OL with KillerB & She_laughs – ’95 Bordeaux, Loring ’02, 40+ YO sweeties and more!

Actually, these are the TNs of 2 offlines: last Wednesday KillerB, She_laughs, joea and the Roots’ met at my place in Amsterdam for a “planned” offline. Pfalzman94 was there in spirit: being in Iraq at the moment, he obviously couldn’t make it to Amsterdam…we raised a glass in to your continued wellbeing, Jeff – hope to meet you soon!
The next day, KillerB and myself found ourselves in Utrecht at the Roots’ Residence for yet more wine drinking and cheese eating. Here’s the complete list of wines tasted:

Whites:
Winzerverein Irsch-Ockfen 1990 Irscher Sonnenberg Müller-Thurgau / Riesling
Günter Breit-Hoffmann 1990 Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese
Montez Champalimaud 2001 Paço de Teixeiró
Niepoort 2001 Redoma Branco
Jean Pernet NV Réserve Chardonnay GC
Weingut Dr. Deinhard 2003 Deidesheimer Paradiesgarten Riesling Kabinet trocken
Cloudy Bay 2001 Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc


Reds:
Chateau Clerc Milon 1995
Chateau Haut-Bailly 1995
Chateau La Tour Martillac 1995
Loring Wine Company 2002 Garys’ Vineyard PN
Pride 2001 Merlot
CARM 2002 Quinta da Urze Touriga Nacional


Sweeties
Casa do Douro 1963 Vinho Generoso Lagrima
Presidential 1952 Golden White Reserve Port
Jose Maria de Fonseca 1934 Colheita MdS
Penfolds 1998 Botrytis Sémillion
São Pedro das Aguias 2000 VP


And for the record, the cheeses (at least these I can remember): Abbey cheese from Belgium, Blomme de Brugge, Blue d’Auvegne, British hard goat’s cheese, Camenbert, Cheddar, Chêvre, Chimay, Dutch goat’s cheese with potato peels, Fontina, Gouda (old), Münster, Parmesan, Port Salut, Stilton.
Add some Italian and Spanish ham, Italian and French sausages, and you have quite a nice spread…

It was really nice to meet up with KillerB again, and great to get to know She_laughs. Anyway, here are my (brief) tasting notes:

Winzerverein Irsch-Ockfen 1990 Irscher Sonnenberg Müller-Thurgau / Riesling (MSR) – I was not expecting much from this, and rightly so: completely dead, oxidised and offensive. Yuck.

Montez Champalimaud 2001 Paço de Teixeiró (Vinho Regional Minho) – A white wine from the Vinho Verde region, bought a couple of years ago at the quinta. Nothing spectacular, but a very nice wine to start the evening with. Fresh and smooth. Perhaps better last year.

Jean Pernet NV Réserve Chardonnay Grand Cru (Champagne) – I liked this BdB a lot; quite yeasty on the nose with both nutty and apple aromas. Lively mousse, very small beads, very fresh and with loads of citrus flavours. Nice long finish with a grapefruit bitterness to it. Very refreshing and a very good QPR.

Weingut Dr. Deinhard 2003 Deidesheimer Paradiesgarten Riesling Kabinet trocken (Pfalz) – AP 12 04. A real treat! A plethora of floral and tropical fruit aromas on the nose, just lovely. A pretty big wine, PACKED with fruit: pineapple, mango but some green freshness as well. Just a slight spritz. Big and long finish with a slate-like touch to it. Super stuff, highly recommended. Unlike any Riesling I’ve tasted; had I been served this blind I think I would have guessed Gewurtztraminer.

Cloudy Bay 2001 Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough) – Big expressive nose, very SB-like and with plenty of spice. Pretty big wine, clean and creamy. Herbal and asparagus flavours seem to dominate. Quite a lot of wood, but well balanced. Still young. Good finish.

(The following reds were all decanted a couple of hours before tasting.

Chateau Clerc Milon 1995 (Pauillac) – Massive nose, very warm. Blueberry and a bit minty. Big, very big body. Tannic, with loads of fruit and cold tea. Long and tight finish.
When we re-tasted this wine on day 2, it had opened up a lot; the nose was much more Pauillac-like, the body smoother, but still very tight. This wine showed plenty of potential, but it will need more time to show its greatness.

Chateau Haut-Bailly 1995 (Pessac-Léognan) – Quite a contrast with the Clerc Milon: this is drinking like a dream right now. Delicate, refined nose with cedar and fresh red fruits. Lightish body with berry fruit, spicy and thyme. Nice warm finish. Yum!
Unfortunately, on day 2 this wine was a bit too oxidised, with an unpleasant metallic touch to both the palate and the finish.

Chateau La Tour Martillac 1995 (Pessac-Léognan) – Very smelly, almost Rhone-like. Big, but too closed to give a proper assessment. However, on day 2 this was much, much nicer. Still a bit barnyardy on the nose, but enhanced with dark cherry. Nice body, packed with fruit and with a lovely balance. Woody but not too obtrusive. Long, smooth and warm finish…very nice indeed!

Loring Wine Company 2002 Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands) – I think this was the unanimous WOTN: what a great wine! HUGE nose, ripe, rich, mouth-watering. Thick bodied, super dense and sweet. A massive amount of (blackberry) fruit. An almost endless finish, warm and loooovely. The bottle was finish in no time – truly excellent, and what a fun wine! Brian, if you’re reading this: KillerB, the Roots and myself want more! Can we become your European importer? Wink

Pride 2001 Merlot (Napa/Sonoma) – A big wine in every aspect, and again one that showed better the next day: Great nose, warm like summer. Cinnamon and herbs on the palate and loads of plums. Hefty dose of oak, that becomes a bit too dominant on the finish for my taste.

CARM 2002 Quinta da Urze Touriga Nacional (Douro) – I won’t give much comment on this wine, as Ronnie and I are the importers, but this was also best on day two, displaying the characteristic Touriga Nacional-aromas and flavours: voilets, roses and fresh red fruit.

Casa do Douro 1963 Vinho Generoso Lagrima (Port) – I’ve already posted on this wine before (link here), and don’t have much to add to that TN – I still loved it!

Presidential 1952 Golden White Reserve (Port) – Joea kindly brought what was left over of this wine after our tasting of last week: a TN can be found here.

Jose Maria de Fonseca 1934 Colheita (Moscatel de Setúbal) – I had opened this bottle a while back, but saved some for the group to taste. Bottled somewhere in the early nineties, and probably the last bottling of this wine as well (no more stock left at the winery). Rather like an old sweet Oloroso sherry. Very expressive nose, brown sugar, raisins, dades and a bit rancio. Almost light bodied, but very dense at the same time: dried fruits dominate, some caramel and an almost silty touch to the midpalate. It is quite sweet, but with a remarkable fresh acidity as well. Long finish, sweet but not cloying at all. A very special wine, that did not disappoint!

As usual, KillerB just wouldn’t leave: I finally managed to kick him out of my house early in the morning.

The next day at the Roots’ place, apart from the reds re-tasted that I’ve mentioned above, we also tried the following wines:

Günter Breit-Hoffmann 1990 Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese (MSR) – I had tasted this wine twice before: one was insanely delicious, the other dead as a dodo. Unfortunately, this third bottle was bad as well…a Riesling that reeks of stale beer, no thanks.

Niepoort 2001 Redoma Branco (Douro) – Bought at the Niepoort lodge in Gaia on release, this wine wasn’t as fresh as I remembered, but had gained a very pleasant creaminess, and had retained a fresh fruitiness. One to drink now.

Penfolds 1998 Botrytis Sémillion (South West Australia) – KillerB had brought this to toast Australia Day, but we tasted it a day later…sorry! But WOW, what a great sticky! I did not take notes this time, but I recall plenty of botrytis on the nose, a super-rich body with masses of citrus, a remarkable freshness and a everlasting finish…a great, great wine.

São Pedro das Aguias 2000 Vintage Port – A pleasant surprise! Obviously very young, but denser that I had expected, and with a solid fruit structure. Remarkably smooth, a VP for the short term. There was plenty left, so I expect the Roots’ to chime in with a more detailed TN.

And there you have it…again, two very nice evenings! KillerB, She_laughs, I’m already looking forward to our next get-together!
Original Post
Great work on the notes, Stevie.

What a great offline this was. Very nice to meet KillerB again and lovely to get to meet She_Laughs.

I must say that I felt a bit groggy on Thursday; no wonder after seeing the amount of wines we drank!

Since I didn't take notes, just some short impressions on the wines.

Montez Champalimaud 2001 Paço de Teixeiró - Crisp, refreshing white. Made a nice starter.

Jean Pernet NV Réserve Chardonnay Grand Cru - Very nice indeed. Yeasty nose and lots of citrus on the palate, fine mousse but it does seem to explode a bit on the tongue.

Weingut Dr. Deinhard 2003 Deidesheimer Paradiesgarten Riesling Kabinet trocken - A nice surprise. When we were in Germany a while ago we accidently bought this (we were under the impression that we bought a case of 2001). Very young and floral, with lots of tropical flavours going on. Quite sweet, but nicely balanced with apple flavours and acidity.

Cloudy Bay 2001 Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc - Now that's something completely different! Big, big wine. Very typical SB cat pee nose, but perhaps a bit too oak dominated on the palate for my taste. Nevertheless a very fine wine and lots of fun to taste this.

Chateau Clerc Milon / Chateau Haut-Bailly / Chateau La Tour Martillac 1995 Very nice to taste these three together over the period of two days. Clearly the Clerc Milon has the most potential. If you have this in your cellar, stay clear for a couple of years before trying one, it's still too young. Haut-Bailly was drinking the best the first evening, a bit lacking in structure, but very nice fruit and spices. Drink now. La Tour Martillac was a bit of a surprise. Didn't show very much the first evening, seemed to be lacking in fresh fruit, with only very dark, licorice like flavours apparent. It was completely different the second day though; showing nice fruit and good structure. Drink now (but decant well) or hold for some more years.

Loring Wine Company 2002 Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir - WOTN! This wine is great fun. Packed with all sorts of fruit and very nicely balanced by a fierce acidity. Yum! If I had more of this (Brian, that's a hint... Wink) I don't think the bottles would survive very long. Too good now to let it sit in your cellar.

Pride 2002 Merlot - Big and bold. Very expressive nose and jammy plums on the palate. Seemed to be missing an edge the first night, which it gained the second night.

CARM 2002 Quinta da Urze Touriga Nacional - Another wine that showed best the second night. Very floral, typical Touriga Nacional, very young still.

Casa do Douro 1963 Vinho Generoso Lagrima - Loved it before, and still do. This drinks like a dream, with lovely nutty flavours and sweet caramel. Silky soft port.

Presidential 1952 Golden White Reserve - Missed this one this time, but loved it when I drank it a while ago.

Jose Maria de Fonseca 1934 Colheita - Same story. I think this was a nice goodnight treat for She_Laughs!

Niepoort 2001 Redoma Branco - The freshness of this wine seems to be fading a bit, which makes the creamy oak more dominant. Still good, but drink now.

Penfolds 1998 Botrytis - Yum! Very dense, packed with all kinds of lovely citrus. Didn't take long to empty the bottle.

São Pedro das Aguias 2000 Vintage Port - We didn't drink much of this because we were all pretty tired the second day. That meant that there was quite a bit left for tasting the day after. A very nice port. Very accesible. Straightforward fruit (berries and cherries), round and sweet. Will be nice on the short term, it lacks the structure and complexity to make it a truly good VP, but very nice nonetheless. Note: it cost me 17 euros, and for that price it's stunning; better than most LBV's and Crusted ports that are in the same price range.

Thanks again for a great offline! A special one too, because it was the last offline with joea, who moved back to the US.
I hope you had a good flight Joe!
Thanks for the notes Stevie, well done on actually keeping them during the night. I will only comment on a few:

Whites:
Winzerverein Irsch-Ockfen 1990 Irscher Sonnenberg Müller-Thurgau / Riesling - yeuchh

Paradiesgarten Riesling Kabinet trocken - masses of tropical fruit with pineapple dominating - very pleasant.


Cloudy Bay 2001 Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc - took me completely by surprise. I expected at least some resemblance to the standard CB SB but this was so different. Different from standard New Zealand styles and from French styles. Huge amount of asparagus and very low on Grapefruit and floral fruits but very well-built wine that will actually age. Loved it for being different.


Günter Breit-Hoffmann 1990 Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese - Worrying looking cork followed by worrying smell of old beer bottles. Didn't try but Stevie assures me it was even worse than that.

Reds:
Chateau Clerc Milon 1995 - very well-structured wine that opened up with classic pencil shavings on the second night. Far too young but well worth looking into.

Chateau Haut-Bailly 1995 - great on the first night, lots of lovely dark fruits but lacking structure. Died by night two overcome by oxygen.

Chateau La Tour Martillac 1995 - another well-structured wine that was much better on night two. Notably more fruity than the Clerc Milon on second tasting.

Loring Wine Company 2002 Garys’ Vineyard PN - fabulous, easily the most enjoyable wine on night one. Great fun but a classy wine in all ways, nothing left to taste on day two (in fact hour two). Had the Brosseau Vineyard in Philadelphia with JB, now this. I am willing to become an importer just to get these wines into the UK.

CARM 2002 Quinta da Urze Touriga Nacional - I can comment on this wine. Very good example of a Portuguese dry red wine, plenty of dark cherry-like fruit and fresh flowers and herbs. I could pick out violets and roses, it was like being in a garden.

Sweeties

Presidential 1952 Golden White Reserve Port - for some reason this wine attacked the front of my tongue. It didn't do it to Stevie or Joe but it took offence to me, don't know why. Very smooth once it got past there though.

Jose Maria de Fonseca 1934 Colheita MdS - the most fun with this was avoiding the grit as it was at the end of the bottle. The oldest wine that I've tasted. Plenty of caramel and raisins and I picked up marzipan but it was not cloying, quite light in fact.

Penfolds 1998 Botrytis Sémillon - most enjoyable wine of the second night. Fabulous colour and movement, all the citrus fruits under the sun and a really lovely wine. All the more enjoyable because of the ludicrously low price that I paid for it. Sadly, no more available, now have to search the land for more.

Oh yes - how thoroughly nice was She_Laughs?
Just done a search around for the Penfolds sweetie. Apparently it is not as expensive or as elusive as it appears, supposedly available at Sainsbury's for £5.99. The other thing was that 1998 was the first time that they had produced this wine.

If that was the first attempt I am waiting to find out what happens when they get it right Smile
Wow, what a night! I so wish I could have stayed until all the wines were tasted Eek

Your tasting notes were great, thank you, though having tasted the Jose Maria de Fonseca (yum) prior to the Garys makes it impossible for me to concur on the WOTN.

I most enjoyed the Chateau Clerc Milon, though young and the Jean Pernet.

I think I did not have any 2002 Pride in Michigan, so I believe that the Pride I brought was a 2001.

The cheese, sausages and ham were most excellent, and I wish I'd had the chance to pair some of them with the stickies.

For anyone visiting The Netherlands, I highly recommend setting up an offline with this group. It's truly an enjoyable experience.
Again, it was a pleasure to get to meet you, She_laughs. It was a real pity you had to leave early, but great that you travelled all that way nonetheless!

As I wrote, we retasted the Pride again the next day; I hope the Roots' still have the bottle and confirm the vintage... Confused
Sounds you had a nice evening with some smelly cheeses and wines that were better the day after? Wink Big Grin

Still, just jealous. Interesting to see the Bdx 1995s still to be very tight, except for the HB. Have some Lafon-Rochet 1995s (kings of tightness, I think), that I won't open for another 5 years.

I liked the variety of wines. Just bring and enjoy! I hope I will be with you on the 13th.!
Look closer, bman: we opened a São Pedro das Aguias 2000 Vintage Port for KillerB. It is a more obscure producer, owned by Franken Lafitte (as is Rozes, their premium brand), but nice enough, especially for the price!
But still, even if that one wasn't poured, an offline with '52 and '63 Colheita Port doesn't put us to shame, does it? Now the REAL dilemma is: what to open for Otis coming Sunday offline? Confused Big Grin
I knew that i must have misread the post!

Of course those old colheitas stand you in good stead as true portlovers, I was just surprised not to see something I recognized.

Looking forward to your TNs from the offline with Otis (at which I suspect there will be a port poured......)
Sounds like you all had an amazing time. I truly wish I could have been there, and I greatly appreciate the toast to my absence. Since alcohol is strictly forbidden for U.S. soldiers and airmen here, you can imagine the withdrawals I am going through. Which is, of course, all the more reason to consume large quantities of the best wine the European continent has to offer to commemorate my safe return and reclimatization to the world of wine appreciation. I am counting down the days...

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