Blind tasting notes – theme was French except for Bordeaux and Burgundy. Predictably, the Rhone featured large in this tasting.

2006 Domaine des Baumard Savennières Clos du Papillon – I am a big fan of Loire wines so went to that area early on when I smelled the clean lemony waxy notes in the nose, along with pear, lime…it just kept going…and a clean delicious finish. At the age of twelve years this is just hitting stride, the early high acidity muting and showing the fruit. I have the 2014 and will make a note to try it soon.

2007 Domaine Weinbach Pinot Gris Cuvée Ste. Catherine - another delight, with some waxiness in the nose along with lemon peel, apricot and maybe some lychee. Showing colour and obvious residual sugar (the owner indicated that it hadn’t shown that way when young), it had good length. Very good.

1993 Chapoutier Hermitage La Sizeranne – my bottle. I have seen some variation over the years in how this wine showed, but this was an excellent bottle. Medium clear colour, leather and currant with some roasted meaty notes, good concentration of fruit and excellent length. Has plenty of time left, too.

2005 Le Vieux Donjon CNduP – dark and a tad ripe and with typical earthy Rhone nose, drinking well now.

2011 Domaine du Pégau CNduP Cuvée Réservée – some interesting fatty umami notes in the nose, along with the usual leather and red fruit and a bit of iron and herb. There was some spiciness toward the end and good length. Drank well.

1995 Domaine du Pégau CNduP Cuvée Réservée – two attendees with the same idea! Classic nose with eat, blood, red fruit and that was repeated on palate. Long finish, very smooth. Excellent.

2005 Château de Saint-Cosme Gigondas Valbelle – this was a stand out. Darker than the previous wines, and with a very nice Rhone nose featuring dark cherry and some garrigue/herbal elements. In the mouth it was still somewhat tannic, although not excessively so and finished long and balanced. Needs time.

2011 La Pèira en Damaisèla Coteaux du Languedoc Les Terrasses du Larzac Las Flors de La Pèira – longest name of the night! Medium colour, quite buttery nose, which was a bit odd but pleasant, mellow fruit with some floral and herbal notes that crept in after a bit, and a spicy oaky finish. Interesting wine. Needs time!

2006 Domaine les Pallières Gigondas – I have always found this wine to be a decent performer, though never approaching greatness, but this was below par even by that standard. Dark wine with a Italian sort of funky cooked nose, way too ripe. I suspect heat damage.

2009 Bott-Geyl Pinot Gris Sonnenglanz Pinot Gris – we were well served with Alsatians at this event! This is not a familiar producer for me, but the wine showed well – a light amber colour, a lightly botrytis nose, nice weight in the mouth and sufficient acidity to present well. Lots of dried fruit and spicy nutmeg and faint cinnamon hints. I’ll have to keep an eye out for this one.

Edited by Bill Spohn (01-05-2019 16:57:17)