Notes on 5 Wines from a Wine Club Meeting


This past weekend our wine club got together for our Spring meeting. There was no theme for this meeting so everyone could bring whatever they wanted.

  • 2012 Smoking Loon Chardonnay Steelbird – USA, California
    Tasted blind. This had a very expressive nose of peach, tangerine and some citrus. Nice acidity to it and no oak presence, got some peach, grapefruit and tangerine on the palate as well. Thought for sure this was a Sauvignon Blanc but I have found the unoaked Chardonnay’s can be mistaken for Sauvignon Blanc’s. Was shocked when the bag came off of this. Never would have suspected Smoking Loon Steelbird. No denying it is a well made wine though. (88 pts.) In Stock $7.99!
  • 2013 19 Crimes Dry Red Wine – Australia, Victoria
    Tasted blind. This really didn’t have much going on in the nose. Bit of strawberry but that is it. The palate showed this to be a simple, fruity and sweet red wine with a ton of cherry fruit but really not much else. Lacking in complexity. For the price though it is not a bad wine for someone looking for something enjoyable to drink and not really think about it or the crowd that doesn’t like harsh red wine. (84 pts.) In Stock $10.99
  • 2012 Charles Smith Merlot The Velvet Devil – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
    Tasted blind. Showing more on the nose than the previous wine, this had some nice cherry, earth and iron aromas. The palate was open for business with flavors of cherry, mocha, earth and iron. There were some tannins present but nothing overpowering or even in need of aging. 30 minutes in a decanter would do it. A very nice value wine. (89 pts.) In Stock $12.99
  • 2009 Kumeu River Chardonnay Coddington – New Zealand, North Island, Auckland, Kumeu
    Tasted Blind. The nose on this reminded me of the old Colonial Estate Chardonnay with aromas of marshmallow, lemon, beeswax and a hint of mineral. Almost got the impression there would be a lot of oak but quite the contrary. This had flavors of lime, mineral and lemon. Has a zippy acidity to it still. Ended with a nice finish as well. Enjoy these New Zealand Chardonnay’s. (91 pts.) Similar wine in stock Craggy Range 2011 Chardonnay Kidnapper’s Vineyard $19.99
  • 2013 Philipp Kuhn Laumersheimer vom Löss Grauburgunder Trocken – Germany, Pfalz
    Tasted blind. This wine, for me, was tough to pin down. Didn’t think it was from Germany since it was so dry. Got some nice aromas of peach, lime and a very flowery nose. The palate showed some nice flavors of mineral, peach and pear. It was a little spritzy in the mouth. Narrowed it down to either a Riesling from France or Austria or a Gruner Veltliner. Was surprised when it was revealed. Never had a Pinot Gris from Germany before. Very impressive. (91 pts.)

Dunn Vertical in Westport, CT

DUNN VERTICAL AT POST 154 – Post 154 Westport, CT (5/31/2014)

Got together with my usual wine group for a Dunn Vertical. Started off with a couple of whites but then kicked it over to the Dunn. One couple had an emergency and unfortunately could not make it. Said he was probably going to bring an 82 and 90. Feel bad that they could not make it. Still had an interesting vertical with what we had. Amazing the consistency and style of these wines throughout. One consistent thing throughout was that the wines all tasted young with long, long lives ahead.

  • 2006 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre – France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
    What a way to kick off the tasting! This was very fresh with a beautiful acidity. Notes of stone, mineral and macadamia nut on the nose. Really expressive nose here and this was served at the perfect temperature. More mineral and lemon on the palate. Hard to believe this was 8 years old! (93 pts.)
  • Similar bottles in stock: Simonnet-Febure 2008 Chablis Premier Cru Montee de Tonnerre $29.99

  • 2005 Kistler Chardonnay Vine Hill Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    What a difference between this and the Chablis! Could not be anymore at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Tasted a little hot at first, which is pretty common for me when switching between old world and new world wines. A few people complained this wasn’t cold enough but I thought it was just right. After a couple of sips my palate adjusted and this was quite a nice wine! Lot of tropical fruits on this with both aromas and flavors of mango, papaya, banana and vanilla. Oak was nicely integrated. Ended with a very long finish. Glad I got a chance to try the old style Kistler before they changed it. Gotta admit I like this old style over the new one. (95 pts.)
  • Similar bottles in stock: Alpha Omega 2010 Chardonnay Napa Valley $65.99

  • 1986 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain – USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
    On to the Dunn’s! This was the surprise of the tasting to me, figuring the oldest wine would show the most mature notes but this tasted very young. More like a wine 8-10 years old than something 28 years old. The nose was jammy at first, with aromas of blackberry, raspberry, cassis and violets jumping out of the glass. As the night wore on these aromas calmed down a little bit but they were still nice throughout nonetheless. Got more raspberry, dried cherry, touch of earth and iron as well. Ended with a very long finish. The tannins on this were very smooth and this had no hard edges. What you hope a Dunn will taste like when you buy and cellar it. (95 pts.)

  • 1987 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain – USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
    This was more mature than the 86 and the most of any wine in the tasting. Amazing how different this and the 86 were but both retained a signature style. Leather, dried cherry, cassis and earth on the nose. Again, no hard edges on this with flavors of raspberry, dried cherry, earth and iron. Nose on the 86 was more expressive and fruit was a bit brighter on the palate. Had the 87 Napa Valley last week and honestly these two are neck and neck in terms of quality. (94 pts.)

  • 1989 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain – USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
    This started off with a touch of funk on the nose but it quickly blew off. Got a lot of fruit on the nose of this with dried cherry, cassis and blackberry. This tasted the youngest of the first 3 wines with some nice cherry, earth and raspberry flavors but it ended with some drying tannins. (92 pts.)

  • 1991 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain – USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
    Second time having the 91 and what a difference a few years make! Expressive nose had aromas of raspberry, balsamic, eucalyptus, dried cherry and a touch of iron. This tasted very young, with cherry, blackberry, iron and mineral on the palate. What really separated this from the other wines was the finish, which sailed on for over 40 seconds. Just when you thought it was over it kept coming. My wine of the night and a long life ahead of this one. (97 pts.)

  • 2003 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain – USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
    Had this before recently and didn’t benefit from a decant. Made sure it had a good 2-3 hours this time plus whatever it had waiting for it’s place in the tasting. Very young wine, literally I have had 2007’s that have tasted older than this. Got some matchstick on the nose with cherry and blackberry. Very expressive palate though with flavors of cherry, blackberry, plum and iron. A great bottle in an off vintage. (95 pts.)
  • In Stock $89.99
  • 2003 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Had to get my bearing at first with this one. It literally tasted like the same wine. After a couple of sips, some of the smaller nuances became clear to me although most people I would imagine would have a tough time telling them apart. Cherry, plum, blackberry, iron and roses on the nose of this went with flavors of cherry, blackberry and iron. The nose was a touch more complex than the Howell Mt. but the palate was more complex on the Howell as well as the finish. Still for the price you really can’t beat it. (94 pts.)