January 17, 2009

Gratuitous tasting

Last weekend I went by a local wine shop for what was billed as a typical free tasting of a few white wines. Nothing fancy, nothing to write home about, but fine. Then things got a little out of control, in a good way.

How about the 2005 Schloss Gobelsburg Gruner Veltliner Kammerner Lamm? Rich and nervy at once, lovely green pea and white pepper flavor with terrific length. This is seriously good gruner. Then 2005 Domaine de la Grange des Pere Blanc, from importer Kermit Lynch. This is mostly roussane from the Languedoc region of France, with some marsanne and a bit of chardonnay. This is holy cow good. Duvel ale yellow color, with a deep aroma of honey, wax, flowers, lemons, marmalade, yet totally dry and fresh in the mouth, terribly long and delicious. Ridiculously good wine.

Then to the 2006 Domaine Tempier Bandol La Tourtine. Tempier has changed since the arrival of winemaker Daniel Ravier earlier this decade. The wines are darker in color, noticeably more rich, even showing their alcohol a bit. I still love them, but they're not what they were. This bottle reminds me of the '06 Cabassou, taut and mineral despite its ripeness, with lots of cellar potential. It's mourvedre from Bandol, after all. Few wines are as durable. No matter the changes here in the cellar, I'm betting this wine and its siblings reveal more with time.

We also tried the 2006 Gama Sutra from Olivier Lemasson in the Loire valley, all old vine gamay. Perhaps it was the company, but I didn't love this. Try something like this with lots of food. Definintely not a tasting wine.

So we tried the 2006 Crowley Pinot Noir Entre Nous, from the former Cameron assistant Tyson Crowley. Tyson's barrel aging his wines for a year and a half, bucking the local trend to bottle one vintage just prior to the next. The goal isn't oaky flavors, but more earth and secondary notes in the wine instead of just all fresh fruit. The result here is nice, with the ripeness of the vintage in check, the flavors meaty and earthy but not unclean in any way. I bought two.

But we were not done. The coup de gras was a 2000 Tokaji 6 Puttonyos, of course I forget the producer [edit - it was 2000 Grof Degenfeld Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos], that was tremendous. Honey colored, figgy with botrytis and subtle petrol notes, so fresh and interesting, like a blend of Sauternes and German riesling. In the mouth it was so rich and yet precise, with a flavor that just went on and on. One of the top dessert wines I've ever tried, capping one of the most interesting wine tastings I can remember. Wow.


Michael Alberty said...

I have it on good authority it was the 2000 Grof Degenfeld Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos.

Vincent Fritzsche said...

Köszönöm szépen.

Al Hrabosky said...

édes illat!