Sunday, May 14, 2006

May 13,2006. Weekend wines and more corkscrews

Some weekend tasting notes and notes on more corkscrews.

1997- Tenuta Ornellia. IGT
When this was first released years ago, I was perplexed about the incredibly high ratings bestowed upon it. Deferred judgement and finally tried it again. Is it very good? - yes! Is it oh my god amazingly good? - well that would be overdoing it. Hints of cassis, fruits, gaining complexity with age, some hints of tobacco, fine, smooth tannins and long finish with a slight minty touch. Right now, I would say it takes perhaps 1-1.5 hours opened and aired in bottle ( with a little air gap). Decantage may cut this time in half. One caveat ( to this mouth ) was it tasted better in more modest wine glasses. When switched to the more massive Bordeaux glasses, it seemed to get gnarled up a little. Perhaps it was the extra air or maybe it was later in the night?? Either way - good and ready now, might get slightly better in a couple of years but suspect the peak/plateau is inside of 5 years and should stay there for more. 95 points.

1999 - Alois Kracher #7 Nouvell Vague. Chardonnay TBA
Honey, apricots and figs. Massively thick and viscous, could use a bit higher acidity and finishes with a little bitter touch. 94 points.

2003 - Ch. Calon Segur - Bordeaux, St. Estephe
Impenetrable in the first 2 hours , stewed plums, dark fruits, fine tannins. Suspect it's already shutting down. 93points

1994 - Dominus - Napa Valley
No need for a decanter. 30-45 minutes aeration in bottle should be good. Tobacco, hints of leather as well dark fruits, great aftertaste. Perhaps the only criticism (and this is splitting hairs), is that the finish could be longer. This is the best showing I've seen yet. 96+ points

More Corkscrews

This time, we look at Chateau Laguiolle. In a previous blog entry, we dealt with Forge de Laguiolle corkscrews. Lets just put this in the front now, Forge de Laguiolle is better in terms of fit and finish. The fitting, polishing and opening/closing especially of the foil blade is sure and precise - less so in the Ch. Laguiolle screws. Unfortunately, Forge de. Laguiolle foil blade just makes a gnarly mess of the foil when cutting.

On the other hand, in my hands the Chateau Laguiolle feels better and is a real users' corkscrew. The size to my hands feels more "correct" - a littler shorter and less bulky, better balance. Finally, the foil blade actually cuts clean and sure.

Ch. Laguiolle - Sommelier Grand Cru Series.
The Grand Cru series has reinforcements making a sturdier corkscrew and costs 10 Euro more than the regular version - worth it IMHO.

World's Best Sommelier Series - Olivier Poussier Model
Each year they make a special model to commemerate the winner of the World Sommelier contest. The year 2000 model commemerates Olivier Poussier. The handle is cut from a fallen Yew tree inside the Versailles Castle grounds. Some of the proceeds goes to the Versailles Garden. This is my FAVORITE corkscrew right now ( yeah yeah I know I changed my mind but it's going to hard to beat this one - really!!).

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