21 August 2006

TN: Clearing the cellar

A “clear the cellar” (a/k/a “make room for more wine”) tasting with friends in Connecticut. One addition: the mini-vertical of Clos des Briords (posted elsewhere) properly belongs among these notes.

Chateau des Charmes 2004 Gamay “Droit” St. David’s Bench (Niagara Peninsula) – Faint sweet cherry with a dry soda aspect and spiky acidity. The texture is all aspirin and baby powder. I don’t care for this at all. (8/06)

Mugneret-Gibourg 2002 Bourgogne (Burgundy) – Lovely and balanced, with strawberry seeds the dominant characteristic. (8/06)

[St. Innocent]St. Innocent 1999 Pinot Noir Seven Springs (Willamette Valley) – Gorgeous black cherry soda on the nose, with a rougher, more tannic brew of raspberry, strawberry, plum and grey earth on the palate. Just starting to round into form…though a few more years will bring superior harmony. (8/06)

St. Innocent 2004 Pinot Noir Shea (Willamette Valley) – Woody, showing layers of coconut over raspberry, with lots of thick tannin. Full and almost fat, but structured. Opened way too early. (8/06)

Téofilo Reyes 1996 Ribera del Duero (Castilla & León) – Caramel nougat and thick, dark, sticky fruit. It’s not as awful as it sounds, but it’s sludgy and one-note and, ultimately, pretty boring. (8/06)

Lopez de Heredia “Viña Tondonia” 1976 Rioja Gran Reserva “Viña Bosconia” (Center-North) – Dill and smelly feet, with crabapple tartness and a hot finish. (8/06)

Edmunds St. John 1999 Syrah Durell (Sonoma Valley) – Leather, blueberry and powdery tannin, with all sorts of yummy, earth-and-herb-and-sweat characteristics starting to bubble to the surface. The future looks promising. (8/06)

Müller-Catoir 1996 Mussbacher Eselshaut Rieslaner Spätlese 04 97 (Rheinpfalz) – Clumsy tropical fruit with searing, tongue-scalding acidity. (8/06)

Wittmann 1999 Westhofener Steingrube Spätburgunder Beerenauslese 23 00 (Rheinhessen) – Intense to the point of being overwhelming, with grass, red-toned melon, and pomegranate with huge acidity. Bizarre, and I can’t quite decide what to think of it. (8/06)


Jake Parrott said...

Dammit, I never got any 99 Durell. Wasn't there a rumoured cork issue with it?

Re the Rodez--yeah, it's not the most nervy bubbly ever, but it opens up a lot of food-pairing avenues that your garden-variety BdB doesn't. And it's bloody brilliant when you've been drinking most of the evening.

Jake Parrott said...

One more thing--the recent St. Innocent wines I've tasted seem both over- and mis-extracted...I'm not sure they'll round into form quite like the exceptional mid-late 90s ones...

Thor Iverson said...

Dunno about the '99 Durell. I thought the issues, which were not cork-related, were in 99/00 but not specific to Durell. But if you really want to know, of course, you should ask Steve Edmunds.

Lots of things are better after enough wine. ;-)

I share a little of your concern re: St. Innocent, but at the moment I lean towards trusting the winemaker. It's true, though, that I might be shifting some of my money elsewhere. Scott Paul, for instance.

Jake Parrott said...

I've never known either one of us to trust a winemaker.....

Brewnoser said...

Your reaction to the Gamay Droit is odd. It certainly does not describe that wine at all. You normally tend to be fairly close to my impressions on wine. You must have had a bad bottle.

I am curious, did you know what you were tasting or did you taste blind?

Thor Iverson said...

Possibly, but no one else in the room thought it was a bad bottle, including some with previous experience.

I tasted it blind, and in fact guessed the region right away. Not the grape, though.

Brewnoser said...

The last time I had that wine was blind, in a Pinot Noir tasting where it had been stuck as a ringer. 15 Sommeliers in the room, all thought it to be Pinot Noir, I was guessing Oregon or BC as I get some evergreen from it.

It was damn better "Pinot" than several of the pinots in the room!

I have some good Niagara Gamay Res. from 13th Street (that you should try) amongst some crus.... with some Morgon and Julienas and it fit right in.

Plus just had one from Michigan - Grand Traverse? It was also very good.

Thor Iverson said...

I'd certainly be open to giving it another shot.