Saturday, June 9, 2012

Friday Night Grab Bag

Last minute, I emailed some friends to see about a possible wine tasting on a Friday night. What I expected to be a small event quickly turned into a really solid tasting, with several people coming and bringing some special bottles. This is a unique bunch of wines and styles, but overall they were great. Notes...

2009 Domaine de la Pépière (Marc Ollivier) Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Chateau Thébaud Clos des Morines - France, Loire Valley, Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine
This is a big, bold Muscadet that shows a lot of heft, but still pays homage to the classic sea spray and mineral intensity of Muscadet. Initially, it smelled like white flowers, rich melon fruit, ocean spray and sea salt. The palate shows plump white peach fruit, tangy acid, and hints of lime and salt. There's a lovely creaminess to this wine, but also a lot of acid. Can a wine be hedonistic and racy at the same time? If so, this is the wine. Over time a lot of soap and perfume aromas came out. This could be aged for ten years easily, and I'm sure it would gain a lot of complexity. This is one hell of a Muscadet. (90 pts.)

2008 Gilbert Picq Chablis Dessus La Carriere - France, Burgundy, Chablis
Tim popped this Chabls. It's definitely a unique wine, at a unique place in its evolution. Right out of the bottle, the wine really smells like tuna can and lemon. No kidding, my cat Sonoma would probably love this. With time some nutshell, lemon-lime and nougat came out. If I smelled this blind, I would think it had at least eight years of age on it. The palate is surprisingly fresh and lively, with lots of sweet melon and grapefruit. There's some limestone and sea salt in there too, reminding me that we're in Chablis. It opened up with time, but it's definitely a mysterious Chablis. Maybe this wine would be a bit better with another two or three years? (88 pts.)

2011 Château de la Bonneliere Chinon Rive Gauche Rose - France, Loire Valley, Chinon
Lovely salmon color in the glass. Nose of seashells, grapefruit and nectarine. The palate is tangy and crisp with lean minerals. Flavors of wild strawberry, raspberry and a very distinct brambly note. I also get a tangy cranberry flavor that reminds me of Thanksgiving. Good structure and tannins for a Chinon rose. Delicious. (87 pts.)

2011 Clos Roche Blanche Touraine Cuvée Gamay - France, Loire Valley, Touraine
Leave it to Clos Roche Blanche to come out with one of the craziest gamays I've ever tasted. Pungent aromas of grapefruit, tilled soil and green onion. The palate is tart and tangy with lots of green pepper, white cherry and grapefruit. There's a lot of minerality and incense in this wine, along with a whole garden of herbs. This ain't no Beaujolais. Bizarre, and not for everyone, but really fun and nerdy. (89 pts.)

2009 Tramontane Collioure - France, Languedoc Roussillon, Collioure
Despite the weird label reminiscent of the early 1990s video game series Kirby, this is a serious wine. 100 percent grenache from the southern-most appellation in France. I tasted two bottles of this wine, one was opened that night, the other 24 hours before. The two tastings made clear to me that this wine can age, and should age. Day 2: Great raspberry aromas, savory spices, nutmeg, allspice. The palate shows tangy acid, lovely sweet cherries, along with spices of nutmeg and clove. This wine gave me a craving for lamb or bison burgers. The Day 1 bottle was a lot darker and showed richer fruit and spices. I'd love to taste this wine again in two years, as it clearly has a lot of complexity packed in here. (90 pts.)

2009 Schiefer Blaufränkisch Königsberg - Austria, Südburgenland
This was tasted blind, and my buddy J later told me it had been opened for several days. I usually like Schiefer's Blaufrankisch, and I did like this, it was just strange. Aromas of cranberries, lemon verbina, tobacco and toast. There are some bitter tannins, and tangy acid, but there's a lot of great flavors: orange rind, moroccan spices and cranberries. I'd score it 86, but again this was opened three days prior.

2008 Alain Hudelot-Noellat Chambolle-Musigny - France, Burgundy, Chambolle-Musigny
A beautiful young Burgundy. Elegant aromas of rose petals, sour cherry, as well as some savory spices and herbs. The palate shows tangy acid, firm tannins and a very elegant mouthfeel. Raspberry and rhubarb flavors abound. There's some stemminess, but not too much. This wine definitely needs some time to come together, but it's really pretty, and with time it became more floral and expressive. Lovely Chambolle. (90 pts.)

2007 Markus Molitor Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
Pretty gold color in the glass. Aromas of peach ring candy, whipped honey, peanut brittle and orange rind. Very rich aromatically. The palate shows sweet peaches, honeycomb, and rich canteloupe fruit. The acid came out with an hour or two, but I wanted a bit more. It's rich, but a little flabby, and doesn't have that mineral and acid streak I look for in Wehlener Sonnenuhrs. Tasty, but not very elegant. (86 pts.)

2005 Müller-Catoir Mußbacher Eselshaut Rieslaner Spätlese - Germany, Pfalz
I cannot believe I only bought one bottle of this wine. Neon yellow color in the glass with thick legs. The aromas are unbelievable in their complexity and purity: petrol, lemon oil, wax, apricot sauce, candied ginger. The aromas change and shift with three hours open, showing all sorts of gorgeousness. The palate is rich with lemon custard, yellow apple and ginger snap flavors. The acid keeps it fresh and lively. There's so much apricot, honeycomb, key lime pie and herbal flavors. The whole time, the acid and minerals slip through, providing sleekness and balance. Lovely tangerine rind on the finish. This could age for 10, 20+ years easily. It's almost a crime to drink it this young, but it's so good that I don't feel bad. Bob: "This is a very special wine." In ten years, I could see rating this wine even higher. This is no joke. Perfect Friday night wine. (94 pts.)

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