Tasting Notes for Trickyone

(63 notes on 56 wines)

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Rosé
I hadn't had a bottle of this in many years; living in Arkansas limits one's access to a wide variety of wines at reasonable prices. Whole Foods began carrying it and I grabbed a few bottles because I recalled it being a really nice, food-friendly wine. It did not disappoint. It's much more like a red than most "grey" wines and paired nicely with a rich crawfish etouffee'. Good to see that one of California's original "Rhone Rangers" is still on his game (and yes, I recall the great picture of a masked, holster-wearing Randall Grahm on the cover of Wine Spectator).
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
This is now my favorite Sauv. Blanc from New Zealand. It displays the distinctive piercing sunshine-y character that put New Zealand on the wine map but it also has the mineral quality of a decent Sancerre. A nice complement to crab cakes and salt-and-pepper shrimp.
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Red
9/27/2019 - Trickyone wrote:
Holding up nicely but maybe running out of steam a little bit. This is still everything you'd want from a Pinot Noir outside Burgundy: Fruit, dirt and individuality. However, after it had been open for a couple of hours some of the fruit was replaced by acidity. As much as I am a fan of screwcaps, I have to wonder how a better wine like this would age under cork. Counterintuitive in that the plastic/metal combination makes a better seal than the piece of tree bark? Maybe. But then again, it's worked pretty well in Burgundy for a couple of hundred years. I know I prefer a soft pillow to a rigid one when I sleep. Maybe good wine does, too.
White
An atypical California Chard in the best way. Restrained oak and moderate body. Needed to warm up from the refrigerator, which is always a mark of a better white. As the bottle drained and the wine warmed even more, it began to get a little cloying with the oak. That said, it's definitely worth seeking out. A real pleasure with a pistachio-accented salmon.
White - Sparkling
7/7/2019 - Trickyone wrote:
Flawless bubbly. Persistent fine mousse and perfectly balanced.
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Red
7/7/2019 - Trickyone wrote:
Decanted around 9 a.m. for an after lunch tasting. This bottle was pretty much identical to the one I opened 7 years ago (!). Still somewhat immature; a monumental wine on the nose and palate.
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Red
6/15/2019 - Trickyone wrote:
Drank this very generous gift over several hours after a splash decant. It certainly wasn't bad, but the best way I can describe it was that it was exhausting. High alcohol (but then maybe 14.8% doesn't count as that anymore) wines can impress at first taste, but even taking time to nurse them over a steak dinner and its aftermath can be too much of a lush thing. The oak was relatively restrained and the color was still purplish. Could be years ahead of it or it could be another example of a wine that starts fast and doesn't have staying power. I will let others find the answer to that one.
White
Hugh Johnson has said that crab and Riesling are part of The Creator's plan. This bottle, along with the very lightly accented crab cakes I made to pair with it, proves him correct. Wonderful dry Riesling. Citrus elements dominate and should mellow with a couple of more years in bottle.
White
This was a little more off-dry than I expected but still had a lot of grit to it. A food, as opposed to a sipping wine. Without something solid to offset the sweetness, it would be easy to see this becoming a little cloying. Paired very nicely with panko crusted salmon and herbed couscous with garlic and pine nuts.
White - Sparkling
Many people think that drinking old Champagne is tantamount to wine necrophilia. Anyone believing that should have been with the group tasting this magnum that I'd bought on release. A group of food and wine professionals asked me to come to their Sunday group and this is one of the bottles I selected. I was asked to pull the cork myself--in a room full of observant somms--and when I first opened the bottle, there was no pressure forcing out the cork--must be dead, right? It was not. As soon as I smelled through the neck and poured the first glass, a steady trickle of carbonation emerged. It took a couple of hours to go through the magnum, but it was alive, well and delicious. The carbonation held to the last sip hours later. The certain sweetness you get from old wines was there. I've read Hugh Johnson describe the "creamy mushroom" smell of old Champagnes, and for the first time I got what he meant. It is literally the first sparkling wine I've ever had that evolved positively in the glass. A unique experience to be sure.
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Red
9/10/2018 - Trickyone wrote:
Cork showed no leakage but crumbled on removal. Decanted about 2 hours before consumption. Extraordinary depth of color and flavors of earth/fruit. I can only imagine how great the Grands Crus from this vintage must have been, because this Premier Cru was pretty wonderful. A good bit of life ahead for properly stored bottles.
Red
8/29/2018 - Trickyone wrote:
A couple of nights ago I had a 1990 Mommessin bottling from Savigny-les-Beaune. It was good enough, but what a pleasure this Aloxe-Corton was. The second it went into the decanter aromas of spice, earth and fruit presented themselves without delay. Over the course of several hours the wine only got stronger in its intensity, but never crossed a line into off-putting aggressiveness. A truly lovely wine not only for its age, but for its obvious pleasure.
Red
8/25/2018 - Trickyone wrote:
When the capsule came off there was no leakage in the cork. The cork was very soft and came apart using a traditional corkscrew. Using it in combination with a two-pronged fork got it out without any fragments going into the bottle.
The color looked right for a village Burgundy with this amount of age but the nose showed a good bit of VA. By giving it an aggressive decant, lots of extra swirls of the glass and simply giving the wine time in the vessels the wine finally came around. Very dry, a little fruit and lots of the earth one expects from Burgundy, especially a mature one. I have 4 more of these bottles and will give them at least a couple of hours before going in for a taste. Hopefully that patience will be rewarded, too.
White - Sparkling
8/5/2018 - Trickyone wrote:
My favorite from Gruet has always been the Brut. Their more specific bottlings have always seemed a little too contrived (at the risk of sounding too wine-geeky). I picked up these Blanc de Noirs in Dallas for the simple reasons that: They were $15/bottle, I needed bubbly and they were out of the Brut at my preferred store.
As it turns out, I'm glad I tried this again. The mousse was unbelievably persistent and the wine had good acidity, which to me is the mark of a good bubbly. The Pinot flavor was a little muted but for the price, who can say no?
Red
6/21/2018 - Trickyone wrote:
Surprisingly lively for a good-but-not-great year. Definitely drying out a little, but there was enough fruit left to make this a good companion for Summer Solstice 2018.
Red
1989 Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/17/2018 - Trickyone wrote:
Bordeaux was on quite a roll in the 80's, wasn't it? While vintages varied considerably, there wasn't anything undrinkable (as there certainly was in the preceding two decades). For a closer, '88, '89 & '90 provided rare triplets of really fine vintages.
This exceptional bottle showed how fine the better wines from that period could be. There was surprisingly little sediment in the bottle when it was decanted, which should indicate that more pleasure is yet to come as its sisters age further. On release, I'd bought half a case and this bottle showed just as well as the first bottle consumed about 2 years ago.
Even with that additional cellaring, there were almost no signs of age; only the slightest hint of ruddiness showed at the glass's rim. Such extract of color is remarkable considering the 12.5% alcohol. It took at least an hour for any hint of fruit to come through, and when it did, the wine showed excellent balance between restrained acidity and brambly fruits. Over the four hours I nursed this beauty, it just got better and better. Having a bottle like this reminds me why we seek out, buy and cellar ageworthy wines: Few pleasures can match savoring a wine like this at its peak.
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Red
2/4/2018 - Trickyone wrote:
Paired this wine with an oven-roasted salmon with a glaze of honey, dill and Dijon mustard. The color was surprisingly light especially considering the 14% alcohol. Having gotten fruit that ripe (assuming no Chaptalization, which might have happened) I expected more extract from the skins. The nose was a little off when the bottle was opened; it touched on cardboard but how can a screwcap wine be corked? Smashing it around in the glass on and off for about 15 minutes got rid of that unpleasantness and the wine finally found its footing. At least the wine showed the expected earthy character though the fruit wasn't as forward as one would have thought for a 2015 vintage. It's possible the wine is in a sort of "dumb" phase that will pass with more bottle age.

The wine was tasted before, with and after the food and the longer the bottle stayed open the better the wine showed. This note might read a little more negatively that it's meant to be because I certainly didn't dislike the wine. However, until it gets a little more time in the cellar, make sure you give it a lot of air--or even decant it--before serving it. Yes, decanting a wine at this price point might seem a little odd, but it might be worth the trouble at this stage.
White
1/28/2018 - Trickyone wrote:
A beautiful wine from Australia to commemorate two beautiful athletes' victories in the Australian Open Tennis Championships. Congratulations to Caroline Wozniaki and the incomparable Roger Federer.
Rosé - Sparkling
12/1/2017 - Trickyone wrote:
Tried this on a whim, and I'm very glad that I paired it with food (panko crusted salmon). With the salmon, not only did the color match pretty well but the heavier fish with the breaded crust matched with the relative weight of the wine. Once the fish was gone and the wine was on its own, it seemed a little clumsy, top-heavy or just a little off. Champagne, whether Brut, Rose', Demi-Sec or whatever is all about balance and finesse to me. This one seemed to lack enough acidity to balance the fruit flavors. It was far from the worst bubbly I've ever had, but it's also an experiment that will not be repeated.
Red
This was a first for me, and a real surprise. Some guests and I had a bottle of this wine, which I've enjoyed very much, and it was a touch on the acidic side. The fruit elements were definitely muted as were the earthy characteristics I've come to know from this wine. It wasn't bad or undrinkable, but it certainly wasn't good either. I didn't say anything to my guests, but when I opened the second bottle it was the wonderful dirt-meets-fruit aroma and taste I'd expected all along. It is literally the first time I've experienced bottle variation from a screwcap-stoppered wine.
White - Off-dry
Appropriately sweet with a little botrytis character. A very nice closer to dinner. Paired with a citrus/Marcona almond cake.
Red
When first opened, I wasn't thrilled with the nose. Almost a little acetate coming out of the bottle, but giving it a little air solved that. Once in the glass, the wine showed very earthy characteristics similar to a decent Premier Cru Burgundy or one of the really great bottles coming out of Oregon in the pioneer days there. Good fruit along with the "dirt" and relatively moderate alcohol. What's not to love?
Red
2013 Château Clerc Milon Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
While 2013 wasn't a great or classic year in Bordeaux, this wine shows how variations in vintages can work to one's advantage.
Many lovers of Bordeaux used to actually appreciate lesser vintages for several reasons, among them lower prices and accelerated drinking windows. How frustrating it can be to buy a wine you know is going to be great, but also knowing that you have to lay it down for 10 or more years before sampling the wine at or near its peak. A wine like the 2013 Clerc-Milon gives us all something to appreciate while waiting for our 2005's or 2010's to open up.
This wine still has classic elements of a left bank Bordeaux, but maybe isn't as harmonious and doesn't provide the never-ending finish of a great wine. That said, it is still very enjoyable and should remind us all of the even greater pleasures that await us thanks to the classic years that are still sleeping away in our cellars.
White
10/2/2016 - Trickyone wrote:
While this was a very fine bottle of Chardonnay, I'm not sure it was a great example of Les Clos.
Maybe I'm too much a traditionalist, but what I really crave from Chablis is breathtaking minerality and pure expression of the character of the fruit. What I got here was similar to a Premier Cru Burgundy from down the road because of an apparent use of wood in the aging process. Don't get me wrong--it's not a bad wine at all, but it is atypical of a Grand Cru Chablis. Drink a more traditional example with your oysters!
Red
1989 Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
To celebrate a friend's birthday, we opened this bottle from the year of his birth. Even though it was decanted, it needed several more hours than we gave it. The wine was still very dark and could have passed for a much younger one. Good brambly fruit combined with some of the leathery notes good Pauillac can exhibit, but I fear we drank this one too soon--even at age 27. Combined with moderate alcohol of 12.5%, this reminds me of how wines used to be made. A lovely drink, but will continue to improve and hold its quality for years.
6 people found this helpful Comment
White
This is the best wine I've ever had from under a screwcap. Not meaning that as Chauvinistic--simply an observation.
Red
1985 Château Clerc Milon Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
Did a pop-and-pour of this bottle and it deserved more respect than I gave it.
Being the age it was, there was obviously going to be sediment in the bottle. From its rack, the bottle went into a decanting cradle and the plan was to open it and just pour directly into glasses from there.
The cork completely disintegrated on opening and some of the fragments went into the wine.
For vintages of this era, importers were allowed to give a range of alcohol on the labels. This one showed "11 - 14%" and my guess is that it was around 12.5 or so--very moderate.
The flavors of the wine were melded together very well--notes of leather, graphite, currants, etc. so typical of Pauillac. Over the course of the several hours it took me to consume the bottle, it got better and better with no sign of decay. A steak went down with the first glass or two, and that was followed with some Petit Basque sheeps' milk cheese; the tangy cheese worked exceptionally well.
For the remaining bottles, I plan to carefully open, decant and enjoy them with friends that appreciate mature vintages from very capable chateaux.
Red
3/27/2016 - Trickyone wrote:
Did a variation of "pop and pour" for this one. The wine itself was still alive but drying out a little, which you'd expect from a "village" Burgundy this old. Not much fruit was in the nose, but an earthy, mushroomy quality so typical of Pinot Noir was in abundance. A nice drink, but a little past its prime.
That said, the real reason for pulling this one was to test a theory I had about opening older bottles with corks that are likely to be fragile. I'd found a device online--the Durand--that combined an "Ah-So" and a traditional worm corkscrew. My guess was that if I used a good Laguiole (which has a pretty low profile at the anchor point) and slipped the forks of an "Ah-So" around it, the function would be about the same.
It worked perfectly. By turning and pulling both devices simultaneously, the cork came out in one piece and dropped nothing into the bottle. Two cautionary notes: 1. You might want to pad the top of the corkscrew with something to keep it from scratching; and 2. If the worm doesn't go all the way to the anchor point of your corkscrew, it might damage the cork. Bearing those two things in mind, I plan to use this method for older bottles from now on.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2001 Château Rieussec Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
1/3/2016 - Trickyone wrote:
Big Gambles (Home): After having gambled with the first two wines of the day, I decided to open something that I knew (as much as one can) would be in excellent shape.
This bottle had settled into the deep yellow phase of its development and I let it warm up from the refrigerator before serving it.
One of my companions was trying to describe the first scent out of the glass, and when I got my first whiff, I said "If you want to know what Botrytis smells like, that's it." The pleasant combination of spiciness and mustiness was leaping out of the glass.
Once it had warmed up in the glass, the wine became lemony honey that worked so well with a Maytag Blue and a Stilton I had picked to counter the wine's almost overwhelming sweetness.
My original note had only one word: Infanticide. This wine had many years, even decades ahead of it. Amazing pleasure now, but it was years away from the brownish caramely maturity that fine Sauternes can achieve.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1975 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/3/2016 - Trickyone wrote:
Big Gambles (Home): This oddball bottle had been following me around for years. 1975 in Bordeaux was a challenging year in that it produced very hard wines--impenetrably tannic in their youth.
The bottle had been properly stored for the many years it was held, but still showed ullage to just under high shoulder level. Since the color appeared sound through the neck and punt, I'd just held it for "someday".
When "someday" arrived, I pulled the saturated cork about 2 hours before consumption and decanted it off the heavy sediment. The wine was a ruddy red going into the decanter and the aroma veered between slight VA and nothing at all--a pretty typical birth (or death) ritual for an older wine.
It settled down to notes of stewed fruits and, finally, the leathery notes I love so much in mature Bordeaux.
The bottom line is that the wine was either past its prime by a few years, or more likely, that it never had a prime at all considering what must have been overwhelming tannins throughout its life. Whichever the case, it was still good to find life in a 40+ year old wine.
White
1/3/2016 - Trickyone wrote:
Big Gambles (Home): Many moons ago, I had bartered to get this bottle from a retailer.
An occasion to open it had never come up, and it was likely the bottle had gone completely over. It was definitely over the hill, but not so far as to be in the tearfully-pour-it-down-the-sink category.
The nose showed a little VA, which blew off leaving a sherry-like aroma. Color was old gold. There was no harshness on the palate, but also not a lot to taste. Where the wine showed its breed was on the back end. The remnants of the wine's minerality were obvious. This was a beautiful lady about 5 years past her prime.
White
Having read about this wine, I was anticipating a lot of pleasure from it. It delivered for sure. What struck me most was the Burgundian spiciness on the palate and the lingering, pleasant finish. The wine matched very well with a sauteed red snapper finished with a lime-ginger compound butter--plenty of acidity to cut through that richness. And in my ultimate look-back test of a wine's quality, the empty glass the next morning was beautifully fragrant. That's pretty rare for a dry white wine but indicative of the balance achieved by the winemaker.
Red
1998 Château Palmer Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/20/2015 - Trickyone wrote:
Bought this bottle on Thursday, and decided to liberate it on Saturday. A bit of sediment in the bottle suggested decanting, so I did so about an hour before giving it a try. The cork was sound but remarkably difficult to remove and had an unbelievably dark bit of residue on its business end. Bouquet was not forthcoming, so I agitated the wine a little in the decanter by swirling it as if it were a glass. This helped a little, and some strong Cabernet started to come through, but without any of the notes I recalled as being typical of Margaux's AOC (earth, cedar, etc.). Sure enough, upon tasting the wine seemed to have lost a good bit of its fruit and was a little astringent. The best word I could come up with to describe it was "ungracious". My guess is that, even though the alcohol was just above 13%, Palmer attempted to make an over-extracted fruit-forward monster. Wines like that can be great to taste when young, but with some bottle age they can lose their appeal. Give me a wine with less manipulation in the processing every time. The wine certainly wasn't bad, but I wish I'd had it as a younger pup.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
3/1/2014 - Trickyone wrote:
The Same But Different (Home): I "grew up" with wine when "chablis" was white swill by the glass at singles bars--yes I was single in the 70's. Later on, when I discovered Chablis (capitalized, no quotation marks), it was a revelation. This Montmains was paired with the 2010 Bessin Fourchaume. It was the lesser of the two wines, but not by much. It lacked some of the fullness in the middle that its competitor had. That said, it was a worthy reminder of how good Chardonnay-based wines can be if the fruit is allowed to express its location.
White
3/1/2014 - Trickyone wrote:
The Same But Different (Home): Paired with another 2010 Bessin 1er Cru, the Montmains. Classic Chablis backbone with slight floral notes. A little more earthy than the Montmains and in my opinion the better of the two by a hair.
White - Sweet/Dessert
3/1/2014 - Trickyone wrote:
The Same But Different (Home): Outstanding bottle. The nose was like botrytized honey. How ripe must these grapes have been? The residual sugar was very high and therefore the wine very sweet, but the alcohol was still listed as 12.5%. Very deep amber color gave the impression that it would be syrupy, but it wasn't.
White - Off-dry
3/1/2014 - Trickyone wrote:
The Same But Different (Home): Consumed between the dry version from the same vineyard/year and the SGN. It was a nice wine, but definitely suffered from the comparison with the spectacular SGN. Moderate sweetness and good acidity. Nice nose of aged, botrytized Riesling.
1 person found this helpful Comments (2)
White
3/1/2014 - Trickyone wrote:
The Same But Different (Home): This bottle was, unfortunately, a little over the hill. Most of the fruit was gone but it hadn't oxidized to the point that it was undrinkable. With luck, the other two bottles will be better.
White - Off-dry
Wine, ideally, is a celebratory beverage. It can enhance the best of occasions but for the worst of times it can also commemorate and honor something or someone. Dr. Fischer has now helped me do both. My wife and I shared bottles of this wine on our first date, at our wedding reception, and on anniversaries 1, 10 and 12. As it turned out, the 12th anniversary was our last. This bottle was drunk to remember and honor her on this, the day of her memorial service. A close friend, my wife's daughter and I raised a glass of "our" wine to her kind heart and loving spirit. We love and miss her. May she rest in peace.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/28/2013 - Trickyone wrote:
A friend's birthday was celebrated with my last bottle of this wine. Popped and poured on an unusually temperate (weather, anyway) Arkansas summer afternoon. In fact, it took three tries with three different implements to remove the disintegrating cork. I recalled the previous bottles from this purchase being a little fruitier and more peppery--this was drying out just a little and the oak was taking more control of the nose and palate. That said, the moderate (13%) alcohol and mature flavors made this a worthy companion to our celebration.
White
This turned out to be a very nice bottle. Opened over dinner with several friends, ranging from wine neophytes to one very experienced and wildly adventurous taster. Everyone agreed that it was nicely flavored, balanced (despite Sea Smoke's persistently high alcohol levels) and provided a fine complement to our meals. Much of the oak had moved to the background, and while there weren't the mineral notes I so admire in Burgundies, the flavors were mellow enough so as not to make the wine taste like so many California "fruit bombs".
White - Off-dry
Long ago, my very first bottle of exceptional wine was a bottle of Dr. Fischer's '71 or '76 Auslese from this vineyard. I've tried to keep some bottles on-hand not just for sentiment, but because the wines from good years have been worth the effort. The '03 is no exception: This bottle had all the right notes on the nose except botrytis--must not have had a lot that year even though the grapes were obviously very ripe. Good acidic backbone and high level of sweetness. Consumed with my wife (and mother-in-law) to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary. We'd had a bottle of the '90 Dr. Fischer on our first date years ago and drank my last bottle of that on our 10th anniversary. The '90 had much more botrytis taste and was a better wine, but I can't find any more of that for obvious reasons!
Red
1996 Château Duhart-Milon Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/29/2013 - Trickyone wrote:
Last week I finished reading Terry Theise's "Reading Between the Wines". A couple of things he wrote struck chords with me as I drank this lovely wine. First was his feeling that instead of demystifying wine, we should RE-mystify it. He also talks about having a sense of place in the taste of wine. This wine, while certainly not the greatest I've had, does both things. With moderate alcohol and leathery notes, it's a classic left-bank Bordeaux. Place established. As for the mysticism, all you have to do is think of all the polished fruit-forward monsters we've all had and compare them to this drink, which is clearly crafted for accompanying food, as well as for relaxation and pleasure. The finish gets more pleasant until it finally vanishes, and by then you're ready for another bite of food or another sip of wine. It doesn't require rigorous analysis--just enjoy a very good example of how very good cabernet-based wines can be.
Red
11/9/2012 - Trickyone wrote:
Another too-high alcohol content bottle (14.5%), but that's what we get here. It must be a real quandry as a winegrower when faced with the decision when to pick. In California, you can get fruit so ripe that it sends alcohol levels to sky-high levels on even table wines. That allows showy wines that many people love, but some, like me, would prefer it if the didn't let the fruit hang quite so long. If they did that, wines would be down in the 12.5 - 13% range that allow wines to complement rather than overwhelm whatever is being served with them. It would be nice to know if the Sea Smoke people have ever tried an experiment with fruit picked at a lower Brix. They might be better food wines, as they would have a slightly higher--and therefore more refreshing--acidic quality. Of course, that's all a matter of taste.
When I first opened this one (a friend had helped me with some work and I popped and poured this one since he'd never had a Sea Smoke wine), it could have been mistaken for a Cabernet-based wine. It was so dark and the nose so aggressive that there wasn't any of the characteristic earthiness of Pinot Noir. My friend's first question was "Is that French oak?", adding that all he got out of the nose at first was the oak. After it had been open about an hour, it started to come around, so perhaps it was my mistake in drinking this on an impulse. Of course by then, we were more than a little snockered by what we'd already had from the bottle. Next time, I'll try to anticipate my desires on the Sea Smokes I've still got but am not replacing.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1988 Joseph Drouhin Charmes-Chambertin Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Pinot Noir (view label images)
7/29/2012 - Trickyone wrote:
Le (limite') Tour de France (Home): I was worried about this bottle even though the color looked fine for a Pinot Noir wine of its age. My main concern was based on the fact that as soon as I pulled the bottle from the rack several days ago, there was some seepage through the capsule. The fill level was excellent, so I left the bottle on its side, planning to use a decanting cradle when the time came to open it. Fearing the worst, I didn't decant it until about 12:15 for a 1 p.m. tasting. This was going to be the second wine of the afternoon, and I figured that would give it about 1 1/2 - 2 hours in the decanter. The cork was very fragile, saturated and threatened to go into the wine with the fork opener I first used. Next was a conventional leveraged corkscrew and the cork disintegrated. Fortunately, the bottom portion remained intact and I was able to hook that last 1/2"; very few cork fragments went into the bottle. As soon as the cork was pulled, the effort was rewarded by the seductive scent of a mature Burgundy. Fruit, earth and very moderate alcohol. The color was quite ruddy going into the decanter, but there were no signs of the wine cracking up (bubbles on the rim, etc.). This must have been a massively concentrated wine in its youth, because there was more sediment in this bottle than any other red I've ever opened outside of a vintage Port. At the first taste, I made the comment that this was like a really good Oregon Pinot on steroids; not that it was so powerful, but the concentration of the fruit and earthiness was so balanced, so clear that it showed what ageworthy wines can build on and achieve if left to develop. It improved in the glass over another hour or two. At age 24, it probably wasn't going to continue to improve, but I do believe that it would have held its peak for some time to come.
White - Sweet/Dessert
1986 Château Rieussec Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
7/29/2012 - Trickyone wrote:
Le (limite') Tour de France (Home): This was a great "closer" to our tasting. From the refrigerator, I let it warm up a few minutes before opening. The color surprised some of the guests, but I assured them the wine was probably going to be just fine; after all, reds lose color in the bottle and whites gain it. Being 26 years old, this one had turned a deep, rich brown. Botrytis was evident in the scent as soon as the cork was pulled and the wine did not disappoint. To me, one of the true miracles of wine is how the great botrytized wines can be so sweet without being cloying on the palate. Technically, I know it's the result of the acid in the grapes/wine, but to taste it in a wine like this still fills one with wonder. Some salty, grainy Maytag blue completed the experience. Life, for a while, was very good.
Red
7/29/2012 - Trickyone wrote:
Le (limite') Tour de France (Home): Decanted at 11:35 as the 3rd wine of a 1 p.m. tasting. By the time we got to it, the decanter had held it for about 3 hours. Bouquet was good on opening and improved over the course of the afternoon. One amusing thing about this bottle was the label, which showed the alcohol as between 11 and 14%! My guess is that it was closer to the latter figure, as one of the tasters commented on a slight sweetness; I suggested it was probably the alcohol level. Garrigue was present in spades, as was spiciness. This bottle was imported by Kermit Lynch, and I recounted a story recalled from his classic "Adventures on the Wine Route". He insisted at the time (and I'm sure still does) that his wines not go through filtration. I suggested to the group that one reason we were able to enjoy such a smooth and expansive flavor profile in a 27-year-old non-reserve bottling was that Mr. Lynch kept his clients from knocking the stuffing out of their wines. Good for him, and we thank him and the Brunier family. This was a bottle at or just over its peak, but not so far in decline that it suffered. It was one of the tasters' favorite wine of the day.
Red
7/29/2012 - Trickyone wrote:
Le (limite') Tour de France (Home): After having read some of the previous notes on CellarTracker, I decided to give this wine a good deal of time in its decanter. The tasting was at 1 p.m. and it was going to be the 4th wine poured. Opening it at 11 a.m. would give it at least 4 hours to stretch its legs. The cork extracted perfectly and my first impression as I emptied the bottle was that the color could be mistaken for a very youthful wine. It appeared to be at the stage just after the last hints of purple have subsided. Similar youth was present in the aroma. Even though the blend that year was recorded as 45% Cabernet to 35% Merlot, the mintiness of the Cab was leaping out of the vessel. By the time we got around to this wine, the only real change that had taken place was that a little of the alcohol had blown off. This still could have passed for a 4- or 5 year-old wine. The first taste was marked by tannins that were in the process of stepping from center stage. This must have been a massively tannic wine in its youth, as after 26 years there was still plenty to go around. Fortunately the fruit elements were present in such a degree as to assure me that the other 5 bottles I'm storing of this one will be truly magnificent in another 8 or 10 years. The fruit/tannin balance was just getting to the point it needed to be to make this an extraordinary experience. The finish just kept lingering--a really fine example of a long-lived claret.
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White - Sparkling
7/29/2012 - Trickyone wrote:
Le (limite') Tour de France (Home): What better way to start an afternoon than with a bottle of bubbly? One of the guests at the tasting had just won 3 gold medals at a local amateur wine competition the day before. I had selected the wines before that event, but the coincidence provided us all a reason to toast a friend's success. I purposely picked a Pinot-dominant Champagne since the second bottle of the day was to be a red Burgundy and "The Widow" got things off to a great start. Assertive without being overpowering; satisfying but whetting the appetite for what's to come. My favorite NV Brut.
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Red
1987 Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/8/2012 - Trickyone wrote:
Opened more or less on a whim--not decanted. In order to avoid sediment, I carefully placed the bottle in a decanting cradle and poured glasses directly from that.
I recalled this being one of the better wines made in Bordeaux that year and it held up pretty well. The first impression was of prickly tannins and slightly stewed fruit. A little more time and a few more swirls of the glass eliminated any unpleasantness within about 5 minutes. The moderate alcohol (under 13%) allowed a few hints of chocolate to come through. A mellow drink to be sure.
It peaked after around 15 minutes in the glass. The color showed a little browning toward the rim (expected after 25 years from a decent-but-not-good year). Some of the leathery characteristics found in pleasant abundance in a recently consumed bottle of the '85 Lynch-Bages were there, but this '87 was definitely beginning to dry out. The finish was good but short relative to mature wines of better vintages. I'm glad I opened this one, because it certainly wasn't going to improve with more bottle age.
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