Saturday, February 28, 2009

1984 Ravenswood Zinfandel

2/25/09-The Wednesday knitters hosted by Ross and Donna McGuire enjoyed another example of a well made zinfandel. The 84 Ravenswood, Old Hill Vineyard, showed incredible sediment that resulted in a soft, mellow, fruity wine with little or no tannin and a flavor of red currants.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

1984 Dominus Meritage

2/18/09-Keith and Helen Faust hosted the knitters who enjoyed a very interesting brown bag 1984 California wine. This second vintage wine, made by the Frenchman Christian Moueix, who fell in love with the valley and its wines while studying at U.C. Davis in 1968 and 1969. This was the birth of Dominus, and its first vintage was harvested in 1983. Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines wrote in 2004 “Could be 80 points. Could be 90 points. Yes, we do not usually give split scores to wine, and perhaps we should simply let the lower score stand, but there is fruit and richness aplenty here. And, if you have another two decades to wait and a fair bit of optimism, you might want to take the chance that this wine's virtues will someday outshine both its ridiculously abrasive tannins and the earthy, old leathery tones that have been in control over its first two decades”. After our tasting this wine in 2009 we vote for 90 points (Robert Parker has it at 92). The tannins have subsided and the fruit has come to the forefront. Gary Rose, a volunteer at the California State Fair wine judging, guessed either an older cabernet or a younger Bordeaux. The wine had little sediment, mild tannins and a long fruity finish.

1983 Buehler Zinfandel

2/11/09-Dave Vik hosted the knitters solo (his spouse Ann is baby sitting their newborn grandson Ethan Zachary Vik in Boston). The 83 zinfandel was another example of a well made wine that was structured for cellaring. Extremely enjoyable but resembling a cabernet more than a zinfandel, as usual for an older zin.

1980 Silver Oak Cabernet-Napa, 1984 Summit Lake Zinfandel-Howell, NV La Fiole Chat-de-Pape

2/4/09-The knitters hosted by Carl and Kathy Hennige all enjoyed three older brown bag wines. The 80 Silver Oak cabernet had been resting in a Sacramento front room for 30 years and reflected the variable temperature storage, showing a loss of fruit and a note of vinegar. The 1984 Summit Lake zinfandel provided by Gary Rose and Laura Laskowski was guessed to be an older cabernet by some. The Ch. De Pape provided by Keith and Helen Faust was an unusual oddly shaped, dirty looking bottle; however, the wine was young, fruity and very typical of a good Rhone wine. The Wine Spectator writes: “Pére Anselme created in the 1950’s, in collaboration with glass craftsmen and ceramists, this original bottle which shape reminds one of the Rhône Valley vine plants. This wine is non vintaged because it is a blend of the best "cuvées" from different vintages. Therefore the constant high quality from one year to another explains its worldwide success: it is one of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape bottles the most sold in the World-92 points."

1974 Robert Mondavi Cabernet, 1994 Benziger Petite Sirah

1/21/09-The knitters enjoyed another example of a well made California cabernet from the exceptional 1974 vintage. The 1994 petite sirah, provided by Gary Rose and Laura Laskowski, I suspect tasted much as it did 15 years ago, big and fruity.

1972 Domaine Gerin Cote Rotie

1/14/09-The Wednesday knitters hosted by Keith and Helen Faust enjoyed an excellent example of an aged 1972 Domaine Gerin Cote Rotie. The wine was still quite fruity and enjoyable.