End of the year with the "Usual Suspects"

Sips Restaurant in Southwest Harbor, ME
Tasted Wednesday, December 22, 2010 by Kirk Grant with 431 views

Introduction

Our "regular" tasting group tries to get together for something special about 2-3 times a year. Tonights wines were all served blind...and we got to see some people really pulling out some "gems" from their cellar.

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Flight 1 - Daniel's Blind White (1 Note)

  • 2002 Coche-Dury Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignères 93 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet

    Color: Light golden yellow

    Smell: At first this smelled slightly corked...however, with some vigorous airation hints of crushed stone, lemon, lime, quince, faint hints of butter, and sea breeze

    Taste: Medium bodied and powerful as flavors of lemon, apple, and citrus wash over the palate with medium+ acidity that causes me to salivate just thinking back about this wine.

    Overall: I have to say that I'm still not impressed with the QPR with White Burgs...but this is a wine I would LOVE to drink again. There was a considerable amount of sulphur that lead half of the tasters to assume that this was corked initially. So my guess is that this still has a considerable amount of life left in it...just give it time.

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Flight 2 - Eamonn's Blind Red (1 Note)

  • 1987 Campo Delle Piane Boca La Meridiana 88 Points

    Italy, Piedmont, Northern Piedmont, Boca

    Color: rusted ruby with a rust orange rim

    Smell: Earth, funk, and dried red fruits

    Taste: Tart red fruits and mushroom notes

    Overall: The acidity and tannin on this wine were just too high given the lack of fruit for me to bring this into the next level where my friend was hoping it would be. Still a wonderful mature wine...I just think it needed some cheese to make it a tad more enjoyable...

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Flight 3 - My Blind Red (1 Note)

  • 1990 Tenuta Greppo (Biondi-Santi) Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 95 Points

    Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino

    Color: Ruby

    Smell: Earth, underbrush, red fruits, hints of anise, tobacco, cedar, (constantly evolving)

    Taste: Wild strawberries, cranberries, orange sour patch kids, dried blueberries, blackberries, cacao, granite, and so much more that I can't quite pin my finder on.

    Overall: Wildly interesting nose. Brisk acidity, with a dry mouthfeel, medium tannins, and a finish that lingers on the palate for more than a minute...it's rediculous.

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Flight 4 - Hago's Blind Red (1 Note)

THANK YOU HAGO!

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  • 1970 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Grands-Echezeaux 90 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Grands-Echezeaux Grand Cru

    .
    FROM MAGNUM:
    Color: Rusted Ruby
    Smell: Underbrush, earth, hints of mushroom, and dried red fruits.
    Taste: A melange of tart red fruits, leather, dusty hints of seasoned or weathered cedar, and a linging hint of mushrooms intermixed with cranberries.
    Overall: Still such a pleasure to be able to taste this wine...it's been interesting to see this wine on three seperate occasions and track the changes that have occured over time. Now the tannins and acidity were more present than the previous time, with more dried fruits and a lightly austere edge to the wine...but still such a treat. We were all surprised after the wine was revealed.

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Flight 5 - Scott's blind red (1 Note)

(but there's always more...)

  • 1971 Château Mouton Rothschild 89 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Color: Hazy ruby with bricking at the rim

    Smell: Earth, graphite, eucaliptis, tobacco, and hints of cedar.

    Taste: Tart red fruits with an underpinning of earthy flavors of mushrooms and minerals. Med fruit, med+ acid, med tannin. The fruit was masked by a hint of bitterness that I would guess was the sediment.

    Overall: I think this could have shown significantly better if it was decanted instead of being poured strait from the bottle...I also think this still has another 3-5 years life in it with good storage. It's just a shame that I'm as sensative to the bitter components of sediment.

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Flight 6 - Derrick's Blind Reds... (2 Notes)

  • 1994 Bodegas Muga Rioja Torre Muga 93 Points

    Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja

    Color: Garnet with minimal bricking

    Smell: Sweet red fruits, earth, licorice, tobacco, and hints of cedar...this was just so difficult to pin down on the nose...it was constantly in flux

    Taste: Dark fruits lead into red fruits, rustic notes, and finish on a smooth and fruit driven finish that leaves a faint hint of oak on the finish.

    Overall: An outstanding example of a more modern-styled Rioja...that was just delicious to drink...but really confusing when served blind...it just didn't have any sense of place or varietal.Still...this was just a gorgeous wine...

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  • 2001 Poggio Amorelli Oracolo Toscana IGT Flawed

    Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT

    Sadly...this was corked.

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Flight 7 - Jay's blind reds (2 Notes)

  • 1986 Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Crianza 89 Points

    Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja

    Color: Ruby with almost no sign of bricking at the rim

    Smell: Wildly exotic scents of candied fruits on the nose with hints of tobacco and cedar

    Taste: Vibrant and pure flavors of cherry, and other red fruits linger on the palate while the wine picks up weight and finishes with hints of tobacco, cedar, and mushrooms.

    Overall: Hard to believe that this $13 bottle has held up so well...still has beautiful fruit, medium acidity, medium tannins...I think this could last another few years still...but why wait?

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  • 1983 Château La Louvière 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    Color: Ruby with slight bricking at the rim

    Smell: Earth, mushrooms, red and dark fruits, leather, tobacco, and a hint of cedar.

    Taste: Vibrant red fruits with good acidity and tanin presence. The fruit seems to explode in the midpalate as the wine unfolds into something soft and caressing for the palate.

    Overall: A wonderful wine that is a testiment to good storage and patience. Still has enough fruit, tannin, and acidity to last another 4-6 years with good storage...but why wait if you have some?

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Flight 8 - Steve's blind red (1 Note)

  • 1997 Castelgiocondo (Marchesi de' Frescobaldi) Brunello di Montalcino 88 Points

    Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino

    Color: garnet with faint bricking

    Smell: Earth, mushrooms, dried red fruits, and other rustic scents

    Taste: Tart red cherry, cranberry, and wild strawberries...

    Overall: The acidity and tannin seem to outweigh the fruit on this. I just couldn't get myself to enjoy this wine as much as one might home from a good producer in a vintage like this. I'm not saying I'd turn this down...but when the reveal came...it was a let-down.

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Flight 10 - Justin's blind red (1 Note)

  • 2000 Tenuta le Querce Aglianico del Vulture Vigna della Corona 90 Points

    Italy, Basilicata, Aglianico del Vulture

    Color: Opaque Violet

    Smell: Graphite, smoke, dark fruits, and cacao

    Taste: Blueberries, cassis, mocha, and cedar.

    Overall: My notes started getting a little basic at this point...this was a wonderful wine...I just don't know if my notes could do it justice. I'd love to find this in the $40 range...but at its present price, I'm not so sure.

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Flight 11 - Scott's blinds to wind the tasting down... (3 Notes)

  • 1997 Moris Farms Maremma Toscana Avvoltore 92 Points

    Italy, Tuscany, Maremma, Maremma Toscana

    Color: Garnet with a hint of bricking

    Smell: Dark fruits, red fruits, earth, leather, cigar tobacco, and hints of cedar

    Taste: Dark cherries, raspberries, cherries, cedar, and dusty mineral notes.

    Overall: In a really great spot to be drinking this right now. There's no reason to wait...but I think it still has another 2-3 years aging potential with proper storage.

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  • 1982 Château Lynch-Bages 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Color: Ruby with bricking at the rim

    Smell: Earth, graphite, red and dark fruits, tobacco, leather, and hints of cedar.

    Taste: Dried red fruits, leather, bloody meat, and a bit of dusty mineral notes at the tail end.

    Overall: A wonderful wine, just not as complete and in balance as the last bottle I had. Once again, I think this could/should have been decanted better...but despite this...it still was wonderful!

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  • 1990 Pommery Champagne Cuvée Louise Brut Flawed

    France, Champagne

    Sadly there was no life left in this bottle...it was oxidized past any sense of enjoyment....

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Flight 12 - My blind White...to wind down the night. (1 Note)

  • 2005 Didier Dagueneau Jurançon Les Jardins de Babylone 98 Points

    France, Southwest France, Jurançon

    Color :Canary Yellow

    Smell: Stones, tropical fruits, floral tones, honey, and hints of white tea

    Taste: A melange of colliding tropical fruits with stand out notes of peach, nectarine, and hints of durian framed by great acidity that lifted the midpalate and drew the sweetness from the purity of fruit into a dry finish...

    Overall: A jaw-dropping wine that was the talk of the night amongst some pretty stiff competition as our end of year tasting came to a close...

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Closing

It's always hard to end a tasting like this...there really is no one wine that many of us feel ready to call it a night after. However, everyone agreed that the tasting ended on a high note with our final wine

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