The ‘You Show Me Yours, I’ll Show You Mine’ Tasting is always one of Graileys’ most-awaited tastings of the year. So when it was brought up around the table one Tuesday afternoon that it has been a year since we held our last one, the tasting was filled in a New York minute. You Show Me Yours traditionally pits ten wines against each other in a blind tasting format; this time we had seven entries . It’s a very interesting few days leading up to the day of when entrants finalize their entry wine with a sole goal in mind: “Win the coveted trophy for Wine of the Night.”
1959 Camille Giroud Bonnes Mares – Out of the gate, this was very showy with a stunning bouquet of dusty cherry, framboise and sweet spice. Bright with a sweet core of red fruits. In the mouth, this had a lot of depth and density of fruit. Sensuous with a long, red fruit-driven finish. I swear everybody swooned as they put their nose to this glass of wine. As it sat in the glass, notes of tea leaves and a touch of violets started to emerge. A very classy and complex wine.
1969 Delas Hermitage – This was mine and AJ’s entry and I am glad he convinced me to open this bottle. Nose of tar layered with hints of game, spice, and mature red fruits. Powerful and dense on the palate. This got smokier and more tarry as the night progressed.
Some thought both these wines were northern Rhone reds from the late 80s or 90s. Clearly, we were off by a few decades on both bottles.
1986 Margaux – This bottle was slightly off showing an oxidative side. The fruit was roasted but getting past the stewed fruit, there were hints of graphite, camphor, undergrowth and ripe blackberries. In the mouth, structurally, it was delicate and refined. What a shame.
1998 Latour – Very youthful with compact dark fruit and a tight tannic structure. Tightly wound in the mid-palate. Pronounced cedar notes. I think this bottle needs at least another ten years. Hopefully then, the extra bottle age will smooth out those hard, tannic edges and reveal some of the fruit.
1993 Masseto – I have to admit that this was the wine that I was most looking forward to trying as my Masseto experience is wanting. I didn’t have the opportunity to taste this wine right after it was opened. According to AJ, as soon as it was uncorked, it was dramatic with its opulent blue and black fruits. Sadly, that wasn’t my experience at the table. I was expecting a fleshy structure and rich plums but the fruit was hidden behind a wall of green bell pepper and jalapeno that was simply overwhelming. Hopefully, there will be more Masseto in the my future.
Ivan nailed this as an Italian red while some of us thought this was a Napa Cabernet or Cabernet blend.
Two 94 Napa Cabernets duked it out for the top 2 spots.
1994 Colgin Herb Lamb – WINE OF THE NIGHT! In one word, intoxicating! Flamboyant nose of sweet cassis, blueberry pie, plums, toasty oak, mocha, and coffee notes, a seamless and plush palate, a texture that caresses every inch of my mouth and a finish that won’t quit. It is full-bodied, dense and unbelievably concentrated. This wine ticks all the boxes that make a wine lover’s knees buckle. I am beginning to sound like a broken record here, but so be it.
John Jackson with his trophy and WOTN (94 Colgin Herb Lamb)
1994 Bryant Family Cabernet – This will be as memorable a wine as the 94 Colgin Herb Lamb in ten years. Powerful, intense and concentrated. Less expressive and exotic than the 94 Colgin HB and appeared way more youthful than a 20-year old wine. Firmly structured with more evident tannins than the Herb Lamb. Toasty oak, cedar, blackcurrant, blackberries with nuance of roasted espresso and tobacco leaf. Grippy tannins noticeable on the finish.