Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Monday, August 06, 2007

Wine Notes

Le Grand Noir - Who is the Black Sheep?

1999 Ouilceda Red - This wine is made in a much bigger style than the "100" scoring 2002 and 2003 Cabs from Quilceda Creek. Of course it is a "second " wine, and so is much more rustic, but it seems like a much bigger, more European style that will age longer, and it was much less expensive. It leads with a really appealing nose of Mr. Lincoln Roses, followed by mushrooms, violets, lilacs, raspberry and truffles - an amazingly complex nose. In the mouth it is light to medium bodied with raspberry, vanilla, and truffle flavors. The finish is a little hot, suggesting that it could age more, although it will never have the finesse of the Cab. What a treat! What a great value!

2004 Cadence Klipsun - From a half bottle. Light garnet with a bouquet that jumps out of the glass - cherry, meat, vanilla, roses - almost like a Barolo without the tar. In the mouth it is light bodied - almost overwhelmed by the acid and tannin and the slightly hot finish. Last time I tasted this at the winery it was perfectly balanced. As my mentor, Fritzy Haskell, used to say, "Wine is a living thing." It evolves over time. Perhaps this wine is just going through an awkward stage. If the mouth experience ever catches up with the nose, look out!

2006 Cold Creek Chardonnay - Magnificent, like a good stony Meursault. One of the best Washington State Chards along with Amaurice and Forgeron and...

2005 Rulo Chardonnay - Ironically when we were at Taste Washington in Seattle we missed Vicky and when we were in Walla Walla, she was in Seattle selling wine. We did, however, manage to taste the 2005 Rulo Chardonnay in a restaurant and it was excellent. The pear and tropical fruit nose leads to a stony, mineral wine with a hint of starfruit.

2000 Chateau Charmail - Here is a real Bordeaux. Deep red with a nose of tobacco, cedar, spice, raspberry, in the mouth it has a soft velvety feel, with good raspberry fruit and a slightly tannic finish.

Marcillac Rose - Very nice, a Goldilocks Rose - not to big, not too fruity, not too sweet, just right with medium body - refreshing and dry. Marcillac is an obscure appellation in the Southwest of France. I remember thinking this would be a great wine to import when I was there several years ago. Good value here!

2004 Le Grand Noir - Here is another wine from the Southwest of France, the Languedoc, specifically. At first, I thought I detected ambivalence - a French Sheep that wanted to be an Australian Wallabee, but, with a little checking on the net, I discovered the ultimate in hype and marketing. A "cool" Le Grand Noir website portrays itself as being different and eccentric. After all, a black sheep is a black sheep. The real website, if you will, is that of the Prestige Wine Group which sells the stuff. So is this a wolf dressed in a sheep's coat? Let us say, it is a fairly ordinary Vin de Pays d'Oc dressed up with some upfront fruitiness and sweetness. It's a decent ordinary wine - doesn't taste particularly French or old world, but not as good as it's New World competitors either. Avaiable at Costco.

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