Crappy Old Wines

Nazca Peruvian Restaurant, San Jose

Tasted May 28, 2010 by davetong with 730 views

Introduction

Otis and Allison made the trip out from Chicago to the Bay Area, so Paul and Wes arranged some tastings and events.
Friday's dinner was at Nazca Peruvian Restaurant in San Jose. The theme was "stinky old wines" - an opportunity to pull some unusual ancient relics from the cellar

I have some photos, but don't know how to embed them.

Flight 1 - Whites (4 notes)

A few older whites served before and with the appetisers.
We ordered the Papa Relleno and Halibut Ceviche; the ceviche was tough to pair with because of all the acidity.

White
1990 Mount Eden Vineyards Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
Vibrant and youthful. Light nose. No sign of oxidation. Sultana & mineral flavours, shows its maturity on the finish.
White
1988 Stony Hill Chardonnay SHV Stony Hill USA, California, Napa Valley
Nose showed Paraffin and nuts. Tart crab apple, hint of sherry, sort of a dry Sauternes. I'd have guessed Semillon rather than Chardonnay
White
1986 Thomas Fogarty Gew├╝rztraminer Spring Ridge Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
Darkest colour of the four whites. Nose showed caramel and lychee. Slightly sweet, earthy, lime peel, apple juice. Pleasant acidity.
White
1994 Stony Hill Chardonnay USA, California, Napa Valley
Initially seemed very youthful; rather light weight with a sherryish hint. Of the four whites this was my least favourite.

Flight 2 - Reds (7 notes)

The slow cooked lamb shank went well with all of these wines, but the sauce, onions and carrots with the filet mignon were way too sweet to pair anything with.

Red
1990 Cronin Pinot Noir Peter Martin Ray USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
From a magnum. The nose really delivers - lovely, savoury and herbal. Sweet rich fruit, with tremendous depth. Probably my WOTN.
Red
1978 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate USA, California, Napa Valley
Very nice nose - Roasted meat and smoke. Plenty of sweet fruit, balanced with good acidity.
Red
1978 Sycamore Creek Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Clara Valley
I continue to be impressed by this wine time and again. An unknown producer with no track record, an unnamed vineyard but over 30 years later it's still in great shape.
Plenty of smooth blackcurrant fruit, still some fine tannins, really good.
Red
1970 Martin Ray Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz Mountains USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
Nose shows more earth, less stinky than the 68. Lots more acidity; cranberry and redcurrant fruit.
Red
1968 Martin Ray Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz Mountains USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
Stinky, leathery nose. Like old shoes. Still got fruit - black cherry, cranberry, earth, lots of leather, and cedar
Red
1960 Gemello Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
Amazing; this wine is 50 years old. Mushroom and floral nose. Tart blackcurrant, rosemary, forest floor. Some leather, but less than I'd expected. WOTN candidate
Red
N.V. Almaden California Mountain Burgundy USA, California, Central Coast, Paicines
Paul brought this out partly as a joke, expecting it to be undrinkable. It's a non-vintage wine from the early 1970s. Who knows what's in it; it was cheap stuff then.
The nose was porty and it had pruney flavours, but it wasn't anything like as bad as we anticipated.

Flight 3 - A sticky with dessert (1 note)

Red - Sweet/Dessert
1991 River Run Zinfandel Late Harvest Beckwith Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
Fairly simple; lots of sweet rasberry fruit which persists on the finish, but not much else going on. The acidity is decent. Another wine that doesn't show its true age.
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