January 09, 2010

Lovely wines in Portland

I had a great opportunity to taste a number of lovely wines last night, as a farewell to Brianne who's heading to Argentina for harvest. My highlights in no particular order...

1988 Rapet Pernand Vergelesses first smelled like old Piedmont wine, floral and tarry. Still tannic but quite nice older red burgundy. The 2002 Grochau Cellars Pinot Noir, from good friend John Grochau whom I partner with on my wine project (full disclosure), was delicious from magnum. Earthy and a bit roasted, but still elegant and aging nicely. This was the best showing of John's first commercial release of the few times I've tried it.

NV Marc Chauvet Champagne, blanc de blancs I'm sure, was so crisp and green apply, just lovely. 2007 Eyrie Chardonnay Reserve "Original Vines" was similarly tight and a bit oaky as when I tried it in November, but obviously good and ageworthy stuff. I hear Stephen Spurrier calls this grand cru in quality, the best new world white he's tried. Maybe so, maybe so.

2007 Cameron Pinot Noir Arley's Leap was atypically rich and a bit strapping for the delicate 2007 vintage locally. Some high toned notes, but quite good and my favorite that I've tried of several years of Arley's. The 1995 Drouhin Pommard was nicely mature but not very generous in the mouth. I just had a small taste.

Then some extra special wines. First, the 1974 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon from the legendary California vintage. This was great. Tons of cabernet cabernet character, some bottle sweetness and definitely still tannin, but all in balance. This can last a while yet but is excellent. As a younger comparison, the 2000 Ducru Beaucaillou from St. Julien, also full of cabernet with lovely gravel and uncured tobacco notes. This is nice already but will last a long time. Very excellent Bordeaux and, to my taste, not at all tricked up or otherwise messed with as so much Bordeaux these days seems accused.

Then two farewell whites from the late Didier Dagueneau, both Pouilly Fume from sauvignon blanc. First, the 2001 Dagueneau Silex, full of passion fruit and hints of creme brulee, young and lively in the mouth and so flavory and good. There's a reason these wines are so prized. Then the 2000 Dagueneau En Chailloux, more waxy and almost semillon in character, still very fresh and lively tasting. These wines have obviously been stored well and will last for several more years, I'm sure.

Thanks to all for the great, great line up, especially our generous host Michael. Bon voyage Brianne!


Vincent Fritzsche said...

I got to try that 2000 Dagueneau the following night from the same bottle. Still waxy, but definitely sauvignon rather than semillon. I think that textural aspect got me thinking semillon, but the flavors are all gooseberry and other classic sauvignon flavors. Yum, and it held up well after 24 hours open.

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