1990 Bordeaux – St. Emilion & Pomerol

Time to see how the right bank Bordeaux are holding up. A great dinner and tasting held in San Rafael with Al, Mark, Peter and friends. Beyond Bordeaux we samples a few other tasty treats. Here are the notes:

1990 Dom Perignon – Champagne

What can I say. This wine is drinking fabulous. Nice apple, hints of pear and no yeasty or herbal notes whatsoever. The wine explodes in your mouth revealing why it’s better to drink Dom after it’s been around. Frankly, young Dom straight out of Costco never satisfies as much as Salon, Laurnet Perrier or Krug. So if you want to buy the name, don’t be insane – wait otherwise buy NV. 95 points

1998 Kistler Hudson Vineyard Carneros Chardonnay Sonoma

A youngster and from a vintage that is marked by bad press. Carneros always is colder and wetter in the winter. So who cares? Well, this wine was nutty with sweet honey and the ubiquitous Kistler oak showing mild acidity. A treat. Overall nice, but not worth the price. 90 points

1990 Chateau L’Eglise Clinet Pomerol

Wow. Aromatic and seductive. This is so merlot. Big juicy plum, black currant and a huge finish. Lip licking and teeth staining bold. Not too chewy and tannins just soft and supple. Drink this now. 94 points

1990 LaConseillante Pomerol

You can smell and taste this cab franc rich Pomerol showing spice, earthiness and mushroom notes around a core of floral fragrances. On the palate the fruit mixed with spice and slight sweetness is amazing. Wow. As the night went on. This wine grew and grew on me. 92 points

1990 Angelus St. Emilion

This wine screams at you from the glass. The aromatics suck your nose in deep. Bright and black cherry, showing hints of sage, herbs and dark fruit. On the palate it’s smacking of firm, yet tantalizing tannins. This wine has legs and will go and go. Wine of the night. 96 points

1990 Vieux Chateau Certan Pomerol

This wine was opened after the above. More earthy and herbal in the nose and finishing with nice terroir and fruit but nothing like its brethren. On its own would it hold up. Yes. This is an outstanding 1990 Bordeaux. Yet to experience the great vintage in full glory, go Angelus or Clinet. 89 points

1990 Tenuta Friggialli Brunello di Montalcino, Italy

From the famed 1990 vintage this soft, sensual and smooth Brunello is drinking where you want it. Sure it could age. But why? Bright cherry, cotton candy and sweet spice, cedar and some earth. Love this. Can’t hold up to the strength and structure of Bordeaux. But beautiful nonetheless. 91 points

1998 Antinori Guado al Tasso

This wine is tightly wound and holds a bright future. Once again, robbing the cradle but we had to try it. Good acidity, bold tannins and gobs of unctuous fruit. Wish I tried this again on day 2. Proof the 1998 is right along 1997 in a string of fantastic Italian vintages 92 points

1990 Gallo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County California

I brought this to open toward the end of the night. In a brown bag amongst Bordeaux aficionados. How did it do? Stumped them for sure. Now way did anyone take it for California wine. It experienced earth, terroir, good acidity and sweet and mild tannin. On the palate I was blown away. Yet I knew what I was drinking. The others didn’t. The guess? Not Bordeaux. Not France. Not California. Had to be Italy. The others were not well versed in the Italian vino language. I loved it. Proof that good wine comes from California. Proof that Gallo can make great wine. 90 points