Birthday Weekend

Chicagoland

Tasted July 23, 2009 - July 25, 2009 by psmith with 889 views

Flight 1 (2 notes)

Quiet Thursday dinner at a couple of locations. Happened to run into a friend who hooked us up with some Marcassin.

White
2005 Kistler Chardonnay Vine Hill Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
All sulfur and matchstick notes, with some hints of orange fruits. More tolerable on the palate - large scaled, waxy fruit profile. Intense wine. Could probably benefit from some decanting at this stage.
Red
2000 Marcassin Pinot Noir Blue-Slide Ridge Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Spicy blue fruits, clearly tempered by age. Nice front - but seems a bit more mature than it should be. Noticable VA on the finish. Enjoyable, but disappointing given the pedigree.

Flight 2 (8 notes)

Friday dinner at Bristol in Chicago.

White
2005 Peter Michael Chardonnay La Carrière USA, California, Sonoma County, Knights Valley
Citrus and waxy mineral notes. Far more subdued and elegant than I'm used to from PM - a bit clichéd but almost Burgundian in a Meursault sort of way. Well structured. Very nice.
White
2005 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
Light color. Like liquid sulfur - full of matchbook notes that overwhelm what seems to be a more subtle wine; even for BdM. Hard to judge.
Red
1979 Château Ausone France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
Lighter-bodied red fruits and tobacco leaf notes. Elegant, feminine styling. Really streamlined profile - no hard edges here. Fine, soft strucure. Fully mature. Really good.
Red
1961 Château Lynch-Bages France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Still big, but in a superposition of young/old at the moment. Some tomato juice notes, with cassis and dark fruits. Tobacco. Toned down structure that leaves things a bit angular; still, a very enjoyable wine.
Red
2001 Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Masseto Toscana IGT Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
Big wine - a mistake to open this now. All dark fruits, plum and tobacco, but very firmly held in check by lots of tannins. Despite its size, gives an elegant impression. Very promising, but needs time.
Red
1971 Pétrus France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
Just super - even better than my last bottle. Dark, plummy fruits and tobacco notes. Voluptuous and restrained at the same time. Pretty, soft mouthfeel. Great balance. Delicious.
Red
1995 Gaja Barbaresco Costa Russi Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
Heady dark fruits. More masculine styling than I'm used to with Gaja. Fine structure; streamlined profile. Some tarry notes. Very good.
Red
2005 Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia Italy, Tuscany, Bolgheri, Bolgheri Superiore
Big wine misplaced in a rather elegant lineup, which didn't give this the respect it probably deserves. Dark red fruits. Tart, big structure. Cassis notes. Fine.

Flight 3 (22 notes)

Main event, Saturday wine group.

White
2004 Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
Surprisingly light on its feet for Coche, and very '04 in style. Big, firm lemon curd and gooseberry-type notes. Hazelnut. Huge acidity and a great mineral backbone. Intense, mouth puckering. Very young. Super wine, but hard to justify the tariff.
White - Sparkling
1990 Salon Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut France, Champagne
From magnum. Very '90 in style - ripe, full bodied baked apple and yeasty notes. Firm but balanced acidity and mousse. Rich for Salon. Really good.
Red
1976 Antonin Rodet Chambertin France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambertin Grand Cru
Amber color. All sous-bois and slight metalic notes, with some alcoholic warmth and enough backbone left to keep things enjoyable. Medium body, but sufficient weight. Enjoyable; nice surprise.
Red
2003 Emmanuel Rouget Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Cros Parantoux France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru
Almost new world, cutly styling, with a cherry cola nose and floral notes. Full, round palate despite its youth. Not over ripe or at all heavy. Some mineral backbone. Low acidity. Very enjoyable now. Big wine.
Red
2003 Christophe Roumier Ruchottes-Chambertin France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru
Big time wine. All purple fruits; pretty floral aromatics. Firm but great clarity in more of an '02 style. Round. Well balanced. As good an '03 as I've had.
Red
1996 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Light color. Super spicy wine. Mature, with some VA creeping through and sous-bois type notes. Medium body. Soft palate and resolved structure. Very nice.
Red
1970 Château Margaux France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
flawed
A bit corked unfortunately, but some tobacco leaf and cedar notes with a blue fruit component I don't often get with Margaux. Resolved and mature.
Red
1976 Château Latour Grand Vin France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Surprisingly feminine Latour with dark fruits and tobacco leaf. Some underlying power; firm tannins for what remain. Mature. Enjoyable wine.
Red
1976 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Some merlot influence clearly coming through in a softer, green tobacco leaf profile. Sweet, candied red cherry fruit. Fully mature. Feminine styling and stremlined profile. Very nice '76.
Red
1976 Château Mouton Rothschild France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Superimposed red/black fruits. Masculine styling. Somewhat of a disconnect in the fruit profile and structure. Firm. Very alive. Enjoyable.
Red
1989 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
From magnum. Dark fruits and tarry notes. Pretty red/black cherry. Very firm, almost closed down. Tannic, big wine. Not particularly accessable, but very good elements.
Red
1982 Château Mouton Rothschild France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Really pretty nose - black cherry and tobacco. Seamless wine. Really streamlined. Full bodied, but nowhere near the sheer size or power of the '86. Fine tannins. Very good.
Red
1989 Château Palmer France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
As always, a really good wine. Super pretty nose with tobacco leaf overtones. Very feminine styling. Pure, streamlined profile with no edges. Drinking more young with grapey red fruits than I'm used to. Very nice.
Red
1990 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Delicate, soft, with a significant merlot influence and green tobacco notes. Fine structure. Have never understood the controversy with this wine; I find it consistently very nice.
Red
1995 Château Angélus France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
Soft, ripe, leather and tobacco notes with a spicy dark fruit component and a nice green streak. Some grape bubble gum. Really approachable for a '95. Pretty wine. Round, soft mouthfeel. Very nice.
Red
2004 Château Le Pin France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
Exotic but new world syling. Candy apple and lychee type notes. Forward red cherry notes and spice with vanilla oak undertones. Medium body. Softer palate with nice transparency; clearly Merlot-dominant. Fine tannins. Elegant wine. Needs time, but nice elements.
White
2005 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Bourgogne Blanc France, Burgundy, Bourgogne Blanc
Hazelnut oil and heavy citrus. Heady, with alcoholic warmth. Enjoyable, but offers nothing to keep me from wondering why they just don't rip these up and plant more Musigny.
Red
1961 Château Lynch-Bages France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Lucky to try this twice in one weekend. This bottle is more bloody mary type tomato juice notes. Some tea leaf and tobacco. Showing its age a bit. No tannins, but some balancing acidity leaves this a bit top heavy. Enjoyable.
Red
1995 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Ermitage Cuvée Cathelin France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
Big time nose. Just super aromatics of well spiced meat and dark fruits. Exotic. Well balanced palate. Full, but elegant lines and very light on its feet. No seams. Great wine; better than my very, very good last bottle of this.
Red
1949 Château Cheval Blanc France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
From half-bottle. Surprisingly alive and fruit forward. Red fruits, dark chocolate, and a tobacco-leaf undercurrent. Great balance; no seams. Enough structure remaining to keep things vibrant and alive. Stellar wine that could pass for 30+ years younger.
White - Sweet/Dessert
1989 Château d'Yquem France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
A bit cidery on the nose. Tropical fruits. Gummy, cotton candy like flavors/texture. Creme brulee notes. Big d'Yquem. Round, firm. Very nice.
White - Sweet/Dessert
1994 Avignonesi Vin Santo di Montepulciano Italy, Tuscany, Montepulciano, Vin Santo di Montepulciano
Dark brown sugar and madeira notes. Teeth-rattling sweetness. Caramel. Super thick and viscous. Intense stuff; very nice.
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