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WTN: Wine from recent dinners


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I attended a couple of dinners over the past week where some outstanding wine was poured. Here are the notes on non-Italian wines. For anyone wanting to read about the Italians we had, I posted them in a separate thread.

1985 Salon Blanc de Blancs Brut Le Mesnil Champagne

Pale golden colour. Very lively, almost explosive streams of bubbles. No fewer than 8 streams in the glass. Intense aromas of oatmeal biscuit, caramel, jasmine, white flowers, cream, pear, orange blossoms, apple, creme brulee, lychee, and dried figs. Full-bodied, rich wine; like velvet on the palate. Outstanding mouthfeel - the bubbles dance on your tongue and around your mouth. Citrus, cream, caramel, apple, pear, oatmeal biscuit replays on the palate. Long, lingering finish that lasts for minutes, showing citrus, pear, oatmeal, spice, and walnut notes. Very focused, beautiful wine. Outstanding. 96 points (06/17/2004).

2002 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand

Pale yellow colour. Aromas of asparagus, grass, grapefruit, and lime. Medium-full bodied, crisp, with grapefruit, minerals, and grass notes. Moderate-long finish, ~35-40s. 90 points (06/19/2004).

2000 Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis Domaine Saint Claire, Burgundy

Pale yellow colour. Aromas of minerals, green apple, oatmeal, smoke, butterscotch. Medium-bodied with minerals, lime, and a steely vein to the wine. Moderate-long finish with lemon notes. 88 points (06/19/2004)

1999 Inniskillin Pinot Noir Founder's Reserve, Niagara, Canada

Served blind. Medium-dark garnet colour. Aromas of red berry fruit and smoke. Medium-full bodied with red fruit, spice, cherry, and earth. Moderate finish, ~25-30s with cherry notes. 86 points (06/19/2004).

1998 Chateau La Croix du Casse, Pomerol

Dark garnet colour to pink rim. Aromas of green pepper, vanilla, and cassis. Medium-full bodied with cassis and green pepper replays from the nose. Dry, with present tannins, and not much else. Moderate finish, ~20-25s. 85 points (06/19/2004).

1998 Chateau Les Cabannes, St. Emilion

Dark garnet colour. Aromas of vanilla, cassis, and black cherry. Full-bodied with tobacco, cassis. Dry, with slightly resolved tannins. Opened with time in the glass. Dry finish, ~40-45s. Nice wine. 91 points (06/19/2004).

1998 Chateau Pipeau, St. Emilion

Dark garnet colour. Aromas of mocha, cassis, vanilla. Full-bodied with currant and tobacco notes. Dry finish, ~20-25s. 86 points (06/19/2004).

1983 Chateau Pichon-Lalande-Longueville, Pauillac

Dark garnet colour. Aromas of tobacco, herbs, raspberry, cassis, animal, lead pencil, old saddle leather, cedar box/cigar box. Full-bodied with cassis and briar notes; rich wine. Long finish with tobacco notes. 93 points (06/19/2004).

1997 Chateau Haut-Brion, Pessac-Leognan

Dark garnet colour. Aromas of herbs (sage), cassis, and vanilla. Full-bodied with a pleasant herbaceousness and replays from nose. Moderate finish, ~35-40s. Typical Haut-Brion. 89 points (06/19/2004).

1999 Montirius Gigondas, Rhone

Dark garnet colour, almost opaque. Aromas of candy, cherry, herbs, grilled meat, raspberries. Full-bodied with cherry, raspberry, pepper, spice, and grilled meat. Dry, with a good 40-45s finish showing currant notes. Needed every minute of the 4 hours air it was given to open up. Let this sleep. 92 points (06/19/2004).

1997 Pine Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, California

Aromas of cassis, caramel, and blackberry. Full-bodied with cassis, cream, vanilla, and pepper. Moderate-long finish ~45-50s. Drinking wonderfully right now. 91 points (06/19/2004).

2001 Landmark Overlook Chardonnay, California

Golden yellow colour. Aromas of vanilla, oak, pear, white peach. Full-bodied, creamy, with pear, vanilla, and spice. Not overly buttery. Moderate-long finish, ~35-40s with pear and spice notes. 90 points (06/23/2004).

1999 Domaine William Fevre Chablis Grand Cru Valmur

Pale yellow colour. Minerals, citrus, and a bit of cream on the nose. Medium-bodied with cream, mineral, and citrus replays from the nose joined by apple and flint. Moderate finish with lemon, lime and pear notes. 89 points (06/23/2004).

1986 Chateau Cos-d'Estournel, St. Estephe

Opaque garnet/purple colour. Aromas of cedar box, plums, cassis, vanilla, glyercin, and cigar box. Medium-full bodied with cassis and vanilla. Short-Moderate finish, ~25s. This was decanted for almost 8 hours, and it was suggested that this wine might have seen too much air. Still tasty, if a bit short on the finish. 91 points (06/23/2004).

1986 Chateau La Mission Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan

Not decanted. Dark garnet colour to rim. Beautiful legs. Incredible nose of barnyard (blew off with air), bramble, cedar, spice box, cassis, and tobacco. Medium-bodied with cedar, plums, cassis, spice, and abit of minerality. Beautiful finish, ~40s that is quite complex. Lots of life ahead of this wine, and it continued to open in the glass over the hour the bottle was consumed. 96 points (06/23/2004).

1975 Bodegas Toro Albala Don Pedro Ximinez Gran Reserva Sherry, Spain

Aromas of prunes, raisins, milk chocolate, walnuts, cream, and christmas cake. Full-bodied, rich sherry, showing raisins, spice, toffee, coffee, and walnut on the palate. Wonderfully long finish, ~70-75s. 91 points (06/23/2004).

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I've had a few of these wines in the past. Quite in the past. The Salon is truly a stunner of a wine, and I'm partial to Champagne anyway. Do you happen to know when this one was disgorged? And it sounds like it can still go for a bit, contrary to many other 85 prestige cuvees I've tasted.

And as enjoyable as that 1975 PX was for you, if you can ever get your hands on the 1972 vintage, it will blow the 75 away.

We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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Brad, I'm quite partial to Champagne as well. I've had every vintage of the Salon going back to the '82, and the '85 is right up there with the best - only slightly below the '90, which was still on its way up when I tasted it last year.

I checked the bottle (I keep empties that are special), and it didn't have a date of disgorgement on it. I will say that I bought it 2-3 years ago, so I would imagine it was disgorged not too long before that. It was offered alongside a couple other vintages through our beloved LCBO.

As for the '72 PX, I've been told the same thing all week from various sources. :biggrin:

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