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The Vino Fino Tasters
LOIRE VALLEY SAUVIGNONS and a Mystery Wine
June 18, 2008

Notes by
Gerald Weisl,
wine merchant

We opted to taste some Loire Valley Sauvignons this month, centered on the Sancerre appellation.  We included a lone Pouilly-Fume and a "mystery" wine made by a New Zealand winery owned by a famous Sancerre estate.

The results proved, as usual, interesting.  One wine outpaced the group and it comes from a famous vineyard site, Les Monts Damnes.    The second place wine was well behind the leader, but well ahead of the rest of the field.  Third through fifth were bunched together and, behind that trio were the sixth through eighth place wines.

One taster had a remarkably low 'delta', John McGlothlin having a differential of "four" from the group results.

We had wines, predominantly from the 2006 vintage, with the one 2005 being the Pouilly-Fume.  Coincidentally, it finished in last place.

VF_Loire_Sauvignons_June-2008-Justin-Williams

Here's what we found:

The Wines Gerald's Rank Group Rank Total Points 1sts/2nds/
Lasts
HENRI BOURGEOIS
2006 Sancerre
Grande Reserve
$22
6 4 52 1/3/2
HENRI BOURGEOIS
2006 Sancerre
La Bourgeoise
$34.99
1 2 43 4/1/1
CLOS HENRI
Henri Bourgeois
2006 Marlborough (New Zealand)
Sauvignon Blanc
$22.99
3 7 64 1/0/1
PASCAL JOLIVET
2006 Sancerre
Chateau du Nozay
$35
7 6 61 2/1/1
ALPHONSE MELLOT
2006 Sancerre
La Moussiere
$37
4 5 53 0/1/0
ROGER & CHRISTOPHE MOREUX
2006 Sancerre
Les Monts Damnes
$32.50
2 1 33 2/5/0
CHATEAU DE SANCERRE
2006 Sancerre
$29
8 3 52 2/0/1
CHATEAU DE TRACY
2005 Pouilly-Fume
$30
5 8 74 0/1/6

8th Place:  CHATEAU DE TRACY 2005 POUILLY-FUME
With correct straw color, this wine offered a nicely herbal fragrance and some stony and smoky notes on the nose.  It was quite good in terms of aromatics, but dropped in excitement when tasted.  The wine is dry and reasonably crisp, but the flavors have a flat aspect to them.  I noted a somewhat honey-like character on the palate.  I did give it a one-star rating on my three star scale, no stars being a standard or ordinary wine.  Bets consumed in the near future, I suspect
VF-Loire_Sauvignons_June-2008_John.jpg

7th Place:  CLOS HENRI 2006 Marlborough, New Zealand SAUVIGNON BLANC
I did not pick this out as coming from New Zealand...most of the Sauvignons from Marlborough would have stood out, easily, from this bunch of Loire wines.  Owned by Henri Bourgeois, this had a lovely hint of citrus, but it was not excessively grapefruity or grassy.  There's a hint of a floral note here, as well.  I like the citrus flavors of the wine and its crisp edge.  The finish seemed to linger for a while, too, making it one of my favorites of the tasting.  One-and-a-half stars.
VF-Loire_Valley_Sauvignons_June-2008_Dick-Ottstott

6th Place:  PASCAL JOLIVET's "CHATEAU du NOZAY" SANCERRE
Medium straw in color, this wine shows a nicely herbal aspect to its aromas with a bit of a honey-like element.  It's dry and crisp on the palate, with nice fruit as well.  I found it to be good quality and a perfectly pleasant bottle.  One star to one-and-a-half stars.VF-Loire-Sauvignons_June-2008_Tim-Zainer.jpg

5th Place:  ALPHONSE MELLOT 2006 "La Moussiere" SANCERRE
With a clear appearance and a light straw color, Mellot's Sancerre showed hints of hay-like fragrances with a melon note underneath.   The wine has a nice level of bracing acidity and it's dry.  There's a slightly more minerally or chalky element to this wine compared to most others.  I liked it quite a bit.  One-and-a-half stars.

VF_Loire-Valley-Sauvignons_June-2008_Allan-Anderson.jpg

4th Place:  HENRI BOURGEOIS 2006 SANCERRE "Grande Reserve"
Medium straw in color, this wine was rather "quiet" on the nose.  I didn't find much excitement in terms of aromatics or flavor...The wine is dry and crisp, but it simply doesn't rise much above "good" or "correct" alongside the competition.  One star.
.VF-Loire-Valley-Sauvignons_June-2008_John-McGlothlin.jpg

3rd Place: CHATEAU de SANCERRE 2006 SANCERRE
Clear straw in color, this wine started out with a nicely herbal tone and a mildly citrusy, smoky element, but as it warmed it veered off towards having a mushroomy note.  For my tastes, the wine simply does not have the 'snap' and liveliness of other wines in the tasting.  It's a bit flat.  No stars
.VF_Loire-Valley-Sauvignons_June-2008_Pat.jpg

2nd Place:  HENRI BOURGEOIS 2006 SANCERRE "LA BOURGEOISE"
This wine had the most first place votes of the group, but a last place tally and two 7ths sunk this ship.  Medium yellow in color, this wine had a lovely nose showing fruit, oak, toasty notes and a bit of a flinty character.  It's dry and crisp on the palate.  Some tasters may fault the wine for being too "internationally-styled," though it is not heavily oaked.  It's dry and crisp with a long and fine finish.  Two-and-a-half stars.
VF_Loire-Valley-Sauvignons_June-2008_David-Greiner.jpg

1st Place:  ROGER & CHRISTOPHE MOREUX 2006 SANCERRE "Les Monts Damnes"
This wine struck me as absolutely classic!  It's light straw in color and the nose shows a steely, minerally, mildly herbal fragrance.  It's quite dry and crisp on the palate, with a mildly grapefruity element.  There's an underlying spice tone, too.  Very fine.  Two stars+
.VF_Loire-Valley-Sauvignons_June-2008_Bottles.jpg

 

Please note: The wines tasted are not always wines we have (or have had) in the shop.
Many bottles are merely for our enological exploration.
Price quoted are current at the time of the tasting, but may be different when you're reading this.



WEIMAX TASTING ARCHIVE

NAPA CABERNETS 2004 Vintage  March 19, 2008

CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS-2005s  March 13, 2008

OREGON PINOT NOIRS  February 6, 2008

MOSTLY 2004 CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS  April 25, 2007

WASHINGTON STATE CLARETS  April, 11, 2007

2004 NORTHERN RHONE SYRAHS  April 4, 2007

2001 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO  March 28, 2007

2001 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS   November 8, 2006

2003 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  October 18, 2006

2003 CHTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPES-Flight #2  October 4, 2006

OLDER TUSCAN REDS--MOSTLY SANGIOVESES   September 20, 2006

2003 NAPA CABERNETS  July 19, 2006

2003 SAINT EMILIONS  July 12, 2006

CALIFORNIA SYRAHS  2003-2004  July 5, 2006

2004 CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS  June 21, 2006

GRAND CRU BURGUNDIES 2003 VINTAGE  May 31, 2006

CELLAR DWELLERS:  1990 CABERNETS & 1990 BORDEAUX  May 17, 2006

SOUTH AMERICAN CLARETS  May 10, 2006

2003 CHTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE  May 3, 2006

2004 GOLDEN STATE PINOT NOIRS  April 19, 2006

2002 NAPA CABERNETS  March 15, 2006

2003 WEST COAST PINOT NOIRS  March 8, 2006

2003 NORTH COAST ZINFANDELS  March 1, 2006

1996 BURGUNDIES vs. 1997 SONOMA PINOT NOIRS  November 9, 2005

2002 CABERNETS, ETC.   November 2, 2005

2002 NAPA CABERNETS  October 19, 2005

2002 GRAND CRU BURGUNDIES  September 14, 2005

2002 RED BURGUNDIES   September 7, 2005

2002 MEURSAULTS  August 31, 2005

NORTHERN RHNE SYRAHS  August 17, 2005

HIGHLY-REGARDED AUSSIE SHIRAZ  August 10, 2005

AUSSIE SHIRAZ UNDER $60  August 3, 2005

STUPIDLY-PRICED SPANISH TEMPRANILLO WINES  June 8, 2005

RANDOM CALIFORNIA SYRAHS  June 1, 2005

2002 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  May 18, 2005

2001 NAPA CABERNETS  May 11, 2005

OREGON PINOT NOIRS-2002 & 2003 VINTAGE WINES   April 27, 2005

CELLAR DWELLERS: 1990 BURGUNDIES and a COUPLE OF CALIFORNIA PINOTS  April 6, 2005

CALIFORNIA ZINFANDELS (Mostly 2002s)  MARCH 16, 2002

1999 BRUNELLO di MONTALCINO  March 9, 2005

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE CLARETS  March 2, 2005

PETITE SIRAHS  February 16, 2005

ROS CHAMPAGNES AND CALIFORNIA PINK BUBBLIES   February 9, 2005

CELLAR DWELLERS: 1991 CABERNET SAUVIGNONS   January 19, 2005

2001 FAMOUS AND INFAMOUS CABERNETS  November 10, 2004

2001 Napa CABERNETS  November 3, 2004

WEST COAST SYRAHS  October 20, 2004

1990 RED BORDEAUX & CALIFORNIA CLARETS  October 13, 2004

SPANISH TEMPRANILLOS of 1999 & 2000  September 29, 2004

2002 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET  September 8, 2004

2002 CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET  September 1, 2004

UNDER THE RADAR PINOT NOIRS  August 18, 2004

2001 SAINT-JULIEN & PAUILLACS  July 21, 2004

2001 MARGAUX  July 14, 2004

CELLAR DWELLERS: 1982 BORDEAUX  July 7, 2004

2001 POMEROLS  June 30, 2004

2001 SAINT MILIONS  June 16, 2004

2000 CLOS de VOUGEOT (and a ringer) MAY 12, 2004

2001 OREGON PINOT NOIRS  May 5, 2004

2001 CALIFORNIA MERLOTS  April 21, 2004

1994 WEST COAST CABERNETS  APRIL 14, 2004

1999-2000 BORDEAUX COMPARISON
March 10, 2004

1999 BAROLO March 3, 2004

2000 Deluxe Napa CABERNETS  February 18, 2004

2000 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS $50 & Under   February 11, 2004

1998 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO  February 4, 2004

TURLEY ZINFANDELS  1995 & 1999 Vintages   January 7, 2004

2000 PRESTIGIOUS WEST COAST CABERNETS  November 12, 2003

1999 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  November 5, 2003

SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS PINOT NOIRS  October 29, 2003

MOSTLY 2001 VINTAGE GIGONDAS October 22, 2003

SPANISH TEMPRANILLO WINES October 9, 2003

SPARKLING WINES-METHODE CHAMPENOISE  October 1, 2003

1996 (Mostly) AUSTRALIAN (Mostly) SHIRAZ September 24, 2003

2000 NUITS-ST.-GEORGES  September 10, 2003

PRIORATO WINES FROM SPAIN  September 3, 2003

WEST COAST SANGIOVESES  August 27, 2003

2000 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET (Mostly Premier Cru Wines)  August 13, 2003

2000 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY  August 6, 2003

2000 NAPA CABERNETS  July 30, 2003

1999 TUSCAN SANGIOVESE-BASED WINES  July 23, 2003

2000 VINTAGE MERLOTS  July 9, 2003

SYRAHS FROM HITHER & YON  July 2, 2003

2001 CALIFORNIA ZINFANDELS  June 25, 2003

NEW PINOT NOIRS  June 4, 2003

1999 NAPA CABERNETS May 28, 2003

1994 PINOT NOIRS  May 14, 2003

CHILEAN CLARETS  May 7, 2003

PETITE SIRAHS of Current Release.
April 30, 2003


1999 CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHETS  Premier Cru Selections   April 9, 2003

1999 GRAND CRU'S of GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN  April 2, 2003

1999-2000 SOUTHERN FRENCH REDS (RHONE WANNABE'S)  MARCH 26, 2003

1995-1996 VINTAGE CHAMPAGNE TASTING MARCH 12, 2003

2000 CHTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE TASTING  MARCH 5, 2003 

2000 NAPA VALLEY CABERNET TASTING  FEBRUARY 26th, 2003

1990 FRENCH RED BURGUNDY TASTING  February 12, 2003

1999 & 2000 CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS  November 13, 2002

1999 NAPA CABERNETS  November 6, 2002

1997 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO  OCTOBER 30, 2002

AUSSIE SHIRAZ TASTING  OCTOBER 23, 2002

1999 CHATEAUNEUF-du-PAPE TASTING  October 9, 2002

1999 NAPA CABERNETS  September 25, 2002

1999 WASHINGTON STATE CABERNETS  September 11, 2002

1991 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  September 4, 2002

1999 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET 1er Cru Tasting  August 28, 2002

AUSTRALIAN CABERNETS (Mostly 1999s) August 14, 2002

1999 FRENCH BURGUNDY July 24, 2002

1999 GRAVES BLANC July 10, 2002

2000 CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAY  July 3, 2002

1999/2000 CONDRIEU TASTING  June 26, 2002

1999 PAUILLAC & SAINT JULIEN TASTING  June 12, 2002

1999 MARGAUX TASTING  June 5, 2002

1985 CABERNETS & MEDOC TASTING May 29, 2002

1998 California CABERNETS   May 22, 2002

South American MALBEC May 8, 2002

1999 West Coast MERLOTS  May 1, 2002

Central Coast (California) PINOT NOIRS  April 24, 2002

2001 Southern Hemisphere SAUVIGNON BLANCS  April 10, 2002

1999 CALIFORNIA ZINFANDELS  April 3, 2002

1999 FRENCH RHNE SYRAHS February 13, 2002

(Mostly) 1999 CALIFORNIA SYRAHS January 30, 2002

MORE 1997 BAROLO  January 23, 2002

1997 Late-Released CABERNETS  January 9, 2002

1997 BAROLO  October 24, 2001

1985-1990 RED BURGUNDIES  October 10, 2001

1998 Grand Crus of Gevrey Chambertin  October 3, 2001

PRIORAT WINES  September 26, 2001

1998 CHTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE September 12, 2001

1999 "High Roller" CHARDONNAYS  September 5, 2001

1998 BORDEAUX  August 22, 2001

1999 WEST COAST PINOT NOIRS August 8, 2001

1997 VOSNE-ROMANE Tasting  August 1, 2001

1999 CALIFORNIA ZINS  July 25, 2001

1998 CABERNET SAUVIGNONS  July 11,  2001

OLD CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAYS June 6, 2001

1997 ECHEZEAUX May 30, 2001

1999 NORTH COAST ZINFANDELS May 23, 2001

1999 West Coast Merlots May 9, 2001

1999 WEST COAST PINOT NOIRS May 2, 2001

1997 BARBARESCO  April 25, 2001

Mostly RUSSIAN RIVER PINOT NOIRS  April 11, 2001

1997 NAPA CABERNETS April 4, 2001

1995 BRUNELLO di MONTALCINO March 28, 2001

1997 CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY & MOREY SAINT DENIS
with one 1996...March 14, 2001

1997 GEVREY-CHAMBERTIN  March 7, 2001

1996 BAROLO  February 28, 2001

1978-1979 California Cabernets January 10, 2001

1997 California Cabernets November 8, 2000

1997 TUSCAN SANGIOVESES  November 1, 2000

1997-1998 Chteauneuf-du-Papes & CALIFORNIA WANNABEEs  October 25, 2000

Mostly 1998 PINOT NOIRS  October 11, 2000

1996 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  October 4, 2000

MATURE CLARETS  September 27, 2000

1997 RED BORDEAUX  September 13, 2000

1997 NAPA CABERNETS   September 6, 2000

1998 CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAYS   August 30, 2000

1997 CLOS DE VOUGEOTS August 23, 2000

PETITE SIRAH & SYRAH (West Coast)  August 9, 2000

FANCY CALIFORNIA MERLOTS   August 2, 2000

1996 FAMOUS CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  June 14, 2000

WEST COAST SYRAHS  June 7, 2000

1997 CABERNETS  May 31, 2000

VIOGNIERS of RECENT VINTAGE May 24, 2000

1997-1998 ZINFANDELS  May 10, 2000

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE CLARETS May 3, 2000

1996 California CABERNETS  April 12, 2000

1996 FRENCH RED BURGUNDIES   March 29, 2000

CALIFORNIA vs ITALIAN (Tuscan) SANGIOVESE  March 22, 2000

WEST COAST PINOT NOIRS  March 8, 2000

AUSSIE SHIRAZ TASTING  March 1, 2000

FRENCH CHAMPAGNES (NV BRUTS)  January 5, 2000

1996 BORDEAUX (MEDOC) TASTING  November 10, 1999

CABERNET-INFLUENCED VINI FROM ITALY November 3, 1999

CABERNETS OF THE WORLD TASTING October 27, 1999

 

THE VINO-FINO TASTERS
(A private tasting group that's been meeting for more than 25 years!)

LOIRE VALLEY SAUVIGNONS  JUNE 2008

FRENCH CHABLIS 2005-2006  MAY 2008

NORTHERN RHNE SYRAHS  APRIL 2008

SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS PINOT NOIRS  January 2008

ANNUAL HOLIDAY CHRISTMAS DINNER  December 2007

WEST COAST CHARDONNAYS  November 2007

AUSTRALIAN SHIRAZ  October 2007

SPANISH TEMPRANILLO WINES  September 2007

SONOMA'S 2005 VINTAGE ZINFANDELS  August 2007

CURRENT RELEASE (2004-2005) ZINFANDELS  July 2007

ROS WINES FROM ALL OVER  June 2007

ITALIAN LAGREIN WINES  May 2007

ARGENTINEAN MALBECS  April 2007

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE PINOT NOIRS  March 2007

MOSTLY 2004 CABERNETS   February 2007

CRU BEAUJOLAIS  January 2007

A VINO FINO CHRISTMAS  December 2006

CALIFORNIA ZINFANDELS  November 2006

PINOT NOIRS of VALUE-PRICING  October 2006

WORLD OF SYRAHS TASTING September 2006

AUSSIE CABERNET-SHIRAZ BLENDS  August 2006

ALEXANDER VALLEY (California)  and MARGARET RIVER (Australia) CABERNETS  July 2006 

CALIFORNIA PETITE SIRAHS  June 2006

2004 NORTH COAST PINOTS and a FRENCH INTRUDER  May 2006

AGLIANICO : BASILICATA & CAMPANIA'S MAJOR RED WINE  April 2006

NERO D'AVOLA - A TASTE OF SICILIA  March 2006

UNDER THE VINO FINO RADAR ZINFANDELS  January 2006

HOLIDAY WINE TASTING & DINNER  December 2005

BUBBLIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD  November 2005

NORTH COAST PINOT NOIRS  October 2005

STATE OF CONFUSION CABERNETS  September 2005

TIM ZAINER'S SIDEWAYS LOOK AT MERLOTS  August 2005

LOIRE VALLEY CABERNET FRANCS  June 2005 

CALIFORNIA SYRAHS  March 2005

2002 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS  February 2005

VINO FINO HOLIDAY WINE MARATHON  December 2004

CHARDONNAYS OF MODEST PRICE November 2004

SPANISH TEMPRANILLO  October 2004

2002 CENTRAL COAST PINOT NOIRS  September 2004

AUSSIE SHIRAZ-CABERNET BLENDS  August 2004

GEWRZTRAMINERS FROM ALSACE July 2004

2001 SOUTHERN RHNES (7 Chteauneufs & a Vacqueyras)  June 2004

AGLIANICO WINES FROM CAMPANIA & BASILICATA  May 2004

MONTEPULCIANO WINES FROM THE ABRUZZO & MARCHE REGIONS  April 2004

SONOMA ZINFANDELS  February 2004

1997 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO  January 2004

VINO FINO HOLIDAY BACCHANALIA 2003

2001 CTES du RHNES  September 17, 2003

2000 OREGON PINOT NOIRS  August 20, 2003

WEST COAST SYRAHS  July 16, 2003

2000 Bordeaux  June 18, 2003

2000 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS May 21, 2003

OFF THE BEATEN PATH SYRAHS APRIL 16, 2003

2002 NEW ZEALAND SAUVIGNON BLANCS  March 19, 2003

1999 California CABERNETS  February 19, 2003

VINO FINO HOLIDAY BACCHANALIA December 4, 2002

CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS 1999-2000  November 20, 2002

AUSTRIAN WHITE WINES  October 16, 2002

AUSTRALIAN SHIRAZ  August 21, 2002

CHAMPAGNES & SPARKLERS July 17, 2002

Interesting Paired CHARDONNAYS
May 15, 2002

2001 Southern Hemisphere SAUVIGNON BLANCS   Feb. 20, 2002

1999 ZINFANDELS January 16, 2002

HOLIDAY SEASON BACCHANALIA
December 5, 2001

1999-2000 New PINOT NOIRS November 14, 2001

1999 CALIFORNIA ZINFANDELS October 17, 2001

1998 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS September 19, 2001

1999 LANGUEDOC REDS August 15, 2001

1997 SAUTERNES July 18, 2001

Mostly 1998 NEBBIOLO June 20, 2001

1999 PINOT NOIRS May 16, 2001

1996 SAINT-MILION Tasting April 18, 2001

CARNEROS CHARDONNAYS March 21, 2001

1984-1985 NAPA CABERNETS/John Vignau Memorial Tasting  October 20, 2000

1997 CALIFORNIA CABERNETS   September 20, 2000

1998 CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAYS   August 16, 2000

WINES FROM THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE: CLARETS  June 21, 2000

WINES FROM UNDER THE TUSCAN (and Umbrian) SUN   Aprile 19, 2000

1997 BORDEAUX: MEDOC May 17, 2000

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