The Bernard Roth Archives
We are happy that Bernard, who has sampled so many wines, has shared his notes with us. We do have, or have had for sale a few of the wines Bernard writes about, and we include a link to our stock page whenever it is a producer we carry (but since the stock page is kept up-to-date and the wines are sold, don't expect any but the newest of wines to show up in our stock!). Mostly though, since we specialize in County of Santa Barbara Wine and Central Coast Wine, we don't carry a lot of the wines Bernard writes about. But we think it is important that you be able to have an idea what they're like in case you are planning to buy some somewhere, or have them in your own collection. Enjoy.
Here are Bernard's notes from November 15, 1997:
Nobody had enough time to carefully take notes.
Mine are sketchy and the ratings are almost impressionistic. I used
the same 20 pt. scoring system as in the Turley Zin tasting, only
here my expectations were higher. I'd say that a 12/20=88, 14=90,
16=92, 18=96, 19=98, 20=100.
I thought most votes for favorite wine went to the Clarendon Hills Blewitt Grenache. It definitely had more intense, forward fruit than the others. It was the second time I'd tried this wine, and I thought it was showing too much tannin now. The bottle a few weeks ago was much smoother.
My favorite wine of the day was the 89 Beaucastel. It was just magnificent. Not a blow 'em away powerhouse. Just at the peak of what CDP can be. Elegant, seemless, incredible. It is too bad it was being poured against so many tannic, bombastic, monster cabs. I don't think most people took this wine on its own terms. Tough to do when it's the only CDP in the tasting.
I brought the 92 Dominus. It was not very forward. Todd wanted me to bring it to make his point that Dominus never shows well in these blind tastings. There was a little wine left over Sunday, so I again tried the Dominus. Its fruit was definitely very much in the background. Todd has a good point questioning the viability of Dominus because it does not have sweet, forward fruit to balance the tannins at this youthful stage. However, I suspect the wine might reveal more in 10-15 years. It's a risk, to be sure, but Moueix does know something about making long-lived wines. Time will tell.
I left a little Astralis in the glass till the very end of the tasting to see how it would evolve, given its reputation. All I can say is it did not make a serious impression.
I was very disappointed by the showing of the Groth Reserve, given its reputation.
I was also pleased to have tasted the La Jota 11th because I did not manage to find and buy any when it came out. It is terrific wine.
We had gone through 33 wines in a little over 4 hours. It was now on to Todd's for more wines and dinner.
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