Boston Wine Expo '99
Highlights

(Vintage Voice's 20 favorite wines tasted on the main floor)

White/Red/Dessert and Fortified


White

Trimbach Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile '93--Nice big nose of apple, mineral and floral notes. Round and not-too-acidic in the mouth, with citrus and mineral flavors. A very long, refined aftertaste fleshes out a big, yet elegant wine.
A-

For other excellent white wines, see the notes from the Hugel seminar.

Red

Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley '95--OK, so this is expensive. But it's also good. Deep nose of plum, earth and leather. Plenty of depth on the palate, with good plum and currant flavors, along with a spicy oak frame. A big wine with a big finish of oak and fruit. Is it worth the money? That's between you and your wallet.
A-

Cline Zinfandel Jacuzzi Vineyard '96--Big raspberry nose. Plenty of blackberry, raspberry and plum flavors above a firm but smooth tannic structure. A long finish of fruit and tannin promises good things for the future of this wine. Another favorite of the vintage, but too pricey for me.
A-

Clos Pegase Merlot Napa Valley '96--Sweet blackberry nose with a touch of alcohol. Smooth lush blackberry and plum flavors in the mouth. The long, luxurious finish is framed by gripping tannins.
A-

Clos Pegase Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley '96--Very lush currant and dark berry nose. Plenty of berries, plums and currants in the mouth. Long finish with dark fruit and decent tannins.
A-

Edmunds St. John Syrah Durell Vineyard Sonoma Valley '95--Lovely aromas of plums and other dark fruits; complex and full. Lush dark fruit flavors along with leather, and a balanced, elegant finish with plenty of blackberry flavors and soft, round tannins. Seems slightly more closed than when I tried it last year. Needs time.
A

Ravenswood Zinfandel Monte Rosso '96--Rich blackberry nose, with some alcohol apparent. Lots of blackberries along with plum flavors and obvious oak in the mouth. Fairly tannic, for a zin, on the long berry-laced finish. One of the better zins of the vintage, IMHO.
A-

Renwood Zinfandel Grandmere Vineyard '95--Big blackberry and raspberry nose. Very smoothly integrated blackberry, boysenberry and plum flavors on the palate, finishing quite long with blackberry, black cherry and an oak note. More refined than Renwood Zins used to be, and my favorite Zin of the tasting.
A-

Renwood Zinfandel Grandpere Vineyard '96--Shy nose with plum and even a floral/violet note which seemed to appear with aeration. Smooth, abundant plum flavors which last for some time. Smooth tannins and a healthy dose of oak round out the picture. Not my favorite style of Zin, but a good effort.
A-

Rosenblum Zinfandel Paso Robles Richard Sauret Vineyard '97--Leather and earth show first on the nose, but a little swirling reveals cherries and berries, seemed a bit closed at first. Black raspberries and blackberries are framed by vanilla oak. Very lush mouthfeel, and not too tannic. A nice effort.
A-

Shafer Firebreak '96--Plum and violet aromas, black cherry and plum flavors, with a medium-length finish of black cherries, and a bit of cleansing acidity. Moderate tannins give just enough structure.
A-

Dessert/Fortified

Bonny Doon Muscat Vin de Glaciere '97--This "freezer" wine has a lush floral and orange typical muscat nose, with only a bit of honey to hint at what comes next. Big honeyed orange and peach flavors, with a long, smooth finish. Like many CA dessert wines, could use more acidity, but it drinks very well right now. Another successful vintage for this wine.
A-

Dow Reserve Port '82--What other houses might call a "Colheita",or single-vintage tawny Port. Layers of black fruit and vanilla seem to go on forever. A rich, sweet Port, which actually seems somewhere between a tawny and LBV in style.
A-

Lustau Oloroso Del Tonel Sherry NV--Very rich, with much less oxidation than one might expect from a sherry. Nose is a little shy, but there are plenty of flavors of caramel, toffee, and dried fruits. A very tasty dessert style sherry.
A-

Lustau Moscatel Solera Reserva Superior Emilin Sherry NV--Candied orange-peel and floral Muscat aromas. Complex flavors of orange, toffee, coffee, caramel and candied fruit. Long, long fruit finish. Very sweet, and sticks on the palate, but manages to stop just short of cloying. An excellent sherry.
A-

Inniskillin Vidal Icewine Niagara '97--Peaches and honey on the nose. The palate shows some lychee, along with peaches, honey and cream. Very sweet, with an acid balance. Long finish. This is what Vidal Icewine should taste like.
A

Joseph Phelps Eisrebe '96 (?)--Concentrated apricot and honey nose and flavors. Very sweet, but finishes clean. An excellent CA dessert wine.
A-

Renwood Zinfandel Amador Ice '96--OK, this Zin dessert wine isn't for everyone, and it isn't what one normally thinks of as Zin. However, it has generous honeyed peach and plum aromas, and plenty of honey and peach flavors in the mouth. A long peachy finish with bitter almond overtones. Some might find this wine a bit cloying, but for me, it was just on the right side of the line. Still, I'd drink it soon, as it might not have the structure to age.
A-

Quinta do Noval Colheita Port '81--Wonderful, easy drinking yet complex wine. Raisins, and plums dominate, though there are hints of vanilla and spices, as well as some anise and rancio flavors on the very long finish. A "super-tawny"...
A-

Valckenberg Chardonnay Eiswein Rheinhessen '96--The first Chardonnay Eiswein I've ever seen from Germany. Nose is of candied pears and peaches. Very sweet in the mouth with honeyed peach and pear flavors. Thick and rich. Long sweet pear and honey finish with a floral note. Unusual and very nice dessert wine.
A

For other excellent dessert wines, see the notes from the Hugel and Tokaji seminars.


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Copyright 1999 Marcel Lachenmann. All rights reserved.