Tasting Report: Bonhams Pre-Auction Event, June 2011

Don’t tell anyone but the economy has recovered… or at least it’s recovered enough to allow auction houses like Bonhams to re-institute pre-auction wine tasting events, a great way not just to taste what’s being sold the following weekend, but also to taste some old and rare wines you’d otherwise never see.

Bonhams hasn’t had an event for about three years now, so this was a welcome return to the scene.

Favorites: Still enjoying 1982 Bordeaux, but a couple of 2003’s — another stellar vintage — really enchanted. Lots of other gems in the mix. Notes follow.

Tasting Report: Bonhams Pre-Auction Event, June 2011

1961 P. Ponnelle Les Saint Georges Nuits St. George / B / faded

2006 Les Caillerets Volnay, Lucien Le Moine / A-

2007 R. Groffier Gevrey Chambertin / B+

2007 R. Groffier Chambolle Musigny, Les Sentiers / B+

2004 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard / B+ / too tart

2005 Roar Pinot Noir Santa Lucia / A / amazing richness

1961 Ch. L’Arrosee St. Emilion / B- / over the hill by far

1982 Ch. Leoville Las Cases St. Julien / A / drinking perfectly

2000 Ch. Charmail Haut-Medoc / A-

2003 Ch. Charmail Haut-Medoc / A

2003 Ch. Poujeaux Moulis en Medoc / A / favorite of the event

2005 Ch. Caronne Ste-Gemme Haut-Medoc / B+ / very tight

1981 Diamond Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Red Rock Terrace / B- / fading fast

2002 Chartron et Trebuchet Chevalier Montrachet, Clos des Chevaliers / A / amazing acidity

2007 Leflaive Puligny Montrachet, Clavoillon / A-

2008 Aubert Chardonnay, Lauren / B+ / lots of meat

1998 Kistler Chardonnay, Hudson Vineyard / B+

1982 Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon / A / right on the money, perfect now

1985 Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley / A- / bit Portlike; later taken away as corked… I didn’t see that

1985 Keenan Cabernet Sauvignon / B- / faded

1989 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon / B / nose is off

1991 Clos Pegase Cabernet Sauvignon / B+

1995 Diamond Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Red Rock Terrace / B+ / still young

1985 Henschke Hill of Grace / A- / Port character strong

1994 Ridge Geyserville Red / A-

1996 Chappellet Signature Cabernet Sauvignon / B+

1998 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon / A- / ready to go

2001 Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon / A-

2001 Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon, Martha’s Vineyard / A

2005 Copain Syrah, Harrison Clarke / A- / an earthier style

2005 Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie, Cote Blonde / C+

2005 Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon / C+ / terrible nose

1985 Dow’s Vintage Port / A- / richer and more tannic than Warre’s

1985 Warre’s Vintage Port / A / a lighter style, ready to go, easy drinking

2003 Terra Valentine Cabernet Sauvignon / A- / huge Cab

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