Friday Tasting Group: My 1st "Killer Bar"

Vintage Wines Ltd., San Diego, CA

Tasted December 21, 2018 by srh with 54 views

Flight 1 (17 notes)

Red
1977 Kenwood Cabernet Sauvignon Jack London Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
From a vyd with red volcanic soil "located midway up the E. flanks of Sonoma Mtn;" Kenwood's 1st bottling of C.S. from this vyd was 1976.

N: Earth, forest floor, ALMOST a funk, but VERY attractive overall. Intensity lurking!

P: LM body; NICE frt with an INITIAL touch of bitterness which quickly turns bitter/swt as it SEAMLESSLY evolves into a very LONG finish of the same ilk. Would still work with food, the mild bitterness providing a good a good stimulus for either more food or vino. For now & at LEAST another 4 or 5 yrs, I'd guess. 13.2% ABV; My EXC+, & may still improve to Exceptional-. GREAT contribution, budosyu! [Interestingly, MOST participants had this pegged for a Bordeaux.]
Red
2003 Igneous Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley
100% C.S. from Thorevilos Vyd ("owned & managed by David Abreu") @ the base of Howell Mtn; Aged 24 mos in FR oak (90% new); Kirk Venge, Winemaker; 285 cs produced; [More info on https://www.cellartracker.com/showwikirevision.asp?iWine=1526292&JoinType=Wine&iIndex=1526292&searchId=4813CA5C , as this winery is apparently no longer producing]

N: Creamy oak, a bit of funk/earth, pyrazines with swirling? Rest tough to parse; Intensity lurking?

P: LM body; NICE, almost swtish frt with some firming astringent pucker which loses its bite as it fairly seamlessly morphs into a very LONG, attractive finish with just a HINT of enticing bitter/swtness. While riper than my "ideal" style, this IS *impressive* -- & still improving? My Exceptional-, full Exceptional eventually? [ANOTHER gem, budosyu!] :)
Red
1999 Tenuta Guado al Tasso (Antinori) Bolgheri Superiore Italy, Tuscany, Bolgheri, Bolgheri Superiore
60% C.S., 30% Merlot, & 10% Syrah

N: Slightly closed; Earth, forest floor, perhaps a BIT of funk? Intensity lurking

P: LM body; NICE frt firmed by puckerish astringency which DOES pretty much lose the majority of its bite by the very LONG, tangy/swt finish to the very, VERY fine tannins. My EXC+, & could WELL improve as this was not at ALL tired! 95 pts WE @ $80, 94 WA, 93 Tanzer (Edward Beltrami), 90 Wine & Spirits, and 89 WS. [Wine-searcher still shows 2 U.S. sources @ a bit < $100.]
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Red
1978 Enrico Serafino Barbaresco Barbaresco del Centenario Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
Interestingly, a 720 ml bottle

N: ATTRACTIVE choc/smoke atop berries; Intensity lurking

P: LM body; LOVELY, almost swtish frt BEAUTIFULLY counterbalanced by acidity as it seamlessly transitions into a quite LONG, tangy/swt finish. FABULOUS! 13% ABV; My Exceptional-/full Exceptional. For now & (safely?) 5 yrs more? [SENSATIONAL wine, José!] :)
Red
1996 Jim Barry Shiraz The Armagh Australia, South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges, Clare Valley
N: RIPE, almost swtish berries with a smoky component

P: Med, poss LM, body; NICE, ALMOST swtish frt NICELY counterbalanced by acidity which seamlessly morphs into a very LONG finish. SCRUMPTIOUS stuff! 14.0% ABV; My EXC+/Exceptional-. 97 pts WE @ $75, 94 WA, + numerous other solid reviews listed on wine-searcher's "Tasting Notes" pg. [MAY still be available in the U.S.]
Red
1964 Château Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
flawed
Note: There was debate as to whether or not this was corked, the majority adamantly saying it was, others of us feeling that while there were notes of something TCA-like, it was combined with something else -- Brett was one suggestion. Either way, I'll put my impressions but mark it as flawed.

N: Earthy with at least SOME mustiness; Alternative: OUTLIERS of complexity?

P: LM body; NICE frt, but a sharpness kicks in (the TCA?); 94 pts John Gilman, 19/20 (2x) Jancis Robinson, + other solid reviews listed on wine-searcher's "Tasting Notes" pg.

Final thought: As one of the few who kept this in a tasting glass, the corky-like aromas did NOT get worse with 2 hrs in a small tasting glass.
Red
1995 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
5,000 cases made

N: Slight earthiness, then vanilla, with cherries underneath?

P: LM body; LOVELY, almost swtish frt BEAUTIFULLY counterbalanced by an acidity which seamlessly transitions into a LONG, balanced finish with a tangy/swtness to the very, VERY fine tannins. For now & probably making its 30th. 13.5% ABV; My EXC+/Exceptional-. 96 pts WS (Suckling), 93 WA, & 14/20 Vinum. [*Thank* you for this selection, José!]

Interestingly, most of the comments I heard felt this was a Burgundy.
Red
1995 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
45% C.S., 40% Merlot, & 15% C.F.

N: Slightly closed, some forest floor/earth, poss some Brett? (though blew off); Continued to evolve in the tasting glass

P: LM body; NICE frt met by some puckerish astringency which does pretty much resolve by the very LONG, ULT *quite* pleasant finish. In its window, but should go on a # of yrs more. 13% ABV; My EXC+/Exceptional-. RJonWine 91-94 pts (4x), Jancis Robinson 17.5 & 18/20, + numerous other solid reviews listed on wine-searcher's "Tasting Notes" pg.
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Red
1966 Château Gruaud Larose France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
N: GORGEOUS, VERY *attractive*: Flowers, certainly, rest tough to parse;

P: Med body; Rndish entry with very NICE, ALMOST swtish frt counterbalanced by acidity & just a TOUCH of astringency which slowly, fairly seamlessly transitions into a very LONG finish with a tangy/swtness to the FEW, dusty tannins. LOVELY stuff, & not at all tired: Might this make its 60th? 12.5% ABV; My Exceptional! 93 & 88 pts RJonWine, 89 Falstaff Magazin, & 18.5/20 Jancis Robinson.
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Red
2000 Opus One USA, California, Napa Valley
84% C.S., 6% Merlot, 5% C.F., 3% Malbec, & 2% Petit Verdot; 44 days of skin contact; Aged 19 mos in new FR oak

N: RIPE berries with smoke & undertones of pyrazines; Intensity lurking

P:Med, poss LM, body; NICE frt met by some puckerish astringency which doe, ULTIMATELY, mellow out by the quite LONG, balanced finish with a tangy/SWTNESS to the still dusty tannins. Possibly still hasn't peaked? Should easily make its 25th, poss 30th? My Exceptional-, more eventually? 92 pts WE @ $125, 91 Vinous (Galloni), 89 WS, & 85 Tanzer.
Red
2004 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate USA, California, Napa Valley
N: Ripe berries with notes of pyrazines; Intensity lurking

P: LM body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by astringent pucke which somewhat resolves by the LONG, *ult* pleasant finish. NEEDS 3 yrs or so more (guessing), then drinking for an addt'l 5-10 yrs more? 95 pts ea WA & Vinous (Tanzer), 91 RJonWine, 86 WS, & 17.5/20 Jancis Robinson.

While there was init consensus that this was in a backwards phase, of those that were fortuitous enough to have keep some in their tasting glass, I overheard more than a few stating that they WERE surprised @ HOW it was starting to come around.
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Red
1984 Haegelen-Jayer Echezeaux France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Echezeaux Grand Cru
N: Cherries with notes of oranges? A bit shy?

P: LM body; NICE strawberry/cherry "frt" with notes of leather met by tart acidity which caries into & through the very LONG, tangy/swt (65/35) finish. For now & the next 3 or 4 yrs (safely). 13.6% ABV; My EXC+/Exceptional-.
Red
1991 Leonetti Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Washington USA, Washington
N: A bit of barnyd, but attractive -- & tough to parse; Intensity lurking

P: LM body; LOVELY, almost swtish frt beautifully balanced by an acidity which pushes the action into & through the very LONG, BALANCED, finish with a tangy/swtness to the SCANT remaining very, VERY fine tannins. For now & EASILY making its 30th! My Exceptional-/full Exceptional. 95 pts WS & 91 WA.

Once this was unveiled there was genuine surprise as to how WELL it had aged!
Red
2008 Clarendon Hills Astralis Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, Clarendon
N: RIPE with a distinct smokiness, maybe mocha?

P: LM body; NICE frt met by an puckerish astringency which transitions into a very LONG finish with a bitter/swtness to the dusty tannins. NEEDS a bunch of time (4 yrs, guessing?), then making its 20th. My EXC+, Exceptional- eventually? 97 pts WA, 95 Jeremy Oliver, 94 ea Huon Hooke, WS, & WE, 92 Wine & Spirits, and 91 The Wine Front!

Note: I found this MORE approachable on 12/23/2017.
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Red
1999 Il Marroneto Brunello di Montalcino Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
Bottle #14764

N: Closed; Smoke, berries underneath?

P: LM body; Very NICE, almost swtish cherry frt BEAUTIFULLY balanced by an acidity which seamlessly transitions into a very LONG, BALANCED finish with a tangy/swtness to the SCANT, very, VERY fine tannins. Drinking SUPERBLY right now, & should hold for another 3 or 4 yrs more. 13% ABV; My Exceptional-/full Exceptional. 90 pts ea WS & Tanzer, and 15.5/20 Vinum.
Red
1983 Château Prieuré-Lichine France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
Bottle #006080

N: Slightly closed; Vanilla atop cherries; Intensity lurking

P: Med body; NICE, almost swtish frt met by some astringent pucker whick morphs into a LONG finish with a tangy/swtness to the dusty tannins. Might still be improving? Should be good for its 40th? My EXC+. 87 pts WA, 86 Jean-Marc Quarin, & 16.5/20 thewinedoctor.com
Red
2002 Kistler Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
N: CLOSED; Some earth, forest floor

P: Med, poss LM, body; NICE, ALMOST swtish frt NICELY counterbalanced by an acidity which seamlessly transitions into quite a LONG, balanced finish with a tangy/swtness to the very, VERY fine tannins. For now & making its 20th min, + may not QUITE have peaked! My Exceptional-. 92 pts WA, 91 Tanzer, & 89 WS.

Closing

Some *F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S* wines here! :) For me personally, I was MOST impressed by the OLDEST wine ['66 Chateau Gruaud Larose] followed by the '78 Enrico Serafino Barbaresco del Centario. However, in MOST flights, ANY wine here would likely be the standout! :)

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