We gathered last night for our bi-monthly tasting. The focus was on Grenache. Four bottles were entered. The wines are served blind over the course of several hours. Nothing fancy -- just good food and conversation. The results were as follows:
2005 Alto Moncayo Aquilon
Huge nose of berries and dark fruit -- raspberry, blackberries, and plums. The palate was a roller coaster of sharply defined berries, liqueur of minerals/stone, spices, and light vanillan. The finish lasted 45+ seconds with a hint of vanilla, sweet tannins, and more black fruit. A beautiful wine that could use a few more years in the bottle.
2005 Chapoutier Barbe Rac CDP
A beautiful nose of red raspberries, strawberries, pepper, and fresh cut herbs. The palate was huge and intense -- gobs of red fruits, white peppercorns, and more herbs. The tannins were just beginning to broaden and sweeten. Finish went on and on. Another bottle that might love a couple of more years brooding quietly in a dark corner.
2003 Torbreck Les Amis
The nose was a beautiful blend of black cherries, plums, strawberries with a hint of vanilla and almond. The body was silky smooth with hugely ripe dark fruits, cocoa, vanilla, and sweet tannins. The finish was incredibly elegant and long like the last bites of a chocolate covered strawberry. This was clearly the WOTN. Our hats go off to Dave Powell for an extraordinary effort.
2003 Pegau CDP Cuvee Reserve
This was a wine that everyone either loved or hated. The nose was explosive red fruit, pepper, herbs, and coffee. The palate was like a small bomb going off in the mouth -- filled with strong harsh tannins, black fruit, and a hint of Moxie (?) and/or Dr. Pepper (?). The finish was simply overwhelmed by the tannins leaving a gritty/harsh after taste. Everyone agreed we wouldn't try any of the next bottles for at least the next 5 - 10 years and see if the tannins ease back at all.