Return to San Anontio (Ducru Vertical)

Monty
Tasted Thursday, February 21, 2013 - Sunday, February 24, 2013 by Nutty08 with 381 views

Introduction

I've only been gone from San Antonio for 4 months and was greeted with quite a special evening of wines. Crazy crazy night.

Flight 1 (22 Notes)

(in the order tasted)

  • 2003 Château Montrose 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe

    (2/24/2013)

    My blind, slow ox for 6hrs. This was a dark brooding Bdx. Nose was a little shy, but showed dark fruit, smoke/tar, and mocha. Quite complex on the nose. Palate with liquor-like blackberry and plum, but coarse tannins and the faintest hint of green/mint. Merlot profile, with a hint of maturity with some tobacco character. Finish was long and seamless with the palate, with repeating dark fruit, earth and tar notes. This was a massively structured and fruity wine, though I'm not sure it has the elegance of '90--more massive and masculine. Bigger scaled than '89 and '96 too, and in my limited experience, no real comparable vintage of Montrose. The more experienced Bdx palates nailed this as '03 St Estephe, but missed the producer. 94-95

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  • 1998 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    (2/24/2013)

    Perfectly drinking mid weight St Julian. Cassis dominated expressive nose of cedar spice. Sweet red fruit on the palate, medium weight with fine tannins in the background. Delicious mix of red berry/cassis fruit and cedar notes. Not especially concentrated or structured but very enjoyable today. 92-93

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  • 2009 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard 95 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville

    (2/24/2013)

    Popped and poured and revisited a couple times through the evening. Huge and massive wine, with layers of berries and spice with a black fruit profile. Fruit really dominated the nose and palate, but plenty of energy and soft very fine tannins underneath. Lengthy finish with a little mocha. Surprisingly light oak influence given the scale of this wine. Impressive, very polished and even elegant. Needs lots of time but very well made. My first Schrader (thanks ted)

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  • 2002 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    (2/24/2013)

    Surprisingly different than '98. Nose was filled with bell pepper and herbal notes. Palate was very tannic and coarse, with some blackberry and red fruit. Moderate finish. Even with the difficultly of '02, I thought it could have been a bit better as it was rather disjointed and lacked harmony. I worry the fruit will not outlive the structure. 89-91

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  • 2010 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape 94 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    (2/24/2013)

    Decanted a couple hours prior. Surprisingly open as I've found most young wines from producer closed. Massive liquor-like red fruit and berries on the nose, but still retains that unmistakable garrigue, kirsch and spice character on the nose already. Palate had a hint of heat, but was served at room temp. Loads of fruit on the palate, but in a seamless and energetic presentation that coats the palate without being fatiguing. Long finish and quite tannic. Should be exceptional in time. 94+ now.

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  • 1985 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    (2/24/2013)

    From a bottle that was recently re-corked at the winery and recently released. No bricking, still rather dark in the glass. Very green/herbal nose with lots of herbal and leafy elements. Rather light on the palate, with some dried red fruit remaining but this is mostly in the tertiary stage. Still with fine dusty tannins on the backend. Comes across as funky, spicy, and rather light. Still with plenty of energy and expression, however. No reason to hold. More for the bdx fan as the green notes could be off putting for some. Much more harmonious than '02. 90-92

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  • 1995 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut 93 Points

    France, Champagne

    (2/24/2013)

    Graciously opened by CC. Almond nutty nose with a very dry mineral palate. A little austere from the acidity. Mineral finish. My note doesn't reflect it, but this was quite complex. Very refreshing taste between all the big tannic red wines. I think it still needs a few years. 93+

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  • 1998 Château Mouton Rothschild 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    (2/24/2013)

    Served to me blind. Definitely bdx, with cassis and cherry on the nose. Palate was very polished with fine regal tannins., though a little hard. Only later did I get a touch of funk/flint on the nose to push me into the right region. This was the only '98 that came across as closed and requiring more time in bottle. Moderate finish, moderate weight. Nice purity of red fruit, though quite tannic. Could dry out, but only time will tell. Initially thought St Julian (Barton or Las Cases) when pointed to Pauillac went with Pichon Baron (oh well, should have gone with my gut that the tannin quality was a clue to a 1st growth's quality). 92-93

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  • 2007 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape 95 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    (2/24/2013)

    Terrific showing from this massive wine. Avoids the liquor-like overripe fruit of many of the '07's. Darker fruit profile than the Clos des Papes, more plum and dried fruits, with leather, and terrific spicy quality. Coarse tannins on the palate, with blackberry and garrigue really dominating. Very long finish. Great dark fruit, spice, and poise in this ripe year. Mourvedre really shows. Best young Beaucastel I've had. 94-95+

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  • 1998 Château Gruaud Larose 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    (2/24/2013)

    Served blind but I knew the year. Funky, "dirty" nose with black cherry and cedar spice. Fine tannins on the palate, where the fruit comes across as more mature and darker, with cedar and toast carrying through the finish where it becomes a bit muddled. Lighter concentration than the other '98's. The funk and red fruit pushed me immediately to GL, and I continue to find this a solid producer than never seems to "wow" me. 89-90

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  • 2006 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 93 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    (2/24/2013)

    The most closed of all the CdP's. Nose was shy, but spice and garrigue could be coaxed out of the dark fruit along with some sandalwood. Berries, kirsch, and a nice pepper spice note on the palate. Still has some coarse tannins on the backend. Slightest bit of heat(room temp). Well structured and balanced without the dense sometimes syrupy ripe fruit of '07/'09. I recently pulled a bottle from storage, will need to put it back and give this several more years.

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  • 2009 Colgin Syrah IX Estate 87 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley

    (2/24/2013)

    Served blind. Immediately thought '07 CdP given the massive fruit concentration and heat, but others put it in Cali and I realized they were right. This was blowsy, hot, super-ripe and monolithic. Tiring on the palate and I had a hard time getting a typical syrah profile from it. Tons of fruit and concentration but lacking elegance and balance. Least favorite wine of the night. (after seeing the price on this…ouch) 86-87

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  • 2010 Château Simian Châteauneuf-du-Pape les Grandes Grenachieres d'Hippolyte 92 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    (2/24/2013)

    An unknown CdP producer to me. Had a little oak on the nose, clean red berries. Polished fruity palate, moderate density with good purity. Finely polished tannins in the background. Finished a little short but a nice mid-weight effort. Needs time to add complexity and add some secondary character. 91-93

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  • 2010 Saxum Bone Rock James Berry Vineyard 90 Points

    USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles

    (2/24/2013)

    I'm now consistent in not "getting" Saxum. Huge nose of red berries, blackberries and other liquor-esque fruit. Palate was hot, massively concentrated, and hard to follow. Very long finish, with loads of fruit, but this was a difficult wine to drink. I'll leave it for others. Showed better than the Colgin syrah. 89-90.

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  • 2000 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    (2/24/2013)

    Ah, the WOTN for me. Great balanced of elegance and power. Nose of currants, cedar spice, and menthol. Palate is beautifully polished and poised, very young, with a great balance of fruit and tannin. A little closed, but the complexity is there. Some leather coming through on the mineral and cedar finish. Very long, consistent with a bottle a year ago. On the way up for sure. 95-96+

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  • 2003 Château Léoville Barton 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    (2/24/2013)

    A little disappointing given the stellar reputation of this wine. Nose was all dark berries with some vanilla and a little mature dried fruit. Huge coarse (slightly green?) tannins on the palate but plenty of dark fruit with some mature elements. Moderate length, though the tannins were a little oppressive and astringent. Seemed a little less expressive than my last bottle a few years ago. Still very enjoyable in the style of '03 and I think it'll hold together, but not sure those tannins will ever truly resolve. 92-93

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  • 2003 Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée 95 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    (2/24/2013)

    Best bottle I've had of this--storage is very important here, as my bottle from auction was not great last year. This was well stored and was tremendous. Large scaled wine, with a nose that was a little shy (we inhaled this bottle before it truly opened I think). Palate showed some high toned fruit, but I got zero heat, and had layers of dried fruit, spice, garrigue, and only a touch of manure/barnyard. Long finish with plenty of fruit and stones. 95-96

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  • 2007 Wind Gap Wines Syrah Castelli-Knight Vineyard 93 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley

    (2/24/2013)

    This really stood out from the massively concentrated fruity wines. Fantastic typical nose of peppercorn, meat, iron, and spice. Palate had quite a cut to it, with the a acidity up front and keeping it narrow on the palate. Plenty of darker fruit underneath the structure and spice elements. Refreshing in this tasting. Needs time. 93-94

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  • 2009 Château Batailley

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    (2/24/2013)

    An odd showing. Upon opening it was very closed and I actually thought it was mildly affected by TCA. Two hours later it was open, showing heavy toast and mocha notes ontop of some polished red fruit. Fine sweet tannins typical of '09 in the background. Tough to evaluate, and I'm betting quite delicious on night 2. NR

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  • 1993 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 89 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    (2/24/2013)

    Somehow missed this until the end. This was weedy, herbal, and almost vegetal on the nose. Little fruit left but an enjoyable herbal jubilee was left in a light Bdx with a little chewy tannin left. Finish was short but I quite enjoyed this. Quite good given the challenges of the vintage. Drink up, seemed to clearly be on the downward slope. Not a Bdx for everyone. 89-90.

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  • 1994 R. López de Heredia Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Tondonia

    Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja

    (2/24/2013)

    Opened very late and given little air. I was well into "drinking" and not tasting by then and had a whole glass. Nose was a little shy, just some smoke and licorice. Palate was quite fine, narrow on the palate, with an herbal edge to the red fruit. Good length on the palate. Struck me as needing more air or time in bottle, but as very good, if somewhat closed. NR given my well worn palate at the time.

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  • 2005 Château Prieuré-Lichine

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    (2/24/2013)

    Very late addition that was a pop and pour. Hard to evaluate as it was quite closed, but you could perceive some incredible quality fruit underneath the heavy tannic structure. Quite fresh. Needs lots of time but appears to be have great potential. Hold.

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Closing

Here’s the notes. Damn we drank a lot of wine! Incredible night, thanks to everyone for their very generous contributions. Notes are in the order tasted
Couple of summary points:
-I really like ’98 bdx to drink now. Good stuff all around.
-Given the price of ’00 Ducru compared to ‘09/’10, gotta load up
-I have no idea what I got so much heat from Colgin/Saxum. Clos des Papes was almost 16% alcohol and only the slightest edge of heat.
-I get the hysteria with Schrader. Good stuff.
-Spanish rioja might be my new region of interest. Great stuff there for reasonable prices. Thanks B for the initial introduction (with another NM 95+ wine for the point chasers)
-Big thanks to CC for hosting such a large group. Hope we didn’t impact your Thurs night bottom line too much. Unfortunately I think the wait staff was a little late in the game asking for samples—hopefully they’ll speak up a little sooner next time.
-You’ll notice there is less detail in the notes the farther along the evening. You know why. This night hung with me though the weekend...

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