WTN: A mix of wines tasted blind at David's

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WTN: A mix of wines tasted blind at David's

Postby Salil » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:56 am

Our local blind group got together again after something of a hiatus to taste through ten blind wines at David's place with an assortment of cheeses.
Fun evening as well - guesses all over the place, but some rather eye opening wines.

2010 Wind Gap Wines Trousseau Gris Piccolo Bastardo Fanucchi Vineyard
More about being an unusual wine for curiosity value than something really interesting/compelling; a cloudy orange-salmon colour with lightly spicy and earthy notes framing fresh cranberry and raspberry fruit. It's light on its feet with bright acids and a savoury finish, but while it's nicely balanced there's nothing here that keeps me coming back for anything more than a tasting pour.

2000 Château de Saint-Cosme Gigondas
Quite pleasant, if somewhat one note. A rather ripe, slightly roasted scent leads into a palate that's much lighter and more finessed than the aromatics suggest, with fresh red fruited flavours seasoned by cracked black pepper notes. It's nicely balanced but not particularly complex.
2001 Edmunds St. John Rocks and Gravel
Lovely wine; rich, dark fruited and showing some developing herb and savoury earthy elements, all in a very polished, impeccably balanced whole with superb balance. This is drinking stunningly well now, though the richness of fruit and fine grained tannic structure suggests there's no rush for me to go through my other bottles of this.

2003 Domaine Robert Chevillon Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Saint Georges
Nothing here that I'd place in Burgundy; it's full of heavy, chewy dark fruited flavours with a faint candied quality that makes it taste like New World Pinot. Not a whole lot of acidity here, and it feels clumsy and one-note.
2003 Domaine Georges Mugneret/Mugneret-Gibourg Clos Vougeot
No idea whether or not this is a representative bottle, as it's dominated by awkward reductive and tarry aromas that distract from everything else and never fade even with some vigorous swirling.

1987 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Just a great bottle of wine. I really should own more Dunn. A fragrance that had me guessing Graves, with savoury smoky, gravelly, cedar and tobacco flavours around a core of elegant red and dark fruited flavours. Medium weight and very finessed on the palate, still showing some lingering tannic structure on the back end but superbly balanced and all too easy to drink right now.
2001 Château Pavie
Not hard to guess this as a spoofed, ultra modern Bordeaux when tasted blind - I don't think I've ever had a Cabernet from Australia or California that had such grotesque charred and oaky flavours obliterating anything else that might make this pleasurable. The fruit's massively ripe, roasted and heavy, it's dull and monolithic on the palate and finishes with a streak of abrasive tannin and lingering alcoholic warmth.

1994 Edmunds St. John Syrah Durell Vineyard
Really nice aromatics, a combination of savoury smoky, earthy and tarry flavours with higher toned herbal and spicy notes, all around a core of rich but not heavy red and dark fruited flavours. It doesn't have the finesse and balance I usually expect from ESJ though, finishing with a tinge of alcoholic warmth though overall it's very nice.
1998 E. Guigal Hermitage
Surprised to see this was a Guigal Hermitage when unveiled - it doesn't have the power and richness I expect from Hermitage; I'd guessed this might be a St. Joseph, but I'm also really pleasantly surprised to see how little apparent oak there is here. It's all about bright peppery, meaty and leathery elements around a core of gentle red fruited flavours, elegant and polished in the mouth and drinking very nicely right now with the tannins quite gentle and a bright acid spine keeping it very fresh and lively.

2001 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Erdener Treppchen Riesling Auslese **
Flat out wow. A fireworks display of pure Mosel fruit and florality over a vivid stony/slatey mineral base. I don't have words for the stunning purity, clarity and sheer sense of electricity to the flavours here; this has the richness and depth of an Auslese conveyed with the clarity and lightness of touch I'd find in a classic Kabinett. Just an absolutely stunning wine, and I can barely imagine what will happen to this with time.

Thanks again David - a fun tasting as always, and the Christoffel and Dunn in particular were absolutely stellar.
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Re: WTN: A mix of wines tasted blind at David's

Postby JC (NC) » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:23 pm

I had a decidedly different opinion of that 2001 Chateau Pavie some years ago. It certainly had the massive fruit but I didn't find it overwhelmed by char and oak. I wonder if the fruit shone more in the early years or if we are that far apart on our oak tolerance? Normally I don't like oak to be prominent in the wine--a subtle backdrop to a white Burgundy or a bold Cabernet Sauvignon if showing its presence at all. In a tasting of 8-10 impressive wines, I did not give the 2001 Chateau Pavie the highest score judging its components individually (nose, balance, flavor, finish, etc.) but ended up liking it the best overall of all the wines even with a lower score.
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Re: WTN: A mix of wines tasted blind at David's

Postby Steve Edmunds » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:32 pm

Salil; I had a similar take on the '94 Durell when I bottled it, and it was important enough to me that I lowered the price from what I'd charged for the '93, despite being ridiculed for it by some of my colleagues. The '93 had sufficient depth to accommodate all that power, the '94 seemed burly and rustic to me by comparison. Glad you're enjoying the '01 Rocks!
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Re: WTN: A mix of wines tasted blind at David's

Postby Salil » Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:02 pm

Jane,
I had the 2001 Pavie a few years ago as well and thought it was pleasant. I'm certain my palate has shifted a fair bit since then as I've gotten more into leaner, less fruit-oriented reds - but I also think wines in that style just don't age well (based on a handful of experiences I've had with Lascombes, Monbousquet and one or two others in that style) and become increasingly woody and unpleasant to drink as the fruit takes a step back.

Steve,
The 01 Rocks is really awesome - and I'm glad I still have a few more of that left from your newsletter offer last spring. I opened a bottle of the 2001 CA Syrah recently as well which was drinking beautifully as well.
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Re: WTN: A mix of wines tasted blind at David's

Postby Ryan M » Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:22 pm

Careful Salil - that's a St. Emilion 1er Grand Cru Classe A that you're dissing. :lol:
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Re: WTN: A mix of wines tasted blind at David's

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:16 pm

Salil - thanks for posting the notes. No time for detailed thoughts right now, but I will say that I also loved the Christoffel, and found a deliciously balanced creamy element in the wine. I'm not normally a big fan of creamy Riesling, but this really worked.

Other wines I really liked: '01 ESJ R&G, '00 St. Cosme Gigondas, '87 Dunn, '94 ESJ Durell and '98 Hermitage. I was not at all wild about the Pavie, except that the tasting removed it from my cellar(!). The Burgs were indeed odd, but I found the Clos Vougeot good if not typical of Burgundy. I was completely indifferent to the Wind Gap and Chevillon.
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Re: WTN: A mix of wines tasted blind at David's

Postby Redwinger » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:34 pm

Salil wrote:
2001 Château Pavie
Not hard to guess this as a spoofed, ultra modern Bordeaux when tasted blind - I don't think I've ever had a Cabernet from Australia or California that had such grotesque charred and oaky flavours obliterating anything else that might make this pleasurable. The fruit's massively ripe, roasted and heavy, it's dull and monolithic on the palate and finishes with a streak of abrasive tannin and lingering alcoholic warmth.



Tasted this perhaps 5 or 6 years ago and the above note pretty well sums up my recollection.
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Re: WTN: A mix of wines tasted blind at David's

Postby Patrick Martin » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:46 pm

Great notes, fascinating insights on the Pavie...

So, I haven't had a Edmunds St Johns wine in years (my last, the 95 Durrell Syrah, did drink wonderfully in 2006). How long do wines like Rocks and Gravel take to mature? I see the 2010 for sale, so I'm wondering...
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Re: WTN: A mix of wines tasted blind at David's

Postby Doug Surplus » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:17 am

Salil wrote:
Steve,
The 01 Rocks is really awesome - and I'm glad I still have a few more of that left from your newsletter offer last spring. I opened a bottle of the 2001 CA Syrah recently as well which was drinking beautifully as well.


Agree on the 01 R&G

Salil, your description nails the wine better than mine (a few posts back).
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Re: WTN: A mix of wines tasted blind at David's

Postby David M. Bueker » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:58 am

Patrick,

The 2010 is already drinking quite well right now (I have had 2 test bottles from my case), though of course it is yougn and fruity. Steve could help out here to describe the new concrete vessel he makes it in these days, versus what he used to use - I don't know those details. Because of that change (and note - the wine is still great as is always has been) I am not saavy enough to predict any aging curve, though I see no reason for things to really change. The prior versions need 7-8 years to really come into their dusty, herbal, erd and black fruited own. Other than curiosity bottles I have not started in on my 2004s yet.
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Re: WTN: A mix of wines tasted blind at David's

Postby Jenise » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:44 pm

JC (NC) wrote:I had a decidedly different opinion of that 2001 Chateau Pavie some years ago. It certainly had the massive fruit but I didn't find it overwhelmed by char and oak. I wonder if the fruit shone more in the early years or if we are that far apart on our oak tolerance? Normally I don't like oak to be prominent in the wine--a subtle backdrop to a white Burgundy or a bold Cabernet Sauvignon if showing its presence at all. In a tasting of 8-10 impressive wines, I did not give the 2001 Chateau Pavie the highest score judging its components individually (nose, balance, flavor, finish, etc.) but ended up liking it the best overall of all the wines even with a lower score.


I have an Aussie shiraz in my cellar (Poonawatta) that upon my discovery of it just four or five years ago was the antithesis of the Aussie export style with great acidity, bright raspberry fruit and loads of pepper. I got a good deal on it and bought 8 or 9 bottles. Now? All I taste is charred barrel--something I hated as much then as I do now. Makes it easy for me to understand how the Pavie you tasted back when and the Pavie Salil had the other night can be exactly the same wine with neither of your tastes or tolerances changing an iota.
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Re: WTN: A mix of wines tasted blind at David's

Postby Patrick Martin » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:51 pm

Thanks for the feedback, David. I'm gonna grab a few (virtually speaking)...

I used to love Steve's wines when I lived in New England (Table and Vine and the Big Y before that used to stock an excellent cross-section of ESJ), but I don't come across them much anymore. Where do you ESJ lovers get your stash from? Wine-Searcher.com shows very few retailers will ESJ these days.
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Re: WTN: A mix of wines tasted blind at David's

Postby Dale Williams » Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:47 pm

I've probably mostly bought from Chambers, but have also gotten from Astor, WHWC, and direct from ESJ. I think I also got some through David B, but can't remember if that was Table & Vine or ESJ.
Nice notes. Salil, good to know you just tried 87 Dunn, I can bring 85 instead when I see you.
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