Monday, December 13, 2010

Mid-term Cellaring Results

Not too long ago I retrieved some wine from off-site storage, things that I meant to drink at about this point in their lives (and in mine), and also a few things to check in on. The results have not been terribly impressive so far. These are wines that I liked very much several years ago, enough to send several bottles to off-site storage. It's interesting to see the way your own tastes change, to put yourself back in the mindset of making these decisions. Kind of like reading an old journal entry.

Anyway, here are the wines, along with a few notes:

2006 Marcel Lapierre Morgon, $22, Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. This is absolutely and utterly delicious, and I only wish I had socked more away. Now there is an earthy complexity to the nose, although there is still plenty of dark fruit. There is also a pungency to the palate that is truly compelling. Great balance, vibrant acidity, lovely finishing perfume, just great wine - a joy.

2004 Éric Texier Côtes du Rhône-Brézème Domaine de Pergault, $29, Louis/Dressner Selections. I'm glad I have another because I have mixed feelings about the bottle we drank, and I want to drink it again. The nose was lovely and detailed, with lots of black olives and some floral hints, but the wine felt rather dilute on the palate. It never really filled out, although after it had been open for almost 2 hours it did put on a bit of weight. Perhaps I opened this one too young, or maybe I should have drunk it several years ago when I loved it. I have one more and I'm thinking that I should put it away again for another 5 years.

2005 Paul Pernot Beaune Clos du Dessus des Marconnets, $23, Fruit of the Vines Imports. Boy, did I love this wine a few years ago. I still like it fine, but it has not developed any kind of complexity - it's a lovely, fruity wine. There is nothing whatsoever that is exciting about it, though. Live and learn...

2004 Domaine du Closel Savennières Clos du Papillon, $26, Louis/Dressner Selections. There was a time when I loved this wine, LOVED it. And I don't think I was wrong - when it was young, this was a delicious wine. Only a few years later, though, and something is dreadfully wrong. The nose is beeswax and lots of alcohol (14.5%), and that's it. Two hours later, that's it. The palate is a disaster - way too evolved, no definition, not flawed, but unpleasant. So much so that we decided not to drink it. I think that this was good once, and has not aged well. But I have a couple more, so hopefully I'm wrong.

Isn't it interesting how things turn out?


Cliff said...

Thanks for these. I am especially happy to see the note on the Lapierre. I'll have to get around to those. The last one I tried, a couple of years ago, was in an awkward state, but I loved them on release.

My bottle of the Texier showed much better than yours a couple of months ago. Could just be a bottle-by-bottle, night-by-night kind of thing. It will never have the weight of Gonon, however.

I don't think this is the time to be checking the Pernot or Closel. I confess, I stopped buying Closel after the style change in 2002 and some weird experiences with that vintage in the "in between" stage. I'm not sure if those had systemic problems -- quite a few bottles showed totally oxidized, and I wasn't the only one to experience it -- and then my last bottle was alright. Not great, not showing the promise of its youth, but intact.

As weird as Chenin can be in the medium term, I have just as hard a time getting a read on Burgundies a few years out from a structured vintage. I hope there's more to it than meets the eye.

Unknown said...

I would say you are a few, maybe 3 years early on the Texier. I would say the same or more about the Closel.

Cliff, I think the '02 Closels were in a much less reduced/less SO2 than earlier vintages, and they tasted a little advanced as they've aged, but they are not aging fast. My last bottle was quite good.


Stevie said...

I think that your story is fascinating! I never really know what to expect when I lay wine down for later consumption. I have a passive temperature "system" for my "cellar" that stays fairly cool year round because San Francisco is always cool. 'course, I read a lot about ageing wine and proper storage, which makes me anxious. I think that I then jump the gun in terms of drinking too early as a result.

Henri Vasnier said...

Assuming the Pernot Beaune is red -- haven't looked up that particular bottling -- it's not so surprising that a 2005 has not yet developed much. Try it again when it's 7 or 8, perhaps? You might have unduly high expectations if you're looking for a $23 Burgundy to develop complexity, although a 2005 red might actually do that.

Your description of the Savennieres is sort of a textbook note on a wine that's in process of evolving into maturity but hasn't gotten there yet: not specifically oxidized, not otherwise specifically flawed, but in an unattractive place. Try opening another one in 3-4 years??

Cliff said...

Yeah, in retrospect, I probably ran into a couple of bad corks in the midst of the in-between stage and freaked prematurely. I still didn't love where the wines got when they came out the other side.