Big Birthday Tasting: 80's Bdx, 90's Cali Cab, etc.

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Big Birthday Tasting: 80's Bdx, 90's Cali Cab, etc.

Postby Patrick Martin » Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:06 pm

A group of Fort Collins winos gathered to celebrate a birthday. Awesome food and wines, only the Mondavi showed poorly.

  • 2001 Kerpen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese * Artist Label - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Very good showing for this riesling. Lots of zest and verve, with plenty of complexity, this bottle was fresher than some others opened recently. There's definitely some creaminess, petrol and burnt orange showing that it has some miles on it, but there's still lots of youthful slate and granny smith apple. Very good length and paired surprisingly well with carne cruda. I'd drink these soon. 91 pts.
  • 2001 Rotllan Torra Priorat Tirant - Spain, Catalunya, Priorat
    Nice bottle, filled with Priorat goodness of ripe black fruits, licorice, iodine, liquid basalt, and all stitched together by high acidity and high alcohol. Lush, expressive and sexy tonight. I think these are getting a bit blowsy/soft and should be enjoyed sooner than later, as they lose their tension. Others liked it more. 91 pts.
  • 2000 Grand Veneur Les Origines - France, Rhone, Chateauneuf
    I decanted this for 2 hours before tasting, this CDP is ready to go. Big bouquet and fleshy palate with classic Provencal notes of lavender, rosemary, and kirsch. Nothing over the top here. Solid, ready, and easy to enjoy. 90-91 pts.
  • 1995 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve - USA, California, Napa Valley
    Disappointing showing. It avoids the heaviness or flatness that other Mondavi Reserve cabs from the 90's have shown of late; rather, this 95 is very green tonight. The bouquet is all bell pepper with a wintergreen note. The palate is better would good fruit and lots of freshness. I don't mind a less ripe style, but this bottle is a miss. 85 pts.
  • 1995 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate - USA, California, Napa Valley
    Classic Montelena, with a great core of perfectly-balanced Cali Cab fruit. A remarkably consistent wine from vintage to vintage. This was deep, balanced, mature yet fresh, and may improve over the next 5 years. Lacks some of the flash of the 91 and depth of the 92 Montelenas, but still very good. My only quibble is it showed fairly one-dimensional next to the clarets. 92+ pts.
  • 1993 Roagna Barolo Riserva La Rocca e La Pira - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    This barolo was very good, showing very young and full (it's recent library or a late release, I believe). It had a very nice bouquet of flowers, menthol and cherries. The wine was refined and understated, with good grip and acidity, with a fair store of tannins still. Showed much better with red meat. Overall lacking an extra gear right now, but it does appear to have more time to unfurl. 91+ pts.
  • 1983 Château Canon - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
    Perfect fill and cork. This showed very well, a bit more elegant than other bottles I've had of this, with everything very well integrated, mature yet vigorous, only needing a bit more complexity. There is some cinnamon on the nose giving some Right Bank flash next to the St Julien, some herbs, excellent brightness, good stuffing and mouthfeel, super silky, going strong. 93-94 pts.
  • 1985 Château Léoville Poyferré - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    Lovely, classic, mature Left Banker. Lots of Bordeaux character, with cedar, plummy fruit with a nice, rounded midpalate and good depth. Nothing too flashy, just class in a glass. My WOTN by a hair. 93-94 pts.
  • 1986 Raymond Lafon - France, Bordeaux, Sauternes
    Pitch-perfect Sauternes. Mature, classy, refined, with excellent acidity and tension, this 86 was just right. All the normal Sauternes descriptors apply here, I just sat back and savored this one. Not as deep as the 88s nor as flashy as the 90s, there was something about the balance here that I loved. 93 pts.
Last edited by Patrick Martin on Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Big Birthday Tasting: 80's Bdx, 90's Cali Cab, etc.

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:27 pm

Your birthday?

The burnt orange note on the Kerpen is worrisome. Too soon.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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Re: Big Birthday Tasting: 80's Bdx, 90's Cali Cab, etc.

Postby Patrick Martin » Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:56 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Your birthday?

The burnt orange note on the Kerpen is worrisome. Too soon.


My birthday, yes...

I agree about the Kerpen Spatlese, my bottles (all leakers but with good fills, all purchased well after release in 2009) have all shown advanced, some delicious, but none are gonna make old bones.
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Re: Big Birthday Tasting: 80's Bdx, 90's Cali Cab, etc.

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:19 am

Well happy birthday!

I continue to maintain that 2001 has been the best German Riesling vintage in my buying history. (I was only able to dip a toe into 1990.) That being said, I see 2001s being traded around and showing up on shelves, and I wonder where those wines have been. The feeding frenzy around the vintage in 2002 ensured that there were virtually no bottles left in the producers' cellars, at least in the middle Mosel, so I have to presume that the wines come from people who bought on the hype, and later realized that German Riesling really was not their sort of thing.
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