Monday, August 2, 2010

Tasting Notes and Drinking Notes

Here are some wines tasted and drunk recently. Drinking notes always provide a better sense of the wine, but most of these are tasting notes as that is how I am exposed to the vast majority of wines, with a quick 1 oz nose, swash around and spit.


2008 JM Brocard Chablis Vieilles Vignes

Produced from estate fruit grown in a vineyard planted in 1946, this Chablis is a big step up in concentration, minerality and interest from the basic Brocard Chablis. For $5 more this is undoubtedly worth the extra cost. Good weight and ripeness for a basic Chablis bottling, while not sacrificing the cut, minerality and acidity you should get in the region's better wines, particularly from a spectacular (some would say best in a quarter century) vintage. While I tasted 08 Montee de Tonnere, Les Clos and Bougros from Brocard, it is this bottling that stands out for its value and deliciousness. Apparently this is what the Brocard family drinks most often. Out of magnum, of course.

2008 Jean-Marc Vincent Auxey Duresse "Les Hauts"

Holy shit, this took me by surprise. I tasted this immediately after the aforementioned Chablis and prior to a Meursault 1er cru. This is another killer 08 white burg. Spicy citrus and a touch of new oak stand out on the nose, which is briny and sort of pickled, in a good way. All of the same qualities present themselves on the palate, with some delicate white flower qualities in the background. Serious wine.

2005 Poggiarellino Brunello di Montalcino

As always, this is a direct import where I work (consider that the disclosure). Nonetheless, this is one of the few Brunelli I enjoy tasting, at least at this young age. Instead of the ripeness, toasty barrique, and overtly fruity quality, what you get here is smoke, savor, a touch of brett, and more of a traditional sensibility. A bit rough and tumble, rugged and rough, but it's wine with grit, good acid, and a likelihood of developing well in bottle for at least a decade.

2007 Fontodi Chianti Classico

This shows the softness and elegance of 2007 in Tuscany. Pretty dark plum and cherry aromas lead to a wonderful palate. Fresh, mineral, pure berry flavors and a touch of sangio savor.

2007 Ferrero Rosso di Montalcino

Another DI. Just to balance out the coverage here, I'm including this wine because I don't dig it. This wine, how to say...I'm not feelin' it so much. OK...I hate this wine. Ripe cherry fruit and wood, a whole lot of it. As anonymous as a Rosso di Montalcino could ever be.

2005 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco "Pora"

I love this wine. Intense mixed berry aromas with an elegant, feminine, mineral and acid driven structure. But still not lacking in fruit - I could drink this now and likely will after shelling out for a handful of bottles. If you like Italian wine, you would be hard pressed to find a better way to spend $55.

2000 Lanessan Haut Medoc

Lanessan is one of the few more traditionally structured Bordeaux that I know. They are generally seen as being classed growth quality, but since the chateau missed the 1855 classification it is a cru bourgeois. This wine is in a weird spot right now and I'm not sure that it will come out of it for the better. The bottle I tried was tough and lacking in fruit purity, with some dry tannins on the finish. I prefer the '99, '96 and '03.

1990 Chasse-Spleen Moulis-en-Medoc

The mostest in Moulis, Chasse-Spleen can be the quality of better class growths. This one, however, shows some dark fruit and not a whole lot of interest aromatically. Another tough wine from a well regarded, but more than occasionally tough vintage for present drinking.

1989 Chasse-Spleen Moulis-en-Medoc

Much better, with deep cherry aromatics and flavors, though the complexity was not what I remember in this wine the last time I tasted it three years ago.


2009 Mancini Vermentino di Gallura

Initially disappointing, this wine showed a riper, fruitier quality than I like. Minimal mineral or acid. However, with some fridge time, the wine's structure tightened up and revealed more acidity, minerality, and the sappy, herbal, slightly piney quality that vermentino is known for.

2009 Quinta do Feital "Auratus" Vinho Verde

This wine showed the opposite progression from the vermentino. I had the opportunity to drink them both side by side last night, which was a fun study in comparative wine drinking (this is like comp lit but easier). While this vinho verde came out the gate with golden stone fruits leaping out the glass, and a similarly delicious quality on the palate, with just a hint of CO2 driven minerality, it did not last too well with extended fridge time. To be fair, though, this was subjected to at least a five day slumber in the work wine fridge before I remembered to take it home. At that point, though, much of the minerality and immediacy of the wine had softened, which made it seem simpler and riper.

2001 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Crianza Rioja

Though it was a bit too rich and plump to work with some roasted chicken and fried yuca, I have a feeling that this was partially due to my opening it immediately prior to dinner. We still drank most of the bottle, though, and as a result have neglected to follow its development over the week. If past experience holds, however, I suspec that this wine will still be drinkable (and possibly even interesting) a week after I opened it. I will be sure to try it tonight and report back.

2005 Edmond Vatan Sancerre "Clos de Neore"

Intense, ripe, slightly tropical and pungent. There is none of the herbaceous quality here, as I believe these types of flavors in Sancerre to be the outcome of larger yields, inferior producers, and cooler vintages (roughly in that order). This is such an intensely flavored, immovable wine right now. I had it in the fridge for a week and did not notice a whole lot of evolution. There is some minerality there but in a few words I would describe this wine, in its current state, as bright, pungent and chunky. Yes, the wine is a baby and I opened it young but I just couldn't hold back the temptation to try it. Fortunately I have another bottle to re-visit. In five years? Ten?

2008 Dashe Riesling "McFadden Farms" Potter Valley

I have to hand it to Mike Dashe. This Riesling is delicious, with bright yellow stone fruit flavors and a Kabinett level of residual sugar. A pure fruited, balanced, California riesling. Well done.

Well I will end there. Thanks for hanging in and making it through the TN's and DN's. I know they're not always the most exciting to read, but to me they still serve a purpose and hopefully you have found at least one or two interesting nuggets.