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Picnic Wines


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Notes from the west coast group picnic at my place.

2004 Poplar Grove Gewurztraminer – very small production, so a bit of a curiosity. One step in my search for the perfect BC Gewurz, but not there yet. Varietal nose, dry, but not quite enough happening on palate and it semed to fade a bit in the glass.

Larmandier Bernier Terre de Vertu Champagne (nv) – a great example of why a nonvintage champers can show better than many vintage examples which must be made without the ability to balance off various strengths and weaknesses by picking wine from outside the single vintage. Real yeasty nose, showing some colour and very tasty with excellent length and good acidity. A blanc de blanc with lots of stuffing. Went well with Prosciutto wrapped parmesan and asparagus.

2004 Dageneau Pur Sang (magnum) – officially a Blanc Fumé de Pouilly, this Sauv Blanc showed a lovely deep pure nose, first of minerals, then as it opened up, not so much of the feline nature but definitely with gooseberry a major component as well as lemon/lime, and finally it started showing pineapple and tropical fruit. Went well with tuna and clams with raw garlic on roasted red peppers.

2001 Ch. de Nages – this Grenache/Roussanne blend had us stumbling all over the map when it was served blind. Showing considerable colour, and a big oily almost Riesling nose, it had honey and richness on palate. I expect this is about at the end of its life, but very interesting.

1979 Clos du Val Cabernet – took a look in my cellar list and I am all ouit of the 1978 (still have some 85 though). I used to really enjoy these Bordeaux taste-alikes and this was very good except for a bit of a pongy nose. Aside from high terminal acidity, this one would have been a very good ringer entry in a blind tasting of late 70s Bordeaux.

1998 Torbreck ‘The Steading’ – this excellent GSM blend had a very pleasant nose with good ripe fruit and a bit of spice. It was smooth and full on palate and is still showing quite young. No rush here!

2003 Tormaresca Masseria Maime – from Puglia, this Negroamaro was very dark and had ample if undifferentiated ripe fruit in the nose. It was still a bit tight on palate and has a fair bit of tannin. I’d try again in 2-3 years.

1997 Peter Lehmann ‘The Black Queen’ Sparkling Shiraz – not much nose in this oddball purple fizzy, nor was there an awful lot of character – might be getting a bit long in the tooth? Anyway, it did bridge well between unlike wines…..

2003 Thomas Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills OR) – excellent varietal nose (the fruity sort), reasonably light colour, medium body and smooth on palate. Very nice!

2000 Black Hills Nota Bene – no one guessed this as a BC wine – the guesses ranged from Rhone (stinky burnt rubber nose) to California. Better than the 2001 I had recently tasted.

1998 Darenberg Dead Arm Shiraz – a baby! A dark, big sweet baby. .Big time cassis in the mouth and a fair bit of tannin – needs more time but promising!

1999 Ridge Geyserville – another dark wine with a smooth pleasant nose, sweet in the mouth with bright if somewhat ripe fruit. I doubt it will live as long as some older Geyservilles but it drinks very well now.

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