Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Some recent tasting notes

Sorry for the dearth of posts these last two weeks, but I have been tasting some really good wines.  Here are some recent highlights from my wine cellars (closets...whatever).

Harlan Estate - The Maiden - 2007 -
I just don't see it. Yea, I get the chocolate, but the form is of unsweetened cocoa. The pH is way way lower than other top Napa's, and the tannins are pretty darn dry. I have two more in the cellar, so we'll see what happens in a few years.  88 points

Bodegas Alta Moncayo - Campo de Borgia - 2005
Dripping with ripe fruit, chocolate and spice. The secondary characteristics are just beginning to show up, and I am happy to report that the fruit isn't fading. A bit hot.  92 points

Booker Vineyard - White - 2007
Deep golden color, similar to an aged Burgundy. But the nose is pure Rhone. Honey, beeswax, spices, smoke, pineapple. The texture is oily despite a lively acid and the flavors are deep and profound. This is really really excellent.  93 points

Owen Roe - Crawford Beck Vineyard Pinot Gris - 2010
This was an atypical example of both grape and terroir, but since I don't usually prefer Oregon Pinot Gris, I enjoyed it. Green apples, pears, lemon. Bright Acid. Clean with a medium-minus finish. Not much minerality and no trace of Oregon mud that so often dominates this type of wine. 89 points

Michel & Stéphane Ogier Côte-Rôtie Cuvée la Belle Hélène - 1997
Purchased almost 12 years ago, which totally vindicates my bizarre wine storage, it was in perfect condition. This wine was an archetype Northern Rhone from a warm vintage. The acid was still bright and the tannins were fine and ripe, creating a frame for garrigue, tar, black olives, provencal herbs, black cherries and bacon. It was full bodied but still lively and wonderful. Decanted for about three hours and started to fade in five hours - I think it is at peak now. 94 points

Dr. Loosen Erdener Prälat Riesling Auslese - 2003
Surprisingly dry for the ripeness level, but then it was a vintage of extreme heat. Unctuous, silky, but still alive on the palate. Beautiful flavors of stone, petrol, lemon, ripe apple, and honey. Long finish.  92 points

Domaine Chandon Pinot Noir L'Argile - 2006
No obvious flaws, but no charm either. It's heavily manipulated and it could have been from anywhere. I get no sense of place. 87 points

Monday, October 17, 2011

I told you so

You may remember my post a few weeks ago about the irrationality of being a loyal customer.  My argument is that loyalty costs you money as one can often find cult wines at retail outlets in this economy and very often at a better prices.

Well I found this photo on winebeserkers.com.

THE cult cabernet...at Costco.  'nuff said?