Friday, November 11, 2011

1990 Birthyear Vintage Tasting Contrasting Styles

1990 Birthyear Vintage Tasting Contrasting Styles 

A mini-family reunion celebration gathering of three sons to welcome son Alec home from university and toast his successful career pursuit as he gathers offers from corporate visits tour. We feasted at Angeli's Restaurant, our favorite local Italian trattoria and opened two BYOB contrasting birthyear vintage wines. It was a study of contracts between 1990 Maison Leroy Maranges, Côte de Beaune, Maranges Burgundy, and 1990 Acinum Amarone della Valpolicella Classico.

If you follow or just read through this unwineWine blog tasting journal or journal archive or our wine cellar selection list, you'll see we don't do a lot of either Burgundy or Italian wines. Our focus as noted by our cellar inventory stats is US 54% (California 50%), French 23% (only 1% Burgundy), and Australia 15% with Italian being only 2%. As I state in my Getting Started guide to wine enjoyment and collecting, its natural and best to focus on a few regions that represent your preferences.     

As highlighted in my Wine Spectator feature, part of the fun and enjoyment of having a wine cellar is collecting birthyear vintage wines to enjoy during celebration events such as tonight. Indeed, ten percent of our cellar represents birth-year and anniversary year wines for such occasions.

So, tonight, with youngest son Alec home from college on a corporate recruiting visit, oldest son Ryan comes out from the city to join Sean, L and me for a gala family dinner to celebrate our mini-reunion and Alec's success so far in obtaining options for his career launch from business school and notably, his coveted offer received this week from his target opportunities.

In selecting wine from the cellar for tonight's occasion, the boys had almost 200 bottles from which to select from the 1990 vintage.Collecting notable age-worthy wines is easy in such a great vintage such as 1990. Indeed, Wine Spectator's wine of the year selection featured a 1990 vintage wine in 1992, 1993 and again in 1994. We're fortunate enough to be holding those wines for an extra special occasion 

Following are the boy's cellar choices for this dinner - an adventure in wine discovery as these two unique outlier wines are outside our normal cellar preference profile and are both heretofore unknown and untried.

Maison Leroy Maranges, Côte de Beaune, Maranges Burgundy 1990

Like several other Cellartracker posters, I bought this wine wine on closeout at Binnys. The cork was totally saturated through. Another Cellartracker poster notes this is like many Leroys he's had over the past few years--perhaps a quality control issue? Starting to show its age there was slight rust colored browning around the edges. Medium bodied, the wine exhibited some complexity and some polish with earthy leather, slightly tart cherry and black cherry, and hints of dusty rose petals on the palate with a a modest lingering tannin finish.

RM 87 points.

Acinum Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 1990

Uncharacteristically, my cellar notes do not show when or where this bottle was acquired. Similarly, Cellartracker has little data of others purchasing or tasting this wine - rare given its 10 million bottle inventory and 100,000 tasting notes.

A typical Amorone, medium to full bodied with full forward ripe raisiny fig and black fruits. The body is a bit lighter and the fruits are less pronounced than most Amarones I have had in the past.

RM 87 points.

As usual, all the Angelis dinners were fabulous and the service was attentive and personable. Tonight they featured their Mussels and Clam Chowder which are both extraordinary. Linda had the Asparagus and Ricotta cheese Ravioli which she said was delicious. With Ryan, I deferred to my old standby, their Veal Piccata, which is a standard bearer when I go to other Italian restaurants, Sean had the Pork Medallions special, and Alec the Shrimp special. No wonder we're regulars and recommend it heartily.