Tasting Notes contains just that notes on wines I have tasted!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Eight Great Wines: Vintage Wines Ltd, Monthly Thursday Tasting

Eight Great Wines
July 21st 6:30PM

Sixth Third Thursday Tasting for 2005 at Vintage Wines of San Diego. This one written up as: This will be a tasting of eight wines all highly rated and even better they are all outstanding Wines.

The wines were served single blind, and as is my usual practice I did not look at the list. The wines are listed in the order they were tasted. Identities were revealed at the end of the tasting. The Chateauneuf du Pape had been poured 90 minutes before, all the other wines were poured two hours before with the 1989 Chateau Pichon Baron being decanted.

2002 Ramey, Hyde Chardonnay, Carneros $44.99USD
Light straw in color with aromas of creamy oak, tropical fruits, melon and citrus. Very well balanced with excellent carry of flavors onto the palate and pleasant crisp acidity to the lengthy finish. Excellent Chardonnay. 2, 2, 4.3, 10.2 = 8.5/20, 93/100.

2000 Emanuel Rouget, AC, Vosne Romanee $59.99USD
Light cherry in color with light pink edge. Appealing notes of spice, stewed quince and dusty oak. Medium weight with elegantly soft and supple entry, beautiful soft tannins and bright acidity. 2, 2, 4.1, 10.1 = 18.2/20, 91/100. 13.5% alcohol.

2002 Dommaine des La Mordoree, La Reine des Bois, Chateauneuf du Pape $84.99USD
Dense cherry red with red edge. Very open and opulent with pronounced blackberry liqueur aroma. Full bodied with mouth drying astringency on entry and powdery tannins to the finish that drown the presence of other flavors on the palate. Needs time to soften. 2, 2, 4.2, 9.7 = 17.9/100, 89/100. 14.5% alcohol.

1989 Chateau Pichon Baron, Pauillac $149.99USD
Very dense cherry red with bricking to the edge. Very aromatic with notes of caramel, faint ripe banana, and dusty oak. Well balanced with fine tannins, clean acidity, and nice presence of flavors on the palate, backed up by a lengthy finish. 2, 2, 4.0, 9.9 = 17.9/20, 89/100.

2001 Paolo Scavino, Carobric, Barolo $69.99USD
Brick red with a faint orange tinge to the edge. Very ripe and aromatic with pronounced ripe banana, nail polish remover [ethyl acetate (EA)], and ripe cherry. Palate is dominated by mouth drying tannins but they do not overpower the ripeness of the flavors, although the wine did close down later. 2, 2, 3.9, 10.0 = 17.9/20, 89/100. 14.5% alcohol.

2001 Ramirez de Ganuza, Old Vines Reserva, Rioja $57.99USD
Dense cherry red with red edge. Wonderfully rich and complex with chocolate, cassis, dusty oak and faint kerosene! On the palate this wine is full bodied with notes of tar and ink folded into the aromas. Firm tannins back up a well structured wine. 2, 2, 4.4, 10.1 = 18.5/20, 93/100. 14% alcohol.

2001 Ristow, Napa, Valley, Quinta las Piedras Cabernet $59.99USD
Dense cherry red with red edge. Complex, rich and ripe with cassis, pepper, and blackberry. Developed a dried tea leaves character with time. A softer, less tannic, well balanced wine with clean acidity and pleasing astringency to the finish. 2, 2, 4.3, 10.1 = 18.4/20, 92/100. 14.1% alcohol.

2002 Gibson Old Vine Collection Barossa Shiraz $119.99USD
Dense cherry red with red edge. Beautifully rich and complex with coconut, and blackberry liqueur dominant. A slight medicinal note does not detract from the open and forward aromatics. Full bodied with excellent carry of flavors onto the palate, backed up by impressive structure. Very nice. 2, 2, 4.4, 10.4 = 18.8/20, 94/100. 15% alcohol.

Unlike the usual practice at these tastings no votes were taken for favorite wine mainly because the variety of wines makes comparison difficult, but also because there was so much discussion at individual tables.

My own impressions were fairly straight forward, and while they may be influenced by underlying biases, I think they are fair. I don’t see the value in the 1989 Chateau Pichon Baron. This wine has received big scores (95 WA, 98 WS) and while the wine tasted was still youthful that does not justify its bottle price. In contrast the 2000 Emanuel Rouget was a pleasant surprise that I feel is better than the tasting note and score given to it by Tanzer (87 ST). We are not talking great Burgundy but it showed pleasant varietal characteristics of Pinot Noir (at least how I view Pinot). The La Reine des Bois (Chateauneuf du Pape) should have been more impressive. Parker loves this big style, but at present that is all it is, BIG!

The only white wine was the Ramey and I agree completely with Tanzer’s impression of this chardonnay (95 ST, 92 WA). I’m always impressed with Ramey, they are simply delicious Chardonnays.

The Ramirez de Ganuza (94 WA) and the Ristow (91 ST) both showed well, but I was less impressed by the Scavino, Carobric (91 ST). I’ve rated other Scarvino wines more highly. The WOTN for me was the Gibson but it was not a standout win. My top 3 reds were all very close but if it came to spending money then the de Ganuza would get the nod.

[WA=Wine Advocate, WS=Wine Spectator, ST=Stephen Tanzer]


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