Preliminary Mo'Cool report

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Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby JC (NC) » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:01 pm

I'm back in North Carolina after a glorious weekend! Thanks organizers, Guimonds for hosting the party for out-of-towners, all who helped set up and clean up, and chef Alan Kerr and sous chefs. Also, all who contributed such wonderful wines! Thanks to John and Barbara Trombley for arranging the tasting of Michigan Rieslings (with an older Marlborough Riesling thrown in.) I was impressed with their quality overall. Thanks to Tom Noland for organizing the Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling vertical and horizontal tastings. In the vertical I discovered that maybe I like my Rieslings less than 20 years old. The organizational efforts of the Mo'Cool team showed and paid off handsomely.

I didn't try to take notes on all the wines I tasted but wrote down names of some of the wines that impressed me. They include Howie Hart's own Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend (elegant!), and at the Friday night party:

2012 Philippe Fichet Meursault "Les Tessons"
2004 Hospice de Beaune Meursault Cuvee Johan Humblot
2000 Chateau Mouton Rothschild white Bordeaux (the Aile d'Argent I believe) I don't normally have high praise for Bordeaux Blanc but this was exceptionally tasty)
I didn't get the producer's name on the 2000 Morgon and 2000 Fleurie Beaujolais Cru wines--both were surprisingly fresh for their age.
2007 Alysian Wines Floodgate Vineyard West Block Pinot Noir. Russian River Valley, CA. Gary Farrell started this winery with a partner after selling his namesake enterprise in 2004. Floodgate Vineyard is the estate vineyard in the Middle Reach of the Russian River Valley. (Alysian Wines also makes Chardonnays and sources grapes from Hallberg Vineyard, Rochioli and others.) This was the wine I brought to the Guimonds. I have loved it since release and have three more bottles at home. Gary Farrell indicated that he personally prefers the 2008 vintage which he said is more the Burgundian style he seeks to make. I have a couple bottles of the 2008 but haven't opened one yet. The nose of the 2007 was what first impressed me and is more evident when the wine is decanted. On this tasting I got some bacon scents and flavors I hadn't noticed back in 2010. Others said "sweet fruit" and "chocolate." One commented "outstanding."
2002 St. Innocent Seven Springs Pinot Noir, Oregon
2002 Archery Summit Arcus Estate Pinot Noir, Oregon (I thought this tasted too oaky with the first sips but improved with aeration; I understand that the winemaking is a bit less heavy on the oak in recent vintages.)
I had a small taste of Musigny (my first ever) but didn't get the specifics on producer and vintage.

Even less notes at the picnic.
I did like the Spanish wine I brought, the 2001 La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial (80% Tempranillo grapes, 20% Garnacha) only the third vintage to be declared after 1964 and 1973. Aged in American oak for 36 months. Received 93 points from Robert Parker and 92 points from IWC. I agree more with the IWC description of the wine which found dark fruits on the palate. I found dark muddled berries, a decently long finish and some meaty characteristics. The wine was a light mahogany color.

John Trombley provided an excellent 2009 Van Volxem Goldberg Auslese, Saar tributary of the Mosel (only 7.5% alcohol by volume.) Pretty deep gold color. John said it was really TBA level but it didn't have the cloying quality of some TBA. I would choose this wine over most TBA.

The food was excellent as always! I especially liked the caprese salad type dish, and the smoky-flavored prime rib at the picnic (and the desserts) and the pulled pork sandwiches, slaw and polenta at the Guimonds. Oh, and all the cheeses at the picnic--marvelous.

I didn't try many of the Loire whites having had so many white wines already at the Michigan Riesling and Wehlener Sonnenuhr vertical tastings. I also didn't try many from the Rhone but did taste a 2004 Vieux Telegraphe and one vintage of the Pegau (not sure which vintage.) I had several red Spanish wines that I didn't record and also some red Italians.

My contributions to the Italian table were the 2008 and 2009 Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno "Super Tuscans." This is the flagship wine of Tenuta Sette Ponti. I prefered the 2008 vintage. Jeannette Roscoe seemed to favor the 2009 which she said she likes for the tannins. I don't like pronounced tannins in the wines I drink so will give the remaining 2009 bottle several more years of cellaring. The 2009 is 45% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Petit Verdot and is aged in French oak for 18 months. It is labeled at 14.5% abv. I don't have the specifics on the grape blend in the 2008 vintage but I think it may have had a higher percentage of Merlot. According to a note on CellarTracker, 2008 was the first vintage with no Sangiovese in the blend. Also, both wines are described as "young" in 2013 notes on CellarTracker so might benefit from five to ten more years of aging.
Last edited by JC (NC) on Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:13 pm

I would think the Mich rieslings would be of real interest. Sounds like there was a lot going on there, hope we hear more.
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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby Dave Guimond » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:29 pm

Great seeing you again Jane!
I have a few more memorable wines to comment on, although I took no notes at the time:
Friday - I think you may have left before these first 4 were opened:
'89 Haut Brion - Still quite dark with a little amber edge. Good bouquet development, but more to come. Tannins mostly resolved, but some room to grow. Plenty of fruit left, and drinking quite well now. Full bodied, with a long finish. Excellent!
'90 Haut Brion - Darker still. Less developed on the nose, and the palate confirms. Still really quite tannic, but there is even more dark fruit here, waiting to develop. Not that I didn't enjoy it now, but this should be laid down for several more years.
'93 Musigny Grand Cru - J.F. Mugnier - Mature appearance, but not really browning yet. Bouquet hits you full in the face with lovely complexity. Impeccably balanced. Infinitely long. What a treat.
The 3 above were supplied by Mike Connor, bless his generous heart!
'98 Richebourg Grand Cru - Denis Mugnier - I had to pull something somewhat similar out of the cellar after those 3. Still a youngish appearance. Good bouquet development, but not quite as mature. Palate has notable tannin, but is really quite smooth and long. Excellent, but I'll save the next bottle for at least 5 more years.
Other notable bottles:
Marwan poured me a glass of really excellent champagne to sip while finishing up my morel mushroom risotto, but I never got around to finding out what it was! Any help?
'95 J.M. Boillot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru - Les Combettes. Chris Weber brought this. It was absolutely brilliant. The best white wine I tasted all weekend (and for the past several years), and that includes the J.J. Prum fest that was going on Saturday (much of which, I will admit, I missed). Quite golden, but not browning. Massive bouquet of pure Chardonnay and minerals. Incredibly long succulent finish, with mineral and butterscotch aspects, but not the least bit cloying or over-the-top.
'86 Gruaud Larose - Jim Grow, I believe, brought this. Quite mature looking. Textbook Cordier bret-influenced bouquet (which I love). Quite plump and earthy. Nice finish that echoes the nose.

Saturday:
The Pegau vertical:
88, 89, 90, 92, 93, 94, 95, 95 Cuvee Laurance, 96, 97, 98, 99, 00, 01, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09.
I can't go into details on each wine, but one thing that stuck several of the tasters was the remarkable consistency in both the style and flavors of the wines from vintage to vintage. They did vary more in intensity, but the skill of the wine-making over the decades was apparent. Personal favorites: 90, 95 (both), 98. Weakest efforts were 92 & 93, but they were surprisingly still alive and drinkable, given the overall weakness of those vintages.

I also recall enjoying 2 '99 Cote Roties (one was a Bernard Levet reserve bottling that I brought, I forget the other), a 94 La Chapelle, and a really nice Cornas someone poured me that I never saw the producer or vintage on.

Finally, my dessert wine was an '02 Baumard Quarts de Chaume, that I quite enjoyed while dancing to the live band at the lodge. My night was over!
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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:55 pm

Another bunch of great notes here!
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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby Joshua Kates » Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:06 pm

A few to add to those:

Another highlight of Friday night, alongside Mike's amazingly generous contributions and Dave's own, was also from Chris Weber, I believe: 1990 Lynch-Bages. More backward than the '89 I got to taste last year (one of my favorite Bordeaux ever), this lacked the tobacco leaf and briar of the former but showed beautiful dark Pauillac fruit, with great balance. The finish lasted forever. (I believe Marwan's champagne, by the way, was an Alfred Gratien.) In addition, someone perhaps Bob, was pouring the '86 Gruaud-Larose: a delightful, chewy mouthful, still could go a ways, but fun now.

Saturday proved an embarrassment of riches. On the Wehlehner Sonnenuhr tasting, the standout for me was John Trombley's 05 JJ Prum Gold Kap Auslese; it was still young, but mindblowing in its intensity and its clarity (all honeyed sunlight). The '89 1989 JJ Prum Spatlese, brought by Mike Conner, I believe was also a treat (leading with pineapple and a little petrol), as was, one rank below, my 2001 Kerpen 2 star Auslese.

My favorites among the Pegau were the 1990 Reserve (dark fruit, sassparilla,lovely nose) and the 1995 Cuvee Laurence, which had some added exotic spiciness and red fruits...heading in a more Burgundian direction. I agree, by the way, the style tends to be uniform, but in the bigger years, to be honest, I find the Grenache sometimes overwhelming. I preferred, accordingly, for drinking right now, the somewhat lighter vintages: 04, brought by Sam Platt, and Julia B's 2008.

To round out this region, I did enjoy, in truth perhaps more than most of the Pegau,--I guess I am not finally a big CdP guy--the little Beaucastel vertical that got mounted. Rounder, better fruited (to me), more velvety, the 1990 was drinking marvelously, as was the '05, though perhaps still a little tannic. I believe I missed the 09. But I sipped some 2004 Vieux Telegraphe, which was totally ready to go. I enjoyed Dave's Cote Rotie also; the Cornas may have been mine (and Dilip's) contribution:Le Vignon Cornas 1998. Not the greatest winemaker of the region (Galet), it's in a very good place right now, with some of the iron and blood mixed in with deep black Syrah fruit that has mellowed well.

Though they came at the very end of the tasting I cannot fail to mention, also from Mike Conner, the 1989 and 1990 (I think) Clos Erasmus from Priorat. So much wine had gone down already, I could not really give these their due, but could tell they would be wines to linger over and that would show impressively on other occasions.

Moving to Italy, I found the 1990 Sassello Il Poggiolo memorable: velvety and still nicely fruited, it had developed deep mushroom secondary flavors. The 2001 Paolo Bea Sagrantino Montefalco was a complex, balanced mouthful of dark fruit, yet smooth...still young, but drinkable. I had brought the Paolo Scavino 2004 Barolo Carobric. I thought it a little too young (too much unresolved tannin) and perhaps a touch syrupy (?), but others seemed pleased with it (and I'm sure it opened up some after a while). By contrast, I loved the Sandrone 2003 Le Vigne, which I had also brought. From a warmer vintage, beautiful cherry fruit here, balanced by a trace of tannin and complex spices. (Most of this went down at our table over dinner--it stood up nicely to the smoked prime rib.) Finally, my desserts were both Italian and I think both from Julia B: the 2001 Vin Santo I Ruffin(i?) and the Maculan 2003 Torcolato. Both were lovely, the Vin Santo a touch more viscous, which is how I like them.

A great way to end another memorable wine weekend; my thanks to everyone!
Josh
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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby JC (NC) » Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:48 pm

I believe I did get to sample the J.F. Mugnier Musigny. Thanks for providing the vintage and producer's name. Sorry I missed out on a Richebourg.
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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby Ryan M » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:21 pm

Yet another MoCool to make me envious - someday I will join you all, promise. Did you have to bring the smelling salts for JB after all that Pegau? :D
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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby Dale Williams » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:45 pm

Dave Guimond wrote:89 Haut Brion //'90 Haut Brion//'93 Musigny Grand Cru - J.F. Mugnier
The 3 above were supplied by Mike Connor, bless his generous heart!

Wow, more than generous.
Sounds like a great time all around.
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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby JC (NC) » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:59 am

Some Mo'Cool photos are showing up on Facebook already--Alyce Stark and LuAnne Platt have posted some photos.
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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:55 am

Once again, not all of us are on Facebook. Thanks.
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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby JuliaB » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:28 pm

Ryan M wrote:Yet another MoCool to make me envious - someday I will join you all, promise. Did you have to bring the smelling salts for JB after all that Pegau? :D



huh...wha..what..where am I?
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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby JuliaB » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:31 pm

Great notes JC, Dave, and Josh!! Keep 'em coming. I'm going to try to tackle the photo posting here. It is so tedious to convert the pictures to the right size, but you all need to see how amazing this event is!

JB
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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby JuliaB » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:35 pm

Dale Williams wrote:
Dave Guimond wrote:89 Haut Brion //'90 Haut Brion//'93 Musigny Grand Cru - J.F. Mugnier
The 3 above were supplied by Mike Connor, bless his generous heart!

Wow, more than generous.
Sounds like a great time all around.


Not to mention the 9 (?) Muscadets and two or three Pegaus he contributed. I heard there were others from Mike, but who can keep track. The man is a MoCool machine!!
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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby James Roscoe » Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:09 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:Once again, not all of us are on Facebook. Thanks.

I guess you will either miss out or have to join Facebook. The people with pictures aren't on WLDG!
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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby JuliaB » Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:21 pm

I just downloaded several pictures from Facebook to upload here, and it was so incredibly laborious, I gave up. For some reason the pixel size kept reverting back to an unacceptable width and height. I'm probably being inept. If anyone wants to tackle this, please feel free to do so!

My own pictures are on my phone, which met an untimely death this weekend.

Sorry,
JB
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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby Mike Conner » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:53 am

Joshua Kates wrote:Though they came at the very end of the tasting I cannot fail to mention, also from Mike Conner, the 1989 and 1990 (I think) Clos Erasmus from Priorat. So much wine had gone down already, I could not really give these their due, but could tell they would be wines to linger over and that would show impressively on other occasions.

They were '95 and '96 vintages (the "affordable" years). Had to have something nice for chef once he was done with his duties. ;-)


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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby Mike Conner » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:57 am

JuliaB wrote:Not to mention the 9 (?) Muscadets and two or three Pegaus he contributed. I heard there were others from Mike, but who can keep track. The man is a MoCool machine!!

It was just 8, and one was corked :x . I didn't take notes, but only one showed "so-so." Mike Brenton was doing some notes so perhaps he can add a little.


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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby Sam Platt » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:13 am

JuliaB wrote:Not to mention the 9 (?) Muscadets and two or three Pegaus he contributed. I heard there were others from Mike, but who can keep track. The man is a MoCool machine!!

You can always count on Mike to bring along lots of "crappy" wine. The Haut Brions he brought this year were particularly crappy. When it comes to generosity in sharing some of the worlds crappiest wines very few can compete with Mike.
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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby Jon Peterson » Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:01 am

JuliaB wrote:huh...wha..what..where am I?


Love it! Liz and I just gotta be there next year!
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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby JuliaB » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:40 am

Jon Peterson wrote:
JuliaB wrote:huh...wha..what..where am I?


Love it! Liz and I just gotta be there next year!



Great, Jon!! We'll look forward to seeing you. Mark your calendar..next year's MoCool is Aug. 16, 2014. We are soliciting theme suggestions now!

JB
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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby Peter May » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:07 pm

Did Sue Courtney manage to get there?
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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby JuliaB » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:18 pm

Peter May wrote:Did Sue Courtney manage to get there?





Yes, she and Neil were there after their whirlwind travels! Great to meet them. Hopefully, after they've rested up, she'll post here. Sue was spotted taking copious notes at the Riesling vertical!

Perhaps we'll get you there next year, Peter!
Cheers!
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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby Peter May » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:24 pm

I've pondered before about going Julia, so maybe. Would need enough advance notice however -- this one clashed with business.

However I will be at the American Wine Soc conference in your part of the woods -- well in your state, don't know how close you are to Sandusky - in November.

Shame we can't see the pix.
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Re: Preliminary Mo'Cool report

Postby Dave Guimond » Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:38 pm

Sandusky, OH is only about a 2.5 hour drive from the "slightly west by northwest of Ann Arbor, MI" home of MoCool, and practically in the backyard of one of the Noland brothers. Perhaps another offline gathering is in order?
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