Dunno, I guess the color of the label seemed thematically appropriate for Halloween, but does one really need an excuse for opening a nice bottle of champagne! This one showed up alongside a demo unit of the latest Coravin Sparkling Wine Preserver @coravin, which I’m putting to the test over the next couple of weeks. It’s been a few years since I’ve had La Grande Dame, and my memory of it was richer and more autolytic than this 2008 was this evening. Precise and taut with a nice balance between crisp apple fruit, citrus pith and a more saline and brioche quality barely scented with marzipan. — a year ago
33 years old and still rockin... also the wine was great! @Tim McCarthy for the Durand, cork came out perfect, fresh and aromatic right out of the bottle, continued to open and evolve over 4 hours! Forest floor and leaves, little smoke and dark cherries, really great! — 2 years ago
Tasted from bottle with Roberto Conterno. Nice to compare the wine in Zalto glass vs the Zwiesel Glass that was designed to the wishes of Roberto Conterno.
This Monfortino is very structured, multi-layered and rich. High phenolic ripeness. Lots of nuances. And the good thing is that there are 20000 bottles, 3000 magnums and 500 double magnums. 98-100 — 4 years ago
Very special Monte Bello, best I’ve had, rich and layered with age, nose was redolent of old leather and soft spice, smokey red fruit. Silk on the palate. Finish never ended. Superb. Could go a few more years easily but cork (not the one pictured) required the Durand so likely drink soon. — a year ago
WNH virtual Insignia Tasting. Vintages featured were ‘95, ‘96, ‘00, ‘01, ‘02, ‘09, ‘13 and ‘14.
This was the Wine Spectator wine of the year and received a 100 point score from Wine Advocate (for those interested in accolades and scores).
Knowing the pedigree here, I knew to expect some fireworks and tried to prepare accordingly. I gave this 24hrs upright after pulling from the cellar, and then decanted about 90mins, before consuming from the decanter over the course of the evening. The cork came out perfectly via the Durand and had absolutely zero seepage up the cork. My glass of choice was the new Glasvin Expression. Really like their glasses.
My first sip after opening had me looking at my wife saying “this is 18yrs old and is insanely youthful”. When hearing from my friends about their mid/late ‘90s, and for the ‘01, those offerings had basically zero merlot. The ‘00 had a similar amount to this (14%), and I think that component really elevated this to a more “elegant” style. The oak here comes across as a mix of French and American (though it’s all French)...the oak has such a distinct sweet note to it that I associate with American oak on Cali wines, yet isn’t full on coconut. Aromatically, it’s a beautiful display of cherry tobacco, black cherry cordial, violets, and elevated heady notes of black cherry pie. On the palate, there is creme de cassis, espresso, cocoa powder and mellowed red fruit before a finish that has surprisingly grippy tannin. This drinks like a bigger style left bank Bordeaux with how wonderfully integrated it is. Zero chance I’d call this 18yr old Napa cab if tasting blind. This easily has 5+yrs in this drinking window, and another 5-10 in the next evolution journey before really starting to slide. If opening now, decant 1-2hrs. One of the best expressions of aged Napa cab I’ve had this year. — 2 years ago