I was at an amazing tasting and dinner last night, and I fear my notes don't really do justice to the wines tasted and eventually drunk. It was a World Class Pinot Noir tasting, 11 wines in all tasted blinded from decanters in the lovely surroundings of Ely CHQ, who looked after us exceptionally well as always.
The notes below are my raw notes from the blind tasting, but with the names of the wines added in.
1. Mayer-Nakel Neuenahrer Sonnenberg 1 2004
Ripe fruit on the nose, sweet, ripe raspberries etc, med body, decent length, alc sticking out slightly
2. Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin Grand Cru 2002
More restrained on nose, definitely burgundy, earthy, spicy, leathery, good fruit amazing length, v complex
3. Rochioli West Block Russian River 1994
Farmyardy, savoury nose, slightly cloudy. Savoury, meaty, complex but fruit a bit muted. Seems mature, just about hanging together. Good finish.
4. Bergstrom Shea Vineyard 2006, Oregon
Very fruity style, savoury on finish, quite spicy, alcohol burn. Grippy tannins, seems young.
5. Ten Minutes by Tractor McCutcheon Vineyard, Mornington Peninsula
Muted nose, slight eucalyptus whiff. Too much oak, grippy as well, not showing well.
6. Felton Road Central Otago 2004
lovely lifted nose of raspberries and dark fruit, rich full bodied style, very fruit driven but complex and delicious. prob NW
7. Ata Rangi Martinborough 2007
Aromatic, delicious nose. Very fruit driven, rich luscious a bit more in-yer-face. V good, but young
8. Cono Sur Osio 2007 Casablanca, Chile
Muted nose, slightly green on palate, grippy tannins. needs time
9. Hamilton Russell, Hermanus 2006
savoury, smoky, meaty nose. Smoky bacon, meaty flavours, green, unpleasant, tannic over-extracted.
10. Chamonix, Franschoek 2007
Fruit and spice, complex nose. Very fruity style, oaky and alcoholic. Def NW - too much oak, needs time to get together.
11. Domaine de Montille Pommard 1er Cru Les Pezerolles 2005
muted nose, a bit tight and tannic, lots of fruit though, v good long life ahead.
After the tasting, we went through them and, while everyone had their favourites, their was a suprising amount of agreement about which ones were showing best.
Thankfully, my 2 declared favourites were wines no. 2 and 6. I can take some comfort from being able to recognise that a grand cru from a top grower in a fantastic vintage (Rousseau's Chambertin 02) is a wine I should like. It was also something of a relief that I liked the Felton Road, given that we are agents for this wine in Ireland and this particular wine was Red Wine of the Year in 2005. I wasn't able to say which one it was, but at least I liked it!
All in all, a fantatstic tasting.
We then had dinner and some more amazing wines followed - I didn't take notes as we were eating and I was getting enough slagging just for jotting down the names.
Wines, not necessarily in this order were as follows:
Pieropan La Rocca 2007 - excellent
Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru 2006, Mugnier - pure, v good
Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Les Malconsorts 2005, de Montille - silky and sexy, surprisingly open
Felton Road Block 3 2004 - blousier version of earlier wine, spoilt by being slightly fizzy!
Chambertin Clos de Beze 1996, Rousseau - amazing -with typical 96 acidity, but fantastic
Volnay 1er Cru "en Caillerets" 2006, Pousse d'Or - attractive, struggled after Clos de Beze
- then some syrah, guess who insisted...
St Joseph Cuvee Papy 2006, Montez - pure, silky, very nice drink
L'Ame Soeur 2006, Ogier - first bottle was off, second better, but still volatile after some time in the glass.
Lastly a shiraz by Duval, can't remember which one.
Taking out an Oz shiraz at the end of the night is like putting Tom Waits on at a party - it's a sign that the night is over. But what a night!