Sunday, April 20, 2008

2000 & 2001 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot - Howell Mountain

2000 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot - Howell Mountain-
Broken cork. Decanted. Deep brick red color with some brown hints on edges. Nose showed cork. Initial taste showed cork too. The host chose to keep it on the table. This was slightly corked but not undrinkable. Some masked fruits of blackberry and blackcherry were present. The cork subsided, but never disappeared. My friend Bob wants another?

2001 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot - Howell Mountain - 2nd 'Duck' on the table after the slightly corked 2000 mentioned elsewhere. Great nose of blackberries and red currant, as well as some super dark cherry. Very plush and elegant, this had some soy, cocoa, and slight anise. I love these when they are on. Wonderful balance and acid with a super fine tannin level than plays so deftly in the background. Long 45 second finish. Its good to see these still hitting their stride after Rinaldi's departure.

Both enjoyed over a very long lunch with friends this past Friday. I was out ruled by the host on returning the 2000.

1987 Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT

Burnt orange edges and light garnet body. The nose had some cork, which blew off after about 10 minutes. This had wonderful lively fruits of bing cherries, raspberry, and a bit of red currant. There were some fantastic secondaries of tar, coffee and mushroom. A fantastic acid balance...still! A great finish which brought forward the cherries once again. Elegance and class. (90 pts.)

This was the final from 2 six-packs given to me from a good friend back in 1991. It has been cellar stored since. Brought to my favorite Italian restaurant over a LONG lunch with friends this past Friday.