Les Tastevins du Lac is dedicated to camaraderie in pursuit of joie de vino! This blog serves as an informal forum on wine, food and travel.... Cheers! Steve Adams


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Post-Thanksgiving Burgundy and California Pinot Noir

Enjoyed a couple of Burgs and a couple of California pinots together at dinner on the day after Thanksgiving.  The California pinots were both in day 2 phase, having been opened and partially consumed on Thanksgiving.

It was challenging to transition in style between the Burgs and the California wines.  Most folks tended to drink the Burgs and then move on to the California wines since they were heavier.

All wines paired with grilled pork tenderloin, Brussels sprouts (cooked with bacon, cranberries and Gorgonzola Piccante) , leftover cornbread dressing and green bean casserole from Thanksgiving.

2003 Bertagna Vougeot Clos de la Perriere  (Monopole)
Slow-o in bottle for 2 hours. Attractive floral aromatics with a bit of funk. Plummy ripe fruit and sous bois. Not a lot of complexity on the finish. Far less nimble than the Sigaut Sentiers. Very little sediment.

2009 Anne & Herve Sigaut Chambolle-Musigny Les Sentiers Vieilles Vignes
Slow-o in bottle for 2 hours and then decanted for more air (from which it benefited greatly). Very little sediment.
Produced from vines planted in 1947 on a plot just downslope from  Bonnes Mares.  Young, very bright morello cherry with a pop of spice. High-toned aromatics. It took about 3 hours in the decanter for this wine to settle down and start revealing its underlying grace. The palate mellowed out with  a savory sous bois, and the finish evolved to become more interesting.  Definitely the favorite of the two Burgs.

2011 Big Basin Pinot Noir Coastview Vineyard (Monterey)
Once again, a wow! wine on day 2.  The aromatics are striking with what could be interpreted as Gabilan Mountains "garrigue" along with framboise and anise. High altitude (2400 ft) parcel near the Mt Harlan (Calera) AVA , comprised of decompsed granite and limestone.  Raspberry fruit is still fresh on day 2.  Finish has evolved a bit and bodes well for future cellaring.

2006 Martinelli Pinot Noir Lolita Vineyard
A fine wine on its own, but shows a monolithic and somewhat ponderous compared to the other 3 wines. This is not the freshest example I've had of this vintage and cuvee. Big earthy fruit character with dusty tannins. Not a lot of heat, but a bit on the rich, extracted side.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Wines

All slow-o in bottle for 3 hours.

2011 Dusky Goose Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills Oregon)
Tried this for the first time about  year ago.  It was very good then and is even better now.  Delicious right out of the gate. Lightest in color of the 3 pinots.  Lovely elegant red cherry and mellow spice with deft minerality, imparted by the volcanic Jory terroir. The most Burgundian of the 3 pinots and the most popular of the 3. I like this wine very much.

2011 Big Basin Pinot Noir Coastview Vineyard  (Monterey California)
Wow! Red raspberry, savory sous bois and a nice pop of spice. Very intriguing nose.  Well balanced.  Needs lots of air and it captures your attention.

2006 Martinelli Pinot Noir Lolita Vineyard  (Sonoma California )
Huge. Needs lots and lots of air.  Massive compared to the Dusky Goose. Big red raspberry flavor with signature streak of anise. Very alluring on its own, but definitely not as elegant as the others. 

2013 Famille Perrin Cotes-du-Rhone Villages
An incredible value at less than $15 a btl. Love the nose! Beautifully lilting florals. Nimble blackberry palate with garrigue accent. The quality of the fruit is impressive. Very popular at dinner. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

2010 Big Basin Syrah Coastview Vineyard

Enjoyed this over the course of several days. It did improve and needs the right kind of food.  The optimal pairing turned out to be a big marinated ribeye steak.

If only the palate on this wine was as delicious as the nose !

Aromatics are tremendously seductive with violets and a sweet gaminess. 

The fruit is gorgeous .... pure briary blackberry built with a streak of minerality.  Accents of creosote and slight bit of olive.

But it lacks complexity,  with the finish coming up far short of expectations given the alluring nose.

Honestly, it seems like the Syrah needs the cut of some Viognier to give it some lift and to break out from the monolithic character displayed at this juncture.  

I'm not sure that addtional cellaring will provide the evolution needed, but it would be interesting to try this wine in 5 to 7 or even 10 years. 

It's not a typical fruit bomb syrah from California. The Coastview Vineyard is in the Monterey area. 

I am more familiar with and enjoy the Big Basin pinot noir from vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mtns.   The pinots can be fascinating.

1982 Lynch Bages

Slow-o in bottle for several hours and enjoyed over a long lunch.  I don't get the opportunity to partake of immaculately cellared older Bordeaux very often so this was a real treat.

Beautifully mature black currant and cassis. A fair amount of savory  complexity on the finish with hints of tobacco and earth. Elegantly soft cedar-influenced florals on the nose.  A lovely Pauillac.

2006 Costers del Siurana Dolc de L'Obac

A well balanced  late-harvest dessert wine. Not overly sweet with a satiny texture. Mostly Garnacha, with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Delicious blackberry kirsch flavors and hints of mocha with an underlying slate-oriented tension. Needs more cellar time, IMO... perhaps another 5 years...

2004 Costers del Siurana Miserere

Continuing with the exploration of the wines of Costers del Siurana, the 2004 Miserere was popped and poured into a decanter and then served with dinner.

The classic balance and structure of the 2004 vintage was evident, and even though the wine continued to open up, it would clearly benefit from another 3 to 5 years of cellaring.

Comprised of equal portions of Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha and Tempranillo with smaller portions of Merlot and Carinena.

The Tempranillo adds a smoky red fruit quality and there is a subtle spice note that complemented the bone-in grilled pork chop. Aromatics are nice but slightly subdued at this juncture.

Overall impression is very pleasing, yet not as hedonistic as the 2002 Clos de L'Obac.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

2002 Costers del Siurana Clos de L'Obac

A recent discovery on our visit to the Priorat region in Spain, Clos de L'Obac is an intriguing wine.  It is comprised of 35% Garnacha, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah, 10% Merlot, 10% Carinena.

Owner Carles Pastrana teams with winemakers Mariona Jarque (his wife) and Isidre Sanahujes to produce wine each year using the exact same proportion of the composite  varietals.  Their goal is to make a wine that is completely reflective of the climate and terroir for that vintage, thus expressing "the hand of God" , as Carles eloquently phrases it.

The 2002 Clos de L'Obac was opened and aerated in bottle for 3 hours and then poured without being decanted.  Enjoyed over the course of several hours through dinner, it continued to blossom and evolve wonderfully in the glass.  Quite a contemplative wine. 

The lushness of the 2002 vintage is readily apparent.  It reminds me of the very rich rendition of the 2002 Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva, which is one of my favorite vintages of LdH in recent years. Carles recommended that we buy some of this 2002 vintage of Clos de L'Obac during our tasting with him at the winery, saying it was one of his personal favorites. 

The aromatics are beguiling and beautifully mature. The first thing that comes to mind on scent and taste is a left bank Bordeaux-ish style. 

Plummy black fruit with a satisfying, yet soft mineral framework. Tasty cedar and mellow spice with a definite Iberian Peninsula influence. Very enjoyable mature complexity with secondary flavors coming to the fore on a lengthy finish. A tasty chocolate-y note from the Cabernet Sauvignon actually melds surprisingly well with the briary blackberry character of the Garnacha.
The Syrah and Carinena provide a fascinating left turn on the finish that keeps you on your toes and paying attention. This would be a fun wine to serve blind and keep folks guessing as to provenance. 

Overall, the quality of the fruit and attention to detail in wine-making make this a special cuvee.

Length of time in bottle is likely a key for this wine.. the components need to  "come together".  It will be interesting to try a younger vintage of this wine and see how things work.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

2009 Marcoux Chateauneuf-du-Pape

.. from magnum.
Slow-o for 4 hours prior to dinner. 
Could have benefited from further aeration in a decanter at the restaurant but we poured from bottle instead.
Still young, yet the edges rounded off nicely with air in the glasses over the course of a couple of hours through dinner. 
Well executed, serviceable CdP for the vintage. Lush raspberry fruit accented by attractive minerality and garrigue. It wants to be paired with food. 
First course of fried oysters with dill yogurt and drizzled with Calabrian chili oil.
2nd course of venison sugo strozzopreti with chiles en adobo.
Dessert of home-made pumpkin cheesecake
Have a couple of magums left and will wait another 2 to 3 years before trying the next one.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

'04 Pisoni Pinot Noir, '05 Rostaing Cote-Rotie, '07 Paris Cornas La Geynale

Started with the '04 Pisoni Estate Pinot Noir... a beauty.... love California pinot with some age on it..gorgeous anise-influenced palate with aeration. Still, the most attractive interpretation of the Pisoni vineyard is produced by Marguerite Ryan Cellars  :) 

Then moved on to Northern Rhone.... '05 Rostaing Cote-Rotie was the favorite of the two Rhones.. After several hours of air it really opened up.. very tasty black fruit, quintessential iodine and tapenade accents...minerally backbone.... quite balanced and elegant.   

The '07 Paris Cornas Geynale reflected the richness of the vintage and clearly could benefit from more cellar time.... alluring florals.....  the La Geynale lieu-dit has some really old vines... this blossomed out very nicely after having been opened late in the evening... very bright high quality fruit.