S FL WS GROUP TASTES 1988 BORDEAUX (AND OTHERS) - Jupiter, FL (2/23/2013)
The extremely generous and hospitable JB invited the group over to enjoy scallops and prime rib and a whole lotta great wine. Another memorable evening of great food, wine and company.
- 2000 Philipponnat Champagne Brut Clos des Goisses - France, Champagne
Was gone by the time I arrived. Must have been good!
- NV Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Réserve - France, Champagne
Did not taste as I was distracted by someone handing me a glass of SQN.
- 1998 Sine Qua Non Backward & Forward - USA, California, Napa Valley
Thick and viscous texture, reserved and fading pear and melon fruit with minerals and crushed stones on the finish. The fading fruit allows the alcohol to come through more as well. Past its prime, but still interesting to drink. (89 pts.)
- 2007 Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva Alban Estate Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Edna Valley
Very full body with rich dark fruit of plum, currants, and blackberry. The key to this wine is that it has a wonderful balance despite its heft and 15.8% alcohol. Low to medium acidity with a long finish of 45 sec. (94 pts.)
- 2009 Keplinger Red Slope - USA, California, Sonoma County, Knights Valley
This is nearly all grenache, and it showed less body and more acidity (both medium plus) than the syrahs. Also veered more towards red fruit with a bright, focused profile. This will likely get better with more time in the bottle. (92 pts.)
- 2009 Jemrose Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley - USA, California, Sonoma County, Bennett Valley
This did not show as well as when last tasted at the winery as it was poured into a decanter and then almost immediately tasted and consumed. Its youth requires more air time right now, but its wonderful meaty and smoky nose started to come around in some of my last sips. Fairly full bodied, with lush dark fruit, but avoids some of the extraction and tar notes often found in New World syrah. (92 pts.)
- 2005 Silvio Grasso Barolo - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Tight initially, but opened up nicely with some air, with cherry fruit on a medium body frame and medium acidity. Classy wine with an elegant finish. (91 pts.)
- 1988 Château Léoville Las Cases - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
Blackberry and currant fruit, with medium body and acidity, and graphite notes on the nose and finish. A nice enough wine, but a little disappointing given its pedigree. (91 pts.)
- 1988 Château La Mission Haut-Brion - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
Incredibly silky and refined. Total balance and elegance. Medium plus body currant fruit with some light graphite and cedar notes. A classic Bordeaux. WOTN for me and most others. (95 pts.)
- 1988 Château Lynch-Bages - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Another magnificently balanced wine that featured a slightly redder fruit profile that comes across as high toned that I often get from this wine. Medium plus body and medium acidity with a lovely 40 sec finish. (93 pts.)
- 1988 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Some earth on the nose and entry that leads in to a spicy, zesty mid palate. A bit different from the other 88's tonight, but still in a nice way. (92 pts.)
- 1990 Château Le Bon Pasteur - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
I did not get a chance to taste, but the reviews were good.
- 1988 Château Gruaud Larose - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
Some said corked, others said just off, but not a sound bottle. NR (flawed)
- 1988 Château Sociando-Mallet - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc
Badly corked. NR (flawed)
- 1987 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley - USA, California, Napa Valley
This had a bit more fruit than the Bordeaux (not surprising), and also higher acidity (surprising). Red fruit stuck out to me, getting cherry and even some strawberry, with some tobacco notes on the finish. Medium to full body and medium to high acidity. Surprisingly vibrant for a 26 year old wine, and even needed some air time to flesh it out. (92 pts.)
- 1988 Château Léoville Barton - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
Some leather on the entry and then some classic LB notes of graphite, cedar, and tobacco with dark currant fruit. Medium to full body and medium acidity. Very balanced wine and one of the best of the evening. (93 pts.)
- 1982 Château Branaire (Duluc-Ducru) - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
Lighter body than most of the 88's and a more delicate and feminine wine. Still a lovely expression of aged bordeaux with complexity and delicate nuances rather than power. I would drink these soon to get the full experience they can offer. (93 pts.)
- 2001 Château Rieussec - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
As with my previous experience, this is esquisitely balanced between sweetness and acidity offering apricot, honey, and a hint of orange peel at the end. Magnificent sauternes. (95 pts.)
- 1998 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Turque - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
Began tasting after about a half hour of decanting, which honestly was not enough to do it justice. Cloudy appearance, with some initial high acidity that settled down with more air time. Got a little bloody meat and a hint of bacon among the dark currant fruit. At this point, my palate was almost shot and not able to fully appreciate this lovely wine which I have developed an immense respect for. It was still developing in the glass when I had to finish it and head home.
EDIT: Updated to add wines.