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.

April 28, 2017

Churchill and Lafleur

Dinner at Upper Modern Bistro.

1999 Pol Roger Cuvée Winston Churchill - very nice, with a hint of yeast and a hint of floral notes.  Very well-balanced and smooth on the palate, neither too ripe nor too acidic.  Such a pleasure to drink.

2005 Vincent Girardin Meursault 1er Cru Les Charmes-Dessus - overripe and oxidized.  No longer appealing to many, although I found it acceptable.

2007 Lafleur - opened but not decanted for close to 2 hours.  Smoky with some eucalyptus and mint, and slightly earthy.  Some sweet fruit showed up a little later.

Full post on dinner is here.

April 19, 2017

Richard Juhlin Blanc de Blancs

Dinner at Frantzén's Kitchen.

Richard Juhlin Blanc de Blancs Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Wine - nose was a little pungent, and in fact smelled more like apple cider from Brittany with the mineral notes.  Not a fan.

Full post on dinner is here.

April 18, 2017

2007 Les Belles Collines

Dinner at Neighborhood.

2007 Les Belles Collines - sweet on the nose and also a little sweet on the palate, showing eucalyptus, minty, a little meaty notes.  Almost jammy.  After 2 hours, palate became a little bitter and tannic.

Full post on dinner is here.

April 16, 2017

Opus and Canon la Gafflière

Dinner at Grand Hyatt Steakhouse.

1991 Opus One - very smooth on the palate.  Smoky nose, clearly a little "old", showing some cedar and woodsy notes along with some coffee and savory notes.  After about 20 minutes in the decanter, some sweetness showed up, along with good acidity.  Started to fade after 1½ hours in the decanter, showing a little cooked fruit.

2003 Canon La Gaffelière - really sweet and a little jammy, almost luscious.  Showing berries with some smokiness underneath, along with a little forest and coffee notes.  Beautiful.


Full post on dinner is here.

April 14, 2017

Good wines for Good Friday

Dinner at Stellar House.

2006 Roses de Jeanne Côte de Val Vilaine, dégorgée en Avril 2014 - always nice to drink this blanc de noirs.  Pretty soft and round on the palate, with a little acidity along with ripeness.  The minerality kinda clashed with the prawns.

2004 Didier Dagueneau Pur Sang - pretty ripe now, with good acidity balance. Later on opened up to show a little flint and acetone.

2012 Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc To-Kalon Vineyard I-Block - this has always been one of my favorite Californian wines, prized (by the likes of me) for its rarity - as it's only available at the winery itself.  The I-Block contains sauvignon blanc vines planted in 1945, and for me there is always something special about old vines.  Initially the nose was a little muted, with a little oak and flint.  Lean with good acidity.  Later this opened up to show some muscat grapes and a little pipi de chat.

1999 Roulot Meursault Charmes - good acidity here, showing flint and lots of tasty notes.  Drinking beautifully.

[1968 or 1970] Penfolds Dalwood Hermitage - very bretty and medicinal, barnyard, and savory.


Full post on dinner is here.

April 8, 2017

Cali and French

Dinner at Elite Dining.

2008 de Fieuzal - a little more oxidized and caramelized than expected.  A little pungent, perhaps sulfur, with a little flint.

2012 Lavinia Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits par DRC - leaner with nice acidity, flinty.  Pretty good.

2014 Arista Chardonnay Banfield Vineyard - nice acidity here along with some ripeness.  Pretty fruity and oaky.

2001 Henri Boillot Meursault 1er Cru Les Genevrières - corked, showing wet cardboard and sweet grass.

1988 Palmer - supposedly sourced from one of the owners of the château, but didn't come with a Mähler-Besse label.  Still plenty of fruit here, with smoky nose and grilled meats.  Elegant and beautiful.  Arguably my favorite wine of the evening.

1983 Léoville Las-Cases - classic claret but a little more muted, showing a little smoke.  Soft on the palate.

2000 Petrolo Torrione - a little stewed and cooked.  Pretty sweet with a little black olive.

1998 Vogüé Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru - pretty nice.  A little eucalyptus, some leather and sweet fruit. Drinking very well.

2010 Marcassin Pinot Noir Marcassin Vineyard - much sweeter and lots of fruit, and showing beautifully.  The alcohol was a little high a singeing the hair in my nostrils...

2014 Arista Pinot Noir Toboni Vineyard - very sweet and fruity, showing strawberries.  A lot like Marcassin, which isn't a surprise considering the whole winemaking team came from there...

1997 Shafer Hillside Select - I carried this back from Shafer in 2000 and have been waiting to open this.  Much, much smoother than I had expected.  Smoky nose with a hint of vanilla, but overall much leaner than I would have guessed.

1997 Abreu Madrona Ranch - a hint of cork here, showing sweet grass and cardboard.  Shame.

1996 Araujo Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard - pretty cooked, with a lot of black olives.

2006 York Creek Cabernet Sauvignon - sweet but a little cooked.
2012 Grace Vineyard Deep Blue - nose was very sweet, a lot like US pinot.  A little cooked, too, with some savory notes like black olives.



Full post on dinner is here.

April 7, 2017

2001 Ojai Roll Ranch

Dinner at Neighborhood.

2001 Ojai Vineyard Syrah Roll Ranch Vineyard - served 45 minutes after opening.  A little closed at first.  Kinda sweet and minty.  Lots more sweet fruit came out after about 75 minutes.

Full post on dinner is here.

April 5, 2017

Disappointing wines

Dinner at a private dining facility.

1996 Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill - a beautiful wine.  Nice and toasty nose.  Mature and smooth on the palate.

2004 Kistler Chardonnay Vine Hill Vineyard - the first bottle was very oxidized, with a really marzipan nose and a pretty flat palate.  The second bottle fared slightly better.

2001 Kracher Scheurebe Trockenbeerenauslese No. 9 Zwischen den Seen, from half-bottle -

1985 Hospices de Beaune Mazis-Chambertin Cuvée Madeleine-Collignon par Bouchard - this was again disappointing.  The first bottle was corked, while the second bottle was flat without giving much fruit.

2002 Numanthia Toro Termanthia - very minty, with dried herbs, lots of cedar, and sweet fruit.  Delicious.


Full post on dinner is here.

April 2, 2017

Wines for a long lunch

Lunch at Centurion Restaurant with guest chef Arnaud Donckele from La Vague d'Or.

2003 Françoise Bedel L'Âme de la Terre - nicely oxidized and caramelized nose with minerals.

2004 Philipponnat Clos de Goisses - leaner and more elegant, more focused.  A little sweet on the nose.

2011 Ram's Hill Sauvignon Blanc - surprisingly very oxidized and probably too ripe. Fragrant with lots of honey on the nose, along with sweet grass, water chestnut, and a little poached pear.

2004 Nicolas Joly Clos de la Coulée Serrant - pretty fragrant nose with lots of herbs.  Kinda ripe on the palate but still got that acidity for balance.

2012 Dominus Napanook - served slightly too warm.  A little coconut and exotic spices, smoke, and some pungent animal notes.  Still tannic.


Full post on lunch is here.

April 1, 2017

Bouchard, Coche, and Mugnier

Dinner at Ta Vie 旅.

2006 Roses de Jeanne Creux d'Enfer, dégorgée à 10 Avril 2010 - nose of strawberries and later sweet like honey.  Really nice depth of flavors along with a hint of bitterness.

1999 Coche-Dury Meursault - the nose was sooooooo huge and explosive, with so much toast and roast corn.  How can I not love this?!

2004 Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses - served a little on the warm side.  Very sweet and fruity nose, lovely and floral, along with a little toast.  Very sexy and always a pleasure.

Full post on dinner is here.
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