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A Retrospective Look at 2001 Monte Rosso Cab

As promised, here is a look back at the tasting notes from the 2001 Louis Martini Monte Rosso Cabernet from 2006 and 2009, compared with our recent bottle just opened on the Kennebunkport Trip this November.  It has changed dramatically since the last time we tried it, in many ways, but it is still an excellent wine.  It just isn’t the wine it was, and that makes us sad.  I do have one more bottle that we’ll be opening in the next year or two to see if the change is sticking or if it was just a rogue bottle.  Until then I will not be buying all of it, as threatened in other posts, as it runs about $70 a bottle now IF you can find it.  I have a bead on four bottles that would be on their way if it had still had that magic quality.  Anyway, here are the notes:

Jan 2006:  Mohegan Sun Wine Festival

This event was a wine tasting free for all.  There are a lot of seminars running as well and they attract some big celebs in the wine and food field.  By about half way through half the crowd has tied one one and they are just barging up to any booth, sticking their glasses past your head and getting whatever the person behind the counter happens to be holding.  That was in 2006 – we haven’t been back since but probably will give it another try soon, maybe next year.

So we wandered around and eventually got to the Louis Martini table.  We tried a few wines, liked them, and starting talking a bit to the representative from the vineyard (this was just before the packs of semi-drunk tasters began to roam the aisles).  This was when he pulled a bottle of Monte Rosso from beneath the counter and said “try this”.  Here are my notes from that taste.

Very fruit forward, then it gets a little complex.  Full bouquet – will get bigger.  Amazing wine.

We had never tasted anything like it.  It was nectar.  Everything was in perfect balance, and a river of beautiful fruit just flowed over your taste buds.  It was big, because the bottle said it had pretty good alcohol levels and because you knew it had to be, but it didn’t come across as heavy or overdone or really all that big.  I could drink a bottle at a time.  This is perfection in my book.  The most delicious thing I or Cheri had ever drunk, period.  My comment that it would get bigger was right on.  We left looking for a bottle and bought one a few weeks later to put down for our 25th anniversary.

November 8, 2009, Daniel Webster Inn, Sandwich MA

Now it was time to open the Monte Rosso we had stashed away.  This wasn’t exactly our anniversary day, but our weekend before trip to celebrate the occasion.  (Don’t worry, we went to dinner on our actual anniversary and brought a bottle of 1989 Ducru Beaucaillou, so the day mas marked appropriately). November on Cape Cod could bring anything weatherwise, but this day brought sunny skies and 75 degree temperatures.  It was simply a perfect day.  We took our bottle of Monte Rosso to a bench in the gardens at the inn, sat in the sun, and popped the cork.  There was some trepidation as to what we’d find.  Not to worry, the wine was exactly as we remembered it.  Here are the notes:

Vivid Red/Purple.  Pure silky fruit, getting some cherries and plumsAn amazing wine.

So far 2 for 2.  It was still this amazing river of delicious fruit that was incomparable.  By this time we were seriously into wine so there were a lot we were comparing it too, but nothing matched it.  Some came close.  Now the last tasting.

November 10, 2012 – Kennebunkport ME Anniversary Trip

Seeking yet another perfect day on our anniversary trips we had a great day about town, a wonderful dinner at the Cape Arundel Inn, and then popped the Monte Rosso in the jacuzzi with an old movie on the flatscreen TV.  Everything should have been perfect, but the wine was different!  It had changed dramatically. Still good, still very good, it was just….different.  Here are the notes.

This is much darker than I remember.  Dark, brooding fruit on the nose.  Very full bodied, mouth coating ripe black fruit, almost overripe.  Still very, very good but the red fruit river is gone.

Alas, all things change.  This went from buy everything I could find to a fond memory.  That is, unless, this was a rogue bottle.  We have one more.  I’m thinking 30th anniversary in two years.  If it’s back I’ll be on the lookout once more.

This is one of the characteristics that fascinates us about wine.  It is constantly changing.  Sometimes for the good, sometimes not.  We would love to have this back to the way it was.  That fruit river is why I love Bordeaux, because I get glimpses of that in Bordeaux more frequently than in other wines.  Sometimes a trickle, sometimes a running brook, sometimes a wide stream.  The 2003 Chateau Faugeres we opened this year had a wide stream of the flowing fruit, and it made me very happy.  I’ll cover my Bordeaux start in another blog, and I have, of course, barely even scratched the surface there.  We’ll also pull out some more retrospective tasting of some good bottles, and some strange ones, now and then.

A votre sante!

 

 

1 comment to A Retrospective Look at 2001 Monte Rosso Cab

  • […] The 2001 Louis Martini Monte Rosso Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is a very special wine to us.  We first encountered it at the Mohegan Sun Winefest, I believe the first year of the event, when the person pouring reached down behind the counter and produced a bottle with the iconic dark red label.  It was at the time the best wine we had ever tried, by leaps and bounds.  The pure, velvety core of fruit was staggering.  At that time we did not buy $50 bottles of wine.  We didn’t even buy $20 bottles of wine, and we still don’t go near that price on average for our normal enjoyment.  Still, this was special, so I got a bottle.  We opened it on our 20th wedding anniversary and reveled in the nectar that this wine was back then.  We opened another on our 25th anniversary, as I had found a few bottles and stocked them away.  It had not changed at all, and again we enjoyed an amazing wine experience.  A few years ago another bottle produced a much different, huge, more backward and tannic wine.  You can read some of our previous tasting notes on this wine over the years here. […]

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