Grand Jury Chicagoan - 2001 Cab Merlot

Restaurant Michael
Tasted Monday, December 17, 2007 by Nanda with 577 views

Flight 1 - BUBBLY (2 Notes)

Flight 2 - FLIGHT 1 (4 Notes)

The group was quite impressed with the flight overall. There was a lot of complexity in styles to appreciate.

  • 2001 Castello del Terriccio Lupicaia 97 Points

    Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT

    Gorgeous, crazy complex, lush and full nose has tar, dark currant fruit, spices with a huge mineral kick. This is gorgeous in the mouth as well as it covers the palate with an insane amount of rich fruits. Has complexity, balance and incredible length – with an array of flavors that linger for over a minute. This was the group’s second favorite wine of the flight with consistent high praise. My WOTF. 96-98 points

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  • 2001 Château La Tour Carnet 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc

    A beautiful, fragrant and complex nose has loads tar, dark currant fruit, pencil shavings and distinct Bordeaux minerality. Palate is in a leaner style and very Bordeaux-like. Medium bodied and loses intensity across the mid-palate. Perhaps the tannic grip is clamping down the fruit here. Third in the flight with agreement that this was Bordeaux. One WOTF vote. 90 – 92 points

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  • 2001 Merus Cabernet Sauvignon 89 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley

    Nose has very primary, grape-like aromas with toasty oak accents. Palate is full of rich fruit. This comes across quite simple and straight forward…akin to a zinfandel. Some tannic bite in the finish. Consistently dead last in the flight – with two second place votes. My least favorite wine of the flight and evening overall. 88 – 90 points

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  • 2001 Joseph Phelps Insignia 96 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley

    Rich fruit-forward aromas of chocolate covered cherries and vanilla leap from the glass. It seems very Foley-esque on the effusive nose. Palate has forward rich fruits with big tannins that are coming through and offering balance. Clear group favorite in the flight, with consensus that this was California. Many thought it was the Pride Reserve. This was the #2 WOTN for the group. In my top 5 for sure. 95 – 97 points

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Flight 3 - FLIGHT 2 (4 Notes)

Clearly a new world flight with some in the group convinced was all Cali. Save the Shirvington not too far off. And I’m a little surprised the Monte Bello showed so “California” … I thought it would be more Bordeaux-like.

  • 2001 Ridge Monte Bello 91 Points

    USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains

    Powerful, effusive nose has black currants and chocolate. Rich, sweet fruit on the palate has medium body. Herbs add complexity. It loses some intensity across the mid-palate, potentially the result of you tannins. Group’s #2 WOTF. I was under-helmed but it could have been in the context of the next 3 wines. 90 – 92 points.

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  • 2001 Harlan Estate 94 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley

    Aromas are bright and lifted with rich new world fruit, spice and toasty accents. Bright on the palate as well with lifting acidity well matched against rich fruit. Intense and pure across the mid-palate with a long, focused finish that stays, lingers and stays some more offering spice and minerals. Great balance with fine tannic structure, acid and plentiful fruits suggesting a long life ahead. 93 – 95 points. My #2 WOTF. The group enjoyed but was not enamored with the wine, some thinking it was Australian.

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  • 2001 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 98 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley

    Insanely delicious aromas gave this away as a top-notch Pride, out of the gate. Dense nose of milk chocolate and rich black currants is simply delicious. Unbelievable attack on the palate is rich, lush and generous with big pure fruits. A total pleasure bomb! But with tannins lurking beneath to suggest this is a serious wine that can be aged. 97 – 99 points. My WOTF. Surprisingly to me, did not garner many votes from the group as a favorite in this flight.

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  • 2001 Shirvington Cabernet Sauvignon 95 Points

    Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale

    A totally exotic and very unique nose. Loaded with incense spices, chocolate and black currants. Lush, rich fruits on the plate also show the exotic, Asian spice flair. Has terrific complexity of flavors and length, but not the richness / fullness in the finish shown by the Harlan or Pride Reserve. 94 – 96. My #3 WOTF. Group’s WOTF and WOTN. Shocking!

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Flight 4 - FLIGHT 3 (3 Notes)

It was interesting that 3 of the 5 Bordeaux all ended up in one flight. Prior to revealing, all three wines were suspected to be Bordeaux. Not a total surprise with Lafite finishing behind the other two wines, that are better early drinkers. None the less, always fun to see how “lesser” wines fare against a 1st growth.

  • 2001 Château Lafite Rothschild 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Nose is loaded with minerals, pencil shavings and rich, sweet red currants. Palate is medium-to-full bodied with tarry, pure red fruits. The restraint and elegance with complexity points to a top Bordeaux. 93 – 95 points. My WOTF. Group’s third in the flight.

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  • 2001 Château Pape Clément 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    Beautiful nose is complete akin to Wine I with minerals, pencil shavings and sweet red currants. The palate has red currants with tar and minerals adding complexity. Medium-to-full in body. Intense on the mid-palate with great persistence and weight. Seemed to be another Bordeaux. 93 – 95 points. My #2 WOTF. Group’s WOTF by a hair over Wine K.

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  • 2001 Reignac 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Supérieur

    Most fruit-driven nose in the flight with reduced, plum fruit, tar, minerals and spice on the complex nose. Red fruits, leather and tar on the medium-bodied palate. Again more restrained in style with noticeable tannic structure. Very much a Bordeaux. Group’s #2 WOTF. 91 – 93 points

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Flight 5 - FLIGHT 4 (3 Notes)

None of these wines finished in the top of GJC’s overall wines. I wonder how much of that is the result of palate fatigue! Within the flight the Beringer was the clear favorite. I personally preferred the Pavie.

  • 2001 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve 93 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley

    Nose is open and full of rich fruits, toasty accents and licorice. Palate is wide open with lush fruits. 92 – 94 points. My #2 WOTF, Group’s WOTF by a margin – but only in the middle of the pack overall.

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  • 2001 Château Pavie 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Rich and complex nose has red currants, spices, herbs and minerals. The intensity and openness picks up with time in the glass. More elegant the some of the earlier wines, but still offering rich, tar and mineral-filled fruit. Very giving and long and delicious throughout. 92 – 94 points. My WOTF. Group’s last in flight.

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  • 2001 Bond St. Eden 92 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley

    Shy nose has red currants and spices. Palate is more vibrant, opulent and filled with rich fruits and minerals. Giving fruits are well matched with underlying tannic structure. Nice but perhaps the most rigid and stodgy of the California wines. 91 – 93 points. Groups #2 WOTF.

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Flight 6 - DESSERT (1 Note)

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