Monday, February 07, 2011

Friday Night with Lloyd

I cannot say that my infrequent updates of this site are directly related to the decreasing frequency of our wine group meetings, but it is hard to ignore the fact that two of my favourite pastimes are falling by the wayside. This is partly due to the increasingly complex logistics of organizing 14 people and six wines for a blinded tasting, so I decided to schedule some smaller events and bring in some newbies for a smaller event, like this one at Lloyd's...

To kick things off Lloyd taunted us with a 1997 Castell'n Villa Reserva, suggesting that this 'starter' wine (to 'awaken' our palates, of course) could be the best of the night, and he wasn't far off - notes of flint and smokey dark cherries, lavender soap, and cocoa powder - surprisingly dense for an older sangiovese, with a long finish and beautiful fuzzy tannins - a wine that I mistakenly thought would not last this long so I drank mine years ago (arrgh). Score: 17.5/20

The theme of the night was "super-Tuscan", and featured some big wines:

On my left was a 2001 Flaccianello, a wine that ranks amongst my favourites of all time, but this particular bottle of wine has not aged well - pruney, cooked fruit and caramel on the nose, just old and tired. Velvety tannins and pruney compote greet the palate - signs of excitement, but this bottle was past its prime - I doubt this bottle is representative, and I have another to prove it someday. Score: 16.5/20

The next bottle on offer was a 1999 Paleo, but it was corked so Lloyd secretly replaced it with a 2003 Flaccianello that I brought to replenish his cellar. The most amazing nose, with fresh and vibrant cherries, signature tobacco notes ... crisp, rich and elegant on the palate with a very lengthy finish - such elegance, poise, I thought it was a Sassicaia. Score: 18/20

Next up was wine from that obscure Tuscan appellation of ... Pomerol? Ok, so the a 1989 Chateau le Gay was not a SuperT, but let me come back to that...

On my far right was a 2005 Sassicaia, another beautiful wine compliments of my buddy Cosme. Rather different on the nose - funky cheesey notes at first (in a good way), load of truffles and black fruit, every whiff a different aroma. Sooooo incredibly silky smooth on the palate that you are surprised when the finish lasts soooo long, it will be very interesting to see how this one develops over time. Score: 18/20

Well, you can't have a wine tasting without dessert, and after Lloyd had raved about this 2007 Konzelmann Vidal Ice Wine my expectations were high for this finisher. Dark goldent amber, with over-ripe apples, pears and hints of orange, caramel and vanilla - very intriguing. Soft, sweet, and luxurious, but not too sticky - a terrific wine, but perhaps lacking some of the crispness and minerality of the German wines that I like. Score: 17/20

Oops, I almost forgot about that 1989 Pomerol - meant to be a "ringer" in a group of SuperT wines, it stood out for a different reason - two of our party, including yours truly, felt the bottle to be corked, while the others disagreed and raved about its merits. I never score a wine that I feel to be corked, but my peers - two of the most respected palates I know - respectfully disagreed, and for what it's worth they LOVED this wine - guys, if you have some notes on this one I'm happy to publish them.



Anonymous said...

Hey Joe - Thanks for the great writeup, and sorry you were so wrong on the Le Gay. I know it's rare. The Le Gay was all pencil lead and old mushrooms. The balance of acidity and bright red fruit after 22 years in bottle was fantastic, as it melded easily into a velvety-smooth ride back the palate. Not the greatest aged Bordeaux I've had, but far from the worst. I'll forgive you, as I know you rarely get your lips on these gems...
This is the 2nd bad Paleo I've served up. Frustrating - that was truly corked.

Joe said...

thanks for the notes and the great wines.