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 12/8/2012 (Gail and Steph's, Mpls, MN)


This was a Minneapolis Wine Club Holiday Party, bring a bottle and dish for pairing event.


  • 2010 Trefethen Chardonnay - USA, California, Napa Valley, Oak Knoll
    Medium light gold color. Drank 1 glass. There is some minerality to the nose and palate, modestly oaky, light lemon and citrus. The palate was fairly light, some sharp edges and bitterness on the brief finish. 86-87pts. (87 pts.)
  • 2007 Iron Horse Vineyards Classic Vintage Brut - USA, California, Sonoma County, Green Valley
    Pale gold color. Drank 1 glass. Very pure green apple notes on the nose, perhaps some kumquat, hints of white blossums, very tiny bubbles. The palate is light, lively, apple, peach, floral, good acids. Well made and very enjoyable. (88 pts.)
  • 2007 Morgan Chardonnay Hat Trick Double L Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands
    Medium gold color. PNP, drank 1+ glass over 2 hours. This started off quite nice, but with significant air and as this approached 65 degrees, it really became impressive. Very complex on the nose with florals, oak, minerals, tropicals, melon, peach, and spices. The palate has a nice full body, generous in the mouth, rich flavors of citrus, tropical fruits and hints of peach pit, with minerals, and a dollop of oak. Great balance, elegance and some power, long finish. 92+ to 93pts. No rush to polish these off yet. (93 pts.)
  • 2002 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    Light red color. PNP, drank 1 glass over an hour. Just another delightful and consistent bottle of the '02. This is a wine to savor for everything it has been through. Love the finesse and elegance driven by the leather, earth, and provencal spices. Great pairing with creamy mushrooms too. (92 pts.)
  • 2005 Switchback Ridge Merlot Peterson Family Vineyard - USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red-purple color. Drank 1 glass over 40 minutes. Love this nose, very earthy with lovely blueberry notes, vanilla, blackberry liqueur. the palate is well concentrated, full bodied, earth, blueberry, blackberry liqueur, oak, followed by a very spicy finish. The palate had a bit of alcohol showing and the spice/oak profile on the finish dominates a bit too much. This drinks pretty young, and some cellar time may improve further. 91+ pts. (91 pts.)
  • 2006 Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red color. This had about 30 minutes in a decanter before being served. The nose is oaky, spicy, dark cherry, that later develops some black fruit character, mostly cassis, some heat at times. The palate is medium full bodied, withoak, spices, moderate amounts of alcohol showing, earth, cassis. Decent base bottle, but not the best QPR. This might benefit from some further bottle age to resolve some tannin, but I am concerned about the alcohol over time. (88 pts.)
  • 2002 Arrowood Cabernet Sauvignon Réserve Spéciale - USA, California, Sonoma County
    Very dark red. Decanted for 1.5hrs. Drank 1+ glass over 1.5 hours. Excellent nose with damp earth, menthol, blueberry, creme de cassis, dusty, kirsch. The palate is rich and full bodied, velvety, cassis, kirsch, graphite, dusty minerals, well defined with medium grained somewhat firm tannins. This continued to improve through the night, and I wish i would have had more of to further evaluate. Still quite young, this appears to be on the edge of something exceptional. I would suggest at least 2-3 hours decant time for this presently. Scored based on where this was at the end of the night with the final drops of the bottle. 93+ to 94 pts with room to improve significantly. (94 pts.)
  • 2002 Charles Cimicky Shiraz Reserve - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    Purple red color, inky. PNP, drank 1 glass over an hour. This showed classic Aussie shiraz character, big full bodied, eucalyptus, kirsch, blackberry liqueur, dense and inky on the palate, with dark red and black fruits, medium finish. Not quite ideally balanced, showing some heat on the nose and the palate. Not obtrusive, but noticeable. This had the distinct gycerin qulaity on the palate and drank somewhat liqueurish. (91 pts.)
  • N.V. Quinta do Noval Porto 10 Year Old Tawny - Portugal, Douro, Porto
    Small pour. Carmel color. Nose is caramel, raisin, very unctuous. (88 pts.)

My and group red WOTN was the 2002 Arrowood and 2nd was the 2002 Clos des Pape
and the white WOTN was the 2007 Morgan Chard Hat Trick

Thanks to all for the great food and wines.


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