Friday, April 25, 2014

Great Wines of the World. Tasting at Tango

I run a wine tasting club at Tango. It's a great perk for employees, especially when their VP of Engineering (i.e. yours truly) personally invests time and energy to entertain and educate. About a third of the company attends, it's popular. To celebrate our recent D round ($280M) and passing 200m registered users, we splurged a little bit. See for yourself - this was a mesmerizing line-up of some of the world's greatest wines. Chave and Quintarelli were jaw-droppingly, mind-bogglingly great. Others - very good too.

Tasting notes:

JL Chave Hermitage blanc 2009 - wow, amazing wine, depth, complexity, impact! Up there with top grand cru white burgundy.

Marquis d'Angerville Volnay 1er "Clos des Ducs" monopole 2006 - top wine from Volnay, complex and interesting, secondary notes, but a bit medicinal / pine-needle and in need of more time to smooth out the remaining tannins. I suspect that 2006 was not the greatest vintage of this legendary wine.

Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia 2009 - opulent and luscious Barolo consistent with the 2009 Barolo vintage. Lacking a bit of cool classic structure for me.

Calon-Segur Bordeaux 1995 - very classic, balanced Bordeaux 3rd growth, good depth of fruit, acidity, in a sweet spot of development but nowhere near the end, good but not amazing.

Dunn Howell Mountain 2003 - very good and tasty, many people's favorite, and one of my favorite Dunn vintages in the 2000's. Not quite as complex as some of the other wines, but a pleasure nonetheless.

JL Chave Hermitage rouge 2008 - beautiful wine, super complex and expressive, pepper, herbs, cured meat, beautiful silky texture, and lots of other things, not a powerful blockbuster like 2009 and 2010, but drinking well right now, at half the price.

Quintarelli Amarone 2003 - wow, almost port-like without being heavy, but dry, super luxurious, super complex and exotic. Amazing. Watch out for 16.5% alc.!

Warre's Vintage Port 1980 - very good, but maybe not old enough or complex enough for my taste. Good, but perhaps just ok, especially after Quintarelli. Still pretty fascinating to be drinking a 34 year old wine and calling it "not old enough"...

Willi Schaefer 2011 Graacher Domprobst Beerenauselese - deliciously sweet, classically balanced and luscious, but not amazing enough to justify a $170+ price tag for 375ml IMHO. For almost the same money, I strongly suspect that 2011 d'Yquem is a much more impressive wine.

So there you have it. Tango Winos were very pleased and slightly tipsy. Good times!

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