Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Glaetzer Godolphin 2004

Glaetzer "Godolphin" Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon Barossa Valley South Australia 2004
A quiet evening at home, Linda prepared a platter of artisan cheeses, sliced fresh fruit, toasted almonds and honey to accompany a bottle of highly rated Aussie Shiraz Cabernet. 

I acquired several bottles of this release a dozen years ago and served it more than once at some gala business dinners with some key strategic partners. I still hold a couple bottles from a series of vintages and pulled the oldest vintage to manage the cellar. 

Shortly thereafter, Godolphin Shiraz Cabernet had it's name changed to 'Anaperena' due to a dispute or confusion of the name with another label from another producer. Anaperena is the same wine from the same sources produced by the same winemaker, with the same branding and symbol on the label as its predecessor from the same renowned Barossa vineyards.

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate gave this label 96-98 points and called it a "nearly perfect wine", citing its "extraordinary equilibrium, precision, and purity". Jeb Dunnuck gave it 97 points and said, "I love this wine' and speaks of its 'amazing balance and stunning mouthfeel", while James Halliday gave it 95 points and called it "supple and luxuriant".

Glaetzer Godolphin 2004 is a blend of 70% Shiraz sourced from 105- to 115-year-old vines, and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon from 60- to 90-year-old vines. It was rigorously selected to only the best fruit and was aged 15 months in French oak.

While we love large fruit forward robust Assie Shiraz, Linda actually didn't think much of this wine. The first evening upon opening, it presented a slight bit of a sharp edge that Parker called crushed rocks and minerals that detracted from the fruit flavors. After setting it aside for two nights, the edge had dissipated and the fruits were more predominate albeit subdued.

Dark blackish inky purple color, full bodied, complex, the moderately sweet black currant and black raspberry fruits were moderate, balanced and nicely integrated, accented by notes of earth and black tea with hints of white pepper, cassis and oak on a slightly sharp tangy lingering finish.

I wish I could ride the crest of lofty ratings but perhaps at a baker's dozen years it has lost some of its elegance, polish and luster. In any event, I gave it a more down to earth 92 points, still superbly good.



Château Larmande 2005

Château Larmande St Emilion Grand Cru Classé 2005 

Following our recent trip to Bordeaux, I am still in the groove enjoying fine Bordeaux wines. Tonight, I pulled from the cellar this Right Bank Grand Cru Classé to enjoy with grilled beef steak and mashed potatoes.

Like several of the Left Bank producers that we visited last month, the wines of Saint-Émilion in the wine-growing region of Bordeaux were classified in 1855. However, unlike the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 covering wines from the Left Bank Médoc and Graves regions, the Saint-Émilion list is updated every 10 years or so. Following the initial classification, the list was updated in 1969, 1986, 1996 and most recently in 2006.

According to my Cellartracker cellar records for this label, we hold six bottle remaining from two cases purchased on release a dozen years ago. Having purchased two cases at the time, it is clear that I enjoyed this wine and thought it was a great value.

My tasting note records indicated I last tasted this label three years ago in June, 2016.


Château Larmande St Emilion Grand Cru Classé 2005

A Right Bank Bordeaux means the estate from where the grapes are sourced, sits on the east and north side of the diagonal flowing Gironde River that bisects the Bordeaux wine region, surrounding and named for the city of Bordeaux in southeast France. 

Wines from the Right Bank are predominantly Merlot in the Blend of Bordeaux sanctioned varietal gapes. 

Alternatively, wines produced in the Médoc, on the the Left Bank, that lies on the western and southern side of the river, are predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend.

Both Left and Right Bank Bordeaux wines are based on Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon respectively, with the percentages flipped, accented by small amounts of Cabernet Franc and perhaps Petit Verdot.

Château Larmande lies north of the town of St. Emilion, close to Soutard and Cadet-Piola. It consists of 60 acres of vineyards planted with Merlot (65%), Cabernet Franc (25%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (10%).

Château Larmande was sold to the French insurance conglomerate, La Mondiale in 1991.

Tonight, this 2005 release was a nice, pleasant, easy drinking, yet sophisticated, polished and nicely integrated and balanced wine, dark garnet colored, medium bodied, aromatic blackberry and black cherry fruits accented by tones of tar, smoke, earthy leather, hints of cedar, spice and a whisper of mocha on a firm lingering tongue puckering tannin finish.

At fourteen years of age, this is showing no signs of diminution from aging and probably can be held for another decade or more for prime drinking.

My recent blogpost, from the week before last, speaks to, "the adventure, joy, and perils of holding vintage wine for a couple decades or more ...". This continues to be a pleasant, easy drinking yet sophisticated wine and I fear as I consume the last bottles of my collection, I'll regret having drunk many of them too early! 

RM 89 points.