Friday Tasting Group: "Killer Bar" (#06 for me)

Vintage Wines Ltd., San Diego, CA

Tasted December 27, 2019 by srh with 37 views

Flight 1 (20 notes)

White
2017 Cayuse Viognier Cailloux Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
“Christophe’s first Walla Walla Valley vyd, this 10-acre plot was our 1st vyd planted in the stones of Milton Freewater in 1997…”

N: Closed; Lemons, minerals, poss flint, honey emerging with swirling

P: MF, poss Med, body; Rndish entry with NICE, almost swtish frt deftly balanced by an acidity which fairly seamlessly evolves into a very LONG, balanced, tangy/swt finish with the barest HINT of a very, VERY slight bitterness that would DEFINITELY be a + with food @ this juncture. For now, but I can see improvement through '20, maybe mid '21, then drinking through '24, poss longer? My EXC/EXC+, trending towards the higher as it evolves. 95 pts Dunnuck, and 93 ea Suckling & WE (10/1/19) @ $75.
Red
2016 Hamel Family Wines Isthmus USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
“89% C.S., 10% C.F., & 1% Merlot, harvested 9/23 – 10/21/16, from: 62% Nuns Canyon Vyd & 38% Hamel Family Ranch; Fermented in 52% s/s tanks, 38% concrete tanks, & 10% neutral FR oak barrels; Aged 26 mos in FR oak barrels (66% new, 34% once used); 2,479 cases produced & bottle swtish frt d 2/19/18 @ $85 sugg retail; 16.0% ABV;”

N: CLOSED; Cherries, earth, poss some toast? Smoke with swirling?

P: LM, poss Med, body; Rndish entry with NICE, almost frt met by an astringent pucker which stays in contact with the init frt as it morphs into a very LONG, BALANCED finish with a bitter/swtness to the dusty tannins, the swtness seeming to gain intensity over time. NEEDS through '21 (though might be approachable now with food), then making its 10th min. My EXC+ for its combination of substance & class! [As of late Dec '19, other than the winery itself, wine-searcher shows 1 sources @ $79.95].
Red
2015 Orin Swift Cabernet Sauvignon Mercury Head USA, California, Napa Valley
“100% C.S. from the Morisoli Vyd in Rutherford, the Lewelling, Milat, & Taplin Vyds in St. Helena, and Stagecoach Vyd & the nearby Edcora property on Atlas Peak; Aged 18 mos in FR oak (50% new); 15.5% ABV;” 6,650 cases produced.

N: Closed; Cherries with hints of earth? Intensity lurking?

P: Med body; NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by an astringent PUCKER which never even remotely loses contact with the init frt as it seamlessly works itself into & through the LONG, BALANCED finish with a tangy/SWTNESS to the firming, dusty tannins. For now with food, but deserves through '21, then drinking for another 5 yrs or so. My EXC+; 95+ pts WA (3/29/18) & 91 WS (7/31/18). [As of late Dec '19, wine-searcher still shows numerous sources from $110-$165].
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Red
1999 Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
“85% C.S. & 15% C.F. harvested beginning the 2nd week in Oct & finishing near the end of the month. Fermentations ranged from 10-14 days. All the vats received extended maceration time on the skins to maximize the textural quality of the tannins & extract. The wines were aged 20 mos in FR oak, 60% new for the C.S., & 75% new for the Maya [C.F.?].”

N: RIPE berries slightly atop smoke/toast, poss earth

P: Med, poss LM, body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which doesn't even remotely lose contact with the init frt as it SEAMLESSLY evolves into a very LONG, BALANCED finish with an enticing tangy/swtness to the firming (but unoffensive) DUSTY tannins. VERY nicely done fo now, & should EASILY make its 25th. 13.5% ABV; My EXC+/Exceptional-. 95 pts WS, 94 ea WA & WE (6/1/02) @ $100, and 93 Vinous (Tanzer, 5-6/'02). [As of late Dec '19, wine-searcher still shows several sources $135-$300].
Red
2001 Vitanza Brunello di Montalcino Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
“From a 10 yr old vyd; Vinified for 28 days; Pre-soaking @ a cold temp for 3 days: pump-over following the density & the temp under computer control; Aged 36 mos in oak (70% Slavonian & 30% in FR tonneaux [Taransaud & Seguin Moreau]), ff’d by 6 mos in bottle; 100,000 bottles release 4/’06. 13.50% ABV, 1.9 g/L R.S., & 5.50 g/L T.A.”

N: Closed; Cherries, hints of orange rind & notes of earth

P: LM, *poss* L, body; NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by a bit of astringent pucker which seamlessly transitions into a LONG, balanced finish with a delightful tangy/swtness to the firming, QUITE innocuous, dusty tannins. For now & the next couple of yrs, perhaps even a bit longer? My EXC/EXC+. 92 pts WE (4/1/06) @ $40, + numerous other scores on wine-searcher's Tasting Notes pg.
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Red
1982 Château Langoa Barton France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
flawed
Corked :(
Red
1995 Tenuta Guado al Tasso (Antinori) Bolgheri Superiore Tenuta Belvedere Italy, Tuscany, Bolgheri, Bolgheri Superiore
60% C.S. & 40% Merlot

N: ATTRACTIVE cherries with smoke & earth, rest tough to parse

P: Med, poss LM, body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by a BIT of astringent pucker which seamlessly transitions into a very LONG, BALANCED finish with an elegant tangy/swtness to the INNOCUOUS, firming, dusty tannins. VERY nicely done for now & 3 yrs more, though I can see addt'l aging HELPING it. 12.5% ABV; My EXC+/Exceptional- (94-97/100 using that metric). 88 pts WS (12/15/98).
Red
1967 Franco Fiorina Barolo Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
N: CLOSED; Some sherried notes?

P: LM body; Rndish entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt quickly met by an astringent pucker which only SOMEWHAT resolves by the LONG, still VERY slightly puckerish finish. Not sure where THIS particular bottle is in it's evolution, the consensus of the group seeming to be that it was QUITE gone/"shot". For my part I'll go with a VG/VG+, on the chance (albeit slim) it MIGHT have been better with food. 92+ pts RJonWine (10/6/13). [As of late Dec '19, wine-searcher still shows 2 sources @ $89 & $129].
Red
2002 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate USA, California, Napa Valley
“Harvested 9/14 – 10/15/02 @ 24.2 - 25.7° Brix; 18-20 mos in oak (27% new FR); 7,400 cases produced & bottled 11/’04, released 3/’06 @ $95 sugg retail.”

N: Closed; Choc atop RIPE berries with hints of pyrazines; Rest tough to parse

P: Med body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt fairly quickly met by an astringent pucker which never even remotely loses contact with the init frt as it SEAMLESSLY transitions into a QUITE LONG, beautifully BALANCED finish with an enticingly LOVELY bitter/SWTNESS to the unoffensive, yet firming, dusty tannins. For now & through the end of the 2020s? 14.3% ABV; My Exceptional- (96,97/100 using that metric). 93 pts & “Cellar Selection” WE (Czerwinski, 9/1/06) @ $95, and 93, 92, 91 (2x) RJonWine, + other scores on wine-searcher's Tasting Notes pg. [As of late Dec '19, wine-searcher still shows several sources from $125-$150].
White - Sparkling
N.V. L. Aubry Fils Champagne Premier Cru Brut France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru
Typically, “55% Pinot Meunier, 25% Chard, 20% P.N, + 5% Arbanne, Petit Meslier, & Fromenteau™; Malolactic fermentation, s/s elevage, & 24+ mos en tirage aging;”

N: Yeasty, some bread dough, with notes of lemons

P: MF body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish, applish frt met by a LOVELY acidity which keeps things in check into & through the LONG, tangy/SWT finish. Lovely stuff which should be able to serve as both an aperitif & with meals. 12.5% ABV; My EXC/EXC+. [As of late Dec '19, wine-searcher shows numerous sources from $32.94 - $51.23].

™Just quoting the numbers on the importer's pg. ;)
Red
1983 Château Lynch-Bages France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
N: ATTRACTIVELY *ripe* frt with a brown sugar component & hints of orange peel? Rest tough to parse

P: LM, poss Med, body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which never even remotely loses contact with the init frt as it pretty much works itself out by the very LONG, BALANCED finish with an intriguing bitter/swtness to the firming, dusty tannins. For now with food, & SHOULD still be able to accompany meals on its 40th. My EXC+/Exceptional-. 89 pts RJonWine, 85 Jeff Leve (7/11/17), + other scores on wine-searcher's Tasting Notes pg. [As of late Dec '19, wine-searcher still shows several sources from $115-$230].
Red
1993 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley
N: RIPE berries with notes of pyrazines & other unparsbles; Intensity lurking

P: MF body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which doesn't come close to losing contact with the init frt as it seamlessly evolves into a very LONG, balanced finish with a bitter/swtness (55:45) to the firming, but fairly unoffensive, dusty tannins. For now & the next 5 yrs, + should be able to accompany food for ALL of that. 12.8% ABV; My EXC+/Exceptional-. 92 pts Decanter (Kelley, 9/20/15) & 87 WS (10/15/96). [As of late Dec '19, wine-searcher still shows 1 source @ $249].
Red
1995 Château Clerc Milon France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
“Harvested 9/21 - 9/27/95; 55% C.S., 30% Merlot, & 15% C.F.”

N: While some noted slight TCA, I got RIPE berries with notes of pyrazines

P: Med body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which stays in contact with the init frt as it transitions into a LONG, balanced finish with a tangy/swtness to the firming, fairly unoffensive, dusty tannins. For now & the next 4 yrs or so? 12.5% ABV; My EXC/EXC+. 94 pts WS (Suckling, 2007), 16 & 17/20 (2/17/11) Jancis Robinson, + other scores on wine-searcher's Tasting Notes pg. [As of late Dec '19, wine-searcher still shows 3 sources @ $79-$100].
Red
2007 Côte Bonneville Carriage House DuBrul Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, & 14% Cab Franc

N: Closed; RIPE berries with an earthiness; Intensity lurking?

P: MF, poss Med, body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which stays within hailing distance of the init frt as it fairly seamlessly morphs into a LONG, balanced finish with a tangy/SWTNESS to the firming, dusty tannins. For now & 5 yrs more? 14.5% ABV; My EXC. 93 pts & an "Editors' Choice" WE (6/1/13) @ $50, 91 WS (7/31/11), & 89 Vinous (Tanzer, 11-12/'11). [As of late Dec '19, wine-searcher still shows 1source @ $180!]

Note: 1st tasted on 10/29/16
Red
1993 Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
flawed
TCA :(
Red
1997 Etude Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley
N: Attractively RIPE berries with notes of choc, leather coming on with addt'l swirling; Other unparsables

P: LM body; Rndish entry with very NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which, rather elegantly, stays in contact with the init frt as it seamlessly evolves into a very LONG, IMPECCABLY balanced finish with a LOVELY tangy/swtness to the few, firming (but unoffensive), dusty tannins. IMPRESSIVE stuff for now & (safely) the next 3-4 yrs, though why wait? My Exceptional- (96,97/100 using that metric). 96 pts WA, 94 Vinous (Tanzer, 5-6/2000), 91 RJonWine (11/24/04), & 88 Jeff Leve (9/23/15).
Red
2008 Giuseppe Quintarelli Rosso del Bepi Veneto IGT Italy, Veneto, Veneto IGT
Per the contributor, Antonio Galloni, & MC2 Wines (cf. the 11/26/18 TN below), this COULD have been bottled as Amarone, but the producer opted to declassify it.

N: RIPE berries with spice, orange peel, & something I can't quite ID

P: Med body; Rndish entry with very NICE, ALMOST swtish frt (approaching threshold R.S.?) met by an astringent pucker which stays in contact with the init frt as it transitions into a LONG, BALANCED, tangy/SWT (45:55) finish to the few, firming dusty tannins. For now & making its 15th... min. 15.5% ABV; My EXC/EXC+ (92-95/100 using that metric). 93 pts Vinous (Galloni, 5/'17). From a producer new to me, but that I've since learned is HIGHLY regarded. [As of late Dec '19, wine-searcher shows several sources from $125-$180].
Red
2011 Horsepower Vineyards Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
“With 3ft x 3ft spacing, & 4,840 vines/acre, this 2 acre Vyd of Syrah & Grenache is the highest density planting in the Walla Walla Valley, & one of the highest in N.America.” 131 cases produced.

N: ATTRACTIVE (at least to me) Rocks funk with flowers & a frt I can't quite ID

P: Med, poss MF, body; Very, NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by an astringent pucker as it evolves into a LONG finish with a BITTER/swtness (60:40) to the firming, dusty tannins. For me this is MARKEDLY better on the N than on the P, & IF the latter resolves/catches up, my EXC-/EXC (90-93/100 using that metric) *will* be low. 97 pts WA (Dunnuck, 6/’14), 95 pts WE (2/1/15) @ $110, 94 WS (Steiman, 4/30/15), & 91 Vinous (Tanzer, 12/1/14). [As of late Dec '19, wine-searcher still shows several sources from $169-$175].
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1983 Charles Noellat Nuits St. Georges France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Nuits St. Georges
N: A bit of funk, certainly forest floor, with other unparsables; ATTRACTIVE

P: Med, poss LM, body; Rndish entry with very NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by an astringent PUCKER which pretty much works itself out by the very LONG, balanced finish with a TANGY/swtness (60:40) to the firming, but innocuous, very, VERY fine tannins. For now with food, & MIGHT have the stuffing to hold towards the LATTER part of the 2020's (even WITH food), though I'd doubt improvement with further cellaring. 12.5% ABV; My Exceptional- (96,97/100 using that metric).
1 person found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
1983 Pierre Bourée Fils Gevrey-Chambertin Clos de la Justice France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin
"Clos de la Justice" is apparently a monople.

N: ATTRACTIVE cherries with notes of spice, orange peel, & undertones of forest floor; Intensity lurking

P: Med body; RNDISH entry with very NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which fairly seamlessly evolves into a LONG, balanced finish with a BITTER/swt (60:40) firmness to the dusty tannins. For now with food (where the firmness MAY not be an issue), & IF the finish catches up with the aromas, my EXC-/EXC *will* be on the low side.

Closing

While *I* found the wines of suitable stature, those who'd attended Part 1 [2 wks prior, because of scheduling conflicts for many] seemed in UNANIMOUS agreement that those wines were FAR better. Moreover, at least several of those with LOTS of "Killer Bar" experience felt today's batch of wines lacked the *usual* KB quality. :(

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