Here are the results of the 1995 horizontal tasting of eight (8) reds from around the world. During this blind tasting participants were asked to identify as many wines as they could. The person successfully identifying all eight wines would have received a gift certificate for a future tasting at les Conseillers du vin. Since no participant successfully identified all eight wines, a bottle of Champagne was awarded to the person who recognized the most wines. Our winner, Alex Jipa, identified six of the eight wines. Alex is well known in the Montreal wine scene for his great knowledge and passion. Congrats Alex !
Results: celebrating their 22nd birthday, most of the wines were surprisingly still youthful. To establish the order of preference of the tasting panel, 3 points were awarded to a first place vote, 2 pts for a 2nd place vote and 1pt for a 3rd place vote.
Some participants agreed that wine # 1 Chinon was starting to show some evolution, but remained enjoyable. Unfortunately at the other end, wine # 8 the Turley Zin, was a bit funky and cloudy with some volatile acidity. The other six (6) wines were still holding up surprisingly well. Astonishingly wine # 7 Ebenezer Shiraz was the favorite wine with 17 pts. Finishing second and third were Sammarco from Castello dei Rampolla (15 pts) and Catena Alta Cabernet (14 pts), both wines showing good concentration and great balance. We can conclude by saying that many 1995s are still alive and quite enjoyable, with some possibly continuing to evolve favourably. An unfortunate inconvenience: the Ch. Calon-Ségur had a suspect cork and was slightly tainted. My top three wines were: 1-Catena Alta Cab, 2-Alion Ribera del Duero, 3-Domaine du Pégau CDP. See comments below.
The wines : Order of blind tasting:
1- Chinon Domaine de la Noblaie (Group score: 7 pts)
Quite orangy colour, looks a bit evolved. Nose is starting to show some faint oxidised scents. Quite soft and easy drinking. An elegant ready to drink Chinon. My rating: 88/100
2- Catena Alta Cab Tikal Vyrd, Mendoza (Group score: 14 pts)
Still deeply coloured. Some dark berry scents with a hint of vegetal. Still quite strurdy with firm tannins. Surprising acidity (acidified?)! A structured Cab that should continue to evolve…but will it? Seems frozen in time. My rating: 93/100
3- Sammarco IGT Toscana Castello dei Rampolla (Group Score: 15 pts)
In a classic traditional style, this Sangiovese/Cab blend offers fresh acidity and firm tannins. Its typical nose displayed obvious Tuscan terroir characteristics. A bit austere on the finish, needs food. My rating: 90/100
4- Chateau Calon Ségur, St-Estèphe, Bordeaux (Group score: 3 pts)
Unfortunately a suspect cork seems to have tainted the wine and speeded up its evolution. Despite the cork, the wine shows great promise. Good structure, fresh acidity and good balanced. My rating: 90+?/100
5- Alion Ribera del Duero, Spain (Group score: 9 pts)
In a very elegant full bodied style. Fresh acidity with good structure and extract. Mineral and floral terroir characteristics. Still some potential, drink now or over the next 3 to 4 years. My rating: 92/100
6- Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée, Domaine du Pégau, Rhône (Group score : 13 pts)
Perfectly ready for drinking, it should hold up only a few more years. Don’t wait too long! A rather soft and enjoyable CDP. My rating: 91/100
7- Ebenezer Shiraz Barossa, Barossa Valley Estate, Australia (Group score: 17 pts)
The (group) preferred wine of the tasting! This solid effort is well structured and should continue to evolve favourably for another 5 years. High acidity (surprising) enhances tannins. A lengthy finish displaying typical smoky dark berry scents. My rating: 89/100
8-Zinfandel Black Sears Vyrd, Napa Valley, Turley (Group score: 6 pts)
Unfortunately a bit funky and cloudy with some volatile acidity. Bad bottle? Don’t think that is the case. Difficult to control/attain balance with such (over)ripe fruit during winemaking! My rating: 88?/100