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March madness is winding down with a flurry of tastings. On Tuesday I stopped by at a couple of them.

The first event of the afternoon I attended was the spring portfolio tasting of David Bowler Wines. The event was held at the Metropolitan Pavilion, the venu of choice for many tastings in town. I decided to concentrate on California and New World wines at this tasting.  My first stop was at Cold Heaven Cellars. Last year during my Santa Barbara wine tour, I along with my travelling buddy had stopped by the unassuming tasting room in Buelton. He was a club member and we were given the “A” tour and I remember enjoying the wine. Today I enjoyed the 2010 “Nevertell” Pinot Noir, it was dark purple with a nose of blueberry with chewy, bright dark fruit and nice balance. The 2010 “Queenscup” Pinot Noir was dark red to black with a asian spices on the nose with dusty red cherry fruit with a touch of acid on the finish. I next stopped at Porter Creek Vineyards. The 2010 Russian River Valley “Timbervine Ranch” Syrah was dark red to black with a nose of herbs and red cherry with bright fruit and notes of oregano on the finish. They poured a couple of library wines that weren’t listed in the tasting book, the 2005 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir poured from a magnum was tasty, medium red with brambly, dried herbs on the nose with light velvety fruit and good balance. The 1997 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir was amber to brown in color with a pretty nose of leather and red licorice with tight fruit and brown leaf notes on the long finish.

I decided to get to one more tasting that day and I headed to the BNP Spring portfolio tasting which was held at Rouge Tomate restaurant at 10 East 60th Street. I wasn’t familiar with this distributor but I was told they had a nice Bordeaux portfolio. They weren’t kidding. They had a large portfolio of Premier and Grand Cru wines. Not only were they pouring some of the top wines  in the world, but they were showcasing older vintages as well. Usually, at a distributor event they will pour the new releases, in this case that would be the 2010 and 2009 vintages. That’s understandable since the point of the tasting is to show the current releases to the industry people who would buy the wines. But they wines haven’t come together at that stage and you know the wines are a shell of what they can be. To drink a Bordeaux with some maturity or at it’s peak is an experience you won’t forget and there was some really good juice here.

The wines were grouped according to the appellation. Some of the wines I enjoyed:

I started at Saint-Emillion and had several nice wines from there. The 2006 Chateau Angelus was dark red to black with a nose of black fruits, tar, and leather, velvety with great balance on the long finish. The 2000 Chateau Canon was dark red with an amber robe with a nose of cherry leather, medium dark fruits with great balance on the long finish. The 2000 Chateau Faugeres was black with a nose of stewed black cherry, tight velvet with silky tannin on the long finish. The 2006 Chateau Bea-Sejour Becot was black with a big perfume of dark red roses with some toasty notes and dark cherry fruit on the tight balanced finish. I had a trio of vintages from Chateau Simard. The 200o was dark red with a brown robe with a nose of cooked fruit and medium fruit with velvety tight tannins. The 2001 was medium red with a dusty, green pepper nose and camphor nose, it was tight with black licorice fruit and firm. The 2004 was dark red with toasty, green pepper on the nose with good dusty fruit.

At Pessac-Leognon, I was too late to try the Chateau Haut-Brion but the 1999 Chateau Haut-Bailly was tasty with dark red color and a nose of camphor, tar and leather with silky fruit and a long finish.

At Margaux. the 2004 Chateau Rauzan-Segla was black in color with a closed nose and black fruit. The 2008 Chateau Palmer “Alter Ego de Palmer” was black in the glass with a slightly closed nose of black fruits and was chewy with firm dry tannins at the end. The 2004 Chateau Giscours was black with a big perfume of black plum and camphor with deep, silky fruit and a dusty and long finish, I thought it was drinking beautifully now.

At Saint-Julien, the 2004 Chateau Leoville Barton was black with a brambly, black licorice nose, velvety fruit and great balance on the long finish. A another nice wine.

At Pauillac, the 2006 Pauillac de Latour by Chateau Latour was black with a nose of toasted nuts, silk with toastiness on the firm, tannic finish.

At Saint-Estephe, the 2000 Chateau Calon-Segur was dark red to black with a nose of dried herbs with dusty velvety fruit with a balance, long finish. The 2006 Chateau Montrose was dark red to black with a toasty nose with very tight fruit and firm tannin on the finish.

At Pomeral, the 1999 Chateau Gazin was black with a pretty nose of leather, smoke and camphor with nice chewy fruit and firm tannin on the finish.

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