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Member since August 2010

Real name: Dan Rosenheck
Locale: New York, New York, USA
Favorite region: Tuscany, Bordeaux
Dream wine: 1955 Biondi-Santi Riserva, 1947 Cheval Blanc

  • 1979 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon

    My first good wine from Washington, and a very good one indeed. Nearly opaque crimson. A bit of a chameleon. This started out tasting like a fine mature claret, with a powerful, bass-register nose of leather and cassis. After an hour of air it evolved dramatically: the fruit shifted to an almost Zinfandel-style blueberry character and then pushed towards redcurrant, while the wine picked up some sweet fig and coffee aromas, and a lively citric bite gave it some newfound tension. Medium-plus body, with some minty notes on the palate that aren't really perceptible from the nose. Nice old-wine texture, and developed a quite persistent aftertaste after a bit of aeration. By the later stages of the evening this had become a dead ringer for an elite 1970's Cali Cab--the two wines I've had that tasted most like this were a 1974 Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill and a 1978 Joseph Phelps Eisele.

    With mostly resolved tannin and healthy acid, I'd consider this to be in late-peak form: if you can find a bottle (I believe just 1,800 were made in this inaugural vintage; I got mine from Winebid), there's certainly no rush to drink it, but nor is there any reason to expect further improvement from here. I do wonder whether the winemaking here has changed significantly (as it has in so much of California) in recent decades, or whether the handful of pedigreed Washington reds I've had were all simply tried too young.

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  • 1980 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage

    A generous Coravin pour from a previously un-accessed bottle, and firing on all cylinders fresh out of the gate. Extremely fresh and young. Dark cranberry/raspberry fruit, a lot of citrus, florals, a touch of olive. Medium-plus body; zesty, tingly texture; very mouth-filling. Distinctive and excellent. Shows what a great producer can do in an unheralded vintage.

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  • 1970 Château Haut-Brion

    Not a showstopper, but a wine whose class and longevity befit its pedigree. Tertiary nose of excellent intensity: truffle, earth, smoke, barbecue flavor, tons of mushroom. With air it picks up fruit, with a very pure cassis character. Quite light in the mouth and very long. Still some fine tannin remaining. To pick nits the acid is a bit sharp and it sort of misses the mid-to-back palate, but neither of those quibbles meaningfully distracted from a textbook Graves experience.

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