Saturday 6 September 2014

A Night With Plenty Of American Beauties, Bottles Of Wine That Is...

M invited to an all American tasting. I of course came and drank and ate well, sitting outside on one of the last warm days this year. It turned out that all the reds were from the States, but both before and after these bottles we were presented with lots of other great juice - we didn´t complain!
All tasted double blind.

2013 Silvaner Trocken, Felix Keller
Interesting - Klaus Peter´s son has made this, and it is good! A young, salivating nose with notes of pear ice cream, grass, chalk and a fine salty note. Very, very good.
The taste is young, precise and fresh with notes of green pears, star fruit, rocks and chalk. A medium long, juicy finish. Very drinkable and yet complex. Very fine.
91p   (tasted 2014/08)

2013 Dalsheimer Hubacher Riesling, Felix Keller
Another tasting sample from Felix Keller. This Riesling is not as lively as the Silvaner and shows some four square notes of apricot, grapefruit and rubber.
The taste is young and racy with notes of grapefruit, lime and lots of crushed rocks. A very high, not really integrated acidity. Good but I guess it need some time to balance itself together.
83p   (tasted 2014/08)

2012 Riesling -RR-, Keller
Felix father is responsible for the next bottle. It has a spicy, cool nose with notes of summer flowers, pears, a hint of pine apple and seaweed. Very, very good.
The taste is young, focused and juicy with notes of ripe pears, pine apple, warm grass and chalk. A tight acidity. Long and fine. Really good but not better than his sons Silvaner.
91p   (tasted 2014/08)

2011 Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spätlese Auction, Willi Schaefer
This Auction bottle hits all my sweet spots. The nose is fresh as a daisy and complex with notes of dried apples, rubber boots, ripe pears, smoke and some cinnamon scents. Light as a feather but at the same time deep and structured. Great wine!
The taste is pure like a mountain river and utterly gorgeous, with notes of salted nuts, dried fruit, candied lemon peel. gravel and yellow apples. The finish goes on for over a minute and has a lovely dried up sweetness. It has a wonderful combination of sweet, sour and salty notes. Stunning!
95p   (tasted 2014/08)

2008 Mount Eden Chardonnay Reserve
Bottle 1.020 out of 3.2995 produced. The nose is medium bodied with notes of butter fried hazel nuts, corn, bonfire, a touch of coconut and butter biscuits. Deep and with a very fine framework. Lovely fruit. This is good!
The taste is big and steady with notes of assorted tropical fruits, lemon cream, summer flowers and hazel nuts. A fine acidity. Long and warm. A very fine mouth feel. Has intensity and focus. Really, really fine.
94p   (tasted 2014/08)

With the white starter wines out of the way, we could focus on the smattering of red wines that was to hit the table the upcoming hours...

2010 Domaine Eden Pinot Noir
First out another wine from Mount Eden, this time in the shape of a Pinot. The nose is young and funky with notes of warm spices, bay leaves, liquorice and cooked strawberries. More and more strawberries as it gets warmer. And some road dirt as well. Very good.
The taste is young and fairly light with notes of spiced up raspberries, red currants, bay leaves and moist forest floor. Medium long and nicely balanced. Again, very good.
89p   (tasted 2014/08)

2001 Ridge Geyserville
I tasted this a year ago, and although this bottle behaved much better than the previous one I can´t really warm up to this mixture of cooked blueberries, iron and green peppers.
81p   (tasted 2014/08)

1997 Merryvale Profile
I could have sworn that this was a Bordeuax, but since we knew it was only American reds, we started the guessing game with producers that make a more restrained variant of Cabernet. But we didn´t manage to name Merryvale.
The nose flows out of the glass with stunning notes of ripe black currants, stables, graphite, tobacco and leather. Even some horses in a distance. Wonderful ripe fruit, but yet restrained. Great!
The taste follows the nose with sweet, ripe fruit combined with balance, focus and a streak of sandy tannins, perfectly mature and integrated. The finish is long, expansive and magnificent. One of the highlights of the evening.
96p   (tasted 2014/08)

2006 Jaffurs Ampelos Vineyard Syrah
I have had a couple of bottles of Jaffurs before but not this one. This stunner has a deep, concentrated nose with bucket fulls of sweet black cherries, black olives, iron & blood, pine resin and mosquito repellent. Forceful, deep and hedonistic!
The taste is intense and thick with gorgeous black fruit and notes of black olive tapenade, peppered meat, asphalt and rust. A very long finish with sweet tannins and a fine warmth. This bold creature could use another 3-5 years in the cellar, but drinking great today.
93p   (tasted 2014/08)

2005 Sine Qua Non Grenache Atlantis Fe203 2a
Complete black in colour, and that deep and dark trait goes through on the nose as well, with notes of ripe blackberries, glue, meat, liquorice and sweet violets. Very powerful, and still very young.
The taste is big and broad, sporting an of the chart intensity and warmth (15,3%) with notes of black cherries, blackberries, liquorice, violets, resin and raw meat. The finish is counted in minutes. Very impressive but it doesnt´t sing as, for example, the 2002 Just For The Love Of It did earlier this year.
93p   (tasted 2014/08)

2003 SQN Papa
What a surprise! I have had the 03 Papa twice before, both times double blind and both times I thought that it has been a train wreck. And now a third bottle, and it present itself in a whole other fashion. Go figure.
The nose is deep, concentrated and tight with notes of black- and blueberries, sweet tobacco, glue, violets and black pepper. Deep and sweet.
The taste is young, focused and sweet with a massive blueberry fruit and notes of liquorice, violets, meat stock and new leather. A very long finish with a nice warmth. Very, very good. This is far from the over the top way it has presented itself the previous times.
90p   (tasted 2014/08)

2002 Shafer Hillside Select
I had this gorgeous creature a year ago and it was virtually identical on this night - great juice!
94p   (tasted 2014/08)

2005 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon
Another Parker 100 pointer! And this time I have to agree, well almost. The nose is very deep and profound with gorgeous notes of sweet black currants, blueberries, the best tobacco money can buy, soot, fresh herbs and freshly grounded coffee. A bottomless depth. This is what dreams are made of. A breath taking nose.
The taste is utterly captivating with an almost perfect mix of power, intensity, complexity and sensuality. The tannins and acidity lends support and structure to the massive yet refined black currant fruit. The finish is an on going joyride which you never want to get of from. Give this beauty another 8+ years to add maturity to this mix and a perfect score will not suffice...:-)
99p   (tasted 2014/08)

Then it was time for liquid dessert! The bottles below was thoroughly enjoyed but even though I made good use of the spittoon, my notes on these bottles are not crystal clear... Both the Huet and Rieussec are in the upper 90p scale and on the Keller I had noted a 91p.
Thanks M for a, again, great evening!


  1. NOT crystal-clear towards the end...? Are you starting to loosing it!" Remember those days when we were young and could handle everything thrown at us :-)

    1. Yes, getting old... Not like the 27 bottle night without spitting...:-)

  2. Some fellow wine aficionados at sleep but still holding the glass at a perfectly horisontal level while sleeping - those were the days...