A Christmas Tasting in Maine

Bangor, Maine
Tasted Monday, December 22, 2008 by Kirk Grant with 318 views

Introduction

As the holiday season drew closer a small group of us thought this was a great time to gather and celebrate the birthday of a friend and open some fun wines. And that was all the excuse we needed to pull a few corks.

Flight 1 (2 Notes)

Whites to start with...

Flight 2 (5 Notes)

Blind Reds Part 1

  • 2000 Michele Chiarlo Barbera d'Asti Superiore Nizza La Court 91 Points

    Italy, Piedmont, Asti, Barbera d'Asti Superiore Nizza

    A deep plum color at the core leads out to a ruby edge with less bricking than my last bottle. There are still scents of earth, funk, with it a light hint of bakers chocolate and cedar, but this time it smelled younger and tighter. Medium + tannins lead into flavors of blueberries, black cherries, and black berries that are pulled together in a lovely mouth feel with a long finish on a feather light body. This wine is great now...but will still be drinking well for another 3-4 years.

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  • 1997 Azienda Agricola Taurino Patriglione 88 Points

    Italy, Puglia, Brindisi

    A special wine that would be great for Amarone lovers. There was a strong scent of fig and raisins on the nose that was not my "cup of tea" as well as notes of herbs and earth. In the mouth it was a soft medium bodied wine with flavors of dried fruits that rolled across the palate on a medium length finish.

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  • 1997 Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 94 Points

    Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino

    This was firing on all cylinders as scents of cranberries, earth, cherries, and aromatic cheese wafted up from the glass. In the mouth there was lovely red fruits supported with good acidity and well rounded tannins that softened with time in the glass. An absolutely a stunning wine.

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  • 2001 Moris Farms Maremma Toscana Avvoltore 89 Points

    Italy, Tuscany, Maremma, Maremma Toscana

    Big and bold, this wine was showing more Cabernet and Syrah flavor profiles than Sangiovese. Dominant scents of black berries and blueberries with earth and subtle light notes of strawberries on the nose. In the mouth this was big, bold, and powerful. Immediately mouth filling, and lush there was obvious flavors of new oak leading the charge against a melange of red, blue, and black fruits. This is a wine I would like to see again in 4-5 years.

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  • 1990 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Showing very slight bricking it's hard to believe that this wine is 18 years old. With scents of pencil shavings, black & blue fruits, and bell pepper this wine was giving all the cues to it's home turf in Pauillac. In the mouth it is soft and silky as flavors of black & blue fruits lead into minerals and a lingering of dark chocolate and graphite that is quite compelling. This is wonderful now, but I will look forward to re-visiting this again in 5-10 years.

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Flight 3 (1 Note)

Magnum of Champagne for a palate cleanser

  • 1996 de Venoge Champagne Brut Millésimé 92 Points

    France, Champagne

    This is growing on me...a lovely example of what the '96 vintage can offer. With scents of lemon and minerals on the nose. In the mouth the bubbles almost explode as flavors of apple, biscuit, and toast lead into a lingering finish that is quite lovely.

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Flight 4 (6 Notes)

Blind Reds Part 2

  • 2001 Nelson Estate Merlot Bennett Valley Vineyard 89 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County

    Showing scents of black & blue fruit with nice oak integration on the nose. This is impressive for a $12 grocery store wine. In the mouth it is the prototypical California wine with flamboyant fruit and a lush mouth feel. The finish is a bit short, but for $12 this is not a bad deal by any means for people to get an idea of what to expect from a California Merlot.

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  • 2004 Guelbenzu Küme 87 Points

    Chile, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley

    Strong scents of new oak, candied black & blue fruits with a lingering fake-fruit flavor. It's a style that I'm sure many new wine drinkers will love. Its not doing anything for me though.

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  • 2000 Argiano Solengo Toscana IGT 90 Points

    Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT

    Showing a little bricking in the glass, on the nose the dominant scent was vanilla and new oak followed by fleeting scents of spices, coffee, and blue fruits. In the mouth there was a lush mouth coating flavor of red and blue fruits, licorice, and a lingering of milk chocolate on the medium length finish. This is more of an international style than I would have expected from this producer. People who are fans of California Cabernet and Spanish Grenache should find this right up their alley.

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  • 2001 Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo Toscana IGT 92 Points

    Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT

    This wine was absolutely beautiful last night scents of red fruits, earth, graphite, spice, and subtle oak integration on the nose. In the mouth the fruit, acid, tannin balance was a thing of beauty as flavors of sour cherry, strawberry, plum, minerals, and baking spices rolled across the palate.

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  • 1996 Luce La Vite Lucente Toscana IGT 79 Points

    Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT

    Tasted from Magnum this showed a lovely perfume of forest floor, earth, funk, with dried fruits & flowers. Unfortunately this wine is beyond it's prime and has fallen in the mouth as it's limp and a bit harsh on the finish. If you have this it needs to be consumed

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  • 1986 Stony Hill Riesling 88 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley

    Showing a brilliant golden hue this wine is ready to be consumed. It's got good acidity still and the scents showcase honey comb, minerals, and baked apples. In the mouth there is a nice roundness to this wine, but the structure calls for food. With flavors of honey, baked golden delicious apples, and pears along a medium length finish.

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