Tasting Notes for SMWSLT

(14 notes on 11 wines)

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Red
2/21/2022 - SMWSLT Likes this wine:
93 points
Still a delight, smoothly cruising a long plateau of drinkability, the 1987 Mondavi Reserve remains an alluring, full bodied, complex red. The palate exhibits a brooding quality with significant depth to the sweet black fruits, earth, tobacco and leather. The finish is long and smooth with a few spicy nuances. Although the 1991 Reserve presents a bit more clarity and complexity, the 1987 is a star in its own right.
Red
2/21/2022 - SMWSLT Likes this wine:
89 points
What a nice surprise at age 45! Yes, some of the wine’s prior vibrancy and tension has departed, and the bouquet is muted, but the palate remains vital, smooth and liqueur-like, with sweet black fruits, cedar, spice, and leather. It will likely make it to 50, but it seems unlikely to benefit from 5 more years in the cellar.
Red
2/21/2022 - SMWSLT Likes this wine:
92 points
February 21, 2022 - In a tasting of mid-level 1991 Cab-based California wines this red was delightful, placing third. With a sweet bouquet of black fruits, cedar and vanilla, followed by a full bodied palate of cherry fruits, smoky oak, and earthy hints, this wine reveals the continued uniqueness of northern California’s 1991 vintage.
Red
2/21/2022 - SMWSLT Likes this wine:
94 points
February 21, 2022 - In a tasting of mid-level 1991 Cab-based California wines this red was delightful, taking first place. With a sweet bouquet of black fruits, spice, cedar and vanilla, followed by a full bodied palate of cherry fruits, smoky oak, a coffee note, and earthy hints, this wine reveals the continued uniqueness of northern California’s 1991 vintage.
Red
2/21/2022 - SMWSLT Likes this wine:
93 points
In a tasting of mid-level 1991 Cab-based California wines this red was delightful, placing second. With a big, sweet bouquet of black fruits, vanilla, and spice, followed by a smooth, seamless, full bodied palate of pit fruits (black cherry & plum), cedar, smoky oak, and earthy hints, this wine reveals the continued uniqueness of Napa’s 1991 vintage.
Red
2/20/2022 - SMWSLT wrote:
94 points
In a tasting of 1991 Napa and Sonoma cabs, with one “ringer” thrown in, this wine was delightful: A big bouquet of cherries, tobacco, and earth followed by a full palate of sweet fruits, leather, tobacco, smoky oak notes, & perfect balance. Interestingly, this wine could not be distinguished from the ringer: An equally delightful 1989 Chateau Beychevelle.
Red
11/24/2021 - SMWSLT wrote:
92 points
A prominent bouquet of black cherry, licorice, and tar transition to a full bodied palate of sweet black fruits, tar, minerals, and a warm, silky, tart acidity. This delightful 35 year old wine is a testament the negroamaro grape and the Salice Salentino region.
Red
11/16/2020 - SMWSLT Likes this wine:
95 points
A medium bodied masterpiece, this was a singular and memorable wine tonight. Blackberries, minerals, smoke, and spice, each cascading across the palate then merging into a long, silky, caressing finish. This wine has been at a plateau for nearly a decade. Surely it will lose its fruit at some point; but for now I revel in an "Old World" wine that could only have come from Cornas.
Red
11/8/2020 - SMWSLT Likes this wine:
91 points
Here we are tonight, drinking a 30 year old wine that has no right to be delicious yet continues to be, defying the odds of age. That being said, this bottle has lost a couple points in the last two years, due to a tad less fruit and a bit more obvious acidity. One new development worth noting today is a pleasing minty, eucalyptus aspect cascading across the palate. This wine remains an Alexander Valley (Sonoma County) legend, joining the 1974 Souverain.
Red
7/13/2019 - SMWSLT Likes this wine:
94 points
Tasted at a “Bordeaux versus Napa” dinner event, the Montelena was first rate and quite a surprise, holding it’s own against a variety of 1982, 1986, & 1989 Bordeaux. The Montelena was full bodied, powerful, complex, and still filled with plentiful black fruits. It was almost a hybrid of an aged Bordeaux from a ripe year and a rich, velvety Napa Cab. Many guessed it to be a 1982 Bordeaux.
Red
1/6/2019 - SMWSLT Likes this wine:
93 points
The harmony in this wine, at age 21, grabs you like a tight jazz quartet at bar time: Seamless, resonant, and impressively distinct. I recently had the 1990 Vieux Telegraphe, and this wine strikes similar chords (albeit with less complexity): sweet black fruits, garrigue, scorched earth, and a long lingering finish of spice, stony minerality, and balanced southern Rhône fruit. I suspect it will not decay in the near term, but even if well cellared it should be drunk in the next 3-5 years.
Red
11/18/2018 - SMWSLT Likes this wine:
92 points
It is hard to imagine a 40 year old Oregon Pinot noir could have survived the ravages of time, much less thrived; but here we are, tasting a surprisingly pleasing and complete Pinot. Mixed in a flight of a dozen old Pinots from Oregon, Burgundy, California and New Zealand, the Amity distinguished itself with balance, complexity, cascading black fruits and a certain indescribable elegance.

Its all there: concentration, complexity, balance, and aged harmony. Was it better ten years ago.....or 20? I do not know. Will it be better in ten years.....or 20? I doubt it. But suffice it to say, tonight it was a joy.
Red
9/26/2018 - SMWSLT Likes this wine:
93 points
I continue to marvel at the quality and longevity of this wine. Two cases purchased new in 1992 (at a Trader Joe’s in San Diego for $7.99 a bottle) have been one fine investment. Tonight this wine is 80% Left Bank Bordeaux, full of delightful leather, tobacco, and oak notes, with plentiful sweet, forward fruit to betray its New World provenance. I can’t imagine it getting any better, but just the same, I can’t picture it’s decay any time soon. It seems immortal.
Red
I had this wine last night alongside Mondavi’s 1987 regular bottling. The latter was akin to a delightful left bank Bordeaux. The 1987 reserve was a lush, complex, velvety wonder, including the best of Bordeaux and Napa.

For my palate the 1991 reserve cab remains the benchmark for Mondavi——truly a 97 point wine; but this 1987 is very close in quality, perhaps 95 points.
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  • Tasting Notes: 14 notes on 11 wines
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