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Default Lasalle, Matanzas, 4 Gruauds and a Coutet

Notes from a dinner with friends, wines tasted blind.

1990 J. Lasalle Blanc de Blancs Brut - medium colour and a complex
mature nose indicated some development and I opined that the 1988-90
window seemed likely. Good mousse, good acid. A second bottle showed
just a little fresher.

2005 Drouhin Meursault Perrieres - I was the odd man out here as I
could find nothing much to commend this in the nose, bar a slight
waxiness and light mineral impression. Smooth mouth feel, fairly soft
and a tad flat at the end. Maybe with time….

2005 Matanzas Creek Chardonnay (Sonoma) - this started out very French
in style with a lightly oaked nose, though the oak became ever more
forward with air. Hint of citrus, smooth and full in the mouth and
better length. I asked who would choose which wine if offered a free
case of either, and most went for the French while I was a hold out
for the American. Interesting.

1981 Gruaud Larose - the next group, tasted over two courses, were
very challenging as 1 and 4 were obviously claret while the other two
were more puzzling. I like this one quite a bit, second only to the
82. It had a nice little bit of spice in the nose, fairly well
resolved tannins, and good fruit in between, with very good length.
This vintage is an excellent choice for fooling people as they never
seem to think of 81s.

1982 Gruaud - a mature nose with a strong mint component, some tannin,
medium to full body and good length. This wine opened up nicely with
time and became more expressive in the nose and less minty. It seemed
fully mature with lots of time left.

1983 Gruaud - sweat socks and leather made me start to think about the
possibility of a French wine far to the east of Bordeaux. Medium body,
very good length, tannin that cones in late but showing age and
faltering in the glass. My least favourite.

1985 Gruaud - I was thinking that this might have been a little older
- a 79 perhaps. It had a good fruit driven nose that we thought was
Bordeaux, mature with good length, a bit soft but still in good
shape. The vintage made sense when it was revealed. The 82 and 81
were the stars with 85 and then 83 in that order, for me.

2002 Black Hills Nota Bene - opened with cheese, this was difficult.
Dark with a slightly hot nose, I was thinking somewhere far south of
BC! Medium body, decent length, OK, but suffered in this company.

1988 Ch. Coutet - nice way to end with this Barsac. Medium colour
heralded age, a nice nose with significant botrytis along with some
lemon and orange notes, and a clean balanced finish, not too sweet.
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