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Tasting notes request

Florida Jim

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Does anyone have any current notes, experience or recollections regarding the following wines:

1994 Beringer, Bancroft Vnyd. Cabernet Sauvignon

1991 Dunn, Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

1991 Montelena, Cabernet Sauvignon

1991 Phelps Eisele Vnyd. Cabernet Sauvignon

1995 Biale, Old Vnyd. Petite Sirah

1999 St. Innocent, Seven Springs Pinot Noir

1999 Cristom, Marjorie Vnyd. Pinot Noir

1999 Dom. Drouhin, Pinot Noir Louise

1998 Rochioli, East Block Pinot Noir

1994 Caprai, 25 Anni Sagrantino

1989 Gastaldi, Rosso

1994 Torre Muga

1994 Grange

1994 Churchill, Port

1992 Fonseca, Port

1994 Taylor-Fladgate, Port

1998 Chapoutier, Chante Allouette

1999 Chave, Hermitage

1998 Vieux Telegraph

1999 Dom. Roally, Macon-Villages

1996 Trimbach, Clos St. Hune

1998 Couhins-Lurton, Bordeaux Blanc

1989 Lynch Bages

1996 Lynch Bages

1995 Chat. Margaux

1996 Chat. Lafite

1995 Montus

Any thoughts, notes, or comments appreciated.

Best, Jim


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I wish I had recent experiences with many of those wines. :laugh:

But I have some data points on a couple (and I think you know my palate).

St. Innocent Seven Springs. I drank this way too young. This is one of the few domestic pinots that needs time. I would expect it to just be starting to open again.

Grange. This was 3-4 years ago. In a vertical, the 94 stood out for me.

Chante-Allouette. Nicely made but otherwise unremarkable.

VT. I'm in the small amount of the population that doesn't bow down before this wine. I recall the 98 being an alcoholic behemoth. Maybe it's mellowig out, but I'm always concerned about how wines with a high alcohol profile will age. The percentage isn't extraordinarily high, but the wine did show as alcoholic to me.

Montus. If it's the "normal" bottling, and not the prestige, it was still tight a year ago. But with some aeration, this wine should sing!

Lynch Bages. I think there are several recent tasting notes on the WCWN board for the 89.

I have the following in the cellar: 91 Phelps Eisele, 92 Fonseca, 94 Taylor Fladgate, 89 Lynch Bages. For the right price, I'll taste them for you. :wink:

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

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(Florida) Jim:

Here's a recent impression of a small pour of the '96 Clos St. Hune...

"Any concerns about the match with my oysters went away when they brought me a glass of '96 Clos St. Hune without my asking (or paying). Just a nice thought? Or second guessing the Cordier recommendation? The Clos St. Hune was a perfect match, with great acidity, good riesling steeliness, but the generosity that only comes out in Alsation riesling. No petrol, but mineral galore. Great wine."

I would add that my note may be a little misleading. Don't mistake my comment of "generosity" for anything approaching maturity. It really was a case of structure, mineral, and that kind of textural/structural generosity that can come out in Alsatian riesling. The generosity was not about a broad range of mature flavors, though I fully expect those will come in time.

I don't have a note on the '89 Lynch Bages, as I haven't had it in three or four years and wasn't disciplined about notes back then. However, this is probably my favorite LB vintage I have tasted. It was still relatively tannic and tight, but showed clean, pure fruit and an absolutely classic nose and palate profile, along with what seemed to be great balance. I would say this is a reference point wine. If I had to write an article describing what Pauillac tastes like (or is supposed to), I might pour a glass of this for reference. Its absolute typicity is what most excited me.

However, for all of those positive comments and my inability to describe a fault, it didn't yet have any edge or point of interest to make it memorable in its own right. It was missing the subtle birthmark that can make a beautiful woman even more beautiful.

Does that make sense??


Jim (Jones)

Jim Jones

London, England

Never teach a pig to sing. It only wastes your time and frustrates the pig.

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Only had a few of these as follows.

91 Montelena (12/04): gift from friends visiting from the US, superb balance and none of the over the top California cab opulence, had a strange green note mid palate that most of us attributed to travel shock (with burgers).

98 VT Le Crau (3/05): still hard and a bit hot, nose wasn't showing too much at first but then blossomed after about an hour (fine with lamb sandwiches).

96 St Hune (2/05): too young, reticent nose and all mineral, flint and iron on the palate at first, later crisp but the acidity seemed just a touch tough (with raw scallops, sea urchin and salmon roe over sushi rice).

99 St Innocent, Cristom and Drouhin (11/04): impromptu pinot tasting, all pretty good, St Innocent as Brad noted is a bit shut down but the evidence of good winemaking is there, but all paled compared to the Thomas reserve.

89 Lynch (4/05): seems to have lost some its youthful flashiness but is to me a better wine now, still lots of black fruit, cassis, etc. and better balance than before.

Whatever you select, I hope you enjoy it.

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