Notes from a blind tasting lunch

This one was catered by the chef of the restaurant that we used to hold these lunches at and was held in my home.

As usual, summer brought out some very nice white wines.

2013 Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Thann – a light straw colour, a very delicate Riesling nose and excellent acidity. Clean with good fruit level and a saltiness that was refreshing. If you want to know better Thann what, the answer is that these wines are made occasionally when the young vines produce something of interest that merits separate bottling instead of inclusion in one of the blended wines. I also have the 2005 Pinot Gris Thann, which continues to please but I should really get into it soon.

2017 Spearhead White Pinot Noir – a BC wine that was a bit of a puzzler. The colour of the wine was as clear as water with no colour at all. Delicate nose of pear and a slightly bitter finish like peach pits. Interesting but not entirely successful in my opinion.

2016 Bodegas del Palacio de Fefiñanes 1583 – clear light straw colour, a rich nose of fruit and coconut hints (the oak?) and some wet stone, a la Chablis, and some good fruit in the mouth, with a long clean acidic finish. I liked this.

1994 Bodegas Montecillo Rioja Gran Reserva – dark wine with a warm hot country nose, full flavoured and smooth in the mouth. Many of us thought it was Italian. Spice and fairly good fruit on palate.

1970 Château Lynch-Bages – my house so I was a bit more confident about trying out a wine with significant age. Garnet colour with a light rim, classic cassis and tobacco in the nose (we had to wait a bit as it was reticent at first) and like all the 1970s, a big wine that seemed much younger than it was. A survivor!

1981 Château Palmer – I drank quite a few 81s a long time ago, and most are in decline now, but this was delightful. Good colour, slightly restrained nose that needed time to show well, then cassis, blackberry and plum with some cocoa undertones. Very good.

1998 Château Mouton Rothschild – generally better in the Right Bank, there were select wines from the Left that were very good. Many people tend to discount the vintage as an early drinking café sort of vintage, but while I chose not to cellar it, I have enjoyed many of them over the years. This one is one of the best – still dark with a claret nose of mocha, exotic spices, and smoke, this is now hitting plateau and drinks exceptionally well today. The rather bizarre Tamayo label notwithstanding.

1998 Cape d'Estaing Shiraz Kangaroo Island – no Port today, so this was a suiting end to our meal. Quite dark with anise, blackberry and dark cherry notes in the nose, full fruited but very well balanced with just a hint of mint present and a commendably long finish. Definitely one of the ‘good’ 1998s, long lived and giving continues pleasure. Good cheese wine too!