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Louviere, Gruaud Larose, Montiano, Fiddlehead, Har


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Notes from the July blind tasting lunch.

2003 Ch. La Louviere - a clean refreshing nose, citrus flavours, balanced and long with more citrus right at the end. One note of caution – as this warmed in the glass it flattened both in nose and on palate, not a good sign for longevity.

2003 Hartford Court Three Jacks Vineyard Russian River Chardonnay - lots of oak immediately apparent in this one, and a sweet, smooth entry, fair length, not overly complex, but that may change with age. It got much more buttery as it warmed and opened.

Served with scallops with 2 kinds of ‘caviar’ (made from seaweed, and pretty good!)

1991 Fiddlehead Pinot Noir (Santa Maria) – some funk in this nose but mostly bright plumy fruit. Medium body, lots of acidity and obviously pinot noir,

1997 Luis Pato Vinha Barrosa – a high end limited production Portuguese wine was very difficult to place.

With pasta with braised Kobe beef

1979 Gruaud Larose – I knew at once it was Bordeaux, but started fumbling around trying to place it in the 1980s, not thinking it could be in the 70s. Great mature Bordeaux nose, in the mouth very integrated with excellent acidity and next to no tannins. This was my wine of the tasting, just lovely. Of course I am a soft touch for mature Bordeaux, but this was drinking perfectly now.

1996 Falesco Montiano – a dark merlot from Latio made by Cotarella in small lots. Nice cocoa and blackberry nose, medium weight, some tannin and quite dry at the end. Good, but at the prices these wines bring, I expect just a little more.

2002 Alto Terra Andina Cabernet Reserva – this Chilean Cab from the Maipo Valley is the QPR winner of the day. Quite dark with a big nose of mint and dark fruit, and big in the mouth with lots of extract. Good length, a bit of tannin at the end, and we figured it would drink for 3-4 years. Not subtle, but with a steak on the Barbie, who would care?

Served with Saltspring Island lamb

2003 Manon des Vignes ‘Les Filles de Septembre” – a true oddball from Cotes de Thongue, made, oddly enough, from 100% Petit Verdot! Big, black and viscous, with a sweet nose, and young and tannic in the mouth with an astringent finish, this needs time. People either loved it or hated it, which is all fairly academic as my friend brought it himself from the South of France and said they made a couple of barrels and didn’t sell it abroad. Somehow Jenise managed to nail the varietal – maybe she’s been secretly slurping PV while no one watches.

1997 Cavas de Weinert Gran Vino – made from cab, Malbec and merlot, this blend is the top wine from this house and is always reliable and always well priced. A generic sort of fruit nose, mature and balanced in the mouth, at peak.

With cheese

2004 Saltspring Island Blackberry Port – this locally made 16% alcohol fruit wine wasn’t all that bad. Not too sweet and essence of blackberries exploding in the mouth. Interesting way to end the meal.

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I have enjoyed the Montiano 1997 several times and it seems a much better choice than the 1996.

Falesco is an artist!

Fine choice of wines and thanks for the notes.

Andre Suidan

I was taught to finish what I order.

Life taught me to order what I enjoy.

The art of living taught me to take my time and enjoy.

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