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Old 11-03-2004, 01:44 PM
Bill Spohn
 
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Default Notes from All Over

We started out this dinner in a most pleasant way:

Krug Grand Cuvee (nv) - I always enjoy Krug, and this one had a bright yeasty
nose and lots of acidity - excellent food wine.

1996 Hanzell Sonoma Chardonnay - the last Hanzell I posted a note on was the
very first wine they made - a 1959 Cab bottled by Heitz, so these guys have
been going for awhile (albeit now under new management). High alcohol, but not
hot, the nose began as generic citrus and worked its way toward grapefruit.
Good weight and not too much oak, the minerality made it almost old world in
style.

1999 Eola Hills Pinot Noir Reserve La Criole - menthol initially on the nose,
but that became more perfumed as it opened up. Starts sweet, but finishes
tartly with evident tannin - could use a bit more time.

1997 Babcock Grand Cuvee Pinot Noir (Santa Ynez) - fairly dark wine with a
somewhat indeterminate nose. Elegant, well made, with a slight astringency at
the end. I could have believed this wine to be a French Pinot. Well done.

1998 Wynns Michael Shiraz - the fruit from this vineyard, cropped at only 1/2
ton per acre, unirrigated, is grown over a limestone outcrop that adds
something to the grapes. Dark with a nose of chocolate, mint and some dark
berries, smooth and sweet in the mouth. The 94 drinks well, but this vintage,
which I have tasted 3 times is moving very slowly. Patience will be rewarded.

1996 Coriole Vineyard Lloyd Reserve Shiraz (McLaren Vale) - tasted beside the
Michael, this didn't stand out as an obvious shiraz - in fact a couple of us
thought it could have been cabernet. Warm berry (minty raspberries?) and smoky
oak nose, bit tight right now, with medium to full body and good length.
Interesting wine, probably just now hitting prime time.

1994 Domaine Tempier Cabassaou (Bandol) - these Mourvedre based wines need to
be stuffed in the cellar and forgotten about for a decade before opening. This
one exhibited an animal/funky/merde nose that left no one unmoved, but it
cleared up eventually. The tannins are finally softening, and the wine is
approachable, with good length and increasing complexity as it opened. It
complemented the food very well, and was the only wine from the particular area
that was the focus of the restaurant.

1998 Zind Humbrecht Wintzenheim Gewurztraminer - an interesting choice for
final wine. The nose was a little on the hot side, which made me wonder if it
could have been from a more Southerly location than my first guess, Alsace. The
nose was identifiably Gewurz, although it didn't shout it from the rooftop
until the lychee started to come out, and it was elegant, dry, clean and a very
nice complement to the cheese at the end of the meal.



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