Sunday, November 28, 2010

2003 and 2005 Vieille Cure (Fronsac outside Pomerol)

These are essentially Pomerols, 80% Merlot wines with some Cab Sauv and Cab Franc from just outside this tiny parcel of wine heaven near St Emilion. Had the '03 on Thanksgiving, after first drinking the very great 2003 Leoville Poyferre which was just as Parker described it (98 points and a hell of a great future, layer upon layer of finish). Anyhow it's now 3 nights later, Sunday night aft. Thanksgiving, and tasting the '03 Cure after it was only pumped out (no argon). It's pretty damn good. Like its sibling from 2005 it's very dark and has an unmistakably Merlot nose with charred black cherry. A whole lot more going on with the '05, deeper in color and layers of that charred black cherry, blackberry, flowers, pine woods, and a kind of almost grilled meat quality. The nose is nice now but with a couple more years for bottle bouquet it should be indeed heavenly. This one ('05) was a great find as I recall, at CH Wine Co. and I do believe I bought a case of it for about $200. I'd give this 93+. I see from earlier Parker notes that this winery is overseen by Michel Rolland, like another of my 2005 Pomerols, and long-time favorite, Bon Pasteur.

Parker gave it 93:

La Vieille Cure’s amazing 2005 is even better than their terrific 2003 and 2000. The 2005 boasts an inky/ruby color as well as a gorgeously sweet perfume of charcoal, black cherries, black currants, and spring flowers as well as an underlying mineral component. Superb concentration, full-bodied power, wonderful symmetry, purity, and texture, and a multidimensional mouthfeel are all found in this fabulous sleeper of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020+.

Wine Spectator 90 points:

90 points Wine Spectator: "Dark in color, showing lots of blackberry and licorice aromas, with a hint of tar. Full-bodied, with soft tannins and plenty of ripe fruit and smoky oak. Fun and interesting. Best after 2010."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

2007 Brewer-Clifton Mount Carmel Chardonnay

This one gets 96 points from Parker so I was delighted to find it on sale at CH Wine Co. Opened a bottle yesterday and it was a very fine bottle, burgundian in style more than typical California. But it wasn't 96 points; it lacks the depth and complexity. What I do like is the minerality and spice on the palate. On day 2, after 24 hours under argon, the aromas opened up and became more complex and interesting with pineapple, orange and grapefruit. Reminds me of a Chassagne Montrachet, actually; fruitier than most Meursaults, but not as ripe as a great Puligny. What I'm thinking is that this one needs a year in the bottle to integrate. The acid is high as is alcohol, which is fine since the fruit is plenty ripe--just doesn't have the nuance I'd expect.

Here's Parker:

The 2007 Chardonnay Mount Carmel exhibits a liqueur of rocks-like component reminiscent of a Chassagne-Montrachet grand cru. Peach blossom, white citrus, and orange notes are present in this full-throttle, intensely flavored Chardonnay, and brilliant acidity gives the wine laser-like precision. This is another tour de force from these talented winemakers.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

1982 Mouton Rothschild

This is the legendary wine, 100 points from Parker and in his latest write-up (below) he says it's still not fully mature 28 years on! Indeed this tasting, on the occasion of my birthday celebration Nov. 6 (a day early, for ease of scheduling), was the first in which the wine actually tasted like it was getting mature. It really is the quintessence of great bordeaux wine. I can see why Parker says it needs a few more years as the bottle bouquet was somewhat restrained. But with coaxing there is a panoply of delights from the classic blackcurrant and, truly striking, the "pencil lead" smell that is often associated with Mouton. Beyond this a subtle array of blackberry, hazelnut, flower and cedar/forest floor, all nicely delineated and quit subtle. The tannins have melted to nicely integrate with the fruit and acid and propel a long finish just full of nuance. As Parker says there's plenty of life in this incredible wine. I'm delighted that I have 3 or 4 more bottles in my cellar--a nice reward for my long patience. This wine was purchased for either $38 or $50 (depending on the lot) and in Wine Searcher today it averages about $1250. If only I'd invested in 100 cases instead of those lousy mutual funds...

Here's Parker's notes from June 2009:

This wine remains one of the legends of Bordeaux. It has thrown off the backward, youthful style that existed during its first 25 years of life, and over the last 4-5 years has developed such secondary nuances as cedar and spice box. The creme de cassis, underlying floral note, full-bodied power, extraordinary purity, multilayered texture, and finish of over a minute are a showcase for what this Chateau accomplished in 1982. The wine is still amazingly youthful, vibrant, and pure. It appears capable of remaining fruity and vibrant in 2082! Thank God it is beginning to budge, as I would like to drink most of my supply before I kick the bucket. This is a great, still youthful wine, and, on occasion, one does understand the hierarchy of Bordeaux chateaux when you see the complexity and brilliance of this first-growth. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2050+ Release price: ($350.00/case)

2004 Mitolo Shiraz GAM

About as good as Australian shiraz gets: complex fruit backed by decent acid and at this point almost undetectable tannin, with a long finish. Among the prominent components are kirsch, licorice, toast, blueberry, jasmine tea, a nicely restrained briary/spicey quality. The restraint makes this a more elegant and serious wine than so many other syrahs where the briar dominates the fruit. Long finish, silky on the palate. As far as syrahs go, this is a 95 point version. I'll be interested to compare it to the newly released Herman Story syrahs as well as the recent Tensley with their high ratings from Parker.

Here's Parker on the 2004 Mitolo GAM--97 points!

Aged 18 months in primarily French oak, the 2004 Shiraz G.A.M. is an exceptional example of a precise yet full-flavored, concentrated Shiraz. Its gorgeous perfume of blueberries, blackberries, camphor, licorice, and pain grille is followed by an inky/blue/purple-colored wine offering superb purity, full-bodied richness, and gorgeous depth as well as texture. This fabulous effort is another example of Ben Glaetzer’s brilliant talents. It should drink well for 15 years.