Old vs New World (Cabs, Pinots) at Cavaillon

Cavaillon Restaurant, Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Tasted August 2, 2009 by rstark with 490 views

Introduction

5 couples got together to try old world (Bordeaux, then Burgundy) up against new world (Cal Cab, Cal Pinot). No awards were given for WOTN, but everyone wanted their wine to shine. We meant to bring the '03 Marcassin Blue Slide but somehow ended up pulling the '02 instead. Oooops! Big difference.

Flight 1 (1 note)

White - Sparkling
1996 Salon Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut France, Champagne
95 points
Oh man, that nose just tells you everything you need to know. Starts with apples, moves to light biscuit, finishes with creme brulee (well, essence of creme brulee). Long long finish and already perfectly integrated. I had this 3 days ago and still can't stop thinking about it!

Flight 2 (2 notes)

Red
1995 Château Cos d'Estournel France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
93 points
Double decanted 3 hours before tasting. Nice dark color, and the fruits were on the dark berry side. A little pencil lead and earth, but the fruit really shown. Soft, supple but a very full wine with a long finish. Surprise of the tasting ... it was much richer than many of the '95's. I think it is in a great place right now.
Red
1991 Mount Veeder Winery Reserve USA, California, Napa Valley
I have a whole new respect for the CT community. This wine was shot. Could tell the fruit had been nice, even recently, but it's All Over Now Baby Blue. CT community says drink by 2009.

Flight 3 (2 notes)

Red
1996 Domaine du Clos de Tart Clos de Tart France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos de Tart Grand Cru
94 points
Double-decanted 3 hours before tasting. Unlike others' notes, I did not find this tart. More like a light plum with a little dried rose petal. Long long finish. Perfect acidity and the structure was just lovely. Blew away the Marcassin.
Red
2002 Marcassin Pinot Noir Blue-Slide Ridge Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
91 points
Something very off-putting on nose. Thought it was damaged, but the 2nd bottle had exact same quality. On palate, the fruit was nice, and had a little wet-earth blended in. Big-time alcohol in finish. Not a well-integrated wine. Paired it with a creamy goat/sheep cheese and it really came around and the pedigree-fruit shown. W/out that pairing, it would have been an even lower score.

Closing

For me, the '96 Clos de Tart was definitely WOTN, although the '95 Cos was certainly Surprise OTN. Three days later I'm still dreaming about that '96 Salon, though ...

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