COVID CASSOULET - Robin Stark's, Cardiff-by-the-Sea (6/19/2020)
Robin broke out the cassoulet kit, taking the time and making the place for some much needed socializing. We brought mostly Bordeaux with some other tasty treats. We sat outside and the pouring was done for us. All in all a great break from the sheltering.
The wines across the board were good. Some definitely stood a bit taller but it was hard to find any serious faults. I think everyone was quite happy in terms of wines. And quite full of delish cassoulet.
- 2017 Sophie Cinier Mâcon-Fuissé Les Perrières - France, Burgundy, Mâconnais, Mâcon-Fuissé
Lots of fruit here. A lot more than I was expecting. Dense with medium expression. But there is a noticeable dearth of acidity. I'd want to lay this down in order to give the fruit time to unpack a bit. The acidity issue would give me pause on that.
- 1990 Les Cailloux (Lucien et André Brunel) Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
This looked a lot more advanced than it drank. It's definitely looking thin and brickish. The expression says otherwise. Subtle and complex nose showing iron and smoked meats. Great old school European. Herby palate that's still bright. Expressive with more cured pork types of things. This was a delight. Maybe a bit lost in a night of wines that all showed well. I just didn't expect it to be this good still. I would say this is probably not going to go a lot longer at this level. I'd drink em if I had em. Very good.
- 2009 Château Calon-Ségur - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
Very young and primary on the nose. Saucy with violets and notes of wood. Narrow on the palate and not quite as expressive as the nose. Lean feeling even though the fruit is still got plenty of fatness. Or maybe relatively lean feeling. Not as much tannin as I would have expected. This was the most painfully young wine on the night. It's not quite closed but it hasn't really started opening anything secondary.
Partial bottle drinking a couple days later doesn't reveal a lot of change. Still young Cab fruits. The wood is there on the palate still waiting to integrate. It's not overt but hanging around. The most notable thing for me is that I've not been smacked by the structure of this one. It might not be for real long term drinking even if it's still begging for more rest ten years on.
- 2009 Château Bouscassé Madiran Argile Rouge - France, Southwest France, Madiran
Nicely complex nose showing secondary characters now. Dense and young on the palate still. Darkly fruited. Evidently this is not just Tannat but that with three other grapes including Cab S. Almost tight. Light tannin. This clearly still has miles to go. Good now. Terrific balance with the acidity leaving a mark. Cool bonus bottle.
- 2000 Château Léoville Poyferré - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
I didn't realize I've had this before until I looked in here. Almost ten years ago and this has come into it's own big time. Slightly poopy, reduced nose. That fades with air. Classic graphite Cab noses. Hints of wood. Still juicy. Very young seeming still. Very balanced. This seems like it's JUST getting there in terms of opening and giving up secondary notes. I was really digging it. Tied as a favorite on a night where all wines drank quite well. Terrific. And ya gotta know it's probably only to get better over the next ten years plus. I neglected to note the decant time.
- 2005 Château Léoville Poyferré - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
Drank this next to the '00 and it was clearly still in a more closed place. Showed riper, pretty fruits. Violets on the nose. Thinner feeling with a clamping grip. Tight but not completely closed. This one is still about potential. If the '00 is any indication five more years should make for a better showing.
- 1996 Château Léoville Barton - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
This is in a great place. Complex nose showing those classic Left Bank Cab notes. Just keeps you sniffing. Quite a grip still. Maybe the strongest of the Bordeaux on the night even being the oldest. Still quite rich. Dark chocolate and graphite. In my happy place. Tied with the '00 Poyferre for favs on the night. In a great spot that I imagine it will reside in for some time to come.
- 2000 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Decanted 6 hours prior to consumption. Riper, baked sort of fruits on the nose in comparison to the other Bordeaux. Lots of blackberry and cassis. And a touch of a sour brett like note. I checked later and it was still there. Big and juicy yet lean in feel. Plenty of tannin. This showed good complexity but like the others maybe just awakening. I liked this well enough but it was a notch below the best wines on the night.
- 2001 Mönchhof Robert Eymael Erdener Prälat Riesling Auslese - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
Lots of apple on the nose. Touch of petrol. Strong, sappy and rich. The sugar seems about halfway broken down. This really came clean off the palate with the apparent acidity.