3rd June 14:16
North of 44º 30' (France)
Last night's theme - wines from North of 44º 30' in France - in other words
nothing from the Southern Rhone or Provence.
2000 Max Roger Sancerre Cuvee GC - a very nice nose, although it doesn't (yet?)
seem to have developed the honey/melony elements that an older Sancerre can
exhibit. In the mouth it is medium bodied, starts very well, but seemed to go
just a biy watery part way through. Not bad though. I have placed a bottle of
the 1997 in the fridge for comparison purposes later today!
1983 Ch. Boyd Cantenac - the first time I sniffed the nose on this, it was
obvious Bordeaux....except that a couple of minutes later, it seemed to have
changed channels and I thought it could be a Rhone! Fortunately it switched
back again, and the wine showed decent but hardly lavish levels of fruit and
surprisingly high levels of unresolved tannins, given the vintage (we were
guessing 1986). It doesn't drink badly, and a couple of years may improve that,
but I doubt it will get any better after that. I never thought I'd be able to
say that the 1975 version of this wine (which I still have in the cellar) has
better tannin/fruit balance than a 1983!
1993 Armand Rousseau Gevrey Chambertain - the colour an immediate give-away to
the origin of the wine, the nose very good, ripe with cherries, and it started
out well in the mouth, but a sour/bitter note at the end was disconcerting. I
still have a couple of bottles of this stashed - perhaps time to find/try them.
Doesn't have the richness of the Clos St. Jacques this year, which was very
good and will be long lived.
1998 Marcel Deiss Burlenberg Pinot Noir - great ringer! A pinot noir from the
north of France, but not a Burgundy had us chasing our tails for a couple of
minutes, and the fact that it was probably the most presentable Alsatian Pinot
(they are usually a lean and undistinguished crew) helped with the confusion.
Decent nose, a bight light in the middle, but lots of character. A bit of study
after the fact reveals that this is a blend of pinot noir and pinot gris, added
to give fruit and soften the often excessive tannins of the pinot noir.
1989 Ch. Beychevelle - cedar and lots of good fruit things happening in the
nose, well balanced and drinking very well right now. Will not improve.
1997 Dominique Laurent Beaune Les Greves - darker than expected, with a good
fruit driven nose and ample soft tannin with pretty good weight. This one is
still on its way up and needs a couple of years.
1995 Chapoutier Cornas - edges still puplish on this wine, the nose
recognizably Rhone with cassis and pepper evident, and in the mouth, medium
bodied, with good length and excellent acidity. It drinks very well for such a
young Cornas, and will continue to improve for several years before hitting
1996 Jaboulet Crozes Hermitage Dom. Thalabert - good wine to have after the
Cornas - even darker and the nose ripe dark fruit. In the mouth, very good
concentration and also good acidity, combined with still slightly assertive
tannins. I'd love to see how this ages over the next decade. A very good
1995 Baron de Milon - no, we had never heard of this either, but it was found
by a member who specialises in second and third labels of good producers. It
turned out to be a second label for Ch. Duhart-Milon, which is owned by Lafite.
They give it less barrel age, and the fruit used is culled from the fruit used
for the grand vin. The result is reasonable, but not above what you would
expect - the nose identified it as Bordeaux, the colour and tannin level as
recent vintage, but no one could go much beyond that. IMO there are better 95s
- Canon de Brem and Faizeau, for instance, at similar prices.
1994 Ch. Branaire Ducru - dark wine with more fruit than wood in the nose. It
starts out in the mouth with good fruit, but then the tannin overwhelms it and
clamps down so that you have a hard time properly assessing the real fruit
level. This needs time, and should improve quite a bit (I hope so - I have a
half case stashed), but I doubt it will ever replace my personal favourite
Branaire, the 1975 for me.
1995 Jaboulet Chateauneuf du Pape Les Cedres - you may have noticed that this
is not a Northern Rhone, in which case you will be one up on our
geography-impaired member who brought this, but we forgave him as the wine was
good. Sweet fruit in the nose, and notes of maturity, it was well balanced and
will hold, but it drinks as well today as it ever will.
1998 Domaine Ostertag Franholz Gewurztraminer Vendage Tardive - the nose on
this was very lemony, and the wine is low acid - very soft and smooth on
palate, with medium levels of residual sugar. While it is axiomatic that one
should never buy an Ostertag unless you have tasted it, as they are all over
the map in terms of results vs. expectations, this is a nice one, and a fitting
in-theme finish to the evening.
3rd June 14:16
North of 44º 30' (France)
In article <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Bill Spohn) writes:
Boy, excessive tannins has never been a problem of any Alsace PN I've had!
Surprising to me, as I've felt most '97 burgs at their peak. No excessive
oaking here? His wines can be good, if oak in check
I have just 2 bottles, thanks for saving me from experimental infanticide
Agreed about BdMilon in general- ok, but not really value
If they were to bring a Southern Rhone, why not the Parallele 45 CdR, just for
Thanks for the notes.
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