Tasting Notes

The woman’s scowl was unmistakable – she did not like the wine I served her while working as a sommelier on Nantucket Island in July 2008. Her husband however loved it. Neither knew much about French wine, and they had requested a dry, yet full-bodied white. I first served them the Mas de Daumas Gassac 2001, a great vintage from a famous estate in southern France, whose whites include a variety of grapes. The couple both loved the 2001 – it was fresh, with a white flower and white fruit profile, full-bodied without oak-derived notes. After finishing the bottle, I told them that we had other 2001s in the cellar, but a 2000 vintage in the cool refrigerator, which would be available immediately. The husband was keen on doing a multi-year (or vertical) tasting, so he ordered the 2000 vintage, which turned out to be noticeably older looking (yellow to the 2001’s straw color) and tasted of hazelnuts. The husband cheerfully drank two glasses of the 2000… while his wife scowled. I brought her a glass pour of young Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley which she liked. Tasting notes are all about evaluating wines. You need not be an expert to do so. But experience counts. Vintage matters – as do grape variety, region, climate, winemaking and viticulture. I try not to be too serious in a given tasting, as a given wine will taste differently depending on what you are eating (or not), but serious enough to evaluate the aromas, the palate – texture, length, depth among other aspects – and the overall finish. As you can guess from this website, my specialty is Bordeaux – a region I have been visiting regularly since 1998, but I also taste extensively from Alsace (I live there), Burgundy, Champagne, the Rhone Valley (both south and north) and the Loire. I would love to tell you more about South Africa, Australia, the US and other great winemaking countries, but my focus is France because I have been living in that country and do adore her wines. Having said that, I will try to post as many tasting notes for other wines, as I have also visited Napa, Spain, Germany, Austria and other countries and have tasted their wines. The goal here is especially to share with you, the reader, my impressions of wines I hope you enjoy and can buy at your local wine store or your favorite restaurant – and I also encourage your feedback. By the way, after the restaurant closed that lovely July night, the chef and I drank the rest of the Mas de Daumas de Gassac 2000, fully appreciating its more mature expression.