Thursday 4 October 2012

Even More American Bottles & Lots Of Other Stuff!

As I mentioned in a previous post I was then on my way to taste even more american bottles. The setup was easy enough - BYOB - the only requirement was that it had to be from the USA.
Sickness and a hectic life got in the way for some, so we ended up with only four brave tasters - thanks M for the invitation, great food and lots of additional bottles!
All bottles tasted double blind - of course with the execption of our own bottle..:-)

2004 Dorsheimer Goldloch Riesling Kabinett, Schlossgut Diel
An elegant, mature and cool nose with notes of dried apricots, candied lemon peel, cap gun smoke and the scent of a busy petrol station. Evolved and really fine. 
The taste is tighter, racy and fine with notes of lime peel, crushed sea shells, dry fudge and some rubbery notes. A medium long, dry finish with a fine grapefruit note. This is almost fully mature but I guess it will keep this way for another 5+ years.
91p   (tasted 2012/09)

2004 Dorsheimer Goldloch Riesling Spätlese, Schlossgut Diel
A mature, deep, semi dry nose with notes of dried fruits, grass, minerals, cap gun smoke and some plastic notes. A little unstructured. The fruit is good though.
The taste is tight, cool and fine with notes of dried apricots, lime juice, shellfish shell and lemon cream. A long, fine finish that ends almost dry. Very good taste but the nose is a tad shallow. The Kabinett is the better wine.
87p   (tasted 2012/09)

2003 Riesling Spätlese, Robert Weil
A deep, delicate, spicy nose with lovely notes of lime juice, summer flowers, white currants, grey pears and crushed slate. Very racy, elegant and complex. This is some serious juice.
The taste follows up the nose with a gorgeous sweet/salt/sour taste and lots and lots of lime, lemons, pears and summer flowers. A long, long finish. The acidity is like a spring river. Truly great.
A 2003 basic Riesling Spätlese?! How does he do it? This is the second or third time I have tasted this nectar and I am baffled every time.
95p   (tasted 2012/09)

1989 Erdener Treppchen Riesling Auslese, Dr. Loosen
A mature but vigorous nose with gorgeous notes of dried fruits, wetsuit, slate, dry honey, grass and a touch of saffran. Complex and fine. Very deep.
The taste is mature, intense and fine with notes of dried fruits, orange peel, wetsuit, smoke and the white stuff in grapefruit peel. Very, very good. The finish is long and full of finesse. Perfectly mature.
92p   (tasted 2012/09)

The prelude was over and four decanters were present on the table...

2002 Reva Syrah, Alban Vineyards
A deep, compact, sweet and almost overpowering nose with notes of bluberry liquor, dark chocolate, bakelite, band aid and violets. Very, very deep. I think this is too extracted, every dial have been turned to eleven.
The taste is extremely tight, concentrated and inky with lots of fiery sweet fruit and notes of violet candy, soya sauce, licorice, band aid and some sweet summer flavours. This is on the verge of being to much. Maybe it just needs time? Impressive, but my gut feeling says that this will never age beautifully as the 1998.
85p   (tasted 2012/09)

2004 Shell Creek Vineyard Syrah, Clos Mimi
120 barrels were made of this big, bold creature. The nose explodes from the glass with notes of ripe rasberries, christmas spices, black peppar, balsa wood and violets. Very deep and sweet but still rather graceful. A lovely warmth, although the alcohol show itself from time to time. Still very young. Great nose!
The taste is big and brutal with fiery sweet fruit, big sweet tannins and a long, long finish where you breath out grain alcohol - this is 17,5% and I can tell you, it really shows. Too bad, the nose was fine, but the taste almost ruins it with that savage alcohol sting.
87p   (tasted 2012/09)

2000 Orion Old Vines, Sean Thackrey
A very deep, intense, tight nose with truckloads of sweet, ripe blue- and blackberries backed up with notes of eukalyptus, violets, pressed summer flowers and strawberry juice. Very concentrated. Still very young, this needs time. Sweet undergrowth after a while. This nose is stunning.
The taste is tight, concentrated and opulent with big, sweet bluberry and rasberry fruit mixed with notes of licorice, mint candy, dark chocolate, beef broth and vanilla oak. Very long and intense. A touch ungainly, even with some hours in the glass, but this is still young. Very, very good.
93p   (tasted 2012/09)

1991 Dominus
We had poured our wine into decanters, mixed them around and the object was that we were tasting three bottles double blind and our own at least single blind. This one was my bottle and it stood out against the others like a sore thumb, so it was easy for me to pick it out. But what a sore thumb! :-)
The nose is mature, round and very, very deep with gorgeous notes of black currants, black cherries, bonfire, fresh stables, leather and pipe tobacco. The fruit is just stunning. With air more and more black currants leaves just oozes up from the glass. Profound.
The taste is taut and velvety at the same time with lovely black currant fruit and notes of autumn leaves, tobacco, leather, moist earth and a touch of smoke. The finish goes on for over a minute. Just perfectly mature. This bottle came from a six bottle case which I bought in 1997 for 40 Euro/bottle - those days...
97p   (tasted 2012/09)

2010 Gravel Bench Chardonnay, Stonestreet
M thought that we had to have an interlude before the sweet flight, and we just can´t say no...
A big, juicy, fresh nose with lovely notes of dry lemoncello, candied lemons, melon, freshly cut grass and some butter fried root vegetables. Very, very good. It becomes better and better in the glass and has no problem becoming warmer. Great stuff!
The taste is tight, focused and large scaled but with enough stuffing and acidity to keep everything in check. There are notes of blood oranges, root vegetables, cap gun smoke and fine buttery notes. The finish is long and ends dry. We got this one right - it just had to be a great American Chardonnay. The 08 Lower Rim from Stonestreet tasted a while back was even better, but this is going places in 2-3 years time.
93p   (tasted 2012/09)

1947 Vouvray Moelleux Le Haut-Lieu, Huet
Firstly - a real privilege to taste this bottle - thanks M! But - secondly - I guess it could have been even better. I will not get into the story behind this, but this bottle have been frozen, and although it was a fine glass of wine this night (also a testament to these wines survival skills) it wasn´t truly great.
It opens with a deep, concentrated, full nose with notes of sweet tangerines, oilcloth, dried apricots and hard lemon candy. Really fine. There is a lovely sweet/sour/salt note that flows out from the glass. But, there is almost like a thin membrane over the nose that prevents it from really show itself of.
The taste is mature, round, semi sweet and fine with notes of dried fruits, sugared water, hay and oilcloth. The acidity is high but touch foursquare. Finishing long and semi dry. This is a fine bottle of wine, but, but...
89p   (tasted 2012/09)

1990 Vouvray Moelleux 1er Trie Clos de Bourg, Huet
And the next glass really is a great testament to the staying power of Chenin Blanc - opened three weeks ago and kept in the fridge, it behaved like newly opened and my notes were pretty much identical.
95p   (tasted 2012/09)

1990 Coteaux du Layon, Domaine des Baumard
A fresh, young, somewhat restrained nose with notes of white and red currants, blood oranges, oilcloth, fresh herbs and some smoky notes. Very elegant and refined. With air it really blossoms in the glass into a beautiful young Chenin Blanc and oozes class. Great!
The taste is intense, pure and satisfying. The fruit is stunning and consists of dried apricots, lemon cream, lime peel with additional notes of dry fudge, rosehips and crushed rocks. The acidity is lasersharp and makes the long finish ends dry. Stunning stuff, and still young!
94p   (tasted 2012/09)

1997 Quarts de Chaume, Domaine des Baumard
A young, upfront nose with deep notes of lemon candy, olicloth, balsa wood, herbs and some rubbery scents. Lots of sweetness and very pure, but a bit ungainly today. This needs time to unfold.
The taste is intense, tight and concentrated with lots of sweet yellow fruit in the shape of lemons, apples, and grapefruit with notes of smoke, minerals and oilcloth. The finish goes on for over a minute. This is more promising at this stage than truly enjoyable. Give this 10 years and I guess my score for today would look stingy.
89p   (tasted 2012/09)


  1. Awesome evening!
    Tasted more vintages of Quarts de Chaume? I've bought a couple of bottles but, as your text implies, I think i'll enjoy most of them in about 20 yrs or so. (I bought -08's from the monopoly)

    1. Yes, the 90 and 95 Baumard´s are stunning (and still young...) I guess that the 08 should be drunk now or hidden away for 20 years...

  2. M is still going strong I see. Bad I could not show up.

  3. Joakim, when will you ever learn regarding the 2003 Weil? :-)

  4. Håkan, M is going stronger than ever, sacrificing his liver for the good of humanity. ;-) I thought the 2001 Alban Reva was absolutely delicious but as you know, with age people become more sensitive to sheer power and fruit... I'm still young and love the vast blueberry and blackberry ocean of fruit, Asian spices and forest floor vegetation combined in the Reva. Yummy!

    1. Ok, you opened the 2001 after we left...:-)

  5. Haha, YES! And I thought the same about is as the 2002. ;-)