Invited some friends over for an al fresco evening of killing off a bunch of old pinots I had laying around. My notes are more than spotty, since I was busy playing hostess and serving food, etc., too.
1986 Hitching Post "Sierra Madre VY", Santa Maria, by Lane Tanner
Deep dusty rose color. For it's age, surprisingly bright nose and flavors of soft cherry, plum and tempranillo-like spicieness. Absolutely delicious and totally alive. Best wine in it's flight and ultimately, everybody's wine of the night. Outstanding. (Contributed to the tasting by a neighbor who received this from Lane when she was his "almost-daughter-in-law".)
1989 Au Bon Climat, Santa Ynez
A little berry, sweetened cocoa and iodine. Still has tannins, shows well. We'd have been more impressed with it had the spectacular Hitching Post not been there. Excellent.
1991 Hitching Post "Sanford & Benedict VY"Heavy maderized nose, muddy. Not good.
1992 Lange Winery "Abbey Ridge VY"
Bright red color and clarity (it must be fined and filtered) with berry and caramel flavors backed by some acidity. Flavors were a bit simple but you'd never guess it's age, and the wine didn't fade an iota in the glass. Good.
1992 Byron, Santa Barbara County
Nose of grass clippings. In the mouth, some nice plummy fruit, but the nose totally put me off. Others deemed it 'good'.
1992 Chehalem "Ridgecrest", Oregon
Plums, mint and exotic, Asian incense-like spices. Hypnotic. Outstanding.
1993 Fiddlehead, Willamette
Great balance and good fruit. Spicy, spicy. Actually improved in the glass. Excellent.
1993 Ici/La Bas "La Cagoule", Oregon
Rhubarb pie and stale cherry cough drops. Not good.
1992 Marimar Torres "Don Miguel Vineyard"
Hot, toasted oak nose and black pepper on raspberry/cherry fruit. The lovely finish made a good impression and many liked it quite a bit. Me not so much because of the hot nose and toasted oak, but it certainly has held up well. Good.
1994 St. Innocent "Freedom Hill", Willamette
Owned since it was a baby, but this bottle was a goner: all mud, no fruit.
1994 St. Innocent "Seven Springs", Willamette
Same as above--but I note that another bottle of the 94 six months ago was gorgeous, so this was probably just a bad bottle.
1995 Swan Estate, Sonoma
Intense black cherry and raspberry fruit, pepper, and a bit of iodine. Just coming into prime time. Very good to excellent.
1995 Barnett Santa Lucia Highlands
Not awful or particularly flawed, just simplistic and boring.
1996 St. Innocent "O'Connor VY"
The bad run on the St. Innocents continues. Other recent bottles have been better, but this one's closer to mud than wine.
1997 Rochioli "Nicole's", Sonoma
Somewhat wasted on the crowd by this point in the evening, but here was a wine that once again deserved our attention. Deliciously rich black cherry fruit and forest floor flavors, and it's just starting to develop some leathery notes. Considering the vintage I was afraid it would be a bit gobby, but no. Excellent.
Last edited by Jenise
on Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov