It was Rodericks turn to host our monthly get together. He said that we should keep an open mind regarding the theme. In spite of that, no one was even close...
After reading the tasting notes below, what would you have guessed?
All wines tasted double blind.
2000 Solengo, Argiano
A big, warm, fine nose with a hint of maturity and notes of sweet black currants, herbs, menthol, sweet black tea and some undergrowth. A tad oaky on the nose. The fruit is warm and fine.
The taste is big, warm and steady with notes of red and black currants, graphite, herbs, cigarette ashes and a touch of mint. A long, broad finish with a nice warmth. Very good. Got better and better through the evening.
90p (tasted 2013/11)
2001 Old Vines Grenache Blewitt Springs, Clarendon Hills
Something was wrong with this bottle. I have enjoyed Blewitt Springs many times, which started with the 1995 a long time ago. This is unbalanced, light and smells of band aid, dry lingonberries and rotten vegetables (but not in the good way as in a venerable old Burgundy...).
The taste is mature, foursquare and very warm with notes of lingonberry jam, band aid and moist earth. A long fiery finish without balance. Not good.
? (tasted 2013/11)
2002 Shafer Relentless
This, on the other hand, is a stunner. The nose soars up from the glass with lovely aromas of black currants, blackberries, cherry truffels, violets and a touch of toothpaste. Very deep, complex and hedonistic. The fruit is sooo velvety. Very, very good.
The taste is big, tight and potent with notes of black cherries, blackberries, dark fudge, some mint and cigar ashes. The finish is long and intense with some hefty tannins in the end. This is still on its way up, give this baby another 5+ years.
93p (tasted 2013/11)
A big, warm, concentrated nose with notes of red and black currants, lead pencil, expensive leather, cigarette ashes and a touch of coconut. Racy and fine. This has had some expensive oak treatment. Very, very good.
The taste is tight, intense and focused with notes of sweet black currants, leather, freshly grounded coffee and violets. Big, finely polished tannins. The finish is long and intense. This is really good!
92p (tasted 2013/11)
2003 Philip Togni Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
This must be a Bordeaux, right?! The verdict on this was quite unanimous - a really fine bottle of Bordeaux. But of course it wasn´t...
The nose is just gorgeous with its tight, multi layered character and notes of black currants, graphite, tobacco, sugared coffee and a hint of clean stables. Very complex and fine. A touch of salty minerals.
The taste is tight, focused and marvellous with notes of black currants, leather, autumn leaves, lead pencil and tobacco leaves. The finish goes on for over a minute. A lovely coolness to the fruit. This leaves a distinctive mark in my memory. Still young.
95p (tasted 2013/11)
2004 Kaesler Old Bastard
If I wanted to smell and drink Cherry Heering I would buy that... A big, over the top nose with notes cherry jam, dark chocolate, vanilla pods and warm undergrowth. A touch of orange juice, which I always get in those power houses. Not for me, although I can get why it is attractive to some.
The taste is enormous, smoky and fiery with notes of really sweet cherries, licorice, vanilla pods, raspberry jam and chocolate. Like drinking motor oil. A few sips are enough. They have given it all they got, and in a sense it has qualities but in an other sense its quite one dimensional. Last time Roderick opened an Old Bastard it was the 2001 in 2011. I gave that one 85p, this gets
86p (tasted 2013/11)
Ok, any guesses? Since it was so much black currant aromas in the wines and since the glass number 5 was a dead sure Bordeaux, I guessed Cabernet based wines from various districts, naming a few...
But as you can see, that was not right..
They have all got a 95p score from Parker... He got one right, that´s something...
Good one, Roderick! :-) Next time...