Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wines Good Enough for a 40-Year Old

Ok, so I left that post about turning forty on a bit long - so long that Barry is now accusing of milking this event. But what has really taken me so long is writing up so many notes on the various wines I drank to celebrate - thank God the festivities occur only once per decade...

For my birthday my wife secretly invited a group of friends out for dinner at Yoyo, and she even raided my cellar for an old Bordeaux (doesn't she know she's not allowed down there?). I cannot blame her, as she was only following the instructions of my good friend and occasional guest blogger Lloyd...

Actually, my 1994 Chateau Pontet-Canet (Pauillac) was already standing up in anticipation of this personal milestone, and did not disappoint. A big nose of mushrooms, green pepper and black earth ("Smells like the earth it was grown in", said my wife), minty and hints of creme brulee, later some fresh flowers (violet) and slate. Tremendous length and silky tannins, but with that crisp fruit and wonderfully fresh acid that modern Bordeaux seems to lack...some nuttiness and green olives at the end. Drinking very well after 3 hours in the glass, this could easily age for a few more years. Simply classic...
cork. 12.5% alcohol
Score: 18.5/20

Ashkan has been on a streak lately, and his 2001 Condado de Haza Reserva Seleccion Roble Frances (Ribera del Duero) only added to his impressive wine CV. A delicious nose of cheese rind and blackberries, flint and flowers ... a palate of crisp, velvety tannins and a tremendously long finish ... a touch edgy, I wonder if some time in the cellar will sort this out?
cork. 14% alcohol
Score: 17.5+/20

Lloyd's 2001 Terra d'hom (Priorat) was pretty much what I expected from this region - gobs of ripe, dried raisiny fruit, black currants, and woodsy, smokey vanilla...surprisingly lighter bodied and better structured than the nose suggested - delicious velvety fruit, a great wine from a region I rarely have the opportunity to taste...
cork. 14.5% alcohol
Score: 17.5/20

The 2001 Elderton Command (Barossa) was the reason I ordered the lamb shank for a main course, and after 3 hours in the decanter it was ... mmm ... A brilliant nose of menthol and eucalyptus, cherry pits and wet stones, some classic violet notes ... ginger, flint, and smokey black cherry. Soft and silky on the palate, much more developed since my last taste...so smooth, so elegant, a very long finish of cherry fruit and unsweetened cocoa, but perhaps a bit more tired than I expected (1,2)...
cork. 15% alcohol
Score: 18/20

Thanks to my wife and friends - great food, great wine, great company ... no better way to spend my birthday... (unless it was the Brunello and Burgundy I had the next day)


Barry said...

Freud would no doubt find something in everything he read..maybe your wines reveal something about you.

"perhaps a bit more tired than expected, a touch edgy, some time in the cellar will sort him out BUT he could easily age for a few more years".
I refrained from adding you have a "tremendously long finish"..thought I'd leave you something to brag about.
I await the Burgundy post.

Yours sincerely
Sigmund Freud

Shea said...

What a great lineup of wines. The Pontet Canet - mmmm what a wine they produce!

Joe said...

Hi Barry, sorry about the missing Burgundy post - it was a modest Mercurey and an accessory to the Brunello...as for your Psychobabble, I am only edgy when I forgot to stand a few bottles up for a special occasion (oops, another Freudian slip)

Thanks Shea - I'm still trying to find some victims for a Pontet-Canet vertical.