April 20-21, 2005

April 21

I still have a few bottles of Montebello 1977 left but one of them (from a friend’s cellar) tastes like very powerful, sinewy California Cabernet. I thought it was a California Cabernet from a mountain vineyard but from the tight 1986 vintage.

I mention this because I have been tasting Montebello for many years and have been uncannily consistent in calling it ” Bordeaux from a California vintage” for years. Suddenly, in this tasting, I have started getting Montebello right. Give or take a decade of age.

April 20

Jaboulet La Chapelle Hermitage 1990 is still powerful, compact, muscular and completely in need of another five to ten years. And that’s the bottle from my cellar, which is not usually the most long-lived version of the wine you will find.