Comments on my notes

(5 comments on 3 notes)

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Red - Fortified
1985 Graham Porto Vintage Port Blend
9/24/2020 - SpenceP wrote:
96 points
Just lovely. The cork, however, was frightening to look at, and it took almost half an hour to remove it safe and intact, using a prong opener (plus patience and experience). Once past the cork, though, the wine was beautiful: flowers, ripe black plums, dried figs, rich milk chocolate, and a moment of orange peel just as it moves into a wonderfully long aftertaste. The cork worries me, but if it can survive the corks, this should continue to be a very special wine for decades.
  • SpenceP commented:

    9/26/20, 10:01 PM - Thank you, RichEB1! I just checked out the Durand on the internet and saw the $125 price tag--too expensive for me to casually get one, but I'll give this some thought.

  • SpenceP commented:

    12/21/20, 9:50 PM - So, I just got a Durand opener as a gift from my brother, and used it for the first time tonight, on a low-value practice bottle--which I think was wise. The problem I had was that I found it difficult to get the screw of the "stabilizer" precisely positioned in the cork--I kept having one prong strike the glass rim of the bottle, and the other trying to dig into the cork instead of sliding between the cork and the inner edge of the bottle. Am I unique in having this problem on first try? If not--is the solution simply to do a lot of practice on low-value bottles until I get the hang of it, or have you developed tricks for dealing with this? Any advice will be gratefully received!

  • SpenceP commented:

    12/22/20, 11:05 AM - Thank you! (Turns out I was making an actual mistake--on my next try I won't make that mistake and it should go much better!)

2018 Bodegas Castaño Monastrell Yecla
12/14/2019 - SpenceP wrote:
88 points
Not remotely a great wine, but, if you're buying wine on a tight budget, this is one you need to know about. It's one of the very few red wines in the $13 and under range that can reliably, vintage after vintage, pass for a wine at twice that price. (I've been following it for several decades.) Fresh Monastrell smells and flavors of cherries, iodine, oranges, wild herbs, even wild animals--yes, you have to like the very distinctive personality of Monastrell (Mourvedre) or this is not for you, but if you enjoy a Monastrell that is unmistakeably Monastrell, you can't do better at the price. Drink this wine young and buy only from a source you trust to have stored it perfectly--there's nothing to be gained by aging it and it will deteriorate quickly with poor storage. My guess is that, stored well, it will keep for a year or even longer.
  • SpenceP commented:

    11/13/20, 1:30 PM - Thank you, Rye!

1986 Château Meyney St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
11/30/2019 - SpenceP wrote:
94 points
Absolutely lovely. Smoke, tobacco, flowers, spicy blueberries, herbs, with a wonderful long aftertaste. Just beautiful. If this bottle is typical, this wine should stay at its peak for at least five more years, possibly much longer. (The cork was *very* fragile!)
  • SpenceP commented:

    12/12/19, 9:43 PM - Like you, I can't comment on recent vintages--but anyone who has the 1986 in good condition in their cellars is very fortunate.

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