Posted by winemusings
Happy belated/late Hanukkah wishes to all, I hope the festival of lights was a true joy for you and all your friends and family! When we last left off, we were detailing the sad truth of the first two rounds of our blind tastings. Things will improve here but overall, this was not a great list of wines, regarding WINNER scores. The tastings, after the whites and the first reds, did indeed improve and they were far more enjoyable, as I state below, but overall, not a lot of WINNER wines. Such is life!
So, we continue where we left off last time, with some poor wines indeed. As stated in that previous post, I was in Paris in November, with Avi Davidowitz from Kosher Wine Unfiltered. The sheer number of boxes in our room was insane, somewhere nearly 120 bottles of wine came to our hotel or Ari Cohen’s home. The poor bellman pushing that cart laden with wine boxes was a site to see.
Blind Tasting Methodology
This time I wanted to break up the normal approach, of tasting wines from the distributor or wine producers and instead taste the wines blind in their respective groups. The methodology was simple, bag all the wines, hand them to Avi who wrote a number/letter, and then line them up for the tasting. Then we taste them in numerical/alphabetical order and write the notes. After the first pass, we taste the wines again to see if they have changed. Then we show the wines and write the names down. We did find a few anomalies in the system. First, the more closed wines needed time to open and those were tasted again later. If there were flaws at the start those stayed in the notes, at least for me, and if there were issues after they were also written.
2020 Vintage versus 2021 Vintage in Bordeaux
I will repeat what I wrote previously, as this post will showcase far more 2021 wines from Bordeaux. So far, the sample size of 2021 wines from Bordeaux includes very few big names because they are still in the barrels. Or should be! So, the sample size of 2021 wines from Bordeaux is all simpler and of lower starting quality. Still, what is apparent, from this sample size, is that 2021 will be a very hard year. The 2020 vintage, by contrast, is hit and miss, and so far, while the hits have been solid, there are no home runs, and we have tasted most of the wines we expect to rave about from the 2020 vintage. There will be one 95-scoring wine, ONE, from all the wines we tasted on this trip. I expect even fewer exceptional wines from the 2021 vintage and I personally, will be buying far fewer of the 2020 or 2021 wines. Finally, the wine notes from the 2020 vintage should be witness to the fact that while the 2020 wines are OK to good, they are far more accessible than previous vintages. The glaring exception to that will be highlighted in a subsequent post.
Thoughts on Red Wines (part #2) (Round three)
Overall, this list has many decent enough wines but only two WINNER wines. Sadly, the two WINNER wines are repeats of last year’s tasting. They are the 2019 Château de Marmorières Les Amandiers, La Clape, Languedoc and the 2018 Maison Sarela 1922 Meritage, Languedoc. Many of these wines will never make it to the USA. The 2020 Elvi will make it, along with the 2021 Pavillon du Vieux Chantre, and others, like the Paloumey. The best of them will never make it here and that is the shame!
Thoughts on Red Wines (part #3) (Round four)
There are a lot of wines here and there are a few wines that I have been hounded on for information – so here you go! Included in this list are the famous three new wines from Pierre Miodownick, the Godfather of Bordeaux wine and founder of Netofa Wines in Israel. They are the 2020 Château Olivier Grand Cru Classe, Pessac-Léognan, 2020 Chateau Clement-Pichon, Haut-Medoc, and the famous 2020 Château Angelus Carillon de l’Angélus, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru. They all showed nicely with the clear WINNER, in regards to value for the price being the Chateau Clement-Pichon.
In regards to the three red wines that Pierre and team made, the 2020 Château Angelus Carillon de l’Angélus, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru is famous and lovely but at $360 a pop, I really do not understand the market, IMHO. I am sure they will sell, as the wine is good and there are enough of these wines out there now at that price, but WOW! The other two wines are priced more in line with the quality, especially the Clement-Pichon.
There were also some really impressive wines like the 2019 Chateau Tour Seran, NON-Mevushal. The wines that come here are Mevushal but those in Europe are left non-mevushal and it showed beautifully. Again, all of these wines were tasted blind and the Tour Seran really stuck out like a sore thumb, in all the right ways, from the very start.
Another incredible WINNER was the 2020 Chateau Castelbruck, Margaux. The 2015 Vieux Chateau Chambeau, Lussac Saint-Emilion, shocked me for an old Mevushal wine. I KNOW I had tasted the wine and sure enough, a quick search of the blog using Google found it! I liked this blind more than when I had it two years ago with GG (AKA Gabriel Geller), though that was from a 375 bottle.
On the list of wines that showed HORRIBLY would be the 2017 Chateau Pape Clement, Pessac-Leognan. Just an oxidized disaster. There is a 2018 vintage as well but I have NO IDEA where it is! They are sold out of it in Europe and what I see now is 2019, which I posted notes about a few months ago. Other than the horrific Pape, the fourth round was nice enough and many of the wines showed well at the opening and onwards, while some needed time like the wines from Pierre.
Thoughts on Red Wines (part #4) (Round five)
This was the final round and it had a few WINNER wines as well some were quite surprising including wine from Georgia, no not the state, the country, and a lovely new vintage of the Vignobles Mayard Le Hurlevent, Châteauneuf-du-Pape. There were no massive duds, and this round showed simpler, more accessible wines that were either good to go, from the start, or ones that will never be good to go!
The real shocker, other than the lovely Georgian wine which we both thought was a Rhone was the 2021 Philippe Paine La Petite Metairie, Chinon. It was lovely, not simple, yet not built to last. More proof that nice wines can come at any price point.
This round was maybe the best overall one of the tasting, not from the number of WINNERs but rather from the lack of massive failures. A lovely, enjoyable, wine tasting.Read the rest of this entry →
Tags: Badagoni, Carillon de l'Angélus, Casa E.di Mirafiore, Chateau Angelus, Chateau Castelbruck, Chateau Clement-Pichon, Chateau du Courneau, Chateau Haut Breton Larigaudiere, Chateau Jaumard, Chateau Olivier, Chateau Pape Clement, Chateau Tour Seran, Chateauneuf du Pape, Château de Marmorières, Cornas, Dolcetto D'Alba, Gold, Grand Cru Classe, L'Arzelle, La Clape, La Petite Metairie, Languedoc, Le Hurevent, Les Amandiers, Les Barcillants, Les Vin de Vienne, Lussac Saint-Emilion, Margaux, Pessac-Leognan, Philippe Paine, Saint-Joseph, Saperavi, Special Brands, Vieux Chateau Chambeau, Vignobles Mayard