March 19, 2006 - Tasting Notes - Joanne

Becker Riesling Froehn

Alsace & Rhone Valley Expo Tasting

Held March 7, 2006 - San Francisco, CA

Highlights from Alsace were the wines of Domaine Weinbach and especially, Albert Mann.
There were a number of good values amongst the Rhone wines were tasted
but the only star we tasted was from Ogier. Discovery of the Day: Jean Becker.
There were quite a few other producers at this tasting, including ones lacking US importers.

Alsace Wines

Year Producer Varietal/VYD/Name Joanne's Notes #Btls
Jean Becker Cremant D’Alsace Yellow apples. Very dry finish. Very clean. Not sweet.
2004 Jean Becker Pinot Blanc Very clean color. Almost waterlike color. Ripe fruit on finish. Good.
2004 Jean Becker Riesling Lerchenberg Green Apple. Riesling nose. Clean. Fresh. Slightly bitter greenness on finish.
2004 Jean Becker Tokay Pinot Gris Light sweetness. Great acids. Very Balanced. Very appealing.
2004 Jean Becker Gewurztraminer Rimelsberg Good Gewurztraminer nose. Deep rich ripe melons. Almost over ripe fruit on finish.
2004 Jean Becker Riesling Froehn Grand Cru Minerally with green apple, good acids. Long long finish.
2004 Jean Becker Tokay Pinot Gris Froehn Clean ripe fruit. Residual sugar on finish. Try with blue cheese.
2004 Jean Becker Gewurztraminer Froehn Sweeter than Rimmelsburg. Nose of antique roses. Honey and ripe orange melon on center. Good roundness. Pleasant finish. A Gewurztraminer that I like!
2002 Dopff & Irion Riesling Château de Riquewihr Les Murailles Petrol on nose. Very, very Riesling-like. Lemony center. Very lemon tart finish.
2002 Dopff & Irion Pinot Gris Château de Riquewihr Les Maquisards At 20% comes from Grand Cru vineyards.Really interesting nose. Green – sorrel? Almost lemon balm. Lobster roe. Seaweed.
2004 Dopff & Irion Gewurztraminer Tradition Minerals on nose. Not to my taste. Okay but slightly watery center and over ripe fruit on finish.
2003 Dopff & Irion Gewurztraminer Château de Riquewihr Les Sorciéres 2003 was a warm vintage – the fruit was ripe. Interesting floral and spicy nose. Nutmeg and allspice center. Not enough acids to age – delicious now. **but must drink now!
2004 Ehrhart, François & Philippe Pinot Auxerrois Val Saint Grégoire Very little nose. Tart green center. Not to my taste. Just Okay. Great acids.
2004 Ehrhart, François & Philippe Riesling Vieilles Vignes Tasted pretty cold. Slightly biting acids in center. Some bitterness. Almost tart unripe blueberry on finish.
2003 Ehrhart, François & Philippe Riesling Vieilles Vignes Petrol-y nose. Hard minerally center. Soft finish.
2004 Ehrhart, François & Philippe Riesling Herrenweg Minerally with gold fruit. Bright acidic center some roundness. More plesant than the Vieilles Vignes.
2003 Ehrhart, François & Philippe Riesling Herrenweg Petrol-y nose. Almost Kool-aid nose. Watery center with gold fruit. Didn’t like as well as the ’04
2004 Ehrhart, François & Philippe Pinot Gris Rotenberg Toasted Spice on nose. Slightly spicy center. Some roundness. Clean finish.
2004 Ehrhart, François & Philippe Gewurztraminer Herrenweg Too cold. Over-ripe center. I did not like this one at all.
2004 Ehrhart, François & Philippe Riesling Schlossberg Grand Cru Too cold. Bright sweet-tart center. Tart green apple with minerals. Tannins on finish.
2003 Ehrhart, François & Philippe Riesling Schlossberg Grand Cru Almost perfumey nose. Spice apple sauce center. Cloves and petrol. Interesting wine. Riper fruit.
2004 Albert Mann Pinot Blanc Nose of minerals and honey. Round soft texture, acids bite on finish. Good balance. 2—3
2004 Albert Mann Riesling Cuvée Albert Minerals on nose. Harder center. Minerally with a round soft finish. Long long finish.
2004 Albert Mann Riesling Schlossberg Grand Cru Melons and apricot on nose. Minerals and fruit – and fresh bitter lettuce. Soft center. Tiny bit of sweetness. Balanced. Needs a lot of again – 5yrs+. All of the wines we tastes at Albert Mann were extremely clean, crisp and fresh!
2004 Albert Mann Pinot Gris Hengst Grand Cru Hard shale, wet gravel on nose. Sesame! Grass and fruit. Really interesting flavors.
2004 Albert Mann Gewurztraminer Furstentum Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru Ripe apricots and limestone on nose. Honey and flowers. Joanne loves it.
2004 Albert Mann Gewurztraminer Furstentum Selection de Grains Nobles Grand Cru Only about 200L produced. White peach and spices – nutmeg and cinnamon stick and sandalwood. Almost pine on finish. Very clean acidity. Excellent.
2004 Albert Mann Pinot Noir Grand H Fruit explodes from the glass. Sandalwood and cedar, ferny woodland. Bright woodsy center. Great bright acids, tannins show on finish. Finish shows oak. Not pinot-like – Jack said he’d not guess it was pinot. Too heavy handed with oak – generally 1/3 new Allier oak. Tiny production. Interesting wine.
2004 Domaine Weinbach Riesling Cuvée Sainte-Catherine They are using a cool new glass cork called a Vino-Lock made by Alcoa– first we’ve seen it. Nose of fresh yellow peaches. Tart yellow peach center. Very clean acids on finish. Needs food.
2004 Domaine Weinbach Gewurztraminer Réserve Personelle Nose of apricots and flowers. Slightly honey’d ripe fruit center. Really clean finish. Happy to drink this Gewurzt.
2004 Domaine Weinbach Gewurztraminer Cuvée Laurence  Honey on nose. Sweeter center. Sugar and clean finish. Slight bit of acids show at end of finish.
2004 Domaine Weinbach Riesling Schlossberg Cuvée Sainte-Catherine L’inédit Grand Cru Fragrant melons and peaches. Ripe peaches with tartness. Bright acidic finish.
2004 Domaine Weinbach Sylvaner Nose of violets. Possibly a bit of TCA. Great acidity.

Rhone Valley Wines

Joanne's Notes
2004 Château d’Aquéria Rosé Tavel  Good! Sweet center but bright. Almost raspberries in center. Good balance with a clean finish.
2003 Château d’Aquéria Red Lirac Best value of the day! Really good character. Good fruit. Dark center – heavier style. Hints of tobacco and coffee. Tannic finish.
2003 Domaine Barge Cuvée du Plessy Côte-Rôtie Vanilla and chocolate nose. Weird medicinal fruit center. Cough syrup cherry. Coffee notes. Long finish.
2003 Domaine Barge Côte-Brune Côte-Rôtie Bitter dark fruit center. Hard dark fruit. Just don’t like the style.
2004 Domaine Barge Condrieu La Solaire Condrieu   
2003 Domaine Barge Clos des Martinets Saint-Joseph Intense medicinal nose – almost bloody. Dry red cherries stick to the tongue. A lot of fruit but medicinal and slightly bitter. Just don’t like the style.
2003 Louis Bernard Red Châteauneuf de Pape Thinner harder center. Very tannic finish. Not as fruit forward.
2003 Louis Bernard Red Gigondas Bright fruit. With warm spices. More enjoyable. Meaty. Tannic. Good.
2003 Louis Bernard Red Côtes du Rhône Cherry and chalk on nose. Pleasant. Good value. Good balance on center. Good acids.
2003 Louis Bernard Domaine des Estrémières Côtes du Rhône Blackberry jam on nose. Lighter style with fewer tannins. Second favorite of these wines.
2003 Louis Bernard Red Côtes du Rhône Villages Good value! Enjoyable. Good balance. Great acids. Light style. Good for food.
2003 Louis Bernard Red Vacqueyras Another good value. Clay and wet minerally nose. Wet stone. Very very tannic finish. Good acids. Our favorite of these.
2003 Domaine Brusset Cairanne Vendange Chanbrille Côtes du Rhône Villages Tasted too cold. Lots of bright fruit and tannins. Dry finish. Lots of cherries.
2004 Domaine Brusset Tradition Le Grand Montmirail Gigondas Pleasant. Vanilla and cherry on nose. Cherry cola center. Bright. Good acids. Clean finish. Good concentration.
2003 Domaine Brusset Les Hauts de Montmirail Gigondas Spices and fruit on nose. A bit of vanilla. Vanilla, cherry and cinnamon in center. Bright good structure. Tannic finish.
2003 M. Chapoutier Belleruche Red Côtes du Rhône Sweet cherry nose. Really morello cherry! More fruit than acids.
2004 M. Chapoutier Belleruche White Côtes du Rhône Minerals and lemony pear in center. Clean. Good value.
2003 M. Chapoutier La Bernardine Châteauneuf de Pape Good fruit on nose. Hints of cinnamon and coffee on finish. Very tannic finish. A lot of fruit. Hard to judge. Very young.
2001 Gigondas La Cave Brut du Foudre Gigondas 1 year in oak. Musty nose. Slightly corked? Good structure. Clean good balance.
2001 Gigondas La Cave Syterres Gigondas 1 year in new oak. Intense new oak on nose. Too much oak for my taste! Good mouthfeel. Too many biting acids on finish
2001 Gigondas La Cave Le Primitif Gigondas No oak, fining or filtering. Clean. Good fruit. Interesting. Almost biting acids on finish.
2003 Gigondas La Cave Beaumirail Vacqueyras We thought it was slightly corked – they say no. Essence of dried figs in center. Chalky. Did not like.
2003 Ogier Clos de L’Oratoire des Papes Châteauneuf de Pape Hard. Not open. Hard fruit but good fruit. Slightly eucalyptus finish. Good balance. Closed.
2003 Ogier Leas Closiers Châteauneuf de Pape Intense jam fruit in center. Elegant style. Balanced. Slight medicinal finish.
2001 Ogier Oratorio Gigondas Jam and vanilla. A lot of vanilla. I don’t like – too much wood for my taste. Very young.
2003 Ogier Héritage Côtes du Rhône Jammy nose. Super black cherry on first notes. Black cherry with good acids on finish. Okay.
2003 Ogier Ted the Mule Côtes du Ventoux Sweet syrupy nose. Concentrated fruit bomb. Too sweet for my taste. Very fruity. Not as sweet as nose suggests. Decent acids. A good value, especially compared to inexpensive shiraz.
2003 Domaines Perrin Red Côtes du Rhône Vanilla and red fruit on nose.  Deep slightly bitter blackberry center with a dry finish. Good value.
2004 Domaines Perrin White Côtes du Rhône Red pear on nose. Intense pear first notes. Clean finish. Good finish and good value.
2003 Domaines Perrin Rosé Reserve Côtes du Rhône 60% Cinsault, 20% Syrah, 15% Grenache, 5% Mourvedre. Strawberries and pears. Okay.
2003 Domaines Perrin La Gille Gigondas Fruit with a touch of medicinal. Less rustic cleaner style.
2003 Domaines Perrin Les Christins Vacqueryas Sweet blackberry nose. A lot of fruit. Herbs and berries – a syrupy center – touch of bitterness. Complex wine.
2003 Domaines Perrin Vinsobres Les Cornuds Côtes du Rhône Villages Great fruit. Rustic country style. Blackberries. Tannic finish. Slightly bitter.

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