Sunday, December 25, 2011

2006 DeLisio Grenache

Stumbled on this wine, in the 2006 vintage rather than the legendary (in my mind) 2004, for $17 (regular price more like $50) in Hells Kitchen, Manhattan. The wine is strikingly similar with the cherry/strawberry plus vanilla plus pine tar elements. Just not quite as deep in aromas and flavor and color as the 2004. Fun to taste this one again and see the difference the vintage year makes.

Parker gives this 91 points (the 2004 was 95):
The 2006 Grenache was sourced from 45- and 80-year-old McLaren Vale vineyards and aged for 17 months in French oak, only 15% new. Medium ruby-colored, it offers up a fragrant perfume of kirsch, cassis, cherry, and earth notes. Full-bodied (16.5% alcohol), plush, layered, and forward, this savory Grenache will drink well over the next eight years.

1986 Pichon Lalande

At Christmas Eve dinner, 2011, at 701 Restaurant (food ok at best, poorly prepared at worst, service not very good). WIth Francie, Max and Emily. This 25 year old Pauillac is still drinking perfectly. THe color shows evolution but plenty of dark red-purple and a surprisingly small redbrick edge. On the palate and nose this is a prototypical bordeaux with blackberry, mint, cigar box, cedar, spicy vanilla oak. After some time the aroma took on the classic "St Julien nose" quality of leather/tobacco that makes sense since Pichon is on the border of St Julien and Leoville Las Cases. Acid is nicely balanced with the fruit and tannins have mostly melted away. Very long finish with a touch of heat. I'd think this has the fruit, acid and tannin to be drunk as late as 2018 with great pleasure. 94 points from me.

Parker's latest (2003) note:
Also 94 points. Just now emerging from a very clumsy dormant period, Pichon-Lalande’s dense ruby/purple-colored 1986 still has the color of a 4 or 5 year old wine. This is the most tannic and backward Pichon-Lalande after 1975 and before 1996. The wine was completely closed down until just recently. The wine shows notes of cedar, black currants, earth, spice box, and licorice, followed by a medium to full-bodied, very concentrated, intense palate with a still noticeable tannic structure, a relatively big, muscular style for Pichon-Lalande. Anticipated maturity: Now-2015. Last tasted, 5/02.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

2008 herman story nuts and bolts syrah

As readers or at least I will recall, I'm a big fan of Herman story from Santa Barbara area.
Big, rich but well made; fruity but still not a mere fruit bomb. This one is
not just blackberry but intense spice, vanilla and pepper. Also very long finish with
Good alcohol and acid. Parker gave it 95 points.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

2001 Pierre Usseglio Cuvee Mon Aieul

This came highly recommended from Parker and it is quite a treat. Blackberry, vanilla, very silky and totally mature. Color is brick on the rim and light purple in the center. There is a bit of alcohol on the nose but not unpleasantly. Some wood sap, pine too, and maybe lavender. This is mostly grenache, and it is reminiscent of the big Aussie grenaches I like. With time more of a cherry aroma. A great balance of fruit, acid and very sweet silky tannin. 95-96 points.

Parker 97 points: The 2001 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de Mon Aieul (85% Grenache and equal parts Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsault) tips the scales at a prodigious 15.8% alcohol. Half of the wine is aged in neutral wood foudres and the other half in tank prior to being bottled unfined and unfiltered. The sources for Mon Aieul are three vineyard parcels with vines averaging between 75 and 87 years of age. The 2001 is much more structured and backward than the 2000, 1999, or 1998. The color is a dense purple, and the bouquet offers sweet but reserved aromas of blackberries, raspberries, crushed rocks, and kirsch liqueur. It possesses superb texture, enormous body, and tremendous purity as well as overall symmetry. The tannin is high, but it is largely concealed by the wealth of fruit and extract. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring, and drink it over the following 15-18. This fabulous 2001 will provide fascinating comparisons when tasted alongside the 2000, 1999, and 1998 over the next 10-15 years.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

2005 Le Bon Pasteur

Per one of my very first entries in this blog series, I continue to love the '05 Bon Pasteur, a Pomerol made by Michel Rolland, a world-renowned winemaking consultant, from his home vineyard. What's notable on this tasting is the melting of the tannins. The wine is much more approachable esp on the palate than before. The aromatics are lovely: initially strawberry, then chocolate/cocoa, plum, cherry, and spicy vanilla in approximately that order of appearance. Mouthfeel continues to be notably silky soft. The finish is moderate and the acid appears esp prominent at that point, which is a good sign for longevity. I've put 2/3 of the bottle under gas for retesting tomorrow. Right now I'd give this a 93+.