|Austria: douze pointes!|
100% Pinot Noir, from a small grower and with about six years of cellaring on it. Earth, apples, pear, mushrooms, as well as terrific acidity for my taste. Great fun with good structure, and I wish I had a bottle to 'study' alone.
Schloss Schonborn, Rheingau, Hattenheimer Nubbrunnen, Riesling Auslese, 1976
The color is light mahogany but it smells and tastes very fresh and balanced. There's some petrol, but it shows even more green tea and a touch of musk, a la some sweet Chenins. I'm not sure what its ideal drinking window should have been, but it doesn't seem at all over the hill.
Domaine de la Vougeraie, Bonnes Mares, 2004
Broad and complex and surprisingly tannic for a 2004. The nose is full of tertiary aromas and much better than the palate. Perhaps I should elaborate. One of the givens for a good Grand Cru is that the palate should be better than the nose, with power or complexity or finesse - something to give you pause, and I don't find that here. Likely this specific bottle should have been drunk two-three years ago.
Chateau Monbousquet, Saint Emilion Grand Cru, 2009
I didn't take notes of too many descriptors, but even if I had, I would have probably stuck to the basics here: an ugly, bitter, extracted finish. Not good, Eran Pick, not good.
Moric, Burgenland, Blaufrankisch, 2007
Back to the real Old World. This is broad and complex on the nose and very tasty with youthful vigor. This evoked comparisons with one of the lesser North Rhone AOC's, which for me is a good place to be. A delightful surprise.
Jean Baptiste Senat, Minnervois, Le Bois des Merveilles, 2011
Insolent, slightly bretty fruit. In time the brett overwhelms the fruit, lending a bitter impression. I'm not impressed.
Perrin et Fils, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Les Sinards, 2004
Rustic. Flat. I'm not surprised.
Baron Bich, Saint Emilion Grand Cru, 1982
A Right Banker that no one had heard of, it's tired and fragile. After some debate, we even accused it of cork taint, but it wasn't obvious and although I don't see how the TCA wouldn't have been glaring after over thirty years.
Romano Dal Forno, Valpolicella Superiore, 2004
Sweet, over the top and awful. Might improve, I just can't see it possibly getting any worse. But I'm glad we tasted it, because it was educational; because in the context of Veneto, it's an important style and and an important winemaker to study and know; and because it's interesting to compare my impressions with what the winemaker has to say about the wine. I dunno, I gather Romano sees his wines as contemplation wines - I shudder to think just what he contemplates when drinks this stuff.
Jaboulet, Hermitage, La Chapelle, 1999
Too modern for my expectations of a Hermitage, but after the losing streak, this an improvement. With sweet tannins and typical black pepper, it's tasty, but one dimensional, especially given the terroir; although as I recall, 1999 was smack in the middle of the Jaboulet family soap opera, so it figures.