This is actually maturing quite a bit faster than I would have expected. It still has that salty/chalky crackle that's been a signature of this wine at Rhys, but it's turned to a fairly deep yellow-gold color with a corresponding deepening of the fruit complexion. It's hard to say, but it may taste even more like a white Burgundy than it did before, although to the extent it's reminiscent of white Burgundy it's a white Burgundy from the early to mid 1990s. So, I'm not sure how much longer this has to go, but I think this was my last bottle so I guess I'll never know.
This didn't blow me away today. Color heading towards a mature gold. The French Champagne served ahead of it made this wine seem kind of oaky and lacking in vibrancy. Rich, toasty with some decent minerality and citurs flavors. If I had more I don't think I'd wait more than 1 or 2 yrs to drink up. Kind of disapointing.
Tasting Group Dinner w/ Kevin Sidders - Steaks & Bordeaux (Our House): Rich, medium yellow color. At first this showed a restrained, Chablis-like nose of flint/slate and toasty oak. In the glass, gobs of ripe, spicy, tropical fruit (pineapple, grapefruit, and lemon). This reminded a couple of tasters of an amped-up Meursault. Long finish with noticeable new oak. Thick, creamy, and juicy without being over-the-top. This producer really straddles the stylistic boundary between Burgundy and California in a unique and pleasurable way.
Bordeaux at Siggy's: The color is a vibrant yellow. The nose is ostensibly a straightforward melange of tropical flavors (citrus, pineapple) but upon further reflection there is a decent secondary layer of aromas including oak, smoke and minerality. Exotic but interesting. On the palate this is packed with flavor. My first thought was grapefruit but here again more traditional flavors emerge as secondary notes. Good structure to balance out the fruit. Great finish. I'd be hard pressed to pick this as chardonnay in a blind tasting, but it was an extremely satisfying wine.
Rhys and Alesia Spring '08 release dinner (Tabla): This is even better than I thought. Tasted next to the '04 and '06, its breadth is really something to behold. It's not a bigger wine than the others, it just reaches further. Grand cru performance. And the lobster dish really underscored the powerful minerality here, its oceanic scent and briny, chalky aftertaste.
Was jonesing a California chardonnay for taco night but didn't have any until the mailman came and brought me some. And the Rhys worked great. What I love about this is that it tastes almost halfway between chardonnay and a grosses gewachs-style riesling, with all the powerful structure that implies - the main word that occurs to me to describe the mouthfeel is crunchy. Looking back to my notes on the preview bottle I tasted of this last year, I see the same word appears - nice to see that this characteristic will stay a feature of this wine. And most of the butteriness that was there last year receded, making this taste even more well-defined and refreshing, especially with its almost lime-like citrus zing brought out by the Tex Mex.
Clear and sparking light gold color. Nose shows ripe fruit and acidity/minerality with a bit of spicy oak. The palate is lush, oily and unctuous with good bracing citrus-like acidity. This was my favorite of the four vintages at the tasting, as it showed the best combination of concentration and balance. I didn't note much of the characteristic minerality on the finish, but I took the last of the bottle home and when I tried it three days later, it still showed great balance and this time, had a complex chalky character to the long finish. I'd say "buy this wine" but since there were only 200 bottles made, if you don't already have a bottle, you are probably out of luck. 14.9% alcohol, aged in a (single) one-year old barrel.
Spicy nose with notes of toasty oak, lees, apple pomace. Ripe, sweet spicy apple flavors on the palate with very nice, zingy acidity. This feels bigger and riper than the other vintages here, and a little simpler. Good length.
Constantly evolving through the night. It starts out very buttery but still fresh and spackled with chalk, finishing with a vivid burst of popcorn while remaining so tactile that it renders not just the flavor of the popcorn but also the crackle and crunch. The buttery flavor is actually surprising for a Chardonnay that saw no new oak but the crispness and brightness of the fruit compensated for it. With more time the aromatics took on a saline pungency with a whiff of kerosene as well. This seems to have fatter fruit than the '03 and '04 but it is so bright and fresh.