Friday, May 22, 2009

Rhys/Alesia Pinot Noir blind tasting 5/21/09

This was a RossBott tasting. 16 people, 8 wines. We tasted blind and individually ranked them. The rankings are compiled and tallied, yielding a group score, ranking and a spread. The score is 1 point for each 1st place vote, 2 for 2nd and so on down to 8 for 8th, so the lower the score the better. The spread shows the number of votes for the following rankings: 1st/2nd/3rd/last.

A) Nose - deep, dark, sappy, herbal, intense dark fruits.
Intense, round, herbal, rich, black plum, lemon marmalade, nice medium toast. 96 pts
My #1, group #5 4/1/1/0 (69)
Alesia '04 Kanzler
Big shocker for me! From what I've read, this is one of their less well received wines. Certainly didn't fit the impression I got. Glad I have a bottle.

B) Nose - cherry, higher toned, black plum, bay.
Smooth. Sneaky entry blossoms into intense, dark, toasty fruit. Deceptively low-key, quite complex. Should improve with time in the cellar. 94 pts
My #2, group #3 1/6/2/1 (64)
Alesia '04 Sonoma Coast

C) Nose - candied, roasted fruit, black plum, sage.
Tight. Spiced plum, dusty, bay, sage, redwood, with a toasty char finish. Drink '11-'21 93+ pts
My #3, group #2 3/2/3/0 (63)
Rhys '06 Alpine Vyd.

D) Nose - dark, sappy, black plum & black currant, rosemary, dried basil.
Piney, with dense, dark fruit. Darker toast. More flash, less substance. San Mateo? Drink now-'13 92 pts
My #4, group #1 1/3/3/1 (54)
Alesia '06 Sonoma Coast

E) Nose - Minty, high toned, herbal, red cherry, raspberry, touch of black plum. A hint of out house appeared after 15 minutes or so.
Minty, toasty, black plum, iodine. Drink now-'11 91+ pts
My #5, group #4 4/1/2/1 (68)
Alesia '05 Falstaff

F) Nose - bright, rhubarb, strawberry, balsam.
Zesty, black plum and raspberry, roasemary. Seems a bit ungiving. Needs time. Drink '13-'18. 91 pts
My #7, group #6 0/3/2/4 (91)
Alesia '05 Chileno Valley

G) Nose - minty, milky, toast, red cherry.
Sappy, dusty, lemon zest, strawberry and red cherry. 89 pts
My #8, group #7 2/1/1/5 (94)
Alesia '06 Green Valley

H) Nose - very very shy, strawberry, bay.
Marsannay-like fruit, pert, mildly grippy tannin, sultry, earthy, raspberry, orange zest. Relatively thin. 91 pts
My #6, group #8 1/0/1/4 (99)
Alesia '06 San Mateo

Interesting that the wines with the most 1st place votes finished 4th and 5th. There was certainly a consistency of style, though a couple showed a heavier toast. A couple people liked them all so much, regardless of the great variation of vineyard expressions, that they had trouble ranking them.


Dave said...

It is an interesting scoring system; I feel it leaves much to be desired. All systems have their flaws, but this seems more flawed than most; I'm sure that people put significantly more thought into deciding their top 3 than whether wine 6 is better than wine 5.

The order of the top 5 was D C B E A

If you simply took everyone's top 3 wines and gave 3/2/1 then the order would be significantly different: B C=E A D

If you were to add weight to the first place by scoring 4/2/1 the order would be different again: E C=A B D

But either way, some very nice wines.

Wes Barton said...

The group score is helpful, though. It shows the group was pretty close on the 2nd-5th place wines, and there was a big gap to the last 3, which were also clustered closely. (They got 13 of the 16 last place votes.)

The 1st place wine just benefited from a near consensus that it was a near favorite. Anyway, it's just an exercise, which alone doesn't tell you if the wines were good or not. More it shows the range of opinion.

Dave said...

The 1st place wine just benefited from a near consensus that it was a near favorite.Maybe that says something about blends too.