Small, persistent bubbles and fine mousse. Following a small dosage, Amethyste spends extra time on its lees, creating a pleasing yeasty biscuity bouquet. Very fresh. Pinot Nor/Pinot Meunier flavors are dominant. Freshly baked brioche with hints of raspberries. Rich and complex. Leaves a long, lasting memory on the tongue and in the mind. Louis Barthelmy Amethyste has already become one of my favorite Champagnes.
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Medium deep garnet shading to brick at the rim. Voluptuous aroma of cherries, pomegranate and cassis. Full fruit on the palate, 45% Cabernet, 45% Merlot, 5% Malbec and 5% Petit Verdot. Not a great wine but very good and a perfect match for braised beef brisket left over from Christmas Eve. At 20 years of age, it is showing no signs of advanced age.
Saturday, December 26, 2020
Considerably lighter with more orangish tints compared to the older Tenuta Rocca beside it on the table. Violets, dark cherries, earth and spice. Takes awhile for the fruit flavors to open up, but they are well worth the wait. Not as sweet as the Barolo but more guts and greater complexity. I have several more bottles of this wine and will enjoy tracing its progress over the next several years.
Friday, December 25, 2020
Yes, it has lost its yellow and even its deep gold hues and is now the color of weak tea. The smells, though, are what you expect from a much younger Sauternes: figs, apricots, almonds and coconut. Medium body, bright acidity and a long, sweet finish. Well liked at the table and got more positive votes than the Aigle Blanc Vouvray (see below).
Deep gold color. Powerful Chenin Blanc smells of stone fruit, lanolin, eucalyptus honey. Sweet on the palate, maybe a bit one dimensional if you want to be critical. One taster also found high levels of sulfur dioxide, and that is probably one reason the wine appears so bright and youthful at 21 years of age. But I'm not inclined to be critical of a wine that delivers such pleasure at the end of the meal.
This wine required more than two hours aeration to show its best. And it was still drinking well after four hours. Although it is now 22 years old, I suspect it will keep quite well. Deep red, fading to amber near the rim. Somewhat mute when first opened, this wine developed beautiful Northern Rhone Syrah smells: black fruits, cassis, black olive and bacon fat. Rich black fruit flavors. Also some red berries on finish. Nice wine.
Deep color. Throws more sediment than is typical with Chateauneuf du Pape. Very expressive nose from the time the cork is popped. Strawberries, blueberries, spice and garrigue. Very young tasting; lots of primary fruit that is developing very slowly. Modest 13.5% alcohol and good acidity. Ripe black and red fruits resonate on the finish. This is a serious wine that will become more serious as the years roll by.
The cork was very difficult to remove, and my initial taste was not very pleasant. I was really considering pouring this wine down the drain and choosing another, but, fortunately, I decided to see what a little air might accomplish. Another taste after about 15 minutes convinced me the wine was worth keeping, and after an hour the wine was beginning to sing. Another hour later, the wine was poured and became the hit of the table, preferred by all over the very good Sociando Mallet that accompanied it.
Substantial amber in the color, similar to the Sociando Mallet. And the nose is not as expressive. Blue plums but mostly pleasant old wine smells. The wine's maturity also shows in the flavors, which are beautiful and shape shifting. Savory more than fruity. "Something new appears in every part of your mouth," one taster said. Subtle and complex. Smooth, elegant mouthfeel.
Medium deep with amber. Cork very difficult to remove but very little sediment. Dark fruit smells; blackberry and black currant along with tertiary smells. Still has good balance and fruit flavors but is less elegant on the palate than the 1981 Haut Bages Liberal that accompanied it at the table.
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Deep and dark. Very black fruited bouquet: blackberries, black currants and French oak. Shiraz Cab traits of chocolate on the palate along with black fruits, spice and black licorice. Very intense finish.
Langhorne Creek is one of my favorite Aussie appellations, and the grapes for this wine come from the Metala vineyard, one of the oldest in the country. Old vine intensity is apparent. I like it.
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Brilliant gold. Smells and tastes young, even at age 5. Apples, pears, flowers. Good weight on the palate. Rich, creamy texture but with great acidity. I have kept this wine for several years but suspect it is just now coming into its window of prime drinking. Excellent value for Oregon Pinot Gris; it goes on my buy list.
Monday, December 21, 2020
Medium dark plummy red. The wine is made traditionally in enamel and concrete vats; no new oak. Powerful aromas of red cherries and peppery spice. Medium body with prominent but ripe fruit tannins. Pepper on the mid-palate. Red fruit opens up nicely on the finish. 14.5% alcohol is just right for this wine. Power and beauty; reminds me of a good Gigondas.
The blend is 70% Grenache from vines aged 40 to 70 years; 15% Syrah, 10% Counoise and 5% Cinsault. The vines are well situated on a clay/limestone hillside.
Friday, December 18, 2020
I first opened a bottle of the 1998 Notre Dame des Cellettes, but, alas, it was corked. This 2000 has always shown better than the 1998, and it is still showing well tonight, although it is clearly fully mature.
Plenty of sediment that has not formed a crust, and that makes the wine's appearance less bright than previous bottles. Still a deep crimson/ruby, though. Mellow red fruit smells and flavors; mostly Grenache strawberry. Also some Mourvedre violet scents. Mellow and mouth filling. I still have another bottle or two and will be drinking them soon.
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Medium straw color. Intense aroma of apricot, lime, fresh flowers and a hint of almonds. Rich flavors framed by zingy acidity. Pleasant touch of bitterness on the mid-palate and a citric finish. A versatile wine that goes well with mushroom/spinach/lemon pasta.
Sunday, December 13, 2020
Good deep color. No oak, the wine is aged in concrete vats. Oh yes! The wonderful smells: fresh red and black fruit, earth and spice. Rustic tannins--I love them. Peppery Grenache (50%), Syrah (30%) and Carignan (20%). The latter adds its own spice and pepper. Long, peppery finish. Ventoux is still one of my favorites, even if I enjoy it less frequently.
Thursday, December 10, 2020
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Fairly deep yellow. Very intense smells and flavors--lemon curd, pears, nutmeg. Exciting level of acidity on the mid-palate and finish. This is my type of Chardonnay; in my opinion, it is several cuts above other inexpensive New World Chardonnays sold at Trader Joe's
Monday, December 7, 2020
At 11 years of age, the color has rusty/brick tones but is still deep and bright. The wine has been aged in stainless steel, then in the bottle. Enticing scents of roses, violets and dark cherry; a Piedmont profile. In the mouth, the wine is rich and full bodied. Cherries, blueberries, black licorice. Tannins have faded to reveal strong fruit. Ripe but good acidity. Does not tire the taste buds as ripe New World reds tend to do.
When first opened, the wine tasted as if it might be past its prime. But I have had this bottle open for three nights now, and the flavors are still developing nuances. Of course, it is not as flamboyant or serious as Nebbiolo or even a good Barbera, but, at $15 to $20 a bottle, it is well worth a try. It goes well with spicy Middle Eastern dishes.
Thursday, December 3, 2020
Medium light Pinot color. Bright and saturated. Gorgeous nose of red cherries and pie spice. Like a cherry pie right out of Grandma's oven. In the mouth, more cherries, ripe and lovely but also pleasantly tart. Now cranberries and a hint of spice. As an Anderson Valley Pinot, though, it's the purity of the fruit that is most noticeable and impressive. Coats the tongue with ripe flavors from front to back. Cerise is obviously a very special vineyard in a very special appellation.
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
The color has lightened and turned to a brickish orange. It is a mature wine but not overly mature for my taste. High-toned nose: mostly cherries with herbs and a touch of cassis. Clearly an old-style Bordeaux aged in seasoned oak. Mostly Merlot, I would guess. Refined mouthfeel, very smooth with good balance to highlight fruit flavors rather than oak or alcohol. Cherries and herbs. Medium long, finish. It is, however, a mature wine, and, on the second night, it has little to offer.