Friday Tasting Group: Farewell to One of the Group's Stalwarts

Vintage Wines Ltd., San Diego, CA

Tasted April 26, 2019 by srh with 103 views

Flight 1 (18 notes)

Red
2003 Château d'Armailhac France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
N: A bit of funk & (natural) oxygenation, but attractively so; Later, cherries, toast, notes of earth, with undertones of oranges

P: Med body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by a very, VERY slightly puckerish astringency which seamlessly morphs into a LONG, BALANCED, very, VERY slightly tangy finish with a bitter/swtness to the very, VERY fine tannins. Not likely to improve further, but should hold for another 4 or 5 yrs min. My EXC, poss EXC/EXC+. 16.5, 16 (2x), & 15.5/20 Jancis Robinson, + numerous other solid reviews listed on wine-searcher's "Tasting Notes" pg.
Red
1981 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Lemmon-Chabot USA, California, Napa Valley
N: Barnyd with notes of mint, smoke poss underneath?

P: Med body; Rndish entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by some astringent pucker which loses the majority of its roughness by the LONG, bitter/swt (40:60) bent to the still dusty tannins. For now & 4 or 5 yrs more (min), + still with the structure to deal with textured meat. My EXC/EXC+
Red
2010 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie Château d'Ampuis France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
93% Syrah & 7% Viognier, vines ave 50 yrs of age, from Le Clos "Côte Blonde", La Garde "Côte Blonde", La Grande Plantée "Côte Blonde", La Pommière "Côte Brune", Le Pavillon Rouge "Côte Brune". Le Moulin "Côte Brune" & La Viria "Côte Brune"; "Closed s/s tanks. Temp controlled alcoholic fermentation, 4 wk maceration, aged 38 mos in new oak;" 13.5% ABV; 2,200 cases made.

N: Iron, spice, & smoke with berries; Intensity lurking?

P: Med body; NICE, elegantly swtins frt met by son astringent pucker which seamlessly morphs into a very LONG, balanced finish with a tangy/bitterness to the very, VERY fine tannins. NEEDS/deserves another 3 yrs, then making its 20th? My EXC, poss EXC/EXC+ -- & I'm likely underrating it. [I suspect it REALLY needed more air, & I was unable to go back to it. :( ] 99 pts WA (Dunnuck), 97 WS & their #77/Top 100 for '14, 18/20 Bettane+Desseauve, and 18 & 17/20 Jancis Robinson
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Red
1985 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
N: RIPE berries with notes of smoke; Intensity lurking

P: LM, poss Med, body; NICE, ALMOST swtish ft met by some astringent pucker which somewhat resolves by the LONG finish with ult a bitter/swtness to the dusty tannins. Approachable now, but DESERVES another 3 yrs or so, then going beyond its 40th? 12.5% ABV; My EXC, poss EXC/EXC+. 94 & 91 pts RJonWine, 17/20 (2x) Jancis Robinson, + numerous other solid reviews listed on wine-searcher's "Tasting Notes" pg.
Red
2006 Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona Brunello di Montalcino Vigna di Pianrosso Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
"The Pianrosso Vyd covers 11,69 hectares (29,22 acres). The soil is medium grain with good levels of marl, dating from the Eocene period. The altitude of this large vyd varies from 240-360 m." Fermented "in s/s & glass concrete vats, temperature-controlled via cooling plates & jackets. Aged roughly 36 mos in 7.5-62 hl Slavonian oak barrels, followed by over 8 mos in bottle."

N: Closed; RIPE berries with notes of earth & vanilla

P: MF, poss Med, body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by astringent pucker which basically goes into & through the LONG finish with a bitter/swtness to the tannins. Still NEEDS a BUNCH of time, IMHO. 14.5% ABV; My EXC/EXC+, quite poss more... eventually. 15/20 Jancis Robinson (Speller), + numerous other solid reviews listed on wine-searcher's "Tasting Notes" pg.
Red
1990 Villa Poggio Salvi Brunello di Montalcino Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
N: An attractive melding of vanilla & toast with notes of cherries & oranges underneath; Intensity lurking

P: LM, *poss* Med, body; Rndish entry with very NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by a bit of astringent pucker which slowly, fairly seamlessly evolves into quite a LONG, BALANCED finish with an enticing tangy/swtness to the DUSTY tannins. Should be dynamite with food, & good for another 10 yrs? 13.5% ABV; My EXC+/Exceptional-. 91 pts WS (10/31/95).
Red
2001 Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT Italy, Tuscany, Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT
Generally, a selection of 100% Sangiovese from the Colli Toscana Centrale IGT; Fermented in temperature controlled s/s tanks with indigenous yeasts for at least 3 wks, then malolactic & aged in Troncais & Allier barrels for 24 mos;

N: CLOSED, but SEEMS ripe; Intensity lurking?

P: Med, poss MF, body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which only somewhat resolves by the LONG finish with a bitter/swtness to the still pronounced, DUSTY tannins. NEEDS another 3 yrs (guessing), then at least making its 25th? 14% ABV; My EXC, but that could WELL be a downrate. 94 pts Decanter (Morris, 10/16/18), 17 & 18/20 Jancis Robinson, add'tl reviews on the "Pro Reviews" part of this pg, and several other solid reviews listed on wine-searcher's "Tasting Notes" pg.
Red
2006 Domaine Servin Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses 1er Cru France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru
N: Closed; Cherries, poss red rasps/straws with undertones of spice; Intensity lurking?

P: LM body; NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by an astringent PUCKER which only somewhat resolves by the LONG, still very, VERY slightly puckerish finish with a bitter/swtness (40:60) to the DUSTY tannins. Approachable now with food, deserves/NEEDS through '22, then for _ yrs more? 12.6% ABV; My EXC/EXC+.

Note: Possibly miscategorized as I *believe* I overheard someone saying this producer no longer existed, & I could find nothing to indicated that the Dom. Servin of Chablis ever produced wines from Côte de Nuits. Nonetheless, I'm REASONABLY certain I correctly copied the info from this wine's label.

IF anyone reading this can clarify, 'twill be MUCH appreciated!
Red
1989 Château Beychevelle France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
Planted to 52% C.S., 40% Merlot, 5% C.F., & 3% P.V.;

N: Leather & earth with notes of cherries, poss oranges? Intensity lurking

P: Med, poss LM, body; NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by some astringent pucker which pretty much resolves by the LONG, balanced, very, VERY slightly tangy finish with a pleasant bitter/swtness to the dusty tannins. Certainly drinkable NOW, but COULD be held through '21, then at least approaching its 40th? 13% ABV: My EXC+. 93 pts (2x) John Gilman & WS, 89 pts WA, 18/20 winedoctor.com, + other reviews listed on wine-searcher's "Tasting Notes" pg.
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Delamotte Champagne Brut Rosé France, Champagne
No disgorged date apparent; The owner had stored it for 5 yrs or so.

N: Earthiness with UNDERTONES of yeast?

P: MF body; RNDISH entry with some, almost swtish frt met by ALMOST puckerish acidity which shows astringency on the LONG finish. Though I overheard MANY + comments (& NO negative ones), this was clearly not a wine *I* was capable of appreciating, at least not @ this juncture in its evolution. 12% ABV; My VG/VG+.
Red
2015 Château Prieuré-Lichine France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
This estate features 50% C.S., 45% Merlot, & 5% P.V. planted in gravel, sand. & clay based soils in all 5 of Margaux’s communes. 17,500 cases made.

N: VANILLA atop ripe cherries; Intensity lurking?

P: Med body; NICE, ALMOST swtish frt fairly quickly met by astringent pucker which somewhat resolves by the LONG finish with a tangy/SWTNESS to the DUSTY tannins. NEEDS through '22, then drinking for __ more? 14% ABV; My EXC-/EXC, with more a virtually lock... down the line. [As far & away the youngest red contributed, *I*, at least, found it at least somewhat difficult "switching gears" to be able to SUFFICIENTLY appreciate its potential.] 96 ps ea Suckling & Decanter (Anson, 2x), 95 WE @ $41, 94 Jeff Leve, 92 WS, 88-90 WA, 17 (2x) & 16.5/20 Jancis Robinson, + NUMBEROUS other solid reviews listed on wine-searcher's "Tasting Notes" pg! [As of late Apr '19, wine-searcher shows numerous sources from $49-$69.]
1 person found this helpful Comments (3)
White
2014 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis 1er Cru La Forest France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
From 9.4 acres of Fôrets farmed by the family; Apparently aged at least a yr in Nevers oak, some barrels > 30 yrs old (with ≈10-15% new);

N: Closed; Minerals, poss salinity, atop apples/lemons? Intensity lurking?

P: LM bod; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by an elegant, yet bracing, acidity which evolves into a LONG, tangy/swt finish with burgeoning hints of honey. LOVELY stuff for now, but could easily stand cellaring through '20, then going beyond its 10th WITHOUT problem. 95 pts Decanter, 94 ea John Gilman & Vinous (Tanzer), 93 Burghound, + other solid reviews listed on wine-searcher's "Tasting Notes" pg.
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Red
1994 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
N: Slightly closed; RIPE berries with hints of pyrazines & spice, rest tough to parse; Intensity lurking

P: MF, poss Med, body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by astringent pucker which, while staying in touch with the init frt, morphs into a very LONG, poss very, VERY slightly bitterish finish with a tangy/swtness to the dusty tannins. Approachable now, but could stand addt'l cellaring through '23, then making its 35th, poss more. My EXC+/Exceptional-. 97 pts Galloni (2/2014), 96 ea WA & Jeannie Cho Lee, 93 RJonWine, & 92 WS.
Red
1978 Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Georges de Latour Private Reserve USA, California, Napa Valley
N: Smoke, berries, poss Rutherford dust? Intensity lurking

P: Med body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by a bit of astringent pucker which, slowly, SEAMLESSLY transitions into the very LONG, BALANCED finish with an ELEGANT tangy/swtness to the few, very, VERY fine tannins. An *awesome* wine that, in addition to being the consensus fav of the tasting, NO one pegged for being as old as it is! [Personally I can see it making its 50th, still having the wherewithal to accompany food for most or all of that!] 13.5% ABV; My Exceptional-/Exceptional. 90 & 92 pts RJonWine, 90 WA, 86 John Gilman, 84 WS, 80 Jeff Leve (10/29/11), but 18/20 Jancis Robinson (9/27/17).

Note: From what I've been able to gather, older BV PRs are often inconsistent, the speculation being issues with their corks.
Red
2007 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
44% Mourvèdre 29% Grenache 21% Syrah, & 6% Counoise; "The grapes were fermented using native yeasts in open & closed s/s fermenters. After pressing, the wines were moved into barrel, blended, & aged in 1200-gal FR oak foudres before being bottled in July 2009. The wine is unfined & unfiltered." 4,000 cases produced.

N: Closed; RIPE berries with other unparsables; Intensity lurking?

P: Med, poss MF, body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt (approaching threshold R.S.?) met by an astringent pucker which loses the bulk of its astringency by the LONG finish with a bitter/swtness to the dusty tannins. Needs/DESERVES through '21 (due to the mid-P), then making its 20th? 14.5% ABV; My EXC (which equates to 92,93/100 on that scale). 96 pts Jeb Dunnuck, 95 WA, 94 Vinous (Raynolds) & WS + #33/Top 100 for '10, and 18.5/20 Decanter!
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Red
2001 Giovanni Manzone Barolo Le Gramolere Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Typically, “Macerated with the skins for 30/40 days @ 28-31 C, aged in big casks & in 500/700 L barrels for 30 mos, then bottled 40 mos after the harvest.”

N: RIPE berries with notes of smoke, budosyu noticing tea, leather, & balsamic as well;

P: Med, poss LM, body; NICE, ALMOST swtish frt fairly quickly met by an astringent pucker which evolves into a LONG, still puckerish finish with a burgeoning swtness to the very, VERY fine tannins. NEEDS through '22, poss more, then drinking for _ yrs more? 14.5% ABV; My EXC+ (or 94,95/100 on that scale). 95 pts WS, 88 Tanzer, & 15.5/20 Vinum.
Red
1991 Quivira Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
N: LOTS here, subtly attractive, but tough to parse; Intensity lurking

P: MF body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by a very, VERY slightly astringent pucker which seamlessly transitions into the LONG, BALANCED finish with OCCASIONAL *hints* of very, VERY slight bitterness & an enticing tangy/swtness to the few, firming, very, VERY fine tannins. An AMAZING wine for now & perhaps the next 4 or 5 yrs? My EXC+/Exceptional-.
Red
1995 Azienda Bricco Asili (Ceretto) Barbaresco Faset Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
Bottle #0373

N: PLUMS, poss notes of roses? Intensity lurking?

P: LM body; NICE, BEAUTIFULLY swtish frt met by a very, VERY slightly astringent acidity which SEAMLESSLY transitions into a LONG, BALANCED finish with an ENTICING tangy/swtness to the very, VERY fine tannins. EXCITING wine, but likely needs consumption sooner rather than later! 13.5% ABV; My EXC+/Exceptional-. 77 pts WS

Closing

Some *fabulous* wines were contributed -- at LEAST *approaching* the level of one of the group's quarterly "Killer Bars"! :)

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