Vino Rouge Red Wine Tasting April 8, 2015

Including the bonus bottle, Jay presented six Bordeauxs and one Rhone. Two of the Bordeauxs were from the Medoc with Cabernet Sauvignon being the predominant varietal in the blend. At seven years old, the Margaux from Tayac was not very active in the mouth or on the nose and received no votes. At nine years old, the Gloria from Saint-Julien was appreciated for its ripe fruit, balanced in Bordeaux fashion.

wine reviews

The eight year old Branon and seven year old Haut-Gravet both were crowd pleasers with the Branon scoring 17 votes for first place and the Haut- Gravet scoring 13 votes for third place. The Branon from Pessac and Haut-Gravet from Saint-Emilion have Merlot as the predominant varietal in the blend. These wines were generous in a medium bodied way with modest Bordeaux qualities featuring mocha and espresso flavors along with pleasing minerality. The eight year old Chateauneuf Du Pape from the great 2007 vintage scored 15 points for second favorite wine due to its plush body and mature grenache mouth feel with cherry and licorice flavors.

We thank Jay for a lesson in less expensive Bordeaux. The best price to quality ratio was found in the Haut-Gravet. The Marcard at $15.00 was strong enough to obtain 10 votes for its pleasing Bordeaux package. These are Bordeauxs which are versatile food wines and not tannic monsters or heavy handed or clumsy. I love Bordeaux and believe that it makes sense to enjoy wines like these rather than spending hundreds of dollars per bottle for high profile classified growth Bordeauxs which used to sell for $15.00 – $50.00 per bottle fifteen to thirty years ago.

wine reviews

Specific details on these fine wines can be found below:

2006 Chateau Franc Cardinal Francs Cotes De Bordeaux – 72% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec
This delicious, deep, dense vintage a full bodies wine packed with fruit flavors, elegance and warmth.

2007 Chateau Mont-Redon Chateauneuf du Pape – 60 Grenache, 30% Syrah, 8% Mourvedre, 2% Cinsault
Powerful, heady, deep and full of harmony. The tannins are very qualitative, they are silky and delicate, giving an impression of volume and length in the mouth. A wine with exceptional cellaring potential than can already be enjoyable.

2007 Chateau Branon Pessac Leognan – 50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon
This wine offers a smoke, espresso, blackberry, licorice, tobacco,, cocoa and black raspberry filled perfume. The wine is soft, round and supple textured, but it lacks the density found in the better vintages of this small production.

2008 Chateau Haut-Gravet Saint Emilion Grand Cru – 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
The fruit in this wine is fresh and pure, with flavors of dark berries and elegant tannins. Ac certain mineral undertone hints at the flint soils in a most seductive way. A true pleasure.

2008 Chateau Grand Tayac Margaux – 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot
A textbook introduction to Margaux, with lilac, crushed raspberry and plum fruit. Iron tinged but silky tannins carry the lengthy, perfumed finish, which shows latent depth.

2009 Chateau de Marcard – 50% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot
Ripe and dense, but fresh, with silky-textured plum, blackberry and blueberry fruit carried by sweet spice and maduro tobacco notes. The fleshy finish shows nice drive. Should open up more with brief cellaring.

Bonus bottle:
2006 Chateau Gloria Saint Julien – 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot
Sweet cedary, cigar box, roasted herb, and black currant fruit aromas are followed by a lush, full bodied, textured, concentrated wine. Beautiful and refined.

Vino Rouge Special Vertical Tasting of Penfolds Grange Flight One

Setting the bar higher than we ever have before, the Vino Rouge club will be enjoying four unbelievable flights of the infamous Penfolds Grange, covering 27 consecutive vintages from 1976 through 2002!

Penfolds Grange tasting

The first flight was held at Basta in Pawtuxet Village on March 25, 2015, and really was a terrific start to a truly amazing vertical.

Penfolds Grange tasting

The wines tasted spanned 20 years and included the 1979, 1983, 1987, 1991, 1995 and the 1999. Prior to the tasting, the wines were prepared using a decant procedure that included filtering the wine through cheese cloth twice and completing a double rinse of the bottles using Peligrino water, after which the wine was repoured in the rinsed bottles and vacuum sealed.

Penfolds Grange tasting

While it was extremely difficult to pick a favorite, the club managed to do so and it was the 1987, followed by the 1983 and then the 1999. Collective tasting notes from the club for these and the other remaining wines in this first of four verticals are woven into the following wine descriptions.

1979 Penfolds Grange Hermitage – Rating 90 (Feb 2002) Suggested drinking range 2000-2015

A blend of 87% Shiraz and 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, Max Schubert commented in 1983 that this vintage was “not quite up to the mark”. For technicians, this was the last vintage to use white capsules on the bottle, with Penfolds moving to the crimson red foils in 1980. The wine is deep ruby garnet with an unusual nose of root vegetables mixed with cola, caramel, black currant and tar. The club thought the wine had a quiet nose with a touch of cola and mint chocolate. Really nice mouth feel with cherry cola, vanilla with great balance and the best finish of the bunch, with a lingering buzz on the back pallet. Still a lot of fruit and still seems young, in the opinion of most (i.e. look, feel, glycerin)

1983 Penfolds Grange Hermitage – Rating 92 (Feb 2002) Suggested drinking range 2006-2020

The earliest harvest on record at Penfolds, the 1983 vintage was characterized by devastating bush fires, followed by enormous flooding in March. A blend of 94% Shiraz and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine has a surprisingly low pH (3.41) for a Grange, with an amazing 7.1 grams of acid per liter. We experienced an earthy milkshed nose and found the wine more refined, with some acidity and dark fruit, although starting to separate out. Not a bold attack, but with consistent monolithic fruit, with a silky feel. Seems to be at a peak and should be consumed as opposed to cellared much longer.

1987 Penfolds Grange Hermitage – Rating 90 (Feb 2002) Suggested drinking range 2003-2016

A light, elegant style of Grange made with a blend of 90% Shiraz and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine has a deep ruby/purple color and a spicy, peppery nose with some new oak, black cherry and blackberry flavors. The club noted a really robust nose of earth and cranberry and all expressed delight in the unbelievable coating of sweet vanilla, caramel and luscious fruit with hints of mocha coffee and butterscotch. Absolutely perfectly balanced with a syrupy heavenly mouth feel that just coats the palate. Super lush bomb!

1991 Penfolds Grange – Rating 93 (Feb 2002) Suggested drinking range 2002-2017

This wine is generous, open, and sweet in its personality Dense purple, this blend of 95% Shiraz and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon shows great fruit, a very lush, open-knit style with full body, high glycerin, low acidity and superb purity. My notes show a sweet creamy milk sugar nose. Awesome mouth feel with an explosion of cherry, jammy fruit, roasted meat and licorice on a nice pleasant finish.

1995 Penfolds Grange – Rating 92 (Feb 2002) Suggested drinking range 2004-2018

An impressive Grange that may ultimately prove to be underrated, like many wines from this vintage, the 1995, a blend of 94% Shiraz and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, exhibits a saturated plum/purple color and a sweet blackberry liqueur nose intermixed with cassis, licorice and new oak. The wine is textured, jammy, fill-bodied, with impressive levels of extract, glycerin and black fruit flavors. We found the nose to be subtle, with touches of raspberry and blackberry. This full bodied wine coats the pallet with chewy and sexy fruit with a long ripe finish with unobtrusive acidity and tannin.

1999 Penfolds Grange – Rating 92 (Oct 2004) Suggested drinking range 2006-2019

The 1999 Grange is a dense ruby/purple to the edge, with a bouquet of blackberries, mulberries, and floral-like aromas. Medium to full body, the 1999 has an acid punch, but also tremendous layers of fruit and extract. Not massive, but elegant and nicely layered. We discovered lead pencil on the nose with hints of cranberry too. Layored balance gives a great mouth feel with tart cranberry on a long lasting finish. Has a strong acid backbone with soft round pronounced tannins. More of an elegant profile, although still a little tight.

Penfolds Grange tasting

Dessert

NV Penfolds Club Austalian Tawny – A proprietary blend dry red fortified Mataro, Shiraz, Grenache wine from South Australia

Pale tawny-amber colored, the NV Club Australian Tawny expresses a lovely nose of raisins, sultana, toffee and dates with hints of dried figs and caramel. Full-bodies, it is nicely poised in the mouth with rich, sweet and concentrated flavors that finish long.

Welcome to VinoRouge.club, a Private Wine Club

Hello and welcome to VinoRouge.club.  While we are a private red wine club, we have collectively decided to share the information we collect in hopes of benefiting others who enjoy red wine!  We will be updating this wine club website often with new monthly tasting reviews, as well as tasting reviews from the last 20+ years that this red wine club has been doing these tastings.  We love your feedback, so feel free to get in touch with us through our Contact Us page.

Below you can find our most recent and historical red wine reviews from our monthly tastings.

Vino Rouge Red Wine Tasting March 4, 2015

Another great tasting to report and a new venue outside of Rhode Island to boot. This month, we held our tasting at Porto Bello Cafe, located in downtown North Attleboro. Quarters were a little tight for our table of 12, but that only sparks more conversation! Wow, did they aim to please our motley crew, with a multitude of appetizers, great meals and dessert sweets to close things out.

red wine reviews

Norm did an excellent job providing the wines for the evening and fooled almost everybody by having our second blind Italian wine tasting in a row, entitle “Super Tuscans”. Some of us would be happy to taste Italian wines every month, as the wines were all tantalizing and appeared to get better and better with each glass! Only one of the six wines failed to obtain a preference poll vote, but that was only because they were all so good. The following paragraphs discuss each of the wines we shared, with the first three representing the top three wines as determined through our monthly preference poll.

Tenuta Arceno il Fauno di Arcanum Toscana IGT 2009 – Deep, brilliant black cherry color and elegant aromas of peppery spice and minerality. On the palate, the oak is discreet with a strong presence of spice and salted nutmeg. This a balanced wine with beautiful length and bright acidity that comes together for a smooth finish of soft tannins and black pepper noted. 61% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, 2% Sangiovese and 1% Petit Verdot

Luce della Vite Luce Toscana IGT 2008 – Luce is a very dense, concentrated purple-red. The nose exhibits remarkable finesse, releasing notes of wild blackberry and sour cherry, backgrounded by peppery eucalyptus and minerally impressions of pencil lead. Capping the aromatic array are appealing notes of baker’s chocolate and tobacco leaf. This wine shows a superb attack, with the densest of tannic suites. The palate expands impressively, with a tasty vein of acidity that beautifully knits together all of its constituents. A near-endless finish adds the final harmonious touch. Sangiovese 45%, Merlot 55%

Brancaia Ilatraia Rosso Maremma Toscana IGT 2011 – A fine wine with intense aromas and flavors of liquorice and blueberry, with leather and sweet spice accents. This is firm wine, revealing finesse and a rich texture with air. Dense tannins show on the finish. Consists of a mix of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Petit Verdot and 20% Cabernet Franc.

red wine reviews

Felsina Fontalloro Toscana IGT 2010 – Ruby red appearance with rich, intense tonality. Complex, multi-layered nose, with generous notes of tobacco leaf and moist earth (dry earth as well), black currant, wild bramble and black liquorice. The palate exhibits a generous mass of tannins, fairly supple, perfect for lengthy ageing. Good weight and structure, and elegant breed on the finish. 100% Sangiovese

Monte Antico Supremus Toscana Rosso IGT 2007 – Deep ruby red in color, with purple reflections. Its intense, persistent bouquet of violets, cherries and red berry fruit shows subtle, elegant notes of vanilla and toasted wood, minerally nuances and hints of leather, chocolate, black pepper, and cinnamon…an exquisite palate of aromas confirmed on the full, lush, flavorful palate characterize by sweet mellow tannins and velvet texture. Long, lingering finish. 75% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon

San Felice Pugnitello Rosso Toscana IGT 2008 – A very deep purple-red greets the eye, then the wine develops a multi-layered bouquet that foregrounds tanned leather and animal skin over ripe drid plum and a subtle herbaceousness. The wine is massive in the mouth, and exhibits velvety tannins and a warm alcohol complemented by a tasty vein of acidity. 75% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon

Vino Rouge Red Wine Tasting February 4, 2015

As expected, Steve Carlino had a great show of wines! An Italian theme of excellent red wines the I can still taste as I write this!!!

red wine reviews

Straight to the preference poll…

Our first place wine was a 2005 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Bolgheri Superior Ornellaia. A fantastic Red Bordeaux Blend, displaying beautiful aromas of ripe fruit, with currant, plum and blackberry. This complex and full-bodied Tuscan red has soft, polished tannins and a long, long finish. Wine Spectator gave it 95 points.

Second place wine was a 2009 Tenuta di Nozzole Chianti Classic Riserva. Another excellent Sangiovese Blend wine. A big dark chewy red wine bursting with dark cherries, licorice, tobacco, smoke and dried flowers. This hearty, full-bodied Riserva is long on personality and sheer character. Wine Advocate gave it 90 points

Third place wine was a 2005 Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornettia, a Red Bordeaux Blend. This 2005 Le Serre Nuove is the second wine of Ornellaia. In top vintages it is the hidden gem in this line up from a price to quality perspective. The 2005 reveals gorgeous aromatics along with sweet black cherries, black berries, spices, smoke and toasted oak. It is a delicate and feminine wine to enjoy over the next decade or so. Wine advocate gave it 90 Points.

Although not placing in the top three, the remaining three wines were just as good and included…

1997 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli, a nice Sangiovesi. A deep garnet color accompanies huge, sweet aromas of roasted herbs, red and black currants, cherries, earth, incense and tobacco. A chewy and full bodied wine that can go another 7 years. Wine Advocate gave it a 93.

2007 Castello di Monsanto, a Chianti Classico Reserva. A ripe juicy red with lots of black cherry and blackberry fruit. Tannins are well coated by fleshy fruit and it lingers with a long spicy aftertaste, drinking through 2022. Wine Spectator gave it a 92.

The last wine was a 2004 Casanuova delle Cerbaie Brunello di Montalcino, another Sangiovese. This is an earthy full bodies wine with aromas of roses and other flowers, leather and grilled herbs. On the pallet flows decadent berry and mushroom flavors, with a firm structure. Wine Advocate gave it a 93.

red wine reviews

You can see here that was also had a nice dessert wine. Specifically, thanks to Steve, we also enjoyed a 2004 Badia a Coltibuono Vin Santo del Chianti Classico Occhio di Pernice.

The tasting was held at the Aurora Club, which was outstanding!!! The club feasted on fried clams and cheese tray appetizers, followed by some soup and salad, an entree of choice and only to be capped off with a platter of biscotti for dessert with Espresso.

Vino Rouge Red Wine Tasting November 5, 2014

Yet another great meeting of the Vin Rouge Wine Club was held this week at the Valley Country Club, hosted by Ray Harrison. In tribute to last month’s presentation by Don, Ray borrowed the theme, presenting six similar wines from his cellar, selected for style and maturity. This was an educational parallel, and we did a little better at characterizing the different wine varietals and wine ages than we did last month. Ray also managed to include a spoiler, a 2001 Chateauneuf du Pape that was “over the hill” (remember that Don had a 2001 Beaucastel CDP last month that turned out to also be over the hill).

red wine tasting

This month’s poll winner was the 2001 Kilikanoon Covenant Shiraz compared to last month’s 2002 Torbreck RunRig Shiraz, another pretty amazing parallel! And 2nd place was won in both tastings by a 7 to 8 year old Malbec from Argentina, with third place going to 7 to 8 year old California entries.

We all know Ray Harrison is very knowledgeable about wines, but how did he get the preference results to come out the same? This was a very well done presentation dubbed “DEJA BU” and our hats are off to Ray for this enjoyable experience.

The Valley Country Club offered Mushroom Biscotti to start, a past and bean soup and entree choices of chicken parmigiana, haddock picatta and veal saltimbocca, all served with a mushroom risotto and roasted butternut squash. The following paragraphs provide some additional tasting notes for each of the wines we enjoyed this month

Kilikanoon Covenant Shiraz 2001 – The outrageously rich Shiraz exhibits an inky purple color as well as a terrific bouquet of blackberries, melted licorice, tar and background wood. Full-bodied, tightly-structured, and somewhat closed, but enormously promising, as noticed by the club as the number 1 preference.

Tikal Amorio Malbec 2006 – This one is opaque purple-colored with a splendid perfume of pain grille, vanilla, spice box, blacky cherry and blackberry. Medium to full bodied, it has a plush palate feel, excellent balance and nicely combines elegance with power, coupled with enough silky tannins to roll for a number of years.

Delinger Estate Syrah 2008 – This estate Syrah from Altamont, burts onto the palate with a melange of dark red fruit, licorice and spices. All of the elements come together beatifully in the glass as the waves of fruit build towards the creamy, textured finish. Bright floral notes, white pepper, leather, licorice, tar and spices add further dimensions of complexity.

Domaine la Milliere Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes 2005 – This brilliant Chateauneuf du Pape is a sexy-styled wine, especially for this structured, masculine and somewhat restrained and backwards vintage. This is a full bodied opulence with sweet tannins, low to moderate acidity, and gorgeous levels of plum, fig, black currant and sweet cherry fruit intermixed with some smoked meat and lavender. This a beauty of layered opulence and luscious texture.

BV Tapestry Reserve 2005 – Aromas of ripe current, plum and black cherry offers hints of spice, cedar and flowers. Elegant, balanced, complex and polished, finished with firm tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Melot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petite Verdot – What a blend!

Cuvee du Vatican Chateauneuf du Pape 2001 – This deep ruby/purple colored Chateauneuf du Pape reveals Grenache’s powerful side in its intense kirsch, licorice, peppery aromatics. An opulent attack is followed by a multilayered, full-bodied mid-palate along with considerable structure and headiness in the finish. This is a large-scaled but impeccably well-balanced Chateauneuf to drink for a few more years.

Vino Rouge Red Wine Tasting June 4, 2014

This was a very special annual tasting for our wine club, where we get together and pool our resources to put on a sensational vertical of the world’s best vineyards. This was was held at the Aurora Civic Association and was titled “A Special Vertical Tasting of P. Antinori Tignanello IGT Super-Tuscan”.

red wine tasting

At this very memorable event, we shared P. Antinori Tignanello’s or TIGS, as we like to call them, from 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2004. As the Grateful Dead would sing, “Nothing Left to Do But Smile Smile Smile”, which is what we were all doing after this blockbuster lineup!

The preference poll of the club lined up like this…1999, 2001, 2004, 2003, 1998 and 1997. We shared the wines with Cup of Soup or Special Appetizer, House Style Salad, Choice of Menu Entrée served with Pasta and Asparagus.

Here are the tasting notes for these wines…

red wine tasting

The 1997 Tignanello is at a fascinating adolescent stage, it is neither primary nor fully resolved but somewhere in the middle. The wine’s candied, super-ripe fruit is made more complex by subtle notes of smoke and sweet licorince. The aromas appear to be somewhat muted, a characteristic that is perhaps highlighted by the presence of slight barnyardy notes that suggest brett may have been an issue in this vintage. Readers who can tolerate the wine’s imperfections will find much to enjoy here still.

There were 30,000 cases of the 1998 proprietary red made from a belnd of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. The 19987 offers a classic bouquet of berry fruit, new saddle leather, underbrush, earth, and toast from its barrique aging. Medium to full bodied, good delineation, and a firm classic style.

The deep ruby/purple colored 1999 Tignanello exhibits rare elegance married to considerable flavor intensity as well as power. Normally a belnd of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc aged in French oak for 12 months, the 1999 offers up aromas of new saddle leather intertwined with black cherries, currants, creosote, vanilla and spice box. Rich and medium bodied, with adequate acidity as well as sweet but noticeable tannnin.

The 2001 TIG is an object lesson in how to make Cabernet work with Sangiovese, with two varieties balancing and enhancing one another in admirable symbiosis. A blackish ruby, its perfectly focused plum and cassis fruit , given an additional complexity by notes of sweet herbs and saddle leather, is fully and completely shaped in flavors of impeccable volume, roundness and depth, caressing and powerful and with an additional power on the close.

Antinori’s 2003 Tignanello (85% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc) is a terrific effort. Typical Sangiovese notes of red cherries, tobacco and underbrush dominate the flavor profile of this intensely flavored Tignanello that manages to be ripe and open, while retaining notable balance and freshness, although the tannins dry out a bit on the back end. This is a delicious Tig to enjoy now.

The 2004 Tignanello presents a livelier shade of ruby along with fresher aromatics and flavors. Deeply expressive, it reveals black cherries, licorice, tar and sweet toasted oak on a linear, silky-textured frame to great class and elegance, showing outstanding presence on the palate and fine tannins to round out the finish.

red wine tasting

After such a terrific tasting, it was remarkable to close with a BADIA A COLTIBUONO VIN SANTO DEL CHIANTI CLASSICO OCCHIO DI PERNICE (Sangiovese) for dessert. Hard to believe that this vineyard is only 12 years old!

Vino Rouge Red Wine Tasting March 5, 2014

Vincent Jacques was looking forward to turning the club onto some really nice 2000 Bordeaux and did so at the Narragansett Grill in Narragansett, RI. While dinner was delightful consisting of dinner salad, broiled lamb rack with mashed potato and julienne of green beans, or choice of menu, the wine was out of this world!

In Bordeaux during the summer of 2000, all the right pieces seem to have fallen into place. A combination of ideal weather conditions and improvements in vineyard management and winemaking placed 2000 among the great Bordeaux vintages of all time. Quality was high throughout the region, and the wines of 2000 show remarkable consistency. Starting with a dry period in late May that allowed an even and problem free flowering, 2000 was blessed by wonderful weather. July rain in was followed by a sustained period of dry weather until the end of harvest. Warm conditions allowed fruit to ripen evenly and retain freshness and perfume. Selection was strict with some leading producers putting little more than a third of their production into their first wine, with improvements in the winery too, many estates made their best ever wines in 2000.

The Bordeaux region is naturally divided by the Gironde Estuary into a Left Bank area which includes the Médoc and Graves and a Right Bank area which includes the Libournais, Bourg and Blaye. The Médoc is itself divided into Haut-Médoc (the upstream or southern portion) and Bas-Médoc (the downstream or northern portion, often referred to simply as “Médoc”).

Here was our line-up.

red wine tasting

Chateau Sociando-Mallet; Haut-Medoc 2000
“As one might expect, proprietor Jean Gautreau has produced an uncompromisingly, potentially enormously long-lived 2005 that is as good as most Medoc cru classes. Based on previous vintages, it will undoubtedly require 10-12 years of cellaring. Its saturated blue/purple color is followed by a sumptuous bouquet of blueberries, white flowers, and minerals. Fresh, full-bodied, well-defined, and already revealing plenty of nuances, this intensely concentrated, impeccably pure effort is a classic vin de garde. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030+.” 92-94/100 points. (Robert Parker)

Chateaux Lynch Bages; Pauillac 2000
Beginning to open magnificently (2011), the still dense purple-colored 2000 reveals a blossoming bouquet of blackberries, cassis, graphite and pen ink. Full-bodied with velvety tannins that have resolved themselves beautifully over the last eleven years, this wine is still an adolescent, but it exhibits admirable purity, texture, mouthfeel and power combined with elegance. One of the all-time great examples of Lynch Bages, the 2000 is just beginning to drink well yet promises to last for another 20-25+ years. 97/100 points (Robert Parker)

Chateau Talbot; St. Julien 2000
One of the best Talbots over recent years, and possibly the best since the 1986 and 1982, this sexy juggernaut of a wine struts forth with an opaque plum/ruby/purple color and terrific notes of creme de cassis, licorice, roasted herbs and smoky barbecue. It is a brilliant effort, with full body, wonderful fruit, a savory, expansive mouthfeel, sensational texture and a long finish, but no hardness or astringency. This is a fabulous Talbot to drink over the next 20-25 years. 94/100 points (Robert Parker)

Chateau Pichon Longueville; Pauillac 2000
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, and a whopping 10% Petit Verdot and a touch of Cabernet Franc – “This is one of the great wines of the vintage, and certainly a candidate for one of the finest wines made at this estate under the management of Christian Seeley and proprietor AXA. Showing incredibly well at two tastings of 2000s, the wine has a dense bluish/purple color and a beautiful nose of incense, melted asphalt, and creme de cassis as well as hints of new saddle leather and licorice. It is superbly concentrated and very pure, with excellent texture and opulence. The acidity seems low, the tannin high but well-integrated. This is a compelling 2000 that is just closing in on its window of maturity and should stay there for at least 20 or more years. Bravo!”. 97/100 points (Robert Parker)

Chateau Les Ormes de Pez; Saint-Estephe 2000
“Deep ruby/plum/purple in color, with a nose of sweet melted licorice intermixed with lush, easy to appreciate flavors of black currants, tobacco, and incense, this is a fleshy, medium-bodied wine with excellent definition, and good, plump, chewy fruit as well as purity. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2013.” 87/100 points (Robert Parker)

Chateau Leoville Poyferre; St Julien 2000
The plushest, most ostentatious and dramatic of all the Leovilles in 2000, this wine is already sumptuous, displaying some nuances in its huge nose of vanilla bean, black chocolate, jammy black cherries, cassis, and graphite in a flamboyant style. Opulent, savory, rich, and full-bodied, it is a head-turning, prodigious wine and a complete contrast to the extracted behemoth of Leoville Barton and the backward, classic Leoville Las Cases. The Poyferre’s low acidity, sweet tannin and an already gorgeous mouth feel make it a wine to drink now as well as over the next 25 or more years (2010). 97/100 points (Robert Parker)

red wine tasting

Chateau La Tour Blanche – Donation Osiris – Sauternes 1995
Semillon: 70% / Sauvignon Blanc: 28% / Muscadelle: 2% – Very nice nose dominated by banana, honey, and fresh mint, nicely voluptuous. Very well made – rich, wide and quite impressive with butter – roasted almonds.