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Old 23-10-2004, 03:39 PM
Bill Spohn
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Default October Lunch (Hoares in Attendance)

My monthly lunch was an international affair this time, with Andre from Toronto
and Ian and Jacquie from France joining us.

2001 Tawse Chardonnay - medium coloured wine with a generic sort of fruit nose
with a touch of volatile acidity, which blew off (the VA) and increased in
complexity (the nose) with time, taking on an apple note. Nice feel, decent
concentration, clean finish. 50 cases made by a new small Ontario winery.

2001 Ch. de Nages Vielles Vignes Blanc - I swear that this had a light petrolly
Riesling nose, and didn't resemble anything else in particular, so several of
us were surprised to be told that it had no Riesling! This Costieres de Nimes
is actually made of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and a bit of Marsanne tossed in
for good measure. Light bodied and clean. I'd never have though to have
mistaken a Southern French wine with an Alsatian Riesling!

Served with scallops and sardine with truffle oil.

1982 Ch. Haut Bailly - this Graves was showing its age in terms of colour, had
an excellent mature nose, little tannin but sufficient acidity, and made a very
good luncheon claret. It has been damned with faint praise by critics, and is a
touch variable, but a good bottle need not make any apologies.

1998 Mission Hill Estate Shiraz - there was an attempt afoot to introduce our
guests to the local product. 1998 was a very good vintage here and it was early
days for Shiraz. This was the premium version and it showed a purple wine, with
no tannin but enough acidity to carry it, no pepper, but what one could call an
otherwise typical varietal nose, and medium body.

1995 Qupe Bien Nacido Hillside Estate Syrah - sweeter berry fruit in this
nose, but not jammy. In fact the wine bordered on elegant - well balanced and

Served with veal kidneys and chanterelles.

1998 Clos Pegase Cabernet - from a lesser vintage in California, this cab
needed to make no excuses as it was very nice - dark with lots of mint and
spice in the nose, perhaps a bit heavy on the oak, ready to drink but no rush.

1999 Il Peccato (Jacopo Banti) - this small producer makes a wine in the Val Di
Cornia region, of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Ciliegiolo. The name rang
a bell - a bell connected to Morellino, but I didn't recall until I checked
that the Morellino producer was Erik Banti, possibly no relation. A dark wine
with a sweet nose and moderate acidity, it drinks well now.

Served with a really good venison osso bucco.

1996 Eileen Hardy Shiraz - the reserve version of this wine, I have enjoyed
this huge ooze monster on many occasions. The mint/eucalyptus leaps out of this
inky wine, shouting its origin (as if any of us were in doubt). It has great
concentration and length and has now become well integrated and smooth. I think
it will continue to drink well for many years. I've got some 1995 I should
revisit soon.

1983 Dow Port - this one had a peach pit nose and was hot but not sweet, a bit
of heat also in the mouth. It was pleasant, and not too sweet in the mouth, but
I am not sure it was showing as it normally would as the nose seemed a bit
atypical. In any case, just what was called for by the cheese.

1996 L'Excellence du Chateau les Tours des Verdots - a sticky from the Cote de
Bergerac region adjacent to Monbazillac, this light amber moelleux wine was
delightfully clean and crisp despite what was obviously high residual sugar

1996 Chateau Tirecul La Gravieres Vendange Tardive - I have only tasted the
very expensive Cuvee Madame from this producer and while admitting the quality
had reservations about whether or not it was a bit 'over the top'. I have no
such reservations about this regular cuvee Monbazillac. It was showing a little
less in the nose than the Verdots, but was otherwise a better wine - dried
apricots and oranges came out as it warmed, and there was great length and
intensity of flavour. Our thanks to our guests from that area of France for
bringing these with them.