April 2004
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Day April 25, 2004

Tasting Notes

I had a couple of wine tasting opportunities this week. First, for a Board dinner on Wednesday, I served the Heitz Martha’s Vineyard 1992, which was OK but nothing special. The second wine, however, was the Clos du Val 1974 Cabernet and it was special. I’m not a huge fan of domestic cabernets, but this was terrific. A hint of maturity but still going strong in the glass for an hour, a bit of spice, but it didn’t turn to coffee or fading aromas.

With a group of friends last night over a grilled lamb dinner, we tried the Chateau la Nerthe Cadettes 1995 (courtesy of my friend Bill), and it’s still incredibly tight and shutdown, but with a ton of potential. More friendly at the moment were the Pallieres Gigondas 1998 and Tempier Bandol 2000 regular bottling.

Today, with my regular “serious” tasting group, we had a variety of wines, but the stand-outs were a Dauvissat Vaillons 1999, and for me, a Tempier Bandol 1992 regular. The Janasse Vielles Vignes 1995 Chateauneuf I opened was completely closed. The 1992 Bandol is showing the beginnings of maturity and won’t last too long since it’s from a light and somewhat underripe year. Turned to coffee aromas in the glass after an hour. We finished with a Robert Eymael 2002 Erdner Pralat Auslese that was light and full of effervescence, with a gorgeous nose.

I am convinced that the 1995 Chateauneufs are still in a tight, closed stage, without any real signs of maturity. And that’s a very good thing — along with 1989, 1990, 1998 they’ll be the wines I drink throughout the next decade with great pleasure.