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


Saturday, March 9, 2019

2012 Cédric Bouchard Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Noirs Presle

Disgorged April 2016. Zero dosage. Raised in stainless steel (no wood used at all). 

Remarkable out of the gate. A beautiful, terroir-driven blanc de noirs (100% pinot noir). Beautifully cut palate of orchard fruit complemented by mouthwatering salinity and super-refined minerality. Subtle nose. 

Very fine bead that dissipates quickly, with small red fruit dancing across your tongue. With aeration, hints of anise on the finish. 

Delicious. This stuff will spoil you. 

Paired nicely with an Asian-inspired preparation of a shrimp and scallop dish.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

2001 Pegau, 2006 P. Scavino Cannubi, 2006 Mastroberardino Taurasi Riserva

2001 Domaine du Pegau Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Réservée 
Double decanted. Modest amount of fine grained sediment. Aerated in decanter for 90 minutes or so before pouring back into clean bottle.

Beautifully florals leaping from the bottle upon pulling the cork bode well. Over the course of the evening, the wine gained presence in both palate and nose. 
This 2001 does indeed rival the magnificent 2004 we enjoyed several weeks ago. A bit more ethereal and elegant, thanks to the additional bottle age.

Mostly Grenache with some Syrah and Mourvedre as well as 13 other permitted grape varieties. Laurence Feraud produces some of the most ageworthy, complex wines in the southern Rhone. 

Alluring lavender nose with hints of spice. Mouthwatering black cherry fruit, anise and game with signature black tea and garrigue. Long and complex finish that makes the dream of perfectly aged Chateauneuf-du-Pape a reality.
Excellent info on vineyards and terroir here:

2006 Paolo Scavino Barolo Cannubi followed the Pegau. Aerated for a couple of hours in decanter, it shows the classicism of the vintage.. This settled down nicely over the evening. Very fine tannins that have started to show early hints of sweetness. 

Indeed, the perfumed nose is exemplary. Silky, refined palate of black fruit in balance with hints of tar, roses and cassis. A very well rounded and complete wine that will continue to evolve nicely. 

Vineyards are situated on a southeastern exposure, just upslope from the Bartolo Mascarello holdings. I always enjoy Paolo Scavino wines.

What could possibly follow these two wonderful wines and keep the momentum going? The 2006 Mastroberardino Taurasi Riserva is a superb choice. 

While being at a slight disadvantage in terms of pop and pour, this evolved spectacularly over several hours. Damn, I love this Riserva vintage. It is one of the most complete and satisfying wines of any genre for me.

The first thing that comes to mind when describing this wine is an aura of burgundian elegance. 

Deceptively light bodied when opened, it slowly reveals an inner beauty of quality red fruit coupled with sophisticated balance of acidity and underlying minerality. 

Gaining serious, noble presence over the evening, this is a wine that you can't put down. Perfectly balanced dusty tar and licorice on the mid-palate, give way to gossamer accents of tobacco and Taurasian sottobosco. 

The wines were enjoyed with a first course Arancini followed by main course of grilled bone-in Berkshire pork chops, broccoli rabe with roasted garlic, mashed potatoes with proscuitto and garlic, and a roasted beet salad. 

Sunday, February 24, 2019

NV Champagne Jacquesson Cuvée No. 740 Extra-Brut

Popped and poured. 12% abv. Low 1.5 g/l dosage. May 2017 disgorgement.

First foray with this producer, and I like what they are doing. 

Jean-Hervé and Laurent Chiquet have implemented an intriguing strategic shift to more of a vintage specific reflection of terroir, rather than a focus on consistency of "house" style.

Cuvee No. 740 is comprised of 60% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Meunier, 20% Pinot Noir from the excellent 2012 base vintage (blended with 20% reserve wine from previous vintages). Vineyard sources are a combination of Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards in Aÿ, Dizy, Hautvillers, Avize and Oiry. 

Malolactic fermentation, with aging for 12 months in neutral oak vats (with some bâtonnage).

Definitely approachable now, with an incredibly delicious nose of flowers and yeasty bread. Wow!!

Elegantly balanced palate of lemon follwed by green apple with mellow salinity. Finish is not terribly complex (may improve with further cellaring?). The last glass reminded me of a very nice Chablis.

John Gilman published an excellent, extensive treatise on Jacquesson


Paired with sauteed crab cakes with remoulade, followed by marinated scallops and shrimp cooked over wood-fired grill. 

Monday, February 18, 2019

Two Oregon Pinots

2014 Kelley Fox Pinot Noir Maresh Vineyard Red Barn Blocks (Dundee Hills)

13.6% abv
100% whole cluster. Minimal sediment. Approachable now. Should develop well over the next decade.

Only 100 cases produced from this special block planted to old vine Wädenswil and Pommard.

Translucent ruby color. Palate of savory bright red berry, anise, sandalwood, forest floor and fine minerality. Highly intriguing, lithe nose of spice and florals.

A very unique and enjoyable Oregon Pinot Noir.


2007 Bryce Vineyard Pinot Noir (Ribbon Ridge)
13.8 abv, 375 cases produced. 4 acre vineyard. 1.55 tons per acre for the 2007 vintage.

Planted in 1999 to Wädenswill, Dijon 115 and Pommard by Bryce and Marcia Bagnall.
Produced under the Bagnall's Bryce Vineyard label from 2002 to 2008, with Claude Dugat as their stylistic inspiration. 

Sadly, Bryce passed away in 2006 at only 46 years of age. Marcia still owns the vineyard, while (beginning in 2009) Ken Wright carries on the tradition by managing the Bryce vineyard and producing the wine under his label.

Dark color with palate of black cherry and cassis. A mellow degree of tartness balances the robust fruit. Reticent florals on the nose with hints of earth. This wine took many hours to open up fully and reveal itself. It has more gravitas at this stage than the lighter-bodied Kelley Fox wine. A fun comparison between two Oregon pinot noirs.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

2009 Louis Roederer Brut Vintage

Our go-to Champagne, the 2009 Brut Vintage is deliciously approachable now.

Popped and poured at dinner. Opened up beautifully over a couple of hours.

70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay sourced from Montagne de Reims. No malolactic fermentation. 18% of the wine is vinified in oak casks.

Rich, honeyed palate... a voluptuous attack of citrus, currant and hazelnut with enough salinity to keep the whole picture in savory balance. I love the complexity that pinot noir brings to a good champagne.

Delightful nose of white flowers and mellow toast.

Paired perfectly with potato-flour fried shrimp drizzled with a sauce of guajillo chili-infused sesame oil and mayonnaise.

The 2009 Brut Vintage bottling was aged for 4 years in the cellars and rested for a minimum of 6 months after disgorgement. Dosage is 9 g/l.

Here is a very informative article on the 2009 Roederer Vins Claires:

The Chardonnay for the 2009 Brut Vintage was sourced from Vertus and from Chouilly.

The Pinot Noir for the 2009 Brut Vintage was sourced mainly from Aÿ and from Hautvillers. These Marne Valley sites are north-facing, as Roederer feels that this orientation helps to deliver freshness and minerality in Pinot Noir.  Additional Pinot Noir was sourced Verzy for the 2009 Brut Vintage. 

2014 Varner Pinot Noir Spring Ridge Vineyard Three Blocks (Santa Cruz Mtns)

Double decanted and aerated for an hour or so prior to dinner. Minimal sediment. 

Sourced from Picnic Block, Upper Picnic Block and Hidden Block. Demonstrates masterful blending to achieve delicious results.

Velvet red cherry fruit, subtle tartness, savory sottobosco. Nose continues to open up throughout the evening... an irresistible melange of mildly piquant spice, tobacco and violets.

Accompanied by pork shoulder marinated in Achiote paste, oranges and spices. Slow cooked in the oven, garnished with pickled onions and served with rice. 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

1998 Andrea Oberto Barolo Vigneto Rocche

Contributor Leonard Taylor reports on this beauty:

14.5% abv. Decanted and let breathe for 30 minutes. Minimal sediment.

"One of the best Barolo's I have ever tasted.  The nose on this was unreal.  A really big wine with jammy cherry, old leather, smoke, integrated soft tannins.  I am not a huge Barolo fan, but I loved this.  Parker called the '97 a "freak" as far as classic barolo goes and I would say that about this '98 as well.  We bought this at a wine shop in La Morra fifteen years ago when we went there with friends and it has been cellared perfectly since then."

Vineyard source is Rocche dell'Annunziata, one of the true "grand cru" vineyards in Piemonte. Rocche dell'Annunziata is just to the east-southeast of the town of La Morra.
The attached map shows A. Oberto's vines in Rocche are situated at the crest , just next to the Bartolo Mascarello plot and the Paolo Scavino plot.

Galloni's notes ...
"A site that yields Barolos of finesse, Rocche dell'Annunziata is known for its striking, floral perfume (violets, roses), sweet spices, dark red fruit and silky tannins. These are gracious, feminine Barolos that tend to open up relatively early, but also age with grace. Rocche dell'Annunziata showcases the refined side of Barolo."

Thursday, February 14, 2019

2017 Hofgut Falkenstein Niedermenniger Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett Trocken

10.5% abv. Pop and pour. 

Elegantly rich flavor at modest alcohol level... love the master artistry from Erich and Johannes Weber. Sourced from 60+ year old vines. AP #1 ( known as Mutter Ana, Meyer Sidney cask).

This is a very substantial dry Riesling. Teethclenchingly young at this stage. Better in 5 years, I would expect, with a very long life ahead. Mellows slightly over a couple of hours in the glass, but maintains a clearly defined structure. 

Pear and lemon front end giving way to pithy blood orange on the saline framed finish. Herbal nose with slight hints of petrol that will manifest over time.

Being a Mosel novice, I typically gravitate toward sweeter Rieslings but this trocken is an education in the complex elegance of the dry wines from Hofgut Falkenstein.