Derrick's 40th Birthday

Southwest Harbor, Maine

Tasted March 10, 2010 by Kirk Grant with 629 views


An unplanned visit to the island paid off for me as it was Derrick's 40th birthday and I was lucky enough to join the gathering as Scott had set up a fun afternoon for all involved.

Flight 1 - Opening Blind wines... (3 notes)

All wines were served blind and revealed shortly after tasting.

1986 Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
79 points
Brickish red at the core with a light rusted orange rim. Scents of dates, prunes, and other dried fruits dominated with a hint of toasted oak and tobacco in the background. In the mouth flavors of dark fruit, mulled spices, and chewing tobacco played out over a medium-short finish.
2001 Poggio Amorelli Oracolo Toscana IGT Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
90 points
Opaque at the core with a ruby/violet rim at the edge of the glass. Deep scents of earth, dark fruits, tobacco, and cedar on the nose. In the mouth the tannins were still quite firm and supported by brisk acidity and dark fruit flavors that lingered nicely on the palate. While enjoyable now, I believe this will be at it's best from 2012-2021
2006 Fattoi Rosso di Montalcino Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino
87 points
Light ruby red in color with scents of earth, mushrooms, and tart red fruit. In the mouth this is soft and the tannins and well integrated with the fruit and acidity as flavors of strawberries, raspberries, and cranberries play out along a medium-short finish.

Flight 2 - "This is your life..." (8 notes)

Scott set up a tasting of wines from specific vintages that meant something to Derrick after having gotten milestone years from his mother. All these wines were tasted blind and were not revealed until the end of the entire line-up (about 2 hours later).

1970 Château Mouton Rothschild France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
91 points

Color: Brick red at the core with a tinge of rust leading to the edge of the glass.

Smell: Earth, pipe tobacco, cigar box, graphite, saddle leather, a hint of menthol, and dark fruit

Taste: mushrooms, black cherries leading into flavors of black currant, black berries, a bit of oak, and hint of earth

Overall: Still has firm tannins, vibrant fruit, and good acidity. This bottle was stored well, and my guess is that with good storage one could expect this wine to continue to last for another 5-10+ years.
1984 Clos du Bois Marlstone USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
89 points

Violet at the core with bricking at the rim. Surprising amount of fruit on the nose, blueberries, black berries, black currant, earth tones, with a hint of toasted oak at the tail end. In the mouth it's a melange of red fruits framed by good acidity and tannins that are still present but softening. Such a surprise to see something showing so well from such a rough growing year globally.
1988 Château Prieuré-Lichine France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
90 points

Color: hazy violet/ruby with a rusted brick rim

Smell: Scents of funk, earth, granite, and a slight smokiness were all surface over a hint of cedar and dust

Taste: black currants, licorice, granite, cigar, tobacco, and a lingering note of mushrooms

Overall: An outstanding wine with plenty of firm tannins, acidity, and vibrant fruit left to last another 5-8 years with proper storage. Possibly longer...
1989 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Maestro Raro Vino da Tavola Italy, Tuscany, Vino da Tavola
90 points
Color: A brick-ish Violet/Ruby with an opaque core and just a tint of rusted ruby at the rim to indicate the age.

Smell: Earth, mushrooms, bell pepper, and a hint of cedar.

Taste: A tannic presence leads into a melange of dark fruits, earth, and a hint of oak leading into blueberry, strawberry, and cherry along a medium length finish.

Overall: Still quite tannic and youthful with vibrant fruit, HUGE tannin presence, and good acidity. I think this is a wine I would enjoy more in a few years as it's still quite tannic right now and needs food.
1990 Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley
87 points
Brick red with a tint of rust at the rim. Scents of earth, red fruits, cedar and a hint of smoke on the nose with basic red fruits and cedar on the nose. Showing quite well for a 20ish year old Cali Cabernet.
1999 Pieve Santa Restituta (Gaja) Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
88 points
Color: Hazy violet with fine grained sediment throughout

Smell: Bacon, earth, cigar, and an interesting floral note before the dark fruits kick in.

Taste: Dark fruits, chocolate, and earth.

Overall: Opened about 2 hours (maybe a little more) and was not decanted. The medium-full bodied wine is still quite tannic...almost to the point of being too tannic for me. I think I expect more from this region and this producer. However, with only this experience to talk about it...I'll just say I was hoping for more.
2000 Marchesi Mazzei Chianti Classico Castello di Fonterutoli Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Classico DOCG
89 points
deep ruby in color with slight bricking at the rim. Scents of funk, cabbage, mushroom, and earth. In the mouth it's dark fruit structured by brisk acidity and firm tannins. There is plenty of time left in this bottle...
2003 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Volant USA, California
90 points
Served Blind:

Color: deep ruby red almost opaque at the core.

Smell: This wine had the most "stinky" funk on the nose I've come across in awhile....I LOVED IT. Below the surface funk was scents of earth, mushroom, dark fruits, and cedar. An A+ on the nose for me...

Taste: In the mouth it was cherries, raspberries, leading into dark fruit notes along a medium long finish.

Overall: A very interesting wine that I would have NEVER pegged from California. Just a great wine...and tons of fun for me.

Flight 3 - Closing Champagne (1 note)

My contribution after learning what was happening on the island

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Pierre Morlet Champagne Grand Réserve Brut Rosé France, Champagne
92 points
Color: A hazy pink/peach color in the glass.

Smell: Strawberries, cranberries, and a hint of fresh bread.

Taste: Flavors of strawberries, raspberries, a slight push of peach and a delicious factor to this wine that just made everyone in the room smile.

Overall: An outstanding bottle of wine at the present price point. A room full (7-8) of us all thought it was an outstanding bottle. The sediment in the bottle was also quite nice to speaks of a purity and a lack of filtration that I believe had to add to the flavors offered up in the wine. I will be buying more.

Flight 4 - My Dinner at Sip's Wine Bar (1 note)

After the tasting I walked around the corner to have dinner at the local wine bar.

2007 Ninety+ Cellars Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese Lot 12 Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
90 points
Tasted tonight at the wine bar. Limited lighting and after an "epic" gathering with the SW island crew so this might be a bit harsh. Great nose of apricots, peaches, lemon, and lime. In the mouth this has great acidity and purity of fruit that leads me to believe this wine could easily last 10 and more likely 15-20 years with proper storage.


As always...I enjoyed my time down in Southwest Harbor. Scott, Hago, Derrick, Eamonn, Jay, and Steve all seemed to enjoy the time as well.

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