Bookclub--Wines Tasted Blind

Tasted April 22, 2021 by Frank Murray III with 66 views

Flight 1 (3 notes)

White - Sparkling
N.V. Moussé Fils Champagne Blanc de Meuniers Premier Cru Brut Zéro Les Vignes de Mon Village France, Champagne
Poured blind. 100% Pinot Meunier from the village of Cuisles, no dosage, done in stainless steel and elevage under cork (not cap). This is the 2018 disgorgement, so it is built with just the 2014 - 2016 vintage blend. We tasted this disgorgement alongside the 2019 disgorgement, and last night I preferred the 2018 disgorgement. Yellow apple, good mineral like a slate, gunpowder, caramel and raspberry. Becomes lightly creamy with more air. The lesson here worth reinforcing is that in a perpetualle assembly like Vignes de Mon Village, you gotta know what's in it. And with the addition of the 2017 base wine to the 2019 disgorgement, it really does create a contrast with the 2018. And as this cuvee moves forward, and we see the 2020 disgorgement released this year, which will now include the 2018 vintage, it would be instrucutve again to put the different disgorgements side by side.
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White - Sparkling
2016 Nicolas Maillart Champagne Premier Cru Mont Martin France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru
Poured blind. And I purposely arrayed this Maillart right in between two different disgorgements of Mousse's Mon Village, which is a perpetualle blend of Pinot Meunier. And as this Maillart being composed of Pinot Meunier, it created additional context with those two wines, too. The Mon Village is non-dose, whereas the Maillart has 4 g/l of dosage and is also raised in wood, which helped add even more contrast. Disgorged June 2020. Ultimately, the Maillart stuck out as richer, citrusy more flashy and seductive with peaches, pears, lime and some chalk. I liked the Maillart but ultimately the 2018 disgorgement of the Mousse Mon Village beat the Maillart for me.
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White - Sparkling
N.V. Moussé Fils Champagne Blanc de Meuniers Premier Cru Brut Zéro Les Vignes de Mon Village France, Champagne
Poured blind. 100% Pinot Meunier from the village of Cuisles, no dosage, done in stainless steel and elevage under cork (not cap). This is the 2019 disgorgement, so it includes the 2014 - 2016 perpetualle blend, plus the addition of 40% 2017. We tasted this disgorgement alongside the 2018 disgorgement, which is just the 2014 - 2016 assembly It's interesting to me how just merely adding the 2017 wine to the cuvee can change it so markedly. The 2017 wine takes the cuvee into a zestier, brighter, leaner experience. Lime, green apple (versus the more suave yellow apple that really defines the 2018 disgorgement). Also in the 2019 is tangerine, pineapple, and a spicy impression. My sense now is that the disgorgement one prefers will come down to what you want to taste: suave and more creamy with the 2018 or the more driven 2019.
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Flight 2 (2 notes)

White - Sparkling
2014 Piollot Champagne Colas Robin Brut Nature France, Champagne
Poured blind. My second bottle this month, same disgorgement of May 2019. 100% Pinot Blanc, no dosage, created from 65 year old vines on Kimmeridgian soil, farmed biodynamically. This really showed a nice floral aromatic last night. Juicy and round, lots of flavor and yet with the absence of dosage, there is still some austerity here that I enjoy. Cantaloupe melon, spearmint and a wet stone finish. I really like this wine and I'm intent on trying more off Piollot's cuvees.
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White
2016 Marie Courtin Coteaux Champenois Le Blanc de Tremble France, Champagne, Coteaux Champenois
Poured blind, and I arrayed this wine within the context of the Champagne flights. In hindsight, it might have been more instructive to have wedged this into a white wine flight, to help create distance between it and the bubblies. This is 100% Pinot Noir, farmed off the slope where Dominique gets her other fruit for the outstanding bubbly cuvees she makes in Polisot. The wine sees no skin contact so it's completely clear. It's raised in two different 500L amphorae, one of clay and the other of sandstone. It has alcohol and pH impressions that are in line with her bubbly cuvees, too. I don't drink much Coteaux Champenois, as it's hard to find and it's a piecemeal strategy, to find a bottle here, a bottle there. So, my experiences here are new but based on tasting this wine from Dominique, I like the result. The texture was polished and one of our guys at the table called White Burg. Stone fruit, strawberry. I wish I had more to taste today but the bottle was polished at the table and overall, I thought the group enjoyed it and it also created some good conversation.
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Flight 3 (3 notes)

Red
2014 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon La Croix Boissée France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon
First of two that I bought back in 2017. Poured blind, I arrayed this in the same flight as two CA Syrahs, putting this Baudry at the front of the flight. My intent was to get a non-Syrah wine that still had the effusive aromatics to make the guys think. It worked. Some called aged Cab, another Grenache. And I think the two Syrahs forced them off their gut instinct to think about the wine on its own rather than the peers it was arrayed with, as no one called Cab Franc. Yet, the wine showed as I expected, with tobacco leaf and some bell pepper. One guy at the table called Brett on the wine, although I didn't really sense it as the wine showed pretty clean to me. Juicy, expansive palate, dark red fruits with good tang and medium weight. This showed well.
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Red
2019 Model Farm Syrah La Cruz Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Poured blind, wedged into a flight where Baudry Boissee was on its left and Halcon Alturas on its right. Interestingly to me, the Model Farm is made with 50% stem inclusion (one clone is destemmed and the other is 100% whole cluster). Yet, with the aromatics flying out of the other two wines, especially the Halcon, the Model Farm to me was more subtle. Delicate, with a boysen and cherry profile, too. The table finished the bottle and I didn't get a chance to retaste the wine but overall I thought the comments were positive and this is a good wine for Sean and Joanna to add to their portfolio. My only second guess would have been to have put their Petaluma Gap syrah into the flight instead, to seek if I could have achieved the aromatic balance with the other two wines, as both were more powerful than the Model Farm last night.
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Red
2018 Halcon Vineyards Syrah Alturas USA, California, North Coast, Yorkville Highlands
Poured blind. Grown at 2,500 feet, grown organically. This was my WOTN last night. There is just the right amount of everything here, with the beautiful white pepper aromatics being the star of the bottle. Of note, this also has 4% Viognier added. It's been a long time since a bottle of red wine has aromatically wowed me like this one did last night, and it's a joy. Purple fruit, balanced with some tang. This is just beautiful, distinctive syrah. I wish I not only had some leftover from last night to taste and savor again, but. some more bottles of this for the cellar. I guess I will need to wait and buy the 2019.
4 people found this helpful Comments (4)
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