Wine dinner TNs: 02 Pride Cab Franc, 03 Flor de Pingus, 00 Magdelaine, 01 Montrose, 95 Pesquera Gran Reserva, 99 Lisini Ugolaia and a Chinese ringer!

Monterrey, Mexico

Tasted August 9, 2007 by hcampana with 771 views


My tasting group meets about once a month. The format of the tastings have been, for the most part, eclectic with each member bringing a wine bottle (sometimes two). On ocasion we have done themed tastings, which I believe are much more interesting. The setting for our group is always the private room at Monterrey's best restaurant: Pangea (no affiliation, blah, blah, blah). Chef Guillermo Gonzalez Beristain (also a member of our tasting group) typically prepares a 5-6 dish tasting menu in which he often includes exotic offerings from our hunting member AKA the tannin Vampire. This time he brought Alaskan King Salmon and Alaskan Hallibut from his recent trip North.

I failed to write down the dishes this time but they were, as always, excellent. The setting cannot be more perfect. A small 8 seat table in a private room that doubles as a wine store during the day, Riedel stemware and Pangea's famous wait staff. We always taste blind to get our predujices out of the way.

Flight 1 (7 notes)

We started with a 2000 Chasagne Montrachet whose name I failed to write down. Here is my TN:

Golden color (in my mind this discards a lot of lighter color varietals such as SB). Very ripe nose with a floral citrusy aspect. No oak was apparent in the nose. In the palate this is medium to full bodied offering very crisp acidity that leaves me wondering (can this be a Chardonnay fermented and aged in stainless steel?). 86 points.

1995 Bodegas Alejandro Fernández Ribera del Duero Gran Reserva Pesquera Spain, Castilla y León, Ribera del Duero
87 points
Red Wine No. 1
Medium ruby color with a lot of bricking. Old world nose. Slightly oxidized, offering dominant dry wood and floral aromas. This is showing its age (12-15 years old?). Medium body, elegant, lacking fruit in the mid palate. Its tannins are completely resolved. Nicer aromatics than taste. An Old Rioja?
1999 Lisini Brunello di Montalcino Ugolaia Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
91 points
Red Wine No. 2
Deeper ruby color than wine no. 1. The nose is Old World but from an obviously hot year. The nose is jammy, offering caramel, steel and black fruits. Denser, with more weight and fruit substrate than ine no. 1. This is a very good wine that combines New World richness with Old World complexity. A hot year Saint Emilion?
2000 Château Magdelaine France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
88 points
Red Wine No. 3
Darker than wines no. 1 & no. 2 and clearly in the ruby spectrum. This also strikes me as an Old World nose, but there is more ripeness and jaminess than you typically find in Bordeaux. Again, hot year aromas dominate the nose: caramel, blackberry jam and coffee. Full bodied, with ripe tannin and a dash of Old World acidity. This wine is a bit disjointed. Can this be a ripe year left banker (2003)?
2002 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Franc USA, California, North Coast, Napa / Sonoma
94 points
Red Wine No. 4
Very dark purple color. The nose is initially dominated by melted butter, then offering copious blue fruits and vanilla. This is obviously a New World wine. Very ripe, jammy and sweet, the wine is full bodied, concentrated and full of flavor. The tannin is prsent, but it is ripe and offering a nice grip. This is a fruit bomb and for sure the 2002 Pride cab franc that I brought.
2000 China Great Wall Wine Co. Great Wall China, Guanting Lake
55 points
Red Wine No. 5
This is very light in color. Can this be a Pinot Noir or a diluted Sangiovese? The nose is awful: volatile acidity, oxidized and over the hill. The flavors are thin, insipid and fruitless, with too much acidity and in serious decline. This is for sure the "surprise" Chinese wine I also brought. Some people actually guessed it to be an old Burgundy. That goes to tell you tht Burgheads are so accostumed to bad wines that they actually expect it to be bad. 5 points for not been undrinkable.
2001 Château Montrose France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
90 points
Red Wine No. 6
Very dark purple color. The nose is New Worldish with melted butter and vanilla, but it also offers a restraint and floral aspect that takes me back to the Old World. This is very un evolved and showing signs of high extraction without going over the top. Full bodied and tannic, this wine smells like a barrel sample of Latour. My guess is this will be excellent in 10 more years. 90+points.
2003 Dominio Pingus Ribera del Duero Flor de Pingus Spain, Castilla y León, Ribera del Duero
88 points
Red Wine No. 7
Dark ruby color. Smelling very primary and grapey. This comes from very ripe fruit. Medium to full body but a bit disjointed, with acidity coming and going throughout the night. If it comes together, this could be good. I think this is a very young Spanish wine.


Our group is predominantly euro centric in their wine preferences, which has provided me with a good challenge: to try and make them vote for a California wine as their blind favorite. I have failed for the most part, except with a 1997 Forman Cab and tonight's 2002 Pride Cab Franc.

Once again, the tasting was a blast and we touched on all wine topics you can think of. For the next session I have offered to host a Don Melchor vertical of 10 vintages. It should be interesting.

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