Glengarry Wines - "Superstars of the Rhone Valley" tasting (Glengarry Wines and Spirits, Victoria Park, Auckland, New Zealand): Dense and brooding blackberry liqueur nose that is dominated by oak. On the palate, dark oak, huge tannins, great presence - this needs time. First class wine that needs time to resolve. At the moment it is an "oak monster" - the wood currently defines the wine and it certainly has hard elements to it. There is requisite fruit weight to eventually tame this beast but for the moment, both the massive fruit and oak tannins hold sway. Forget about this wine in the cellar for a while and hope that it ages to grace. Note - I had suspicions that this may not have been a pristine bottle.
Guigal tasting with Christopher Cannan (Caro's Wines, Auckland, New Zealand): hugely dense and muscular - very tannic and long - an all together excellent wine. the oak is there but is fully subsumed into the fruit - unlike the la mouline at the moment.this is a deeply flavoured wine with a vise like grip that will always remain with the wine. Multi layered even now, this wine will develop beautifully and will no doubt go places in the next few decades - although in a pretty tannic manner. Close to profound even now and will improve. 96+
K&L Rhone Tasting Fall 2010 (K&L San Francisco): Between the Turque and the Mouline in terms of fragrance, with strawberries and some barnyard. Big mouthfeel, sweet fruit, showing a green streak (maybe the oak?). Massive tannin and long finish with a touch of heat.
K&L Rhone Premium tasting (K&L, San Francisco): Great nose, blacker fruits than the other La La's. Good spices again with distinctive cumen seeds. Very layered nose. Palate has huge tannins that are palate-coating. Definitely needs 10 years of age, even more than the other La La's. Great fruit and again a bit of cumen spices. 96+
Premium 2007 Southern Rhone and 2006 Guigal Single Vineyard Cote Rotie (K&L Wines, San Francisco): Darkest of the 3 Guigal wines. Reticent nose. Round, harmonious, relatively low acidity. This is the most Syrah-like with blackberry fruit and licorice. Concentrated, serious, lushly tannic without being sweet. To me, the best of these wines today by a wide margin. If the wood is there, it is not out of place as it is in the other 2 wines. The only thing lacking at present is that floral, aromatic Cote Rotie quality, but maybe this will come with time.
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