Saturday, May 19, 2012

Old Tasting Notes

Back about seven years ago, we did a tasting on the Allegro deck of a lot of John's old wines.  I like to go back and revisit notes to see if I can glean any wisdom from my ramblings.  I'll post them here in case you still have some old Allegro bottles hanging around.

Allegro Library Tasting—September 11, 2005
The following are my tasting notes from our tasting.  We enjoyed a wonderful afternoon on the deck at the winery. The weather was beautiful, as were the wines.  John loved sitting around the deck sharing wines, and it felt as if he and Tim were there with

*Maturity dates take into account that the taster likes older wines at most stages of maturity, and it reflects the wine’s potential drinkable longevity.

1999 Riesling
Although John and I thought we were more Rheingau in flavor profile and style, this wine was more classic Mosel.  The acidity was bracing, the bright fruit starting to fade, and the kerosene starting to reveal its heritage.  This wine is no longer youthful and not quite mature.  It’s still struggling to integrate into a mature Riesling.  Hold for 3-4 years if you still have some.

1984 Reserve Chardonnay
Perhaps not the best example I’ve tasted.  This wine usually shows a “peaches and cream” character.  This bottle had a wonderfully light nose, but seemed light on the mid-palate, and short on the finish.  Drink now with light seafood dishes.
2002 Reserve Chardonnay
This wine is finally starting to come into its own.  I feel it’s probably the finest wine I’ve made.  The pineapple/assorted tropical fruit character is finally back, along with the complementary barrel-fermentation notes.  It exhibits more acidity than I would have liked, but I think it says volumes for its ageability.  A wonderful mouthfeel ends with a nice clean toasty finish.  Drink now through 2010.

1988 Chambourcin
The wine is drinkable!  A little dried out, but still showing a bit of American oak on the nose, along with some dried fruit character.  In true Chambourcin style, it carries nice acidity and finishes short.  It changes quickly in the glass.  Drink now.

1982 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
This was a classic aged claret, full of leather and licorice.  The palate still showed some supple tannins, and swirling the glass was like changing the blend.  Mature yet very drinkable.  Drink now through 2008.

1990 Cabernet Sauvignon
The nose showed non-Cadenza characters of pepper and olives, while the fruit was a fading dream.  The acidity was a bit higher, emphasizing some tannin still.  Drink now.

1991 Cadenza
This one always blows me away.  The strength and depth to this wine amazes me.  I could get lost in a glass.  The tannins are resolved, the fruit still carries and blends with dark spice and leather.  The finish lasts.  This one gives me goose bumps.

1995 Cadenza
The ’95 has always been a sleeping monster of a wine.  These were the ripest grapes ever in the vineyard, but the wine has always been tight, closed, and hard.  Finally, we are starting to see glimpses of its greatness.  This is a wine that, at its peak, will be the most beautifully balanced glass in our world.  It is power and finesse, strength and beauty.  The nose opens slowly, the fruit unravels, but the interplay of the tannins and acid and flavors captures you and drags you in.  Drink from 2007-2020.

1998 Cadenza
What a polished wine at this time.  A Cadenza only seven years old and drinking at its peak.  John may be disappointed that it may not live as long, but it’s a fruitful and luscious glass of Cadenza.  The dark fruit lingers and coats, and the finish lasts.  The tannins are still fairly prevalent.  On their resolution, what more could you ask for?  Maybe some filet ....  Drink 2006-2014.

1999 Coda
The schizophrenia in this wine has finally hit all the personalities.  It smells like Cadenza, and by that I mean it smells like Cabernet.  After going through its Nebbiolo and Pinot phases, it’s finally found the one that lasts.  This is one for immediate consumption.  Enjoy it now.  The tannin structure says it will last a few more years, or provide a backbone against a nice piece of tenderloin.  Drink now through 2009.

2002 Cabernet Sauvignon
A wine quite unlike the Cadenzas.  The tannins are supple and nearly resolved at this time, providing for a wonderful glass of Cabernet.  Dark fruit and oak prevail on the nose, but the structure provides focus for the fruit when it hits the palate.  Drink now through 2008.

1980 Cabernet Sauvignon
The wine that started it all, and with good reason.  Imagine the 1991 just eleven years older.  This wine entices with a subdued nose, but the depth of complexity it reaches is remarkable.  The palate is full and round and mellow and smooth, the acid shows but doesn’t startle.  This is a glass of wine that John would have adored.  It’s old-school old Bordeaux.  Lovely to the end.  Drink now through 2010.

As you can see, I was taken by these wines.  Now, I am biased.  These are special wines to me in that I know the vines where they came from.  There are highlights and lowlights, and for me I need them both.  Without the 1992, I wouldn’t feel the way I do about the 1995.  The 1990 needs the 1991.  It’s all connected.

It’s a wonderful place that Bill found and planted here, that Tim and John worked, and that I live in.  It speaks volumes for our region that this little spot of earth in southern York county can produce wines that Pennsylvania has never seen the likes of before.  A little dirt, a hole-in-the-wall cellar, and a lot of passion produced a little magic that we got to enjoy on a wonderful afternoon.

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