Farr Vintners Tasting - London

Vintners Hall - London
Tasted Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - Wednesday, November 18, 2009 by pjaines with 649 views

Introduction

A wonderful tasting arranged by Farr Vintners in London. Attended with Toby.

Flight 1 - White Wines of Maison Verget (5 Notes)

An interesting flight - high acdity in a lot of the wines.

Flight 2 - Dr Loosen (6 Notes)

Strength in depth for this wonderful producer.

Flight 3 - Bubbly (1 Note)

  • 1998 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut

    France, Champagne

    (11/18/2009)

    Blimey - what a nose. This literally stinks of yeast and biscuit. Quite tarte in the mouth though with a sharp aftertaste - this needs time to knit together. Should be amazing given time.

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Flight 4 - Beaucastel, Graggy Range, Palmer, Pichon Lalande (15 Notes)

Some mind blowing wines here - including the astonashing Craggy Range Le Sol - what a surprise

  • 2007 Château de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône

    (11/18/2009)

    Very light colour - on the nose big whack of rasberries then whafts of pepper, dry herbs. In the mouth quite austere with dry earth notes - I quite liked this - quite tannic and grippy but with good potential. Needs some time. Good

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  • 2007 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape

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

    (11/18/2009)

    Ding dang do - what a nose!!! Very complex, deep nose of multi-layer fruit, earthy notes, mushrooms, dry herbs, some anise in there - very beguiling. But whats this? The palate is out of whack with the nose - there is a weird tang at the back of the palate that unbalances the wine. Still young, so I would hope this would sort itself out over time but a shame the palate doesnt match the nose. I actually prefer the 2006 to the 2007.

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  • 2006 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape

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

    (11/18/2009)

    Okay - now I am starting to get Beaucastel. Nose on this is much deeper and meatier than my previous experience with this vintage. Leather, earth, grilled meat - less pepper than the 2007 on the nose. In the mouth light, tannic and lingering long on the back palate. Very good - I prefer at this point the 2006 to the 2007. This will be an amazing wine in about 20 years

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  • 2005 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape

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

    (11/18/2009)

    Very deep both in colour, nose and taste - much more brooding that the 2006 and 2007 and the palate has a more noticeable hint of alcohol and heat which distracts from the fruit. Okay but no more.

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  • 2007 Craggy Range Sophia

    New Zealand, North Island, Hawkes Bay, Gimblett Gravels

    (11/18/2009)

    At first I thought this would be quite a grim blockbuster but this turns out to be fleet of foot across the tastebuds. Big nose of dark fruits but no alcholic heat at all - in the mouth fantastic balance - almost weightless. Very very nice tannins - balanced with a huge after-taste. Very bloody good indeed. £20 a bottle!! Yes please.

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  • 2007 Craggy Range Te Kahu Gimblett Gravels Vineyard

    New Zealand, North Island, Hawkes Bay, Gimblett Gravels

    (11/18/2009)

    Dark, broody appearance - quite a peppery nose and the fruit is big, bold and tannic but there is quality here. Not a wine for the effet and light of heart - needs robust food to tame it a little. Good

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  • 2007 Craggy Range Syrah Le Sol Gimblett Gravels Vineyard

    New Zealand, North Island, Hawkes Bay, Gimblett Gravels

    (11/17/2009)

    To quote Homer Simpson "Help me Jebus" - this is one serious bottle of wine. Tasted this alongside Beaucastel, Palmer, Leoville Barton, Lynch Bages and it wiped the floor with all of them. I am not a fan of big wines, but this is seriously packed with everything including elegance, class and refinement. Full nose of syrah but without that peppery tang you get get from fat new world wines - just really intense class - waves of fruit, white pepper, earth and mushrooms. In the mouth amazing balance for such a young wine - this is so packed with smooth flavour it is incredible but not in the manner you would expect. Wonderful tannins - I almost gave this wine a miss in the tasting because I hate full bodied new world wines but this is something else. £27 for one bottle is a crime - amazing now, will be utterly stunning in a few years. Woof woof. Probably one of the most memorable wines I have had in the last year. What a surprise. Right now much much better than the Janasse Vielle Vigne 2007 I had recently. In fact it kicks the Janasse out of the park

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  • 2007 Alter Ego de Palmer

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    (11/18/2009)

    Good nose with all the usual Margaux attributes but then in the mouth the wine disappears into a hole never to return (metephorically speaking and literally). There is no depth of taste - a victim of the vintage me thinks. Drink soon.

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  • 2002 Château Palmer

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    (11/18/2009)

    Now we are playing with the big boys!!! The nose on this just kicks your face off - amazingly complex - dark friuit, mushroom, cedar, woof woof!!! Very classy, very elegant. In the mouth actually drinking very well - just nudging into opening up a little bit with age so you can peep the quality that will come. Pretty damned good - another 5-8 years and this will just be getting into prime drinking territory

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  • 1996 Château Palmer

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    (11/18/2009)

    Young young young. Very tight nose - quite tannic on the palate with a stern backbone of acidity and tannins holding the fruit in place - serious quality here but somewhat shut down I thought. Will be excellent - this wine is drinking as though it is 3 years old.

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  • 2003 Château Bernadotte

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc

    (11/18/2009)

    Now here was a little surprise - very smooth, complex elegant wine which is starting to show a little bit of age. Mouth filling fruit framed with gritty earthy tannins that provide balance - long finish Quite plush and will age for a few years yet. But at this price no harm in trying one or two now.

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  • 2006 Réserve de la Comtesse

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    (11/18/2009)

    Good juicy drinking here - nice structure to the wine with a good tension between the deep lush fruit and the grippy tannins. Should improve considerably over the next 5 years but actually not a crime to drink this young

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  • 2005 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    (11/18/2009)

    A very disappointing wine - I was really looking forward to this but the palate just drops off a cliff. All the usual Paulliac characteristics are there but for a 2005 it seemed to lack depth and focus. I was expecting a lot more stuffing to this wine but there is a big hole on the palate where the wine should be. A shame.

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  • 2004 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    (11/18/2009)

    These 2004 wines are really rocking my world right now and this was no exception. Deep, primary colour - this wine is obviously just in its infancy but shows great potential with deep primary fruit, rich in the mouth with deep tannins. Needs another 10 years at least. Very good.

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  • 2001 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    (11/18/2009)

    This wine is just starting to show signs that it is unwinding from its slumber - the tannins are starting to integrate and the fruit start to give off secondary notes. Actually quite light in the mouth but this has depth and persistence and could grow into an excellent wine given enough time in bottle. Very good

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Flight 5 - The Bartons, Lynch Bages, Canon, Rauzan Segla, Senechaux (14 Notes)

  • 2005 Ségla

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    (11/18/2009)

    Classic Margaux notes on the nose - deep colour but complex aromas. In the mouth pretty good - deep fruit - approachable but needs to integrate.

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  • 2005 Château Rauzan-Ségla

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    (11/18/2009)

    Big, deep nose of primary fruit and whacks of vanilla - very alluring a slightly slutty. Needs a long long time. Actually quite approachable now but will probably shut down soon. Built for the long haul.

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  • 2004 Château Rauzan-Ségla

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    (11/18/2009)

    Okay but seems to lack something - there is hole on the palate - maybe lacking some depth of fruit and tannins for a wine of this level.

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  • 2007 Château Langoa Barton

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    (11/18/2009)

    This didn't really hit the spot for me - woody, astringent and lacked depth of fruit. This wine seems to encapsulate the problems of the 2007 vintage.

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  • 2001 Château Langoa Barton

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    (11/18/2009)

    This is a great glass of wine - very young, with deep fruit and good backbone of tannins - this needs another 10 years to really hit its stride. Good quality here.

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  • 2005 Château Canon

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    (11/18/2009)

    Oh yup - this is the real deal - great depth, finesse and class. Notes of coffee bean, vanilla, very ripe fruit - perfect balance in the mouth but with an underlying tannic structure that is very sexy and alluring. In 15 years this will be a stunning wine. Long lingering finish with lovely chocolate notes and dark berries.

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  • 2007 Château Lynch-Bages Blanc de Lynch-Bages

    France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Contrôlée

    (11/18/2009)

    Ew! Not particularly impressive white for me - fairly generic, yet comes with a less-than-generic price tag. Tarte, lacked complexity - fairly straightfoward up and down wine.

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  • 2003 Château Les Ormes de Pez

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe

    (11/18/2009)

    Very approachable wine that bears the mark of the vintage. Drinking well now - deep fruit with fine tannis but alreadythese are starting to resolve. Fairly hedonistic.

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  • 2004 Château Lynch-Bages

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    (11/18/2009)

    Slightly disappointing at the moment - I was expecting more depth but actually this was a little bit woody and astringent. Classic oxo-cube notes but then not really backed up with much stuffing. Short finish.

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  • 2000 Château Lynch-Bages

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    (11/18/2009)

    Young young young but very promising. Actually quite light in the mouth but the tannins work well with the fruit to deliver a long finish with some good secondary notes coming through. This wine has the poise to last years. Very good.

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  • 2007 Domaine des Sénéchaux Châteauneuf-du-Pape

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

    (11/18/2009)

    Wow - this is like a violent mixture of rusty iron, blood, iodine, tannins and rich fruit. Very very primary right now but the ingredients have amazing potential. This will kick arse in 15 years. Big, fat and full in the mouth but with enough balance to ensure it doesn't get out of hand.

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  • 2007 Château Léoville Barton

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    (11/18/2009)

    Tannic and quite hard at the moment but with underlying structure of fruit. Nevertheless there is still that hollowness on the palate that the 2007s seem to have. Wont be a great Barton - and will probably drink quite young.

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  • 1999 Château Léoville Barton

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    (11/18/2009)

    Quite a broody beast with notes of liquorice and dark fruits deeping through a mass of tannins. Pretty good but still not ready.

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  • 2004 Château Léoville Barton

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    (11/18/2009)

    Just a wee baby - not giving up much at the moment - plus my taste buds were waving a white flag by this point of the evening. From memory very primary and backward right now

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Flight 6 - The Hide Bar (2 Notes)

Toby and myself retired to The Hide Bar for a 'freshener' and some much needed food.

We were a little fatigued to say the least, so finishing off with a big fat nasty shiraz was not the best idea.

  • 2000 Ayala Champagne Perle d'Ayala

    France, Champagne

    (11/18/2009)

    2nd time I have had this bubbly and this time it was oozing yeasty notes, deep firm flavours of biscotti and notes of mushroom - very long, very complex. An excellent way to refresh the palate given what Toby and myself had drunk before.

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  • 2006 Turkey Flat Shiraz 60 Points

    Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley

    (11/18/2009)

    This is possibly one of the grimest bottles of wine I've ever had. Its not cheap and nasty - it is expensive and nasty. It is all power power power - everything is turned up to 11. This is the wine equiavlent of a middle aged man driving a Porsche Convertible and trying it one with women half his age. The nose is just massive and ugly - big fat fruit stuffed with a fist into your face shouting "SMELL MY F*CKING FRUIT - GO ON!!!!". In the mouth it doesn't get much better - just a massive wall of nasty sticky fruit with no redeeming features. Just a wall of massiveness - no acidity, no nice gentle tannins just big everything.

    It is like being hit over the head constantly with a brick and someone shouting in your face "LOOK HOW MASSIVE I AM!!!!"

    Horrible.

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Closing

Some impressive wines, with the Craggy Range Le Sol wiping the floor with the reds just for sheer surprise.

Palmer produced some alluring wines, but Pichon Lalande I thought was a little disappointing as were the wines of Lynch Bages.

Beaucastel as usual produces stunning wines but they will need years to mature.

Across the boards the Loosen wines were amazing consistent and very fine.

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