2006年6月12日 星期一

「老」加州餐酒會......(2006.06.09)

主辦人b律師在The One舉辦了這次的餐酒會,邀請函上清楚說明了原因:「一直有人在爭論加州酒到底適不適合陳年,不如來實際試看吧!」是的,我也很好奇,如此濃郁堅實、如巨炮般的加州酒,到底是否有陳年空間,而且又有多少的變化?可不可以陳年,和陳年後的變化,是兩個不同的、要分別去探討的問題。

地點選在The One,聽說以相同價位來說,菜色和之前相比已有進步;若以之前吃過兩次的經驗,僅差強人意。這次餐酒會也無額外菜色,The One推出的是「夏漾精緻套餐」,以簡單、輕食為主的菜色料理,還是有著原創fusion的精神。

餐酒會先上白酒,兩支白酒都有相當的年紀了,而且都是赫赫有名的酒莊。與會的劉大師加碼一支紐西蘭Chardonnay白酒,正巧曾在代理商(絃道)喝過一次,印象深刻。酒名和簡單的筆記如下:


  1. Paul Hobbs Chardonnay Napa Valley Richard Dinner Vineyard 1996
    酒液呈金黃色,邊緣泛黃色,液面明亮。有著奶油、鳳梨、
    creamy vanilla、一些焦糖香氣,桶味重,香氣強度略強,略感複雜度。入口時感覺到略有酸度,酒體略強,口中有著奶油、鳳梨香氣,奶油味頗重、明顯,酒精感重。尾韻長度適中。回溫後變化較快,以甜美的桶味香氣為主,酸度和酒體搭配怡人,而且不苦(這算用木節制嗎?),頗喜歡。

  2. Kawarau Estate Chardonnay Reserve 2001(感謝劉老師提供)
    酒液呈淺金黃色,邊緣泛透明色,有層次感,液面晶亮。有著奶油、香草、鳳梨、一些礦石一些焦糖、一些燻烤香氣,香氣強度較濃郁,略感複雜度,桶味重但很均衡。入口時感覺到有酸度,酒體較強,口中有著奶油、鳳梨、礦石、一些燻烤香氣,整合得不錯,口感略苦。尾韻長度適中。回溫後有變化,不若加州酒濃厚,頗不錯的酒。

  3. Peter Michael Chardonnay Napa Valley Mon Palasir 1995
    酒液呈金黃色,顏色較
    1號酒深些,邊緣泛黃色,液面晶亮。有著鳳梨、礦石、奶油、一些香草、一些青草香氣,桶味重,香氣強度適中,略感複雜度。入口時感覺到有酸度,酒體略強,口中有著鳳梨、奶油香氣,一開始在口中的感覺有些悶,略回溫之後就好些了。尾韻長度略短,帶苦。也是以桶味為主的白酒,而且回溫之後苦的厲害,還有一股西藥味,不甚喜歡。

整體看起來,加州白酒還是有相當的陳年實力,但變化不大。陳年後,果味較褪,相對桶味更加明顯,複雜度都不若年輕時好;口感都偏重、濃郁、圓潤,不算是均衡的口感,不過酒精感也較消褪,算是變得較易入口了。最喜歡的是1號和2號酒,都有著相當的變化,而且比較不苦。大家也有投票選擇最喜歡的酒,這三支酒的得票數不相上下,都是頗受喜愛的白酒。

餐點也上來了。前菜「義大利油醋醃漬蓮藕海鮮沙拉」用的是較年輕的Balsamic醋作醬汁,搭配醃漬蓮藕和汆燙透抽,透抽有鐵鏽味,有些老,不算好,生菜新鮮反較好吃;湯品「時蔬奶油蓮子湯」的湯底是南瓜奶油湯,頗搭配白酒,底部的蓮子也煮得剛好,不過爛,是成功的湯品;前主菜「海明蝦襯菱角及綠節瓜燉飯」就是標準的燉飯,不過米飯太熟了些,不夠硬,我的明蝦換成透抽,還是有汆燙得有些老,節瓜較出色。

接下來是紅酒了,原本的五支紅酒加碼至七支,平均超過20歲的加州紅酒羅列,實在壯觀,而且重點當然是,統統喝得到囉!酒名和簡單的筆記如下:


  1. Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1973
    酒液呈略深的橘紅色,邊緣泛磚紅色,液面明亮,已有老態。有著大地系、木頭、菌菇、腐葉、一些葡萄乾香氣,香氣強度略強,幾無複雜度,似乎已無法變化了。入口時感覺到有酸度,酒略強,單寧量略少且已釋出,略感澀度,有著大地、一些葡萄乾、一些雪茄香氣,香氣沒有什麼變化,而且
    down得很快。尾韻長度略短些。這是一支已經不行了的紅酒,表現單調,再放也沒意義了。

  2. Heitz Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1982
    酒液呈深寶石紅色,邊緣泛著粉紅色,液面晶亮。有著頗濃郁的大地系、木材、菌菇、一些薄荷、一些黑醋栗香氣,略感複雜度,香氣表現頗沉、又帶有討喜感。入口時感覺到略有酸度,酒體略強,單寧量適中且已釋出,感覺到有澀度,有著大地系、黑醋栗、木材、一些薄荷、一些落葉香氣,有結構感,是做得很好的酒。尾韻長度適中。現在表現正好,後來還帶有一些巧克力、雪茄盒香氣,是做得很好的酒,非常喜歡。

  3. Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 1985
    酒液呈深寶石紅色,邊緣泛著粉紅色,液面晶亮。有著略感濃郁的黑醋栗、木材、雪茄盒、一些大地系、一些葡萄乾香氣,略感複雜度,略為醒酒後更感複雜度,很漂亮。入口時感覺到有酸度,酒體略強,單寧量適中且已釋出,感覺到有澀度,很有均衡感,結構佳,口中有著黑醋栗、木材、葡萄乾、一些巧克力香氣,口感有些甜美,是支討喜的好酒,略有酒精感。尾韻長度適中。沒想到這支酒陳年之後如此討喜,現在表現正好,也很喜歡。

  4. Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon 1986
    酒液呈深寶石紅色,邊緣泛紅色,液面晶亮。有著很奇怪的消毒藥水(?)香氣,另有黑醋栗、木材、大地系香氣,那特怪的消毒藥水或西藥房味道久久不散,香氣強度略強,略感複雜度。入口時感覺到有酸度,酒體頗重,單寧量適中且已釋出,感覺到有澀度,口中有著黑醋栗、雪茄盒、一些葡萄乾香氣,口中香氣較好聞。尾韻長度適中。持續不斷地聞到藥味,算是這支酒最大的敗筆,在口中的表現卻很好,自己頗訝異。只是仍搞不懂,為何
    1970年的同款酒,能兩次拿到巴黎試飲會的第一名?

  5. Groth Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1987
    酒液呈寶石紅色,邊緣泛著粉紅色、略偏紅色,液面明亮。有著生青豆(?)、紅豆(?)、大地、菌菇香氣,蔬菜味道頗重,香氣強度略強,幾無複雜度。入口時感覺略有酸度,酒體適中,單寧量略少且已釋出,而感覺到略有澀度,單寧的口感有些粉粉的,有酒精感,口中有著黑醋栗、木材、大地系香氣,不太有變化。尾韻長度適中。醒了快一個小時後,青豆仁香氣才有些淡,有著黑醋栗香氣,不過變化不大,有些單調。

  6. Inglenook 1984
    酒液呈深寶石紅色,邊緣泛著粉紅色,液面晶亮。有著皮革、黑醋栗、大地系香氣,香氣強度適中,略感複雜度。入口時感覺到略有酸度,酒體頗重,單寧量適中且已釋出,感覺到有澀度,有著堅實強勁的口感,單寧的口感有些粉粉的,口中有著黑醋栗、皮革、一些草地、一些木材香氣,尚有結構。尾韻長度略短。這支酒似乎已經過了顛峰期,變化不太足,但還有著強勁的口感。

  7. Château Cos d'Estournel 1989
    酒液呈深寶石紅色,中央深不透光,邊緣泛著粉紅色,液面晶亮。有著有著頗濃郁的黑醋栗、肉桂、雪茄盒、杉木、烤肉、燻烤香氣,略感複雜度,頗濃、有澎湃感的香氣中藏有變化,很美妙。入口時感覺到有酸度,酒體頗重,單寧量適中且已釋出,感覺到有澀度,口中有著黑醋栗、雪茄、煙草、木材、一些黑莓果醬、一些大地系(松露)香氣,變化豐富,有結構,做得很好的酒。尾韻長度適中。這支酒一開始表現還不錯,但越醒越漂亮,變化更多,是支不可多得的好酒,非常喜歡。

整體看起來,除了10號酒是Bordeaux紅酒之外,其它加州紅酒表現都還不錯,不過整體落差頗大。5號和6號酒有著不同的風格,前者較深沉,有變化,後者較討喜,但都算是可以陳年的酒;9號酒也算是表現不錯,現在喝最好,再放可能就不一定會更好了;4號酒實在太老了,且原本就不是傑出的酒,陳年之後更無意義;8號有特殊生青豆香氣,不是很喜歡。最納悶的是7號酒,那久久不散的西藥味,實在影響鼻子的感覺很大,不過也有不少酒友喜歡這支酒。

以這次的經驗,以頂級(或旗艦)酒款來說,加州白酒陳年空間大概是十年,不過其實陳年並沒有太大的意義;紅酒的差異就比較大,酒莊影響的程度較大,同樣都是酒莊最好的酒,陳年實力可能十多年到二十、三十年不等,這也算看得出酒莊的功力吧!若是說「好的頂級紅酒較有陳年空間」,又很有事後譇葛亮的味道,所以還是有機會試試看囉!

最後每人三票,投給自己最喜歡的酒,我投給5號、6號、10號酒。14人投票,結果揭曉,5號酒毫無疑問地獲得最高票,獲得壓倒性的13票,實在很好;接下來是6號、7號、8號、10號酒,也都有相當的票數;4號和9號酒獲得0票,很慘。

邊喝的時候,我的主菜「爐烤鹿排佐巴薩米可紅酒野莓醬汁」也上桌了,由紐西蘭進口的鹿排,可能少了油封,肉汁較少,不過口感頗均勻,野莓醬汁略甜,有些重,有些蓋住鹿排的香氣,只能算不錯。甜點是巧克力蛋糕,口感稱細,不錯,搭配的是會慢慢開花的茉莉綠茶,很具視覺效果,口感也不錯。最後以甜白酒作結,是主辦人喜愛的德國甜白酒:
Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Riesling Eiswein Ürziger Würzgarten 2002 (375mL)

酒液呈淺金黃色,邊緣泛著透明,有層次感的酒液,液面晶亮。有著鳳梨、水蜜桃、礦石、蜂蜜、一些青草香氣,香氣感覺頗濃郁,有複雜度,很有變化感。入口時感覺到酸度頗高,酒體頗重,很甜口,蜂蜜般的口感,口中有著蜂蜜;鳳梨、礦石香氣,很有結構,做得極好。尾韻長度略長。

Peter Michael Chardonnay Napa Valley Mon Palasir 1995
WA:93
I should remind readers that the 1995 Chardonnays were just released. They are among the finest this winery has produced. My ratings are as follows: 1995 Mon Plaisir (93). This wine is extremely difficult to find in the retail market, so readers should inquire about getting on the winery's mailing list.  All of Peter Michael's top wines, including the Chardonnays, are bottled without filtration. Readers should make it a point to visit this winery situated in Knights Valley, not far from the Napa/Sonoma county line. The quality is extraordinary, and the commitment and talent of the winery staff laudatory. Moreover, the winery seems committed to achieving even greater quality.

Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1973
WA:88
Last Tasted 3/92 This was an impressive showing for the 1973. At almost twenty years of age, it has matured gracefully. The color revealed a slight amber/orange rim, and the nose was full of ripe, sweet, black and red fruits intermingled with scents of oak and herbs. In the mouth, this silky, velvety textured wine exhibited fine richness, depth, and a smooth, lush, immensely enjoyable finish. Drink it over the next 5-10 years.
WS:76
Barely alive, with herb and tea character and a dry, acidic finish.--Georges de Latour Private Reserve vertical. 23,400 cases made. (JS)

Heitz Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1982
WS:94 (CellarSelection)
Powerful and concentrated, yet with rounded edges that display the depth and finesse that is apparent in this beautifully crafted wine. Minty and chocolatey, it's a fine example of what Martha's has to offer.

Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 1985
WA:90
With a finished PH of 3.41 (still too low for any top-notch Cabernet Sauvignon), this wine's rich fruit is able to fight its way through the wall of tartness. The healthy, medium to dark ruby/purple color is followed by an elegant yet restrained nose of spice, tobacco, and red currants. The wine is medium to full-bodied, with excellent richness, good spice, and a clean, compact, long, rich finish. At its finest, this is an elegant, classic, sculptured Cabernet Sauvignon that can be drunk now or over the next 10-15 years.
WS:91 (CellarSelection)
Dense in color and flavor, with rich, complex, cedar, herb, currant and cherry flavors that are elegant and stylish, supple tannins and fine balance. Deceptively intense and elegant; the flavors build on the finish. Drinkable now. 1,800 cases made.

Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon 1986
WA:86
Given all the great Cabernets that have emerged from this legendary producer, the 1986 Monte Bello remains one of the winery's most monolithic as well as perplexing wines. The color is a healthy deep ruby with little signs of age, but it does not possess the saturated purple color of the great vintages. The innocuous bouquet offers up loamy, earthy, mineral, and red and blackcurrant aromas. The wine is compact and clipped, with crisp acidity and a narrowly constructed, moderately tannic finish. It does not taste old, nor does it taste particularly promising. It is straightforward and pleasant, but uninspiring. The tasting notes for this section are from two single blind tastings, one conducted in May, 1996, in California, and the other in June, 1996, in Baltimore.

Groth Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1987
WA:86
After enjoying magnificent Cabernets in 1984, 1985, and 1986, I was disappointed with the regular 1987 Groth Cabernet, which I found excessively vegetal and bizarre.  The 1987 Reserve, however, is a better wine, with an impressively opaque dark ruby/purple color. The nose offers up aromas of sweet new oak, bell peppers and weedy Cabernet fruit. While the wine is concentrated and rich on the palate, it does not possess the stature or profound qualities of the '84, '85, or '86. I am surprised by the near vegetal character of the Cabernet fruit in both of the 1987 Groth offerings. In spite of that, the Reserve displays enough positive characteristics to merit a recommendation. Drink it over the next 8-12 years.
WS:90
Smooth and supple, marked by nuances of herb, sage, tea, ash and bell pepper. Underneath is a tasty, flavorful core of ripe black cherry, stewed plum and currant. Tannins are mild and polished.--1987 California Cabernet horizontal. Drink now through 2005. (JL)

Inglenook 1984

Château Cos d'Estournel 1989
WA:88
While the 1989 Cos d'Estournel will, in all likelihood, prove to be an outstanding wine, I would have to rate it behind the quality of the chateau's splendid 1982, 1985, 1986, and 1990. It is a medium-bodied, rich, concentrated wine displaying an impressive color, and a nose of super-ripe black fruits, toasty oak, and licorice. It tastes like a blend of the 1985 and 1982, although it is neither as elegant as the 1985 nor as powerful and opulent as the 1982. The finish is long, alcoholic, and lush. Anticipated maturity: Now-2009. Last tasted, 7/93.
WS:95
A huge, seamless wine of fabulous elegance. Deep, dark-ruby color. Intense aromas of blackberries, spices, mushrooms and bark. Full-bodied and extremely silky, with a long, long finish. Seductive as hell.--1989 Bordeaux horizontal. Best after 2002. (JS)

Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Riesling Eiswein Ürziger Würzgarten 2002
WA:93
The 2002 Riesling Eiswein Urziger Wurzgarten's jammy apricot-scented nose is more reminiscent of a tangy Beerenauslese's than an Eiswein's. It has spectacular focus, precision, and reveals loads of sweet, zesty limes, white pepper, apricot, and lemon flavors in its driven personality. This concentrated but not super-rich Eiswein should be drunk over the next 40 years. All of Weingut Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben's wines revealed relatively high levels of CO2 (a natural by-product of fermentation that disappears with time). Readers who find this trait unpleasant should wait 1-2 years before opening any of this estate's 2002s.