A taste of a few remarkable wines that ended my 2011:
2000 Chateau Destieux Bordeaux
Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Appearance – The darkest of garnets, to a black glassy edge, opaque.
Aroma – From a foot away, while pouring, I got a blast of juicy fruit. Upon closer nosing came, ripe berries and stems, some vegetation, floral notes – maybe violets, earthiness, mint chocolate and milk chocolate.
Taste – Jam enough for toast, extremely balanced tannins, creamy, the lightest touch of a cigar, fruit moving to a little white pepper on the back palate, quite perfect. 99 Eve Friggin’ Points.
Disclosure – Purchased as a future from Woodland Hills Wine Co.
2009 Fritz Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley
Appearance – Clear, pale, somewhat golden-ruby, to dark edge.
Aroma – Ripe cherries and stems, smoke, butterscotch, beef stew meat, red licorice and a sprig of mint.
Taste – Juicy-rich, bright, full mouth of red raspberry fruit, beautiful balance, medium length that ends with a bit of more fruit on the mid-palate, refreshing.
Disclosure – Purchased at Valencia Wine Co. Holiday Tasting. 95 Eve pts.
NV Gruet Blanc de Noirs
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(#40 on WS Tops Wines of the Year 2011)
Appearance – Small but violent bubbles! Gold center pushing out to an antiqued rose-colored edge.
Aroma – Brie rind, crisp romaine and toasted croutons, like a great salad in my glass.
Taste – Beautiful full mouthfeel, honey, creamy, granny smith apples, mid to long finish.
Disclosure – Purchased at The Wine House in West LA.
Appearance – OMG that’s a lotta bubbles – an explosion – but the cork contained them well, saving them all for my glass. The color was also a surprise- a burst of a golden yellow hue.
Aroma – Mild cheddar cheese, pale floral notes of…jasmine, apples, some flintiness, buttered popcorn, warmed honey in an otherwise icy drink.
Taste – Flirty bubbles from front to back palate, leaving behind the apple I detected on the nose, and more fruit like pear and cantaloupe melon, as well as that surprise pop of buttered popcorn. Finish is somewhat short and the mouthfeel runs away well before I wanted it to. Oh well, in that case, I just have to repeat the above steps!
Disclosure – Sent from TGIC Importers for review.
Saint Emilion Grand Cru
Vines, not the wine, are 85% Merlot and 15% Cab Franc and 40 years old.
Appearance – Cork has green smudge, and one small piece is gone, but color is not brown, highly unsuspicious of any cork taint. Deep ruby with darker edge in a one-ounce tasting pour, black and opaque in full glass pour.
Aroma – Wet wood, stewing cherries, pale cigar, dark chocolate, something a little musty/smoky.
Taste – Ripe jammy fruit, dried cherries up front and going to a dry finish, tannic, smoke and cigar on the back palate.
Disclosure – Purchased, most likely from Woodland Hills Wine Co. as a future many moons ago.
2007 Bell Claret Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Appearance – Opaque, deep ruby to an amber edge, like a dark holiday cellophane wrapper.
Aroma – Cherry syrup, leafy mint, red licorice, mild oak at the end.
Taste – Cherry jelly, cloves, very balanced with mild tannins, clean/light mouthfeel, young and bright like a Pinot Noir, possible green vegetable, complex and interesting, could stand a few more years in the cellar…or not!
Disclosure – Purchased at 6th Annual Valencia Wine Company Holiday Tasting.