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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

On the way to dinner.....

It was a more than pleasant surprise to stumble onto the Vine Wine Bar in Greenport, Long Island (wine country of the North Fork). While it pays no attention to the local juice, the offerings of international wines are more than broad in scope and generous in pedigree.

Apparently they had put together a handful of Bordeaux tastings in the previous week, w/ some welcome leftovers remaining for lucky patrons such as myself. The wine that interested me the most, the '96 Montrose (which I have patiently been sitting on during it's hibernating years), was only available by the bottle. So here's what I was able to pounce on during the evening:

1995 Duhart Milon (Pauillac)
Nose was enticingly elegant, w/ sweet balsamic reduction, fresh flowers, meaty plum and a touch of subtle spice. While the aromatics were persuasive in all their strengths, the thin mid palate left much to be desired. Spicy cedar and moderately high acid left me wondering whether it would ever fill out? 88 points.
2003 Haut Vigneau (Pessac-Leognan)
Smelled of white pepper and tons of rusticity, very mourvedre-like in aromatic character.Lots of body, laden w/ spicebox, earth, bramble and meat but lacking fruit of any conviction. Texture was chunky, w/ modest anise echoing on the finish. 83 points.
2000 La Grave a Pomerol (Pomerol)
The surprising wine of the flight. A fully loaded nose, w/ massive amounts of pepper, mineral, licorice and a lovely lavender undertone. The full bodied palate was profoundly concentrated, w/ milk chocolate, melted licorice and gorgeous dark cherry fruit that lingered on and on. Still an excellent value. 93 points.
2003 Cap de Faugeres (Cotes de Castillon)
Glass aerated w/ a bevy of dried red currant juice nicely. Blackberries, and raspberry jam filled the mouth nicely, w/ finely grained tannins. Not ultimately complex, but delicious none the less. 89 points.
1995 Calon Segur (St. Estephe)Disappointment of the evening. While lovely violet and blackberry notes were initially present, an overwhelmingly yeasty/doughy aroma overwhelmed me. I've noted this in the past w/ some lower end Nero d'Avolas from Sicily, and consider it to be a flaw that detracts from the fruit. While I don't think anyone else was noticing these characteristics, I couldn't find the wine drinkable. The tannins coated the mouth, were a tad overly astringent and firm, as the yeasty-elements returned in the palate. While Calon is a rough one in it's youth, I'm uncertain as to whether or not the off-elements will blow off in time. Not rated.
The evening was capped off beautifully w/ a spectacularly mineral Clos des Treilles Anjou. Great little wine bar in Greenport and definitely worth a pit stop if you happen to pop in the neighborhood.


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