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Old 08-10-2005, 03:57 PM
Bill S.
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Default From Talbot to Turley - October Lunch Notes

Notes from my monthly blind tasting lunch:

2001 Echo Valley Chardonnay - this is an unoaked chard from Cowichan
Valley on Vancouver Island. Not much happening in the nose, unassuming
wine, OK I suppose but I guess we expected more. Worth tasting to make
a mental note about local wines but I wouldn't go out of my way to
find it otherwise.

1996 Landmark Damaris Reserve Chardonnay (Sonoma) - whole different
class here! This was good! Obvious oak in the nose starting out, but it
was well integrated . Soft low acid wine with a buttery mouth feel.

2004 Grace Vineyard Koshu Cuvee Denis Dubourdieu - a wine made in
Katsunuma Japan from a Japanese vinifera grape called Koshu -
couldn't get much tougher to guess than that!! Some herbal notes and
spiciness in the nose, but then light and hollow with a bit of citrus
at the (short) end. A novelty. Now I can add one country to my list of
(grape) wine experience!

1999 Alzinger Loibner Weingarten Gruner Veltliner Smaragd - from the
ridiculous to the sublime - and just as hard for us to narrow in on,
as few of us would expect an Austrian wine. This one was very nice with
a peachy nose and excellent balance and length.

We were working through a course of prawns with carrot ginger souffl=E9
at this point.

1990 Raffaut Chinon Les Picasses - we had tasted the same wine from
1989 (perpetrated by the same person) a couple of months ago, but we
still didn't home in on this one. Cabernet nose (served in a Burg
glass, damn their eyes!) medium bodied, more tannic than you'd think
given the age, but drinking pretty well, and ending with a nice hint of
cherry that one taster said reminded him of a Barolo. I liked the 1989
a bit better, but these are very interesting wines, made from cab franc
and needing to be cellared like Bordeaux. These wines always impress!

1996 Calona Artists Series Merlot - I guess if Kenwood Artists series
is the expression of a gifted artist, this would be the equivalent of
giving a kid a hunk of chalk and pointing him at a sidewalk. Calona was
the first commercial winery of any size in BC and produced insipid jug
wines for most of their existence. This wine was either a special
tribute to their past, or they haven't changed. Nothing much in the
nose. That was the best aspect of this wine. After that it got ugly -
a hard astringent little ******* without benefit of fruit or any
perceptible flavour interest. Guess it shows how far the local
industry has come.

2000 Township 7 Merlot - THIS showed us how far the industry had come
- big coconutty nose with good fruit, drinking perfectly now, with
decent length. Well chosen (brought by the same person as the Calona)
to illustrate the alpha, and if not quite omega, at least the omicron
of BC winemaking.

We moved on into a buffalo confit with:

1998 Domaine Pesquier Gigondas - rubbery Rhone nose, Syrah obvious,
without much heat, and perfectly ready and drinking at peak on palate.
Very nice.

1988 Ch. Talbot - no problem nailing where this came from, but a
little floundering about in terms of nailing the vintage before homing
in on 1988. Excellent nose with a hint of currant and although it
showed a touch on the lean side, it wasn't 'nasty-lean', it was
'elegant-lean', and classy.

1997 Ch. Sociando Mallet - another obvious Bordeaux, but once we got
vintage we figured it had to be a heavy hitter. Dark wine with a big
sweet fruit nose (more cassis here), full bodied and with smooth
tannins and good length. Normally I'd leave a Sociando a lot longer
than this, but it drank very well at this age. Yum.

We had moved on to a rabbit course, and continued with:

1995 Ch. de Pez - this St. Estephe had medium colour, spicy sweet
fruit nose, and was on the elegant side with some nice sweetness coming
in again at the end. We dubbed the person who brought this 'Pez
dispenser' of the day.

2000 Larose-Trintaudon - this Medoc was the equivalent of grocery
store claret (c. $18), and showed how well one can still do at the
lower end with Bordeaux. The nose was pure fruit, not complex but
pleasant, with sweetish fruit and medium length. Great value.

NV Rimbert La Chante de Marjolaine - a bottle picked up in France -
made of 100% Carignane in the St. Chinian area, it had bright colour
and fruit, medium body and was quite tasty. This is the sort of local
wine that when you sit down to dinner in a local restaurant in France
and they bring a carafe of wine, you say "We lucked out on this one
- Encore, s'il vous plait!" Would have worked better if served
earlier but I wouldn't expect the staff to have a clue about what
sort of wine this would be.

1997 Mt. Langi Ghiran Langi Shiraz - I have some of this Victorian
wine but haven't started in on it yet - nice to take a look-see.
Big ripe sweet nose, sweet and forward on palet with a ton of extract
and pretty good length. Thankfully not one of those monolithic sweet
Shiraz like many made in the 2002+ vintages that may never develop -
this should continue to change for the better.

1996 Turley Old Vines Zinfandel - I brought up the rear, attempting
to show that this sort of wine need not be scarfed down as early as
everyone seems to drink them. Super ripe nose, like a ripasso style
Italian wine, hot in the mouth and with good length, I thought it a
passable match with the cheese.

An even wider range of wines than I usually get at these lunches and
good fun!

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Old 15-10-2005, 05:59 PM
Michael Pronay
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Default From Talbot to Turley - October Lunch Notes

"Bill S." wrote:

We dubbed the person who brought this 'Pez dispenser' of the

Btw, did you know that "PEZ" is an Austrian success story that
dates back to 1927?


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