This is still a work in progress as I upload tasting notes and wine labels from as far as 1999... Check back once in a while to get the updates.

May 11, 2010

Araujo vertical

Tasting of Araujo wines at Summer Palace (夏宮) with Bart and Daphne Araujo.

2000 Pol Roger Brut

2009 Araujo Estate Sauvignon Blanc - lots of green apple in the nose, on top of minerals, sweet vanilla and tropical fruits like bananas. This is actually made with both Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Musqué - a more perfumed clone of Sauvignon Blanc - with a little bit of Viognier. Daphne says they only use around 25% oak, and the oak is not toasted but immersed in water. This is an awesome wine, and one of the best values around I believe.

2004 Araujo Estate Syrah Eisele Vineyard - exotic tropical fruit, sweet and very ripe fruit, a little smoky with forest and pine needle notes. Still reasonably tannic but starting to soften and becoming silky. The Viognier is co-fermented with the Syrah, as Guigal does with its La Mouline.

2005 Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard - Wow! I never expected a wine this young to be so elegant, silky and ready to drink. A little smoke and cedar and forest in the nose. Sweet on the palate with a lovely finish. Towards the end there were coconut butter and tea leaves notes. Such a pleasure to drink... but my last two drops - after about 3 hours - saw the wine dive off a steep cliff and died... I guess the wine can stay in glass for only so long...

2002 Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard - nose of roast duck, really ripe and sweet...even a little chocolate? Some eucalyptus later. It's from a big and hot vintage, and you can still feel the tannins but you know it's just going to get better with age.

1997 Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard - initially a huge nose of menthol, with Asian spices, game meat and smoke. Very, very smooth now, with a wonderful acidity balance. I've always known that Araujo wines are elegant, but for a wine from this blockbuster vintage this has to be an outlier. I do remember that my last bottle drunk in NYC more than 3 years ago was also really elegant and understated.

1992 Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard - my favorite wine of the evening. Initially some star anise, with sweet fruit, cedar/sandalwood, pencil lead and mint/eucalyptus. What a wonderful wine, and more elegant and open now than the '97. Acidity is higher on the finish, but soooo lovely. What a great effort for the winery's second vintage!

Araujo Estate Grappa - not being on Araujo's mailing list, I never heard about the existence of this. I asked Bart about it and he simply said that he loves grappa, so they decided to make one. I've had some pretty rough grappas out there, but this was very, very smooth. Nose of pear, a little medicinal and white grape raisins. Very enjoyable to drink. Gotta get myself a couple of bottles, and re-evaluate my opinion of grappas altogether...

Full post on dinner is here.

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