Labor Day Wines (Gaja, Dunn, La Grand Dame, and more...)

Portland, ME

Tasted September 3, 2012 by Kirk Grant with 358 views

Flight 1 - Whites (3 notes)

2009 Evening Land Vineyards Chardonnay La Source Seven Springs Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
Color: light golden yellow
Smell: granite, white floral notes, baguette, and delicate & faint hints of vanilla
Taste: Mineral, yellow apple, green apple, and lemon meringue
Overall: Medium body, medium+ acidity, medium fruit, with a wonderful balance and deft balance. Outstanding!!!
NOTE - At almost 5 hours open this wine really became all about mineral, stone, and the fruit just seemed to climb out of the glass into your nose. I really would love to get more of this at the release price...
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2006 Nigl Riesling Privat Austria, Niederösterreich, Kremstal
Color: Pale yellow
Smell: Ripe tropical fruits
Taste: Ripe star fruit, cherimoya, and a hint of durian...wild on the palate.
Overall: Outstanding. However, this is just such a wild wine that I'm not sure I can enjoy it. Really rich, weighty, and almost unctious. Medium acidity, Med++ fruit, and medium-full body. This would be great with spicy, rich dishes.
White - Sweet/Dessert
1990 Domaine Pichot Vouvray Moelleux Domaine Le Peu de la Moriette France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray
Doing really well right now...almost smells and tastes like an aged Alsace wine...beautiful and holding strong.

Flight 2 - Italian Reds (2 notes)

2000 Rampa di Fugnano Gisèle Toscana IGT Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
Color: Ruby
Smell: Earth, herbs, clove, eucaliptis, and black fruits
Taste: Dried red fruits, strawberry, clove, and mushroom
Overall: Medium+ body, medium fruit, med acidity, and moderate length finish. Very Good
1997 Gaja Langhe Nebbiolo Costa Russi Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
Color: Ruby with light bricking at the rim (barely showing sign of age)
Smell: Holly $h!t. This is freaking awesome! Tar, roses, dried red fruits, very "rustic" with hints of truffle and forest floor.
Taste: Cherry, cranberry, wild strawberry, tobacco, coffee grinds, woodsy notes, and a subtle note of wild Maine blueberries
Overall: This was just opened and I'm already impressed. I will be decanting this for about 4 hours before checking in on it again...Light body, intense but fine-grained tannin, medium fruit, high acidity, and a long finish. Outstanding!!

Flight 3 - Dunn Comparison (2 notes)

1991 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley USA, California, Napa Valley
Color: Garnet
Smell: Funk, earth, manure, pencil shavings, flint, granite, and dark fruits
Taste: Dark fruits, red fruits, pencil cedar
Overall: Medium fruit, medium body, medium acidity, moderate complexity, and a medium long finish. Outstanding!
1991 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
Color: Granite with slight bricking
Smell: Faint and subtle...this just seems too young
Taste: Dark fruit, blueberries, cedar and tobacco
Overall: Medium + body, Medium ++ tanin, medium + acidity, and moderate fruit, with a moderate finish. Outstanding.

Flight 4 - Champagne (1 note)

Served with Lobster Chowder...this just seemed to be a near perfect pairing

Rosé - Sparkling
1990 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut Rosé La Grande Dame France, Champagne
Color: Peach pale golden
Smell: Almonds, nectarines, peach, yellow apples,
Taste: Cashews, peach, biscuit, dried apricots,
Overall: Wow...this was my first experience with this tête de cuvée. This was just lovely, medium body, medium fruit, medium+ aicidity, with a fine mousse that just sings on the palate. OUTSTANDING!!!!

Flight 5 - One more...what a mistake (1 note)

2007 Grand Rêve Vintners Collaboration Series III Ciel du Cheval Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
This is just too much. Bombastic comes to mind...and that's taking it easy given my past experiences with this wine. Really ripe fruits, caramel, vanilla, mocha, candied fruit on the nose. The palate while silky smooth is also just a mess of fruit, candied caramel, chocolate, and vanilla. HOLD for another 2-3 years. Very good presently...Outstanding in the past and I think in due time this can be outstanding again.

Flight 6 (1 note)

1997 Gaja Langhe Nebbiolo Costa Russi Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
After about 4-8 hours in the decanter this morphed into a very simple, basic, outstanding wine. I have to say it was honestly disappointing later on in the evening. I've never come across a Barbaresco that fell off so far with the air time. Not worth the coin...or if you are going to drink it...drink it from the bottle while the tannins are still ripping. Maybe this honestly just needs another 10+ years. Yet, I won't be buying any more of them at the current cost.
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