UGC - Tasting impressions

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UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  William Segui on Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:38 pm

UCG - San Francisco,Old Federal Building
January 23, 2009

My first time to UGC. There were a tremendous number of people and producers making substantive note taking virtually impossible. I would consider my notes below to be nothing more than a hack's quick impressions, with my overall take at the bottom. I will list by appellation, in order from best to worst. I would estimate that I tasted 80% of the offerings, not all will make this review. All wines served were from the 2006 vintage.

Pessac-Leognan (Blanc)
1. Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte - Nice mouthfeel, good acidity. Not as intense as Pape Clement, but a very pleasant enjoyable drink.

2. Chateau Pape Clement - Full bodied, a touch medicinal or metallic on the nose and palate. Not sure what happened here, but something seemed amiss.


Pessac-Leognan (Rouge)
I didn't care for much the reds here. Seemed to be lacking in mid and/or finish (you'll see this theme repeated often)
1. Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte - Toasty oak on the nose, good palate, a bit lacking on the finish.

2. Chateau Pape Clement - Expressive nose, round full entry, hollow in the mid palate leading to a short finish. Oak is the only finish I could find. Not sure what age will do for this.

3. Chateau De Fieuzal - This might have been better than the Pape Clement. A very solid, light bodied easy drinking claret. Nothing to get excited about, but if it was less than $20, I would recommend it.

Saint-Emilion
I thought this was the best of show. Granted there was little representation from Pomerol, but I liked this on the whole.
1. Chateau Troplong Mondot - Balanced, ripe with power and balance. One of the more tannic wines of the day, this was also a favorite. Again, I have no idea what these cost, but for a reasonable number, I'd be a buyer.

2. Chateau Canon - There was a nice buzz around this wine. Dark fruit on the nose, juciy mid and finish with acidity to balance. I was asked more than once if I had tried this one.

3. Chateau Angelus - This seemed shut down, but from what I could I gather, there was a nice wine down there between the reticent nose and tannic finish. This is probably a reputation bump here, but with nothing to really detract, I have to believe it to be good.

4. Chateau La Dominique - Good fruit, weight and motuhfeel. Long, persistent finish.

5. Chateau Canon-La-Gaffeliere - Balanced, but not super concentrated. The finish on this wine was remarkable and explosive.

Other impressions:
Chateau Pavie-Macquin: toasty, layered, juicy -- but very tight and showing little. This could be good, but I couldn't make heads or tails.

Chateau Larcis Ducasse - Eucalyptus, underripe? Full mid, short and tannic finish

Chateau La Gaffeliere - Anise/black licorice. Short, tannic finish

Chateau Grand Mayne - Balance, elegant. Easy to drink.

Chateau Figeac - Dense, enjoyable. Polarizing among those I talked to.

Pomerol
Not sure if Pomerol was a wash in 06, but the few representatives didn't show me much.

Chateau Beauregard - Solid, easy to drink. Enjoyable, nothing remarkable

Chateau Petit-Village - Sweet tannin, pleasurable, nothing noteworthy

Chateau Clinet - Almost smelled fishy. Not sure what was going on here. Pass.

Margaux
I passed a number of these and from the feedback I was getting, didn't miss much.

1. Chateau Rauzan-Segla - The easy winner here and a notable wine overall. Powerful, ripe and balanced. A nice finish and recommended.

2. Chateau Durfort-Vivens - Slightly sweet, this had some components that made it interesting. Not familiar with this producer, would be curious to see where this goes.

3. Chateau Lascombes - Thin midpalate, short finish. Expected more.

Saint-Julien
1. Chateau Leoville Poyferre - Juicy, layered and balanced. Fruited finish (didn't see many of these), I liked this.

2. Chateau Branaire-Ducru - Dark, anise, licorice on nose. Juicy midpalate, tannic/drying finish. This has best of St. Julien potential.

3. Chateau Saint-Pierre - This was enjoyable, nice to drink. No real notes, but I would keep an eye on this.

4. Chateau Lagrange - Lighter/delicate? Bordered on thin, but still enjoyable. Oddly tannic on finish.

5. Chateau Gruard Larose - Slightly green and vegetal. Not an overpowering green, but that mean green is there. A little leafy tobacco in there as well. Does age resolve that veg?

Pauillac
Finally, redemption. There were a number of good wines here.
1. Chateau Pontet-Canet - WOTD. Structured, good acidity, tannin without being too much so. Long finish, ripe fruit from beginning to end.

2. Chateau Pichon-Longueville - Rises in the mouth. Nice layering to a tapering, enjoyable finish. Likey.

3. Chateau Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande - Dense and full, yet still nimble on its feet. The finish was long and this could really become something with time.

4. Chateau Gran-Put Ducasse - Cassis - almost bitingly so. Very tannic, not sure what to make of this.

5. Chateau Lynch Bages - Seemed muddled and uninteresting. Compared to peers, a disappointment.

Sauternes
Full disclosure -I like stickies.
1. Chateau Suduirant - Honey, melon on the nose. Brown sugar, tons of fruit, complexity, deep in the mid. Not super acidic, but not flabbly or fat. I will be buying. My white of the day and the only one I snuck back for a second taste of. Flashy, slutty and delicious.

1a. Chateau Doisy Daene - Rich, full bodied. Juicy but much more structured than the Sud. This is more elegant and refined - classy if you will when compared above.

3. Chateau Coutet - Expressive, good fruit. Lots of boytritis. Enough structure to keep everything together. Not sure what the price here is, but this is radar worthy.

3. Chateau Guiraud - See Guiraud. Very good.

5. Chateau La Tour Blanche - High toned nose, honey/honeysuckle. Everything was upfront, lacked in the midpalate.

9. Chateau Climens - Singular, one trick pony. Off putting finish. Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the day.

10. Chateau Bastor-Lamontagne - I thought this was a Sauvignon Blanc. I thought it a cheap white wine with some residual sugar. Little boytritis, almost tannic. Blech.


At the end of the day, there were some wines worth checking out. For the most part, the wines were on the thin, somewhat dilute end of the spectrum. Wines to drink, wines not to pay a lot for. I'm sure the best houses made good wines, but I don't think anyone could have possibly made a legend in 06.


Last edited by William Segui on Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:16 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : important information, like vintage, added. Scribe = idiot.)
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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  Bill Tex Landreth on Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:39 pm

WTF...no Pavie?

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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  William Segui on Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:44 pm

Bill Tex Landreth wrote:WTF...no Pavie?

No Pavie, E'vangile - not even Latour a Pomerol. There were a lot of benchmark producers that no-showed.
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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  Bill Tex Landreth on Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:47 pm

William Segui wrote:
Bill Tex Landreth wrote:WTF...no Pavie?

No Pavie, E'vangile - not even Latour a Pomerol. There were a lot of benchmark producers that no-showed.
Leve must not have been there then.

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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  Steve Saxon on Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:08 pm

What vintage was served?
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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  William Segui on Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:17 pm

Steve Saxon wrote:What vintage was served?

You mean you couldn't tell? What part of my rambling discourse was unclear? haha

It was all 2006. Thanks for the heads up, I have made the correction in the original post.
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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  Todd F r e n c h on Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:12 am

Wow, what a freakin' ZOO that was! No wonder the French think we are all a bunch of dipsh*ts...

I'm not sure, but I think I saw Leve there. Is he rather short - perhaps 5'7", a bit on the chubby side? If so, I was standing next to him as he took notes. If not, it's his Zach-sized twin.

I don't have notes about all the wines, just some selections of all those I tasted. It's rather difficult to taste all these wines when they are so damn young, and popped and poured - they all need SO much air, and got none.

Quite an interesting array of folks, too. Two cougars decided to talk with me for a bit when I was at the Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion table, and one asked me 'don't you look for the legs?' I said that the 'legs' meant nothing, and since I had so many wines in the glass by now, it was a coated cuvee. I was really in the nose of this one, as it had great aromatics, and they said 'why do you smell a wine? What are you smelling FOR?' I said I wasn't really smelling for anything in particular, but was really enjoying this nose because it was particularly aromatic, unlike most of the rest of them. I might as well have been talking to walls with breasts. I walked away, wondering why two people would pay money to hang out at UGC, tasting super-tannic Bordeaux, with questions like that.

Anyway, my standouts were the '06 Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion, principally for its nose, the '05 Chateau Malartic Lagraviere Blanc, '06 Angelus (great grip and huge mouthfeel), '06 Canon-La-Gaffeliere (this I will seek out if prices fall), both vintages Chateau La Gaffeliere, '05 Troplong Mondot, '06 Chateau Clinet (this was a well made wine to me - still too pricey, but perhaps if it becomes more reasonable, I'll get some), two bargains in Chateau Beaumont, both around $20 and very nice, '05 Chateau La Lagune, '05 Chateau Dauzac, both vintages of the Chateau Ferriere, '05 Chateau Lagrange (might look for this also), and the Sauternes just cleaned it up. I felt the '05 Climens was quite good, but would never pay the fare for it. I enjoyed the '05 Chateau La Tour Blanche, the '05 Chateau Guiraud, and the '06 Chateau Doisy-Daene quite a lot. My favorite was definitely the '06 Chateau Sigalas-Rabaud - this is a Chateau that is very small, only 20k-40k bottles (not cases) a year. Seek them out. I should have picked up a few bottles at the event, where Wallys was selling them at 20% off...oh well.

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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  P. Davis on Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:40 am

Thanks for the notes, Todd. We had to miss it today, as I'm a bit under the weather. Sorry we missed everyone!
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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  Todd F r e n c h on Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:14 am

P. Davis wrote:Thanks for the notes, Todd. We had to miss it today, as I'm a bit under the weather. Sorry we missed everyone!
Sorry to hear, Poppy - I did look for you and Aaron, but I wasn't surprised that I didn't see you in the throngs.

Now I'm not at ALL surprised - you weren't there!

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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  Jack Bulkin on Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:24 am

William Segui wrote:
Bill Tex Landreth wrote:WTF...no Pavie?

No Pavie, E'vangile - not even Latour a Pomerol. There were a lot of benchmark producers that no-showed.

Pavie or should I say Billjuice is usually released too late for UGC. Sad
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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  Otto Dobre on Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:47 am

Hey Frenchie, nothing wrong with 5'7" unless you're a dim witted pr$ck named Leve!

Otto
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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  Bob Wood on Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:51 am

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
I'm not sure, but I think I saw Leve there. Is he rather short - perhaps 5'7", a bit on the chubby side? If so, I was standing next to him as he took notes. If not, it's his Zach-sized twin.
Sorry, fail. Leve's much smaller than Zach. Maybe not in stature, but you get my drift.
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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  P. Davis on Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:09 am

Bob Wood wrote:Leve's much smaller than Zach.
Whoa!!!! Is there something you're not telling us, Bob? Evil or Very Mad
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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  Jack Bulkin on Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:20 am

Napoleon was 5'5 if you get my drift. Did Leve have a hand in his Breast pocket? confused
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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  Roy Piper on Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:05 am

I went last year and loved it. It was harder to get tix this year, and also 2006 is not 2005, so I passed. Sounds like the best wines this year were the same names from last year.
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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  William Segui on Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:22 am

Roy Piper wrote:I went last year and loved it. It was harder to get tix this year, and also 2006 is not 2005, so I passed. Sounds like the best wines this year were the same names from last year.

FWIW - You could just walk up, show a business card and get in.
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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  Roy Piper on Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:25 am

When is the nexy good Bordeaux vintage? Don't think there is once since 2005, is that correct?
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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  Bill Tex Landreth on Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:28 am

Roy Piper wrote:When is the nexy good Bordeaux vintage? Don't think there is once since 2005, is that correct?

Yous gotsta ask Leve. I'll invite him here tomorrow.

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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  Roy Piper on Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:31 am

Well, either way, I doubt they have produced anything like Napa 2007, which will join 2001, 1997, 1991 and 1974 as one of the greats.
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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  Bill Tex Landreth on Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:36 am

Roy Piper wrote:Well, either way, I doubt they have produced anything like Napa 2007, which will join 2001, 1997, 1991 and 1974 as one of the greats.

That is what I am hearing. My money is staying domestic anymore...save the QPR Spaniards and S. Americans.

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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  Jack Bulkin on Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:09 am

Bill Tex Landreth wrote:
Roy Piper wrote:Well, either way, I doubt they have produced anything like Napa 2007, which will join 2001, 1997, 1991 and 1974 as one of the greats.

That is what I am hearing. My money is staying domestic anymore...save the QPR Spaniards and S. Americans.

I doubt that Salma could be categorized as a QPR. Very Happy
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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  Bill Tex Landreth on Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:12 am

FTW Salma is Mexican....definitely not QPR...but oh so worth it.




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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  Jack Bulkin on Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:27 am

Bill Tex Landreth wrote:FTW Salma is Mexican....definitely not QPR...but oh so worth it.




OY afternoon popper. Embarassed
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Re: UGC - Tasting impressions

Post  Todd F r e n c h on Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:00 am

William Segui wrote:
Roy Piper wrote:I went last year and loved it. It was harder to get tix this year, and also 2006 is not 2005, so I passed. Sounds like the best wines this year were the same names from last year.

FWIW - You could just walk up, show a business card and get in.
What?? Any business card? And not pay?

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