Mo'Cool 1997 REPORT AND TASTING NOTES:
Mo'Cool 1997 - Day One
© Copyright 1997 by Robin Garr
The hordes began gathering early in Ann Arbor and Detroit for the sixth annual MOtown COoperative OffLine (Mo'Cool), arguably the world's largest gathering of 'net-wired wine lovers from all the major online services and the 'net. (For another view of the events of the weekend -- and an outstanding one at that -- check the Gang of Pour's Mo'Cool report).
Friday's deliberations came in two segments: An informal tasting in the remarkable "back room" of Detroit's Cloverleaf Liquors, followed by a delightful dinner at Morels, a suburban restaurant where sommelier Madeline Triffon (a great wine person and delightful individual) put together a matched set of creative courses and top-rank wines all in keeping with this year's Mo'Cool theme, "Mediterranean Madness." In theory, all of the 100-plus wines shared over the weekend should be "born within 100 miles of the Med," although this requirement, as the rules say, is "loosely enforced" so as to permit "Med-style" wines from all over the world, plus a few ringers.
WINES AT CLOVERLEAF
Chateau la Nerthe 1994 Chateauneuf-du-Pape - Opaque black-purple. Black pepper and ripe, plummy fruit on the nose and palate. Full, ripe and hugely tannic, needs long aging, but it's such a fruit bomb that it's surprisingly enjoyable now.
Bosquet des Papes 1995 Chateauneuf-du-Pape - Very dark garnet. Shy on the nice, pleasant herbs and fragrant pepper. Pepper dominant in the flavor, but the fruit's a bit AWOL behind the tannins. I expect it will come around, but this one's not for opening now.
Chateau Morgues du Gres 1995 "Terre d'Argence" Costieres du Nimes - This chateau-bottled red from the Rhone delta is a hazy dark garnet in color, with plums and herbal notes on the nose. Black fruit and not-unpleasant vegetal notes combine in a pleasant, complex flavor. A Weygandt-Metzler import.
Chateau la Joya 1993 Colchagua Valley (Chile) Merlot Gran Reserva - Dark purple, opaque. Light black-cherry aroma; hugely extracted black-fruit flavor, a fruit bomb, so juicy it's almost sweet; but underlying structure and tannins suggest it will come into balance with time.
WINES AT MORELS (retail prices estimated on the high side, based on Madeline's wholesale)
APERITIF (with bruschetta and pastry sticks)
San Giorgio 1995 Sangiovese Dry Red Wine of Molise, Italy (under $8) - Clear ruby, on the light side. Perfumed red-fruit flavor; soft and juicy fruit, a whiff of sulfur.
Argiolas 1995 Vermentino di Sardegna (Sardinia, Italy) ($12) - Pale straw color, with a pea-green edge. Lovely wine-grape scent; tart and fresh flavor; as Jay Baldwin jokes, "it reboots the palate" after all the hearty reds at Cloverleaf. Very good white.
FIRST PLATE - SOUTHERN FRANCE (shrimp Provencal with tomatoes, garlic and saffron in puff pastry)
Rozan non-vintage "Vendanges de Soleil" Coteaux d'Aix en Provence Rosé ($13) - Clear copper color with an orange hue. Light herbal scent. Crisp and bone dry, delicious herbs and berry fruit.
Domaine Piquemal 1996 Cotes Catalanes Muscat Sec ($13) - Clear pale brass color. Lovely peach and apricot aromas; full fruit flavor but bone-dry and piercingly tart. Fresh peaches linger in the finish. Odd, the powerful Muscatty aromas and flavors lead the palate to expect sweetness, but then you're hit with this dry, lean acidity. An inspired match with the shrimp, but if you're expecting "typicity," you won't find it here.
SECOND PLATE - SPAIN (potato tortilla with manchego cheese, field greens and Spanish olive oil)
Jardin Tinto 1996 Navarra (Spain) Guelbenzu (old vines Garnacha) ($9) - Dark garnet color. Ripe fruit aromas, strawberry and a wine-vinegar/salad-dressing edge that suggests whole-berry fermentation. Juicy fruit flavor, lemony acidity, and a largish tannic structure -- odd, reminds me of a Beaujolais on steroids.
A. Fernandez 1995 "Condado de Haza" Ribero del Duero ($20) - Very dark garnet. Black-fruit and marked oak aromas, dill-pickle and coconut. Full-bodied, big fruit tartly acidic and loaded with tannins. Irresistible now, but time will unveil much more. Still, my pick (and, I believe, the consensus pick) as wine of the evening.
PRINCIPAL PLATE - ITALY (lamb lasagna Bolognese over roasted asparagus)
Librandi 1991 Gravello (Calabria, Italy) ($22) - Clear, dark-ruby color. Lovely perfumed floral aromas with earthy, mushroomy notes that almost suggest the wine is "corked," but Madeline persuades us that it's simply the earthy nature of the local Gaglioppo grape that makes up 60% of the blend -- the rest is Cabernet). Red-fruit and lemon-squirt acidity on the palate lead into a shortish, tannic finish. Needs time.
Prunotto 1993 Barolo ($25-$30) - This is the first vintage under new ownership by Antinori, and the latter's "international style" seems to be showing. It's a clear ruby color with a rather closed aroma, perhaps just a homeopathic touch of the classic Nebbiolo "violets." Fresh cherry-berry fruit dominates a tart-fruit flavor with wisps of tannin; quite accessible for a relatively young Barolo.
DESSERT - GREECE AND SPAIN (baklava with cinnamon ice cream and honey sauce)
Casta Diva 1995 Cosecha Miel (ALicante, Spain) - This dessert wine is a very pale gold in color, with an odd but appealing aroma of honey, vanilla and exotic spices -- I swear I can detect cardamom. Flavors follow the nose, nectar-sweet but with a good acidic balance and a pleasant touch of bitterness in the finish. Madeline says it's late-harvested Muscat with a touch of fortification, aged in new American oak (!) which helps explain the tasty but rather bizarre aromas and flavors.
Mo'Cool 1997 - Day Two
© Copyright 1997 by Robin Garr
The second day of Mo'Cool 1997 was a huge success, by popular acclaim, with a very large crowd of wine-lovers (close to 100, I'd guess, although nobody counted) working their way through a very large number of wines (nobody counted them, either) during an absolutely perfect summer afternoon at Joel and Sally Goldberg's place outside Ann Arbor. Great food (grilled lamb being the highlight), great wines, great friends ... who could ask for more?
Again, the theme of the weekend's deliberations was, "Mediterranean Madness, Wines Born Within 100 Miles of the Med (Loosely Enforced)." I went through them, missing only a few, on a more-or-less random basis, but I've organized my notes in categories by country, whites and pinks before reds; otherwise they're listed pretty much in the order I came to them. Retail prices are cited only where I know them, mostly for the wines I brought. (Please note also that these wines were tasted very quickly, non-"blind," in a happy, sociable setting, and shouldn't be held up as models for either detail or rigorous scientific analysis.)
Fillaboa 1995 Rias Baixas Albariño - Clear brass color. Apples, pears and bitter-almond aromas. Fresh, simple fruit flavor, follows the nose; good fruit-acid balance.
Faustino I 1982 Tinto Gran Riserva Rioja - Slightly hazy ruby-amber. Delicate fruit and leather aromas; ripe, almost sweet old-Rioja fruit on the palate. Lovely.
Torres 1978 Penedes Gran Coronas (Black Label) Cabernet Sauvignon - Hazy dark-ruby. Vanilla over heady stone fruit; ripe, sweet-fruit flavor on the palate; oak is still present after all these years, but it's in balance with fruit and the tertiary aromas of bottle age. Fully mature and a delight, but it falls apart quickly after the bottle is opened, suggesting that it's not for longer keeping.
Pesquera 1992 Ribera del Duero - Opaque reddish-purple. Black fruit aromas and flavors, ripe and tannic. Good balance, but needs much time.
Teofilo Reyes 1994 Tinto Cosecha Ribera del Duero - Dark ruby-black. Black fruit aromas take a back seat to oaky vanillins; a "fruit bomb" in the flavor department, huge, ripe and juicy black fruit, sweet oak, lemon-squirt acidity and a boatload of tannins. A real mouthfull, but I wonder if it will age gracefully after the Technicolor fades.
Condado de Haza 1994 Ribera del Duero - Hazy dark-garnet. Leather and plums on the nose; consistent on the palate, big fruit and good structure.
Condado de Haza 1995 Ribera del Duero - Black in color, opaque. Shy nose, seems less forward and much less notably oaky than the same wine tasted last night at Morel's. Soft, juicy fruit at first, with firm acid and tannic structure showing up in the finish.
Quarles Harris 1977 Vintage Port - Very dark ruby color. Subtle, complex stone-fruit aromas, a bit on the shy side. Full and tight, with a firm acidic "grip." Opened immediately before serving, and filter decanted (the cork broke into the wine), it had no breathing time and is still very young; but it holds great promise, and opened up significantly in the glass.
Clos Nicrosi 1993 Vin de Corse Coteaux du Cap Corse (Corsica) Blanc de Blancs - Clear bright gold. Almonds and herbs, definite oxidized notes. Corsican wines are so rare, no one's certain whether it's supposed to be this way, but its age suggests that it's simply over the hill.
Les Figuieres 1995 Cotes du Rhone Viognier-Roussanne - Clear straw color. Nice peach and wildflower aromas; dry and crisp flavor with a pleasant bitter touch in the finish.
Domaines Ott 1995 Cotes de Provence Rosé - Very pale salmon color, "onionskin." Light berry scent; bone-dry, juicy fruit.
Chateau de Beaucastel 1990 Chateauneuf-du-Pape - Dark ruby color. Brett, "horsey," "barnyard" aromas. Big black fruit flavor and tons of brett. Definitely pushes the limit on the "earthy" style of Chateauneuf.
Les Cailloux 1990 Chateauneuf-du-Pape - Dark ruby, with earthy barnyard flavors; full, ripe fruit flavor, highly acidic. Not quite as "outrageous" in the barnyard department as the Beaucastel, but certainly in the same realm.
Domaine de Pegau 1994 "Cuvee Reservee" Chateauneuf-du-Pape - Very dark reddish-purple. Deep, perfumed fruit, clean and full, no hint of the barnyard. Massive on the palate, black fruit, lemony acid, tannins; way too young.
Domaine du Cayron 1988 Gigondas - Opaque black-purple color. Evidence of both horses and chickens in its barnyard aromas; full fruit, very tannic, still needs time.
Docteur Parcé 1994 Domaine du Mas Blanc Collioure Cuvee Reservee - Dark garnet color. Black fruit, fennel and tarragon aromas; "garrigues" (fresh Provence herbs) and ripe juicy fruit on the palate. Dry and tart and lasting; a very fine wine.
Alain Brumont 1994 Chateau Montus Madiran ($17.99) - Very dark reddish-purple. Light garrigues and black-fruit aromas; big fruit flavor, huge structure of acid and tannins. Excellent balance, but needs much time. (With two hours' airing, it was my choice of table wine to accompany the lamb.)
Domaines Ott 1994 "L'Age d'Or" Cotes de Provence - Ruby color. Ripe red-fruit aromas; juicy fruit flavor with lemon-squirt acidity. Fine quaff.
La Bastide Blanche 1993 Bandol - Very dark garnet. Garrigues, plums and cherries on the nose; juicy fruit flavor, with firm tannins clamping down in mid-palate.
Mas de Gourgonnier 1994 Les Baux de Provence - Very dark ruby. Fecal aromas horrendously dominant, like walking into an over-used public restroom at noon on a hot summer day. Unpleasant, doesn't invite a taste; numerous innocent subjects forced to smell it agree.
Domaine Peyre Rose 1992 Clos Syrah Leone Coteaux du Languedoc - Very dark reddish-purple. Green-pepper and black fruit aromas; excellent structure and balance on the palate. Lots of tannin, but plenty of fruit to outlast it.
Les Clos de Paulilles 1994 "AAA" Collioure - Dark reddish-purple. Deep, ripe fruit and balancing acidity; very nice wine, but it's utterly different from the Dr. Parcé (above) of the same region and vintage.
Domaine Sorin 1995 Cotes de Provence - Hazy garnet color. Plummy fruit and "barnyard" scents. Particularly earthy flavors, mushrooms and truffles, not corked but a little offputting.
Chateau Pech Redon 1994 Coteaux du Languedoc La Clape - Clear garnet. Restrained garrigues, lavendar and mixed herbs dance with red fruit; flavors consistent, loads of red fruit, lemon-tart acidity and significant but accessibly soft tannins.
Chateau le Campuget 1995 Costieres de Nimes - Very dark ruby color. Black pepper and plummy fruit aromas, herbs and ripe fruit flavors on a good acidic structure.
Syrah de l'Arjolle 1995 Vin de Pays des Cotes de Thongue - Dark ruby color. Funky swamp-gas and sulfur aromas don't invite a taste. Dump.
Cuvee de Peña 1995 Vin de Pays des Pyrenees Orientales - Dark garnet in color. Herbs, lavendar, garrigues and black fruit. Flavors follow the nose, dry and tart. Nice wine!
Domaine de Trevallon 1993 Coteaux d'Aix en Provence Les Baux - Opaque reddish-purple. Red fruit and garrigues; juicy, fruity and tart.
Les Clos de Paulilles Rimage 1995 Rimage Banyuls - Opaque black-purple color. Bitter chocolate and prunes aromas; full-bodied, sweet and strong stone-fruit flavor. Served with dessert, so I was able to reconfirm the conventional wisdom: Banyuls makes a great match with chocolate!
Vadiaperti 1993 Greco di Tufo ($6.49) - Clear brass color. Pleasant almonds and grassy aromas; dry and crisp, bitter-almond finish. Adds weight to my hypothesis that Greco di Tufo is one of the few Italian whites of real character, and the price on this one (at Ann Arbor's Village Corner) is amazing!
Fossi Rosso non-vintage Vino da Tavola ($5.49) - Dark ruby, black-cherry and spicy oak aromas; fully, juicy fruit, clean and bright. Holding up very well after a year's aging, still one of the best $5 wines around. Starts to fade after an hour open, though, suggesting that extended further aging may not be wise.
Pervini 1993 Primitivo di Manduria ($10.99) - Dark ruby color. Spicy red-fruit aroma. Clean, fruity and bright, lemon-squirt acidity. Pleasant Southern Italian red, but Primitivo's kinship to Zinfandel certainly doesn't show.
Fratelli Serio & Battista Borgogno 1985 Vigna Cannubi Barolo Riserve - Hazy ruby color. Leather and mixed nuts, showing its age, but fruit and flowers are present, too. Ripe and full, tastes younger than it smells.
Fossi 1977 Chianti Classico Riserva - Still another of those odd, very old but recently released Tuscan reds from Fossi, this one's a dark ruby-amber color with good scents of plums, black cherry and leather. Juicy fruit and tart acid flavors, holding up very well.
Zenato Peschiera 1985 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico - Opaque in color, aromas of plums and leather; full fruit, big body, hot finish.
Selvapiana 1990 Vigneto Bucerchiale Chianti Rufina Riserva - Dark reddish-purple, ripe black-fruit aromas and flavors; very tannic, promising but closed, immature.
Elio Altare 1986 Vigna Arborina Nebbiolo - Very dark garnet. Lovely aromas, violets and "tar," classic Nebbiolo. Full and ripe flavor, firm acidic structure. Great balance, drinking very well now.
"Braida" di Giacomo Bologna 1989 Barbera di Rocchetta Tanaro - I thought I knew Italian wines, but this is a totally new one on me. It's a good one, though, dark ruby in color, with good black-fruit, tarragon and anise aromas carrying over into full, ripe fruit flavors with balancing acidity, still quite tannic.
Castello di Neive 1987 Barbaresco Vigneto Santo Stefano - Hazy ruby-amber. Black fruit and leather. Tart, juicy fruit, showing an edge of oxidation.
Basilico Cafaggio 1990 Cortaccio Vino da Tavola di Toscana - Very dark garnet color. Delicious black-cherry and spicy oak aromas; good, balanced black fruit on the palate. Excellent new-style Tuscan. (It's all Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in French oak.)
Alessi Leandro 1993 "Etrusco" Sangiovese Red Table Wine of Tuscany - Dark ruby color; oaky vanillins dominate the nose and palate, making it difficult to find the fruit.
Katogi Ageroff 1992 "Greek Product" Red Dry Table Wine - Dark cherry red. Sulfurous aromas; ripe fruit flavor with a pungent note. Uninviting.
Achaia Clauss non-vintage Mavrodaphne of Patras - Clear, light plum color. Walnuts, citron and cherries on the nose and palate, soft and sweet, but with sufficient acidity for balance. Without bringing Port-style expectations to this wine, it remains one of the best dessert wines around for less than $10.
Chateau Musar 1989 - Two bottles opened; the first is brown and Sherrylike, DOA. The second is also showing maderization and a bitter, rancid-nut character, but not quite as far gone.
Chateau Musar 1988 - Hazy ruby color. Black-cherry aroma and flavor, substantially maderized.
Yarden 1992 Galil (Israel) Cabernet Sauvignon - Hazy ruby color. Dill and green-pepper aromas, thin and sour.
Yarden 1993 Galil (Israel) Cabernet Sauvignon - Dark, cloudy. Dill and vinegar. Makes the '92 seem good by comparison. Ptui!
Side Brahim non-vintage "Le Soleil des Terres du Sud" Rouge - Very dark garnet. Plummy scent; soft, simple fruit flavor. Unimpressive, but wins faint praise, considering its origin: "It's not horrible."
"LOOSELY ENFORCED" (MEDITERRANEAN STYLE FROM OTHER REGIONS)
Topolos 1995 Old Vines Napa Valley Charbono - Dark reddish-purple. Black fruit, a whiff of Rhone-style "chicken manure." Soft fruit over a tart acidic core.
Francis Coppola 1995 "Rosso" California Red Wine ($10.99) - Clear ruby, grapey fruit. Soft, slightly sweet, low acid, prickly on the tongue. The back label indicates that this is in homage to old-fashioned home-made Italian American reds. Maybe so, but this also reminds us how far we've come.
White Cottage 1993 Howell Mountain Napa Valley Sangiovese - Dark ruby color. Tight, tannic, needs much time. After two hours, it shows real potential and elegance. The Howell Mountain character speaks louder than the Sangiovese, but it's one fine red wine.
Trentadue 1991 Alexander Valley Sangiovese - Dark reddish-purple; grapey fruit. Good black-cherry flavor, so extracted that it almost seems sweet, but a core of lemony acidity holds it together. More "Italian" than a lot of Chiantis; a winner.
Lievland Estate Wine 1995 Lievlander (South Africa) Estate Wine - Pleasant, perfumed fruit. Ripe red-fruit flavor, juicy fruit and tart acidity, clean and fresh. A Rhone-style blend, recently rated 5 stars by Decanter. Joel got it in South Africa for the equivalent of US$3!
Ridge 1995 California Mataro Pagani Vineyard - Dark ruby in color. Ripe berries and good earthy, perfumed aromas. Huge extracted fruit flavor, held in proportion by lemon-squirt acidity. It's 75% Mataro (Mourvedre) and 25% Zinfandel.
"NOT AT ALL ENFORCED" (OTHER REGIONS, NOT MED-STYLE)
Mulderbosch 1997 Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc ($18.59) - Pale brass color, with lusty jalapeno pepper and "cat spray" aromas leaping from the glass. ("It's back!" exults fellow Mulderbosch-lover Joel Goldberg, referring to the brief departure of last year's vintage from this winery's usual outrageous style.) Ripe and juicy citric fruit flavors and steely acidity carry this fine item to a triumphant finish. Wonderful wine.
Flora Springs 1993 Rutherford Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - Very dark reddish-purple. Subtle vanilla, dill and "forest floor" nuances flirt with big black fruit; big and complex, loads of fruit and loads of tannin. Outstanding wine, with a long, happy future. One of the best wines of the day, even if it had nothing to do with "Mediterranean Madness."
Burgess 1978 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - Hazy reddish-amber color. Good bitter-coffee and leathery fruit aromas; flavors consistent with the nose, dry and tart. Old but still breathing; delicate and very appealing.
Hermannhof 1992 Hermann (Missouri) Norton - Very dark garnet. Blueberries and grapey fruit aromas; juicy fruit flavor backed by lemony acid.
The following were presented during a brief break from "Mediterranean Madness" by Dave Creighton, representing the Michigan Wine and Grape Advisory Council, who brought along three top Michigan wines in support of his contention that Michigan -- despite its reputation as an Arctic state unsuited for wine-growing -- can actually produce delightful cool-climate wines (light, acidic, intensely fruity, sometimes off-dry) as do such other far-north wine regions as Germany, Alsace, Champagne and the Loire.
Chateau Grand Traverse 1995 Michigan Dry Johannisberg Riesling - Very pale, watery hue. Delicious, subtle peach aromas lead into a lovely fruit flavor, dry and very tart and fresh, with a prickly petillance on the tongue. It's not German, not Alsatian, not Finger Lakes and certainly not US West Coast in style; perhaps it defines Michigan Riesling. (Won Best of Show White at the Michigan State Fair.)
Fenn Valley Lake Michigan Shore non-vintage Classic Reserve - More typical of Midwestern wines in style, it's made from a French-hybrid blend (predominantly Vidal, with some Vignoles, Riesling and Seyval Blanc). Very pale brass color, with light apricot aromas and a piney, almost "turpentine" scent that almost always singles out Vidal. Slightly sweet, simple fruit flavor, with steely acidity to hold it in balance.
Peninsula Cellars 1995 "Raftshol Red" Leelanau Peninsula Red Table Wine - Clear, rather pale ruby color. Excellent blueberry and restrained green-pepper aromas; light but full of juicy fruit and lemon-squirt acidity on the palate. Primarily Cabernet Franc with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, it's surprisingly reminiscent of a Loire Chinon but not as aggressively vegetal. I brought low expectations to this Michigan red, but it's impressive. (Won a double gold at the Great Lakes Wine Competition.)
(Also brought to the table by a Michigander:)
Leelanau Ltd. Michigan 100% Cherry Wine - Pale rose color. Good, fresh-cherry aroma; lightly sweet cherry flavor. Respects the character of the fruit, which is the best thing a fruit wine can do.
Mo'Cool 1997 - Day Three
© Copyright 1997 by Dave Guimond
By Dave Guimond
Robin couldn't make it to day three, so he asked me to post my TNs on the third and final event of Mo'Cool 97. This event was billed as "The Boys in the Bandol", but the end result, of course, was "The Bandol in the Boys". I personnally have had very little experience with Bandol, so I'm not in a position to comment on whether what we tasted was typical of the appellation or not. There were 12 wines served in two flights (only the one ringer was served blind), and a 13th bottle that was not present in high enough quantity to be included in the set. Also included was a two sheet summary of the estates and some Parker scores, which I still have not read (wishing to rely completely on my own impressions) and will not include here. We did score the wines; and I will include the group ratings as well as my own. The 2 rosés were ranked seperately from the 10 red wines. There were (I think) 32 tasters.
(1) 95 La Bastide Blanche Rosé.
Pale opaque pink. I found primarily a rubbery quality to the nose with a little red fruit peeking out. Fairly full and round on the mid palate. Longish but unidimensional finish. Very dry and quite serious for a rose'. No wood in evidence. My Second. Group First.
(2) 95 Domaine Tempier Rosé.
Pale opaque pink again. More fruit shows on the nose. This is fuller and quite fruity. Not as long as #1, but for me, more interesting. About as good a rose' as I've ever had. Again, no wood and very dry. My First. Group Second.
The Reds - I found very little difference in the colors, so I'll omit commenting on that unless relevant.
(3) 90 Chateau Vannieres.
Rubbery nose aspect again with a little fruit as well. (NOT Sulphur however) Quite light bodied and thin. Virtually without fruit on the palate, and the finish drops off quickly. The group scored this much higher than I did. Group 10. My 10.
(4) 90 Domaines Ott, Longue Garde.
Big, powerful fruity nose. The rubber again (perhaps there's an aspect of Mourvedre that I'm Identifying in this fashion). This reminds me somewhat of a Chateauneuf du Pape. Medium bodied, with a longish finish that turns a hint metallic. Something of the barnyard here as well. My 3 (tied). Group 7.
(5) 90 Domaine Tempier, Cuvee Special "Le Cabassou".
Nose is closed, tannic, and slightly fungal. Very tight medium bodied wine with a distinctly coarse mouthfeel. Quite puckeringly dry and acidic. A core of fruit, but I wonder if it's enough to stand up to the acid and tannin. My 9. Group 4.
(6) 90 Chateau Pradeaux.
Just a hint of rubber on the nose along with a softer fruit element and some oak. This is softer and fuller but not particularly complex. Finish is medium short but pleasant. Could be enjoyed fairly soon. My 6. Group 8.
(7) 93 La Bastide Blanche, Longue Garde.
Big deep brooding, almost sweet nose. Layers of fruit on the palate. Interesting blackberry, smoke and tobacco aspects. Quite ripe. Nice wine. My 3 (tied). Group 5.
(8) 93 La Bastide Blanche, Cuvee Fontanieu.
This is somehow softer and the fullest yet. Medium bodied and fairly earthy. Nice balance and structure. This is well poised for a long positive evolution. Quite a long and interesting finish. My 2. Group 3.
(9) Mystery wine.
Fuller color. Lots of American oak on the nose. But also sweet fruit and powder with a hint of ink. Screams California. Palate has nice fruit that seems somehow consistent with the Bandol despite the obvious stylistic differences. A hint of raspberry. Quite oaky on the finish as well. The wood dominance leads me to mark it down some, but the fruit is there, and it probably just needs time. Both geo t. and myself wrote down Ridge Mataro. The wine was: 95 Ridge Pagani Vineyard Mataro ATP. I may have been helped along by the fact that I saw Joel's collection of Ridge wines in his cellar last night, and indeed a bottle of this Mataro had been opened. Very popular at my table. Group 2. My 5.
(10) 89 Domaine Tempier.
Nose fairly closed or reserved initally with oak and tobacco emerging later. Earthy, woody aspect to the palate. Still somewhat tannic with a fairly round and somewhat complex finish. My 6. Group 6.
(11) 89 Chateau Pradeaux
Exotic cedar and tobacco (cigar box?) on the nose. Very dry and somewhat astringent, particularly on the finish. Cedar dominates this wine. Quite complex but too austere. My 8. Group 9.
(12) 84 Domaine Tempier, Cuvee Special "La Tourtine".
A bit of amber on the edge. Much more mature nose. Nice full bottle bouquet. Easily the best nose of the set. Nice roundness to the palate. Smooth and complex. Nice sweet dark and even red berry fruit elements. Aspects of the barnyard, but not overwhelmingly so. Very good finish as well. My 1. Group 1.
(13) 89 Domaine St. Anne.
Only 1 bottle of this was available, so those interested got a dribble to taste. Nice raspberry and earthy elements to the nose. Good fruit and nicley balanced on the palate. Round and fullish. Interesting medium length finish. Well done. I'd have rated this probably in the top 4.
This was very interesting and I'm glad I attended.
Yes, it's true, Bandol makes a serious rosé.
These wines are pretty austere but well structured in youth, and appear to gain both body and complexity as they age.
I'm still not convinced that they are worth the high prices that they cost. (At least one taster there guessed that they were all under $10!)
Additional comments on Day Three by Joel Goldberg
As in years past, I think the ranking by our MO'COOL Sunday tasting bunch
tends to reward current drinkability above overall quality. The group's
top-rated wine, the '84 Tempier La Tourtine is a terrific wine clearly
drinking near its absolute peak, but IMO several of the others bottles,
notably the '93 Bastide Blanch Fontenieu and '90 Tempier Cabassou, will be
much superior when they develop. That may be hard to extrapolate on wines
like these, though.
Biggest disappointments were the '89 and '90 Pradeaux; having never tasted
the wines but read Parker's comments and scores (93 and 94), I was ready
for some pretty wonderful juice. While my notes on the '90 don't concur
with Dave's (I found its high tannins lacked redeeming fruit), our mediocre
rankings for both wines were quite similar.