With the heat this week in Napa, my monthly tasting group broke from our "year in Piemonte" (or reason to drink nebbiolo with your friends once a month) theme and spent an evening tasting through a 13 vintage vertical of Rene et Vincent Dauvissat La Forest from my cellar. The fun thing about a tasting group composed mostly of wine makers (Dan Petroski - Larkmead/Massican, Steve Matthiasson - Matthiasson, Stephane Vivier - HdV, Mark Porembski - Zeitgeist/Anomaly among others) is that they and I have been trained to taste wines differently and to look for different traits within them.
To make these tastings even more interesting when doing verticals is that we submit all of the wines, or in this case, a select few to ETS for analysis(Matt Stamp wrote about one of our tastings of Bartolo Mascarello on the site awhile back, and I added a second set of data points in the comments from a tasting later on). For those not on the supplier/production side, ETS Laboratories has been a mainstay in the Napa Valley since the 1980's. They provide analysis of wine providing data for almost anything you would want to know about its makeup, its faults etc. We would do this with every tasting we have and every wine, but sadly the cost of doing so is rather prohibitive at $115 per wine for the general panel like the ones you see below.
The benefit with doing these tastings and testings (or in some cases we test before and taste after) is to really compare what we taste or don't, and what is actually in the wines. The tasting encompassed La Forest from 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2000, 1999 and 1996. Sadly the 1999 was corked and the 2000 was showing a bit too much oxidation (had enough to know the difference on this one between age and premox). Otherwise a truly brilliant showing of wines with the 1996 stealing the show, and the 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2014 all close behind. Truth be told the only under performer (though not really given the vintage) was the 2011.
In reply to Kelli White:
Alas, no. We had limited amounts of sample tubes and used them for some of the favorites, and two of the riper vintages.
In reply to Joe Billesbach:
Yes it does. As I mentioned in the text it's the only wine tested that didn't finish ML.
In reply to Vlada Stojanov:
In reply to Jason Heller:
In reply to Morgan Harris: