Showing posts with label La Lagune. Show all posts
Showing posts with label La Lagune. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Afpilsers Christmas 2010 tasting

Dwayne Perreault - It’s great to have a tasting club. Wine is social and is best enjoyed in good company, where it can be praised, critiqued and discussed, and the tasting club gives us the perfect, intimate venue to do that.

Our club in Amsterdam is called the afpilsers (which sort of translates into ‘the beer after drinkers’). We’re a group of about 8-10 people, some wine professionals and some enthusiasts, who take turns organizing wine tastings by theme.

Our latest evening together was organized by Doris Vroom from Winefields Auctioneers, who surprised us with a blind tasting of nine vintage Bordeaux wines, and a Californian Mondavi at the end to confuse us. David brought a white Hermitage 1998 from Chave to round out the evening.

tasting Doris Vroom
1. The first wine, a Lalande-de-Pomerol, Laborde 1959 caught us by surprise. Stewed red fruits and tomato in the nose, woody with a hint of iron. Very soft and delicate in the mouth. I correctly identified it as right bank, but who would expect a Lalande-de-Pomerol to last fifty years? As Milan Veld from Winefields remarked, 1959 was one of the best vintage years of the twentieth century.

2. The second wine, the 3e Grand Cru Classé, Margaux, Château Boyd Cantenac 1975 was clearly Cabernet Sauvignon-driven, thicker, more concentrated with jammy tones. Not really a bad year either; this wine has kept well.

3. 3e Grand Cru Classé, St. Julien, Château Lagrange 1982. This was known to be a great year for Bordeaux, and the Lagrange did not disappoint. More dark fruit expression, with toffee, pepper and good use of new oak. Strong tannins.

4. Cru Bourgeois, Listrac-Médoc, Château Reverdi 1983 was a little more subdued but still very enjoyable. A nice introduction for…

5. 1e Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac, Château Latour 1983. While 83 is seen as a lesser vintage than 82, the top wines are still grand. This Latour has an older, smokey, tobbaco case bouquet with a light acetone. The taste is very dark and full, oakey with spice and cacao.

6. 3e Grand Cru Classé, Haut-Médoc, Château La Lagune 1991 also had a smokey, fragrant character with nice dark fruit. 1991 is seen to be a poor year, but this wine proves you can’t take that literally.

7. Pomerol, Château Lafleur-Pétrus 1992 is an even better example of this. A poor year, but this Pomerol is dark and rich with fragrant tobacco, candied fruit and dark chocolate. Once again, I couldn’t pick out the Pomerol.

8. 5e Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac, Château Lynch Bages 1993. Considered only a slightly better year, this is actually elegant Lynch Bages, not quite as powerful as other years I’ve tasted, more charming than robust.

9. Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel, Moulis-en-Médoc, Château Poujeaux 1996. Back to a very good year, and at 14 years old the youngest of the bunch, with beautiful, perfumed oak in the bouquet and really great dark fruit concentration.

10. A trick wine, the Napa Valley, Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1997. A nice effort from Mondavi, very fragant and dark-fruit driven. I’ve enjoyed a few bottles of this over the past year.

That was our Christmas tasting, but now it’s a new year. Thanks again to Doris and here’s to opening many more fine bottles in 2011!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Bye bye 2010

People take drinking to a higher level in December, hence I was a bit busy the last weeks. Now I'm relaxing, with Bach's Weihnachtskantaten and a lovely Bourgogne Roncevie 2008 from Domaine Arlaud. And the blog gets a little less attention...

I want to thank Doris Vroom from Winefields for the exciting tasting she organised this month, a welcome intermezzo. The Latour 1983 was impressive, in the first place. Fiery, as someone described it. I won't dive into my tasting notes here, but it was great to discover.

The most interesting aspect of this tasting for me was that weaker vintages should not be neglected. We were all surprised by a smokey and lean La Lagune 1991, a seductive La Fleur Pétrus 1992, and a pleasant Lynch Bages 1993.

Jadot's Musigny 1994 that I drank a few days later was good but it didn't have the (expected?) wow-factor. The wine that did have that factor was the Champagne Georges Laval Brut Nature (organic since 1971) which for me renders the essence of Champagne. No make-up, just great purity.

This just got a short what-did-I-drink-this-month posting, and that is it for now.

Thank you to all of you who follow this blog, and hope to see and you again in 2011.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Exploring fine wines at Christie's

Today Jane Anson twittered about Emma Thompson's wine cellar. So I read that in her dream cellar the Meursaults from Arnaud Ente would not be missing. Quite an unequivocal statement.

Yes, I import Ente's wines, since last summer, in The Netherlands. In England Ente is imported by Berry Bros. & Rudd and the wine is better known there; here I still have to do some missionary work, and a publication like this is... supportive.

Another interesting article I came across was retweeted by Amy Atwood: about the relativeness of wild yeasts. There's much to do about using wild yeasts or industrial yeasts, and this Los Angeles Times article at least puts things a bit in perspective.

Any personal adventures this week? Yes, I attended a lovely dinner organised by Christie's Amsterdam. This weekend a big private collection was brought under the hammer, and Friday some lucky dogs were invited to sample about 50 wines from this interesting collection.

In my previous posting I wrote about Anne Gros, and Friday the - simple - red Burgundy 2002 was one of the wines to taste. A good vintage, but still I was surprised by the sheer energy of this wine. Pure, lenient, healthy and balanced, and strikingly youthful. Towards the end of the evening I went back to this wine (definitely not the eye catcher of the evening), and shared it with my neighbour. Her plan was to bid on this wine, with the idea to split the lot between the two of us. At the time of writing this I don't know yet if I will be the new owner of some 2002's and 2005's (part of the same lot).

The most lovely wines that I tasted were the Buisson Renard 2005 from Dagueneau (intense, perfumed, soft, open), the Puligny-Montrachet 1er cru "Les Champs Canet" 2004 from Carillon (velvety, well-balanced, elegant, a modest beauty) and the Corton-Charlemagne 1992 from Bonneau de Martray (vital, convincing, sesame seed, just very beautiful).

Interesting were some older red Bordeaux's, especially two 1978's: the autumnal La Lagune (a little awkward also, and tannic) and the Haut-Bailly. I just consulted Michael Broadbent's Vintage Wine and his only one 1978 Haut-Bailly (in 2001) wasn't very good. He wonders: "Just the bottle?" and perhaps that might have been the case. What I tasted was an open, rather quiet, harmonious and friendly old Bordeaux. Not impressive, but not bad either.

Anyway, I was very happy to be there. And gosh, I hope my neighbour has won those lovely Anne Gros bottles...