs time and some secondary development.
1996 Château Monbousquet St. Émilion Grand Cru
Not decanted. Initially warm and sensuous, fruit seemed all red. But with air, it firmed up and showed more black fruit. Essentially, it showed all it's seductive merlot character up front and became more masculine and black-fruity toward the end of the bottle--an interesting progression, drank well throughout.
2001 Château Chabiran Bordeaux Contrôlée
Dead. (Orphan oddball in the cellar with a $10 price tag, no idea how it got there.)
2000 St. Innocent Pinot Noir Seven Springs Vineyard Willamette Valley
Dinner @ Canyon with Bill S. It's not everyday you get to stump an expert like Bill, but his first guesses had to do with Cabernet and Europe and I finally had to say NO, IT'S NORTH AMERICAN to get him on the right track. A testament to the wine, which is in fact classically pinot-esque, that at 14 years old it can hide in plain site like that. Youthful medium red color, outstanding presence. My last bottle (sniff sniff).
2010 Château de Marsan Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux Red Bordeaux
Ridiculously good for $13. Dark fruit, loamy, with a lot more complexity and authentic Bordeaux-satisfaction than I would have believed possible for the money.
2011 Laetitia Winery Pinot Noir Reserve du Domaine Arroyo Grande Valley
Not a fan of this winery, but I sure like this wine. It's improved nicely in the bottle since I purchased it six months ago. Showing earth and a nice pepperiness now amid the rich red fruits that takes me back to the first pinot noir I truly liked--also from the same AVA. Drinks well now but should cellar very, very well.
2004 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Barely drinkable; the nose is giving off those necrotic signals of heavy chocolate turning into soy sauce. Palate's better, but this is dying instead of turning into a good, mature CdP.
2003 Domaine La Roquette Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Took to Dinesty dinner. All red fruit and fennel with a little tar and just a hint of funk. Alcohol that was overly present on earlier bottles now integrated. No rush but prime for current drinking.
2001 Clos l'Église (Côtes de Castillon)Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux
Popped and poured at Dinesty. At peak/drinking perfectly right away; both easy to appreciate and impressively adaptive to the Chinese food.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov