A private tasting

at home

Tasted August 31, 2017 by Xavier Auerbach with 322 views

Introduction

Thirteen of us gathered round the table at my home for a merry evening of Pomerol and Port, with some interesting extras. Le Bon Pasteur 2001 was the surprising winner among the 14 Pomerols and Fonseca and Dow shared first place in the Vintage Port section. But is was the Burgundies who stole the show...

Flight 1 - Apéritif on the terrace (3 notes)

Rosé - Sparkling
2014 Camel Valley Pinot Noir Brut Rosé United Kingdom, England, South West, Cornwall
90 points
I already like it better than I did in June of this year; the nose is very attractive with red berry fruit and a nice hint of Pinot Noir spice, and the palate is light and fresh and elegant, with clean and pure flavours and better integration of the dosage than before. A perfect aperitif on a sunny evening in late summer.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2014 Camel Valley Bacchus Darnibole United Kingdom, England, South West, Cornwall
90 points
Very similar to my previous note, but perhaps not as tight on the finish. A lovely Darnibole.
White
2004 Domaine / Maison Vincent Girardin Corton-Charlemagne Quintessence France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
92 points
JD thought that a bottle of CC would go very well with our home-cured salmon, and I happily obliged. Deep and rich and powerful, especially for a 2004, rich and concentrated, still youthful but with some tertiary evolution, lemon curd, slightly salty minerality, well integrated new oak, good length. Completely intact on the second day, at peak and with time in hand.

Flight 2 - Pomerol, mainly 2001 and 2003 (14 notes)

Red
2000 Château La Pointe France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
88 points
Tasted blind. Mature but lively appearance; classic claret nose, cedar and gravel, lovage; quite dry and skinny on the palate, slightly fragile and metallic, fresh, light and dry finish, good length. A decent wine, but feels much older than 2000.
Red
2000 Château La Grave a Pomerol Trigant de Boisset France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
89 points
Tasted blind. Warmer style than the previous wine, Cabernet Franc noticeable, slightly riper and juicier fruit, cream and spices, again a bit metallic on the palate, slightly edgy acidity, bright tannins, good length.
Red
2000 Fugue de Nénin France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
flawed
Corked.
Red
2001 Château Le Bon Pasteur France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
93 points
Tasted blind. Good depth and nuance, beautiful nose, classic Pomerol, flowing style, ripe and sweet fruit, spice and truffle, black tea, medium weight, well-integrated creamy tannins, lovely balance and length. Intensity and finesse, attractive, excellent.
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Red
2001 Château Latour à Pomerol France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
89 points
Tasted blind. Lacks depth on the nose and on the palate, quite dry and even skinny, very developed but closed at the same time, paprika and grass (88). A second bottle from my own cellar was fresher and livelier, with better fruit, but still decidedly in the drier and lighter part of the spectrum (89). Both not as convincing as the bottle tasted in 2016.
Red
2001 Château La Conseillante France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
90 points
Tasted blind. More depth than the previous wine, but the tannins are quite dry and give the wine a clenched feel; good expression on the nose (crushed red berries, truffle, blonde tobacco), medium bodied palate, pinched on the finish. I have tasted this wine seven times now and there seems to be a lot of bottle difference.
Red
2001 Château Gazin Pomerol France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
92 points
Tasted blind. Fabulous nose, the sexy elegance of Pomerol personified, warm and rich, meat and truffle, slightly bloody, soft but firm, green touch on the finish, very good length.
Red
2001 Vieux Château Certan France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
92 points
Tasted blind. Quite closed, all about finesse, not easy to assess right now, balance and energy are exemplary. Maybe a bit on the light side? It's certainly no match for the 2000.
Red
2001 Château Hosanna France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
92 points
Tasted blind. Classic Pomerol, finesse and elegance, red berries and truffle, quite tannic and extracted but well balanced, energetic, powerful, very good length.
Red
2003 Château Hosanna France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
91 points
Tasted blind. Quite warm and rich and spicy on the nose, with a burnt edge, but it does not lack freshness on the palate, good body, good stuffing, has sève, the tannins are fiercely drying however, umami and liquorice finish. Needs food.
Red
2001 Château L'Eglise-Clinet France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
Tasted blind. Evolved nose, meaty and a bit bloody, burnt character with unripe tannins, lacks stuffing, clenched and dry finish. Long but tough. Not a good bottle? Not rated.
Red
2003 Château L'Eglise-Clinet France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
90 points
Tasted blind. Not completely clean on the nose, deep but slightly oxidative, opens up well in the glass, chocolate, coffee and tar, raspberry, tannic, soy and cabbage finish. Strangely, this holds up very well over two days in the open bottle, and seems to only become fresher. Puzzling.
Red
2003 Château La Fleur-Pétrus France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
90 points
Tasted blind. Roasted but well balanced, dried flowers, relatively elegant, fresh, powerful and tannic. Not very expressive.
Red
2003 Château L'Evangile France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
91 points
Tasted blind. Quite a developed colour, pruney nose, powerful yet fresh palate, elegant and rich, juicy but firm tannins, light flavours, lovely balance, relaxed style, hard finish but good length.

Flight 3 - Two magnums for the Boeuf Bourguignonne (2 notes)

Red
2001 Château Mont-Redon Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
90 points
Magnum. Mature, juicy Grenache fruit, autumnal style, leathery tannins, good length. A decent CdP, fully mature even in this larger format.
Red
1990 Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
91 points
Magnum. Very classical, cedary, claret-like style, firm tannins, restrained but not austere, fully mature but energetic after 27 years, black tea finish, good length. No end in sight in this format (still fresh after two days in the open bottle), but there is no reason to wait either.

Flight 4 - An unexpected intermezzo (2 notes)

White
2005 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
94 points
Tasted blind. Magnificent, classic, beautifully expressive, very youthful, I identified this wine correctly, but I guessed it was the 2010. Captivating stuff.
Red
2005 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Echezeaux France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Echezeaux Grand Cru
94 points
Tasted blind. Elegant and refined, fragrant and pure, immaculate precision and finesse, powerful and concentrated but almost weightless, poised and firm like a ballet dancer, silky texture and tannins, long and linear. Beautiful, quite sublime actually. Very good now, many years ahead of it.
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Flight 5 - Vintage Port 1985 (9 notes)

Red - Fortified
1985 Kopke Porto Vintage Quinta São Luiz Portugal, Douro, Porto
92 points
Tasted blind. Beautifully refined, silky and fresh, complete and relaxed, medium weight, gentle tannic grip, candied fruit, good concentration, attractive hint of nutty evolution, Grande Champagne finish, good length. Stylish.
Red - Fortified
1985 J.W. Burmester Porto Vintage Portugal, Douro, Porto
90 points
Tasted blind. Stalky nose, juicy and elegant palate, medium-sweet, cherries and milk chocolate, beautifully resolved tannins, slightly hot finish. Nice wine with a rough edge.
Red - Fortified
1985 Churchill/Graham Porto Vintage Portugal, Douro, Porto
91 points
Tasted blind. Fully mature colour, little red left; not too sweet, gentle tannins, vestiges of red berry fruit, spices, delicate style, pure and fresh, boudoir powder, good length. Lovely wine, but very developed for a 1985.
Red - Fortified
1985 Warre Porto Vintage Portugal, Douro, Porto
91 points
Tasted blind. Deep and spicy and quite powerful, fresh and well balanced, but it does not seem to have a lot of fruit left, autumnal, light and hot finish. Will dry out. Not as good as the bottle tasted in 2015. Provenance issues?
Red - Fortified
1985 Graham Porto Vintage Portugal, Douro, Porto
92 points
Tasted blind. Mature but lively appearance; sweet Graham style but not luscious or rich, cedary nose, good fruit and freshness, rounded, well integrated tannins, spicy finish, very good length.
Red - Fortified
1985 Taylor (Fladgate) Porto Vintage Portugal, Douro, Porto
92 points
Tasted blind. Deep and rich and spicy like the previous wine, fully mature as well, but the stuffing of juicy fruit is better, bright and fresh, milk chocolate and spices, energetic tannins, good length.
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Red - Fortified
1985 Quinta do Noval Porto Vintage Portugal, Douro, Porto
89 points
Tasted blind. Light colour, pale and bright, fresh and a bit hot, cherry stones and almonds, off-dry, light body, hint of citrus, green apple on the finish, good length. A particular style, not unattractive, but lacks gravitas.
Red - Fortified
1985 Fonseca Porto Vintage Portugal, Douro, Porto
93 points
Tasted blind. Rich and spicy nose, powerful and youthful for a 1985, drinking well but needs more time to develop its characteristic exotic complexity, has freshness and balance, elegant and refined, firm grip from ripe tannins, touch of heat on the finish, very good length.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red - Fortified
1985 Dow Porto Vintage Portugal, Douro, Porto
93 points
Tasted blind. Rich and sombre, mature colour, deeper than the Fonseca; warm spices, quite tannic, lively and concentrated, dense and masculine style, the most powerful of all the 1985 VP's tasted today. Long life.

Flight 6 - Afterthoughts (2 notes)

White
1983 Lequin Roussot Bâtard-Montrachet France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru
92 points
After all this Pomerol and Port, JD felt like white Burgundy again and this time he asked if there was any Bâtard around. So what do you do? Full yellow colour, deep and mature but lively; remarkably fresh and pure (this wine is 34 years old!), slightly lactic, hint of honey, fresh and oaky, tart lemon, has lost most of its fruity stuffing, resinous finish, very good length. Perfectly intact on the second day, no rush. And still going strong on day four. Oh, the miracle that is called sulphur!
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
1976 Weingut Schuster-Weißenborn Ungsteiner Osterberg Huxelrebe Trockenbeerenauslese Germany, Pfalz
93 points
Deep and rich amber colour, Alpine herbs and flowers and honey, full-on sweet but with a lovely balancing freshness, subtle bitters, energetic for a 41 year old non-Riesling sweet wine, really powerful and concentrated, does not excel in nuance or finesse, but an impressive TBA all the same (92). What was left in the bottle (about 1/4 - 1/3), remained in the fridge until 16 September (!) and was quite intact when I retasted it. The Ricola notes had receded a bit and there were lovely flavours of dried fruit, honey and figs. I think I liked it even better than on the day when it was opened and this will clearly last for decades to come (93).
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