Assorted tasting notes from 2 weeks of drinking well.
Last Friday was my last day as wine director of my restaurant as I prepare to move out west and pursue a career in winemaking. This means I've had about two weeks of going away parties and assorted tasting events, and there have definitely been some exciting wines.
2000 Albert Bichot La Moutonne Chablis Grad Cru: La Moutonne is sort of a weird vineyard – not technically it's own site, it lays in/in-between Vaudesir and Les Preuses. It is a monopole of Bichot, who somehow is allowed to label the bottles as La Moutonne Grad Cru. The wine itself is fantastic, with 17 years of age tempering the screaming high acid into more of a lemon curd, predominant notes of almond cream and brioche, and that underlaying oyster shell and limestone that hints at this still being Chablis.
2008 E. Guigal La Mouline, La Turque, and La Landonne Cote Rotie: Really interesting to see these all side-by-side. The Turque was the star, with black pepper, lavender, and violets just leaping out of the glass. The Mouline was definitely 2nd best, really heavy on the floral notes and showing a richer fruit profile. The Landonne was pretty unimpressive between these other two, but I tried a final glass about 36 hours later and found a really appealing briney olive quality had began to show itself. For all that Guigal is known for oak use it seemed really seamlessly integrated in all three.
2006 Peay Vineyards La Bruma Syrah: My first time opening up a Peay wine with age on it, and I would like to repeat the experience. For those that don't know, Peay has arguably the coldest climate Syrah vineyard in the world (Cleary Ranch also claims that title.) Andy Peay told me they occasionally have to chapitalize it, which is totally hilarious to me given how we usually think of California wine. The '06 is just starting to shed all that primary covering of the more savory flavors. Some dark cherry and plum at first, then a hint of bacon fat, dried herbs, peppercorns, and green olives.
2005 Marimar Estate Dona Margarita Vineyard Pinot Noir: This was totally charming. Pomegranate, Rainier cherries, white and purple wildflowers, sandalwood, and a finish that reminded me of hiking in a forest of mixed pine and oak trees in the summer.
2014 Detert Family Vineyards Cabernet Franc: Old vine Cab Franc from To Kalon intrigued me enough to buy a 3-pack, and I have 0 regrets. Incredibly young right now, I probably won't open my next bottle for 10 or so years. A dead ringer for smoked cherries dipped in chocolate. The same sort of velvety mouthfeel I associate with above average vintages of St Emilion. Yum.
1995 Haven's Cellars Merlot: If I see a bottle of older Haven's wine, I will immediately buy it. One of the most underrated winemakers in California. This was just perfect for an old Merlot – tobacco, cedar, damp leaves, and this still vibrant core of blackberry and raspberry. This wasn't even the Reserve, by the way. Damn he made great wine. Still does, under the Cave Dog label, if anyone is searching.
Submitted May 30, 2017 at 10:17PM by crossbuck
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