Saturday Night Tasting (Dec. 22, 2007)

Jos. Christoffel Jr., Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Erdener Trepchen, Auslese **, 1992

I had this just the other month and here's an interesting comparison. The first bottle had a more petrol-y, classic nose, while this one I think has a more herbal personality. This is more complete and harmonic on the palate, although I slightly perefer the first bottle's rougher edges. Both have a jazzy acidity that really mean business. When these German beauties get to this age, each bottle has a different story to tell.

Trimbach, Reserve Personelle, Pinot Gris, 2000

Reading the winery's site, this is more or less the Pinot Gris equivalent of the much more famous Riesling Cuvve Fredrich Emile. But there's a but. It sucks. This particular bottle anyway. The nose is rather to my tastes, flowery and spicy, reminiscent of Condrieu. But it falls apart on the palate, which is all grapefruit pips, without enough acidity to balance it out, thus pushing the alcohol up front. I honestly can't tell if it was opened too early or too late.

Domaine La Roquette, Chateauneuf Du Pape, 2001

Not to my taste either. It's very ripe on the nose, maybe not excessively so but it's the kind of ripeness that really annoys me because it's all about aimless extraction. So even when it's reined in, as this one is by a touch of earth that strengthens in the glass, its core personality puts me off nonetheless. At any rate, neither time nor air seems to improve the palate much, which is overwhelmed by harsh tannins.

Camerano, Barolo, Cannubi San Lorenzo, 1998

I can't fully judge this wine's typicity but structurally, it seems to be of its place, very austere and almost rusty on the palate. The nose is very misleading, with discrete herbal notes that are very hard to place. I like it and would be interested in re-tasting in a few years.

We finished out the night with two Super-Tuscans from the famous 1997 vintage.

Antinori, Guado Al Tasso, Bolgheri, 1997

This was the more modern of the two, not overtly ripe but with near sweet tannins and silky fruit. To its misfortune, it followed the next wine, which wiped the floor with it. I suppose if I were a professional, I could have been more ojective, but all I wanted was to finish my glass and pour another one of the..

Marchesi de Frescobaldi, Lamaoine, 1997

I've saved the best for last. If you love the Old World (and if you're not and still bother to read my blog, why not be a sucker all the way and click on the Google ads and help me make some money?) then this wine is where you decide to get off your horse and set up camp for the night. This - is - it. Just enough of the barnyard/sewer whiffs I love so much, buffeted by lovely fruit; just numbing aromatic complexity you can't get across with words because the aromas have started melting and melding with each other. The palate is just as good, arguably even better. This ain't no Merlot! At least no Merlot any silly date ordered because she prefers a soft wine. This wine has muscles, not flashy muscles but rather Muhammad Ali/Sugar Ray Robinson muscles, sleek and elegant, cool, calm and collected. A riveting, profound wine