Dec
23

Sweet Wines 08-30-14

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This was yet another BYOB dinner in our VINO restaurant, where our guests brought in some eye popping wines!  We are so lucky to have so many regulars who come to the BYOB dinner with an attitude to share something special & to enjoy with the group.  The night’s foray of wines, therefore, included a 1993 Tempier Bandol “La Tourtine”; 2001 Ogier Cote Rotie; 1993 Ceretto Barbaresco “Faset”;  1990 Shafer “Hillside Select”; 1997 Joseph Phelps Insignia; 1995 Chateau Calon Segor; 1983 Chateau Lynch Bages; 1996 Chateau Pichon Lalande; 1995 Noel Verset Cornas & 2000 Chave Hermitage, just to name a few red wines, AND 2009 Blanc de Lynch Bages; 2001 Kunstler Riesling Spatlese “Hochheimer Holle” Trocken & Chateau d’Epire Savennieres just to name 3 white wines.  Yes, it was quite the night.

To end the evening, 4 bottles of sweet wines were opened & shared.

00d32001 Gunderloch Riesling Spatlese “Nackenheimer Rothenberg”–The town of Nackenheim is located in Germany’s Rheinhessen region, right on the Rhein river.  Rothenberg, a steep hillside of red slate soils, is considered the finest site of the town & shares the hillside with other Crus, such as the Pettenthal & Hipping vineyards of the adjacent Niersteiner appellation.  I believe Gunderloch owns the biggest parcel & I say, thank goodness for that.  Fritz & Agnes Hasselbach have steadily brought their domaine & vineyards to high acclaim through their tireless efforts in the vineyards, winemaking & personal, grass roots marketing.  I am always so thrilled to see this really special couple (& now their son/winemaker, Johannes) receive all of the acclaim & accolades for their truly superb wines.  I vividly remember, when this wine was released, thinking “oh my goodness, too much extract, too showy & over the top”, after all the grapes were harvested somewhere between 95 & 100 degrees Oechsle with a total acidity at around 8 grams per liter.  I felt the ripeness took away from the minerality & transparency of the wine.  That may have been true then, but having this wine 13 years later was a true revelation.  It really was now all about red slate & profound minerality.  I also loved how seamless, complete, well textured & especially how long it was on the palate.  I thought it was a standout & certainly one of my favorite wines of the night!!!!  That is saying alot, when one stops to think about all of the other star studded wines opened during the night.  00d1

1983 Chateau Suduiraut–this is an estate with 92 hectares of vineyards located in the Pregnac commune of Sauternes, adjacent to the iconic Chateau d’ Yquem.  The sandy-gravelly soils & the atumnal mists from the convergence of the Ciron & Garonne rivers help to encouage the growth of botrytis cinerea, a beneficial “noble rot” to produce a standout Sauternes (designated as Premier Cru in the 1855 official classification).  While 1983 was a a very well received vintage by the media, I believe this wine should be put away in the cellar for considerable more time, so it has a chance to resolve itself more.  It really was a waste to open it.

00d21983 Chateau Rieussec–This highly revered Premier Cru was purchased by the Domaines Barons de Rothschild (also the owners of Chateau Lafite) in 1984.  The 93 hectares, located in the Fargues commune of Sauternes, borders Chateau d”Yquem to the west.  Like the Suduiraut listed above, I felt it was a real waste to open & drink this wine at such an early age.  It really does need much more time to resolve itself–quite closed, with too many rough edges, bitterness & alcohol poking out.

1994 Gunderloch Beerenauslese Gold Kapsule “Nackenheimer Rothenberg”–I am sure Mike brought this wine, because Fritz & Agnes Hasselbach, owners of Gunderloch, were in attendance.  I also thank you, because I was fortunate enough to also be in attendance to enjoy this monumental wine!  In speaking with Fritz, they produced TWO BA’s in 1994, 00dthis being designated as Gold Kapsule, because it was harvested at well over 200 oechsle (3 separate passes through the vineyard), with 10 to 11 grams  of total acidity & finished at 8 degrees alcohol.  This wine was certainly unctuous, BUT NOT over the top so.  The wine’s once apparent sweetness has really evolved with the 20 years of bottle age, & there is so much more tactile elements developing rather then pure sweetness.  Plus, I love how, because of this evolvement, the stoniness & terroir is once again resurfacing to the forefront.  This was truly a magnificent wine.  Thank you Mike for sharing!!!!

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