1999 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo, 2009 Domaine Francois Raveneau Chablis Montee de Tonnerre, 2010 Sancerre Les Monts Damnés, François Cotat, Chavignol, 2001 Domaine Marcel Deiss "Gruenspiel" Premier Cru White Blend, Bergheim, 2011 Holly's Garden "Pagan" Pinot Noir Whitlands
1. Clear and bright with pale gold core out to a water white rim - almost touch of gold. Clean with bright aromas with pear and salty minerally rocks. Dry with medium plus acidity, slight oxidation in the nose and a slightly off dry finish. Lots of alcohol. And slightly corky. Mushroomy. Sauvignon St Bris?
2010 Sancerre Monts Damnes from Francois Cotat - Not my favorite wine in the tasting as I thought it was slightly corked and if it wasn't corked then it was just tasting bad. And certainly not typical. No one in the group got that it was Sauvignon from Sancerre and I think I may have been the closest with St.Bris but I wasn't confident enough to shout it out.
2. Clear and bright with pale gold core out to a watery rim. Clean with grassy notes high in the nose and vanilla. Dry with flavors of lemon and baked apple with medium plus acidity and a long finish. Bourgogne Blanc or Chablis from 2010.
2009 Domaine Francois Raveneau Chablis Montee de Tonnerre - Very classic Chardonnay in the nose with some oak but I definitely didn't think it was a $150 wine. My bad.
3. Clear and bright with deep core of dark gold. Clean with developed aromas of apricots and candied orange and jasmine. Off dry with medium acidity, lychee and rose petals. Excellent long finish. Slightly petillant in the mouth. Wehlener sonnenhur Riesling spatlese or auslese Riesling or pinot gris?
2001 Domaine Marcel Deiss Gruenspiel Premier Cru, Bergheim(Riesling, Gewurz, pinot noir!) - No one could have gotten this wine right. It was slightly sweet and we all kept throwing out adjetives describing one wine or another but because it was such a blend, we were totally confused. Sweet but not too sweet, good acid, but not too much acid. Nose of GW but mouth of Riesling? I was confused and so was everyone else.
4. Clear and bright with pale ruby orange core out to a orange watery rim. Clean with aged aromas of seeder and loamy undergrowth and older oak. Dry with medium plus to high tannins and cranberry and orange peek and some cedar. Excellent acidity and a long finish. 1980's Barolo and maybe older? Soft but hard.
1999 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo - this one was nailed by a group member as a "banker" or a wine that is so iconic that you need to get it immediately. Maybe not the vintage or the producer, but definitely region. I thought it was older than it was but definitely thought it was from a traditional producer and would probably have said Mascarello given the choice. A true and perfect expression of nebbiolo that could go for another 20 years, easy.
5. Clear with deep ruby core out to a watery orange rim. Clean with old watery loamy under brushy smell with salty spicy cedar boxy and dark, dark fruit with a little pepper spice. Lots of alcohol and an older, long finish. Syrah from Rhône? Maybe older Chateauneuf?
1998 Chateaneuf du Pape Les Caillou Andre Brunel - another taster nailed this wine and I was with him but couldn't call it for sure.
6. Cloudy and slightly ruby. Dirty, soy, mercaptins, tomato, and geranium. Boy, that sucked!
2011 Holly's Pagan Victoria Pinot Noir - there was something flawed about this wine but no one could agree what it was but strangely, some stuck up for the wine as being "natural". I almost lost my mind! I have "natural" wines in my portfolio, whether made with organically grown grapes or with biodynamic practices in the vineyard and cellar, and I am sorry, but if this is "natural" then I don't want it. Ever. I cannot convey how distinctly horrible this wine was and if it is supposed to be this way, then that is the reason why people don't drink "natural" wines and why we as an industry have trouble getting some people to enjoy wine on a daily basis. If this is "natural" we would be killing all of our customers or at least driving them far, far away. But that said, I think it was just poor winemaking . . . and mistakes happen to everyone.
So overall, I thought the tasting was a success and I look forward to the next one with great anticipation.