WTN: Kudos to Kalin

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WTN: Kudos to Kalin

Postby Dale Williams » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:54 pm

John Gilman is writing a profile of Kalin Cellars for View from the Cellar, got together a nice crew to taste a bunch. Dan offered to host and cooked a fine meal of steak, potatoes, and green beans (plus supplied Champagne and blind reds), Cathleen brought a nice lineup of charcuterie and cheese, and the rest of us contributed wines.

I’m really looking forward to John’s writeup, as the history and stories from Terry Leighton are fascinating. I didn’t try to note the vineyard sources and stories of each of the wines. A really fascinating evening, with every wine (with the exception of one oxidized and one corked bottle) telling a unique tale. I knew I liked the whites, but the reds were eyeopeners.

Notes are brief, and I probably scored tougher than normal because the overall level was so good. Group differed on favorite wines, but I think all were impressed.

The whites
1996 Kalin Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Reserve
Full, ripe, but good crispness, a little grass. B+/B

1995 Kalin Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Reserve
Fresh, young, grapefruity. B+

1994 Kalin Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Reserve
oxidized/cooked (too bad, one of mine)

1997 Kalin Cellars Semillon
Fuller, riper style, I liked but paled behind 1991 and 1985. B

1996 Kalin Cellars Semillon
This showed heavy, a little hot (13.8, for Kalin that’s high) B-

1991 Kalin Cellars Semillon
Wow, this was my white of the night. Floral, minty, waxy, fresh, long. A-/A

1985 Kalin Cellars Semillon
Petrol, mineral, lanolin, fully mature. B+/A-

1995 Kalin Cellars “Cuvee LV”Chardonnay
Fresh and young, a little fresh scraped vanilla bean, pears. B+/A-

1994 Kalin Cellars “Cuvee LV”Chardonnay
a little volatile at first, calms down, ripe. hazelnut B

1994 Kalin Cellars “Cuvee LD”Chardonnay
corked

1994 Kalin Cellars “Cuvee W” Chardonnay
a little cheesy note at first, but good fruit, nice length. B/B+

1990 Kalin Cellars “Cuvee LD”Chardonnay
Minty, round, malty., could be a mature Burg from a ripe/low acid vintage. B

1987 Kalin Cellars “Cuvee LV” Chardonnay
Quite young, crisp, floral, herb, citrus, apple. A-

(a detour in Champagne- both nature/EB, but neither with any of the austerity I sometimes associate with those)
NV Godme Extra Brut
Crisp, dry but not austere, long, very good. A-/B+

2004 Billecart-Salmon Extra Brut
Very full, deep, brioche, peaches. A-

The reds
1997 Kalin Cellars “Cuvee DD” Pinot Noir
Smoky, earth, good acids, not as long as the ‘94. B/B+

1994 Kalin Cellars “Cuvee DD” Pinot Noir
Earthy, fresh fruits, bright, I like. B+

1990 Kalin Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Ripe, lush, a little bit of oxidation poking around edges, B/B-

1989 Kalin Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

Fresh, structured, more black fruited than others, very long. A-

1987 Kalin Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
There’s a green/weedy edge, but not OTT, red currants, gets better with air. B+

1986 Kalin Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Ful, long, structured, midbodied, mostly resolved tannins. A-

1982 Kalin Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Santa Barbara fruit. Who knew? Great nose- herbal, cocoa, crunchy red fruits. On the palate it’s just a touch shrill . B+ (A nose)

That’s a helluva lot of wines. But not enough for Dan. He appeared with 2 decanters and blinded us:

Blind #1 - Ripe, full, long, with an herbal note than made me guess Figeac, once we were in Pomerol started guessing vintages, most were late 80s/90s I went with 1983, elegant, very nice. 1982 Latour a Pomerol A-

Blind #2 - Smooth, mid to full bodied, good acids (leading me to guess a top 1979, nowhere close), mature but in no hurry, good fruit with cigarbox and pencil lead. 1961 Beychevelle. A-/A

Wow.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent
wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a
party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of
objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
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Dale Williams
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Re: WTN: Kudos to Kalin

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:59 pm

Very interesting. I've liked some of the Kalin wines I have tried (typical of me, I have hated the SB), but rarely see them in teh area, and just do not feel the urge to go out of my way to source them.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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