Young & Wyse Collection

Domaine Weinbach

Altenbourg Pinot Gris 2009

Sorn. Rich, ripe fruit nose. Beautiful dark golden colour. Medium sweet, textured, complex.

The Fallers’ 2009 Pinot Gris Altenbourg (from lower-lying, non-grand cru parts of that site) introduces a sense of primary juiciness and buoyancy relative to its Saint Catherine counterpart, with only a bit over 14% alcohol and prominent residual sugar. Overripe peach, musk, black truffle, and orange are the prominent elements of this decadently rich, satisfyingly long Pinot Gris likely to be best drunk over the next 3-5 years. (No Cuvee Laurence was produced from this vintage.) Both 2008 and 2009 were clearly challenging at Domaine Weinbach, many of their wines from the latter illustrating that vintage’s weaknesses. (Catherine and Collette Faller elected not to present me their – admittedly, at the time not yet officially approved – 2009 vintage V.T. and S.G.N. bottlings.) Harvesting at this estate is generally on the late side and in this instance continued until October 20, which I hypothesized while tasting might have been a bit too late for such nearly uniformly ripeness as seems to have prevailed by late September of 2009. The first vintage from this estate that I tasted as young wine was 1979 (‘though I did not visit until 1984), so I’ve experienced a full range of collections from cool, late growing seasons such as have nowadays become scarce; but only from a couple of genuinely ripeness-deficient vintages of the 1980s, and then again from 1996, can I recall acid levels as prominent as those harbored by the Weinbach 2008s, and this has rendered some of them youthfully severe or nervous, though one hopes and indeed expects that the best will calm down, round out, and harmonize over time, without losing their vivacity, focus, and in some instances power. Don’t be misled by the scores I have assigned to this 2008 collection: really, a question mark hangs over them all because it’s how these wines respond to bottle age which will determine the verdict that matters. A look at the 1996s provides some tantalizing clues but little confidence. Some 1996s have evolved beautifully, while others seem caught in a time warp, their agitated, faintly aggravating adolescent Sturm und Drang almost unseemly for their age. With all this in mind I recently revisited a bottle of 1981 Weinbach Gewurztraminer V.T. – a wine whose residual sugar was lower than that of most non-V.T. Gewurz at this address today, and whose acidity in youth was formidable – and that wine was spectacular. And as you’ll see from my notes, Gewurztraminer is the most likely candidate for stardom in the 2008 Weinbach collection. (For considerable detail on the slope origins of the many Weinbach cuvees, consult my reports in issues 188 and 175.) I can’t resist noting that suggested retail prices for the most recent releases are little more than half what I was being quoted as recently as three vintages ago, making the best of the current crop especially worthy of wine lovers’ attention, even though neither 2008 nor 2009 is among this illustrious domaine’s most consistently successful collections.
— a year ago

Shannon Ridge Vineyard

High Elevation Collection Lake County Wrangler Red Blend 2018

A very young red by the nose. Completely opaque, with great legs and bright currant, cherry, and spice on the nose. Mellow taste and a little too sweet, with tannin that I think would open up if left out for a few hours. Good, but interested to see what it would do with some time. — 3 years ago

Ron and Mike liked this


Short Story Collection The Owl Post Stellenbosch Pinotage 2016

This pinotage is still young and will mature well over 10 years, it’s soft subtle raspberry nose leaving a delicate mocha on the palate. — 2 years ago

Château La Croix-Davids

Côtes de Bourg Red Bordeaux Blend 2016

2016 vintage. The high end range of La Croix Davids goes under the label "Collection" (there is also a more simple "Tradition" range). 100 % Merlot. Solid winemaking by young Louis Meneuvrier. You can't seem to go wrong with this estate. — 3 years ago

Peter, Josh and 1 other liked this

Del Dotto Vineyards

Vineyard 887 St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

For those that dismiss Del Dotto wines - think again! This wine was perfectly ready to drink immediately upon uncorking with a soft, warm vanilla oak surrounding mature dark fruit. The wine’s richness and balance were more like a Haut Brion than a young Napa cab! Still there are tannins that will soften in the cellar, so balance you temptation to empty your collection! — 3 years ago

Billy liked this

The Winemakers' Collection

Cuvée No. 2 Denis Dubourdieu Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend


Thanksgiving dinner with London Lees Grafs. Tasting with the married young Grafs for future wedding dinner wine! Approved! — a year ago

Osawa Wines

Prestige Collection Pinot Noir 2017

Thought this blind was an aged red burg, so colour me surprised when it was revealed to be a young NZ pinot. Clearly a little more developed than it should be (colour and aromas), but credit where credit’s due, this was quite elegant. Even after the reveal I could not detect that marmalade finish I find so often in NZ pinot’s. This was all red cherries and ripe strawberries, with savoury spices and earthy notes. Perhaps the quality of the oak, which left much to be desired, and rich velvety texture were the only indications of it’s origin. Finished a touch short. There were wines with more intrigue on the table so I didn’t drink much of it, but it definitely wasn’t a bad drop. One to revisit. — 2 years ago

Peter, Ira and 11 others liked this

Guy Charlemagne

Brut Réserve Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Champagne Chardonnay

A lot of development, riper and with more autolytic, hazelnut-leesy character than you usually find in a young BdB. Could be the 375? Fresh baked bread. Green apple. Decadent. Savoring the dregs of my WSETDip D4 study collection and celebrating the end (at least temporarily) of cramming. Paired with a skillet of baked cheese. — 3 years ago

Severn, Romain and 1 other liked this

Young & Wyse Collection

Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Very fruity but solid legs and deep purple colour. Goes well with a light meal. — 4 years ago