WTN: Matthews, Le Brun-Lecouty, Isenhower

The place for all things wine, focused on serious wine discussions.

Moderators: Jenise, David M. Bueker, Robin Garr

WTN: Matthews, Le Brun-Lecouty, Isenhower

Postby Jenise » Fri Jul 28, 2006 2:31 pm

1999 Matthews Red Wine
Washington


Mature cab flavors with coffee and earth that faded into an increasingly tannic finish. Enjoyable, but would appear to be at the end of it's life. Too bad, the 95 of this wine was excellent recently, and counter-evidence to the notion that Washington wines don't age.

1996 Earl Le Brun-Lecouty Prieure de St. Jean de Bebian
Coteaux de Languedoc


My first taste of this wine was fraught with dismay--I killed a baby. With an hour of decanting it opened up some but it's still on the young side with more aroma than taste and pretty big tannins on the finish. Still, it showed nice raspberry and currant fruit with good herbs, spice and that elusive garrique. A North Berkeley Import.

2003 Isenhower Merlot
Washington


Isenhower wines are rather interesting. They seem to favor a direct, modern style with big ripe fruit, yet they manage to avoid over-the-topness. The result is a kind of restrained opulence, if that's not too contradictory--approachable wines that satisfy the geeky need for reasonable structure and complexity, but the fruit's ample and the tannins are silky, so you don't have to think about it. They remind me of a critic describing Jack Nicholson's performance in About Schmidt: he said Jack "underacted over-acting." These wines do that, too, make the result look so effortless that you forget that it's craft. My experience so far suggests that their syrahs are their strong suit, but this merlot is no piker: mostly black fruit softened by some cherry notes, with the usual mocha notes in the finish. Would be an excellent starting place for someone wanting to find out what Washington merlot is all about.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26495
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: WTN: Matthews, Le Brun-Lecouty, Isenhower

Postby David M. Bueker » Fri Jul 28, 2006 3:08 pm

Hmm...I will have to check in on my '98 and '99 Matthews stash. I could be in for a rude surprise.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
User avatar
David M. Bueker
Riesling Guru
 
Posts: 22185
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: WTN: Matthews, Le Brun-Lecouty, Isenhower

Postby Jenise » Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:24 pm

Dave, provenance could be in your favor. Didn't think to mention it in my TN, but I bought my (one) bottle here in a supermarket here about two years ago and have no idea how long it had been there. However, I was spurred to open it because 8 or 10 cases showed up on Winebid last week--all 99's--and that's not a wine lover selling off his cellar because he's on the wagon, that's a dump. Decided I better check mine.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26495
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: WTN: Matthews, Le Brun-Lecouty, Isenhower

Postby David M. Bueker » Sat Jul 29, 2006 8:29 am

Interesting. I bought mine direct, and it had to be at least 4 years ago. I'll put one in queue for near term consumption & see what happens.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
User avatar
David M. Bueker
Riesling Guru
 
Posts: 22185
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: WTN: Matthews, Le Brun-Lecouty, Isenhower

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Aug 30, 2006 7:53 pm

Well I just opened a 1998 Matthews Yakima Red Wine & it's quite good. It's a little light, but I glad about that. It's showing mature cedar, iron and red fruit character, and it's decently balanced (a touch hot but not too bad). I'm ok with my bottles of the '98. I'll drink them soon, but they are by no means dead.

I will check in on the '99 (and my lone '97) some time soon.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
User avatar
David M. Bueker
Riesling Guru
 
Posts: 22185
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: WTN: Matthews, Le Brun-Lecouty, Isenhower

Postby Clint Hall » Thu Aug 31, 2006 2:27 am

Jenise, your 2003 Isenhower Merlot TN is so right on I can taste the wine.
Clint Hall
Wine guru
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:39 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: WTN: Matthews, Le Brun-Lecouty, Isenhower

Postby Bruce K » Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:08 am

I recently had two bottles of Isenhower's Wild Thyme, their cheapest bottling at $14, and I thought it was a great quaff, reasonably complex, good acidity, not over the top at all. IIRC, it's a blend with 50+ percent merlot. Not profound, but something that can be hard to find among Walla Walla wineries -- a great value that's good for everyday drinking and mid-week meals.
User avatar
Bruce K
Wine guru
 
Posts: 541
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:06 pm

Re: WTN: Matthews, Le Brun-Lecouty, Isenhower

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:55 pm

Just resurrecting this so Jenise might see my Matthews update.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
User avatar
David M. Bueker
Riesling Guru
 
Posts: 22185
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: WTN: Matthews, Le Brun-Lecouty, Isenhower

Postby Jenise » Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:48 pm

David, thanks for the bump--you're right that I missed your update. Good news about the 98, that WA vintage seems to have some legs. At least, I've picked up several 98s at auction and all have shown well.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26495
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: WTN: Matthews, Le Brun-Lecouty, Isenhower

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:57 pm

I am going to open a '97 and a '99 when I get a chance soon. Likely October.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
User avatar
David M. Bueker
Riesling Guru
 
Posts: 22185
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: WTN: Matthews, Le Brun-Lecouty, Isenhower

Postby Jenise » Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:05 pm

I'll look forward to your notes, David, and hope your 99 is better than mine. Btw, I have a vested interest--impetuous me bought half a dozen of those 99's I mentioned seeing for $10 each. Of course, that was beFORE I tasted the one bottle I already owned.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26495
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: WTN: Matthews, Le Brun-Lecouty, Isenhower

Postby ClarkDGigHbr » Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:35 am

My wife and I visited Walla Walla last week and stopped at Isenhower Cellars on Thursday afternoon. I had the opportunity to taste five of their wines. I thought they were all quite good, especially the 2004 River Beauty Syrah ($32). I ended up not buying any of that Syrah, because we had just done some serious Syrah packing at two of our previous stops. I'll prepare some tasting notes later.

We ended up coming home with their 2005 Snapdragon ($18 ), a blend of 55% Rousanne and 45% Viognier, and the 2004 Red Paintbrush ($26), a blend of 80% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Syrah. The winery was sold out of the Red Paintbrush, but ended up reclaiming the cases allocated to an east coast distributor, who was dragging its heels.

All in all, very nice wines from some very nice people. Highly recommended stop when visiting Walla Walla.

-- Clark
User avatar
ClarkDGigHbr
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 8:16 pm
Location: Gig Harbor, WA

Re: WTN: Matthews, Le Brun-Lecouty, Isenhower

Postby Jenise » Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:45 am

Clark, good report, I'll look forward to your notes. The Isenhowers are good people, I've had occasion to talk to them and when I at last do visit Walla Wally myself, their winery is a must-see. The Snapdragon's interesting, isn't it?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26495
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest


Return to The Wine Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bob Parsons Alberta, Google [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 11 guests