The first time this happened was 2011. So, Phil was able to set this up for a second year in a row. Rob Leavitt focuses more on Butchering these days, but for special occasions he gets back to cooking. This was one of those nights and it was greeted with a lot of anticipation.
- 2007 Saxum Bone Rock James Berry Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
nose: extremely forward and on the overdone side with tones of black fruits, black cherries, liqueur and some spice tones. Deep, and though it is in the overdone category, it isn't too bad.
taste: full bodied with a lot of density to it as well. On the slightly overwhelming side with tones of black fruits, liqueur, spice tones, road tar and some ashpalt.
overall: this was drinkable on pop n pour. I tasted a little later and it was bordering offensive. I wasn't really a fan of this. (83 pts.)
- 2008 Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Demi-Sec - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray
nose: nice and aromatic nose of fresh cut grass, pears, white fruits and bits of apples. There is decent depth to this, but it also seems wound a bit tight.
taste: medium bodied with refreshing medium+ acidity. There is a fatness to the feel along with tones of pears, white fruits, white florals and a good amount of apples.
overall: a very nice vouvray. This could use some time to fully come together. Still, this is drinking quite nicely and was very enjoyable. (89 pts.)
- 2003 Carl Schmitt-Wagner Longuicher Maximiner Herrenberg Riesling Spätlese - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
nose: decently mature nose with a dose of petrol from the beginning. There was a forwardness to this along with tones of apples, pears and a bit of papaya. It was lacking some depth though.
taste: medium bodied with lower acidity. It isn't flabby, but the lack of acidity doesn't provide the desired backbone with tones of petrol, pears and white fruits.
overall: this was a very drinkable riesling. It is drinking as good as it can be and it does sadly lack acidity and depth. (88 pts.)
- 1995 Kalin Cellars Chardonnay Cuvée LD - USA, California, Sonoma County
nose: there is a very waxy quality to the nose along with tones of mazipan, caramel, apples and pears. There is a real succulent quality to the nose.
taste: fuller bodied with mature tones of wax, caramel apples, pears and a bit of honeycomb as well. Very well balanced with nice depth to it as well.
overall: this was a real experience. I had yet to have a Kalin Cellars chard and this was a real blast. This had a real maturity to it, but was extremely drinkable at the same time. (92 pts.)
- 1985 Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon
nose: very pretty and elegant nose with perfumed tones of dark red fruits, red cherries, herbs, spice tones and some root vegetables. Nice depth to this as well.
taste: well balanced with very nice medium+ acidity and sturdy tannins. Medium bodied and elegant with tones of red cherries, dark red fruits, herbs and a lot of spice tones.
overall: This was gorgeous. Very well balanced on both the nose and palate. There is a very elegant quality to this and it certainly has the stuffing to last even longer. I wish I had been able to spend more time with it. (92 pts.)
- 1996 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Falletto di Serralunga d'Alba - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
nose: a bit tight and unyielding at first, but when it opened up absolutely gorgeous tones of dark red fruits, tar, roasted herbs, various floral tones, roses and bits of violets meld together in perfect harmony.
taste: This was extremely pretty with a silky medium/full body and medium/high acidity. The tannins are still quite there and showing that this wine has youth along with regal tones of dark red cherries, dark red fruits, roasted herbs, roses and some other various floral tones.
overall: Once this opened up it was like the beginning of a symphony. This wine has the ability to be completely etheral with even more time. I had given this 3 hours in the decanter and it still took another 90 minutes to really sing. (94 pts.)
- 1982 Giacomo Borgogno & Figli Barolo Riserva - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
nose: pretty and fragrant nose filled with tones of red fruits, tar, cherries, roses, berries and a touch of floral tones as well. Nice depth with a real sense of refinement to it.
taste: medium bodied with good tannins still persisting. There is good medium+ acidity to this as well along with lovely tones of red fruits, tar, cherries, berries and floral tones.
overall: this was a pop n pour and definitely used some air to get going. An extremely pretty barolo and has a lot of grace to it. This was from a library release. (92 pts.)
- 2000 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
nose: Elegant and open knit nose of roasted meats, herbs, spice tones, black fruits, florals and some dark red cherries. Very well balanced with nice depth to it as well.
taste:Full bodied with nice tannins and medium acidity. Well balanced with nice depth and classy tones of roasted meats, spices, black fruits, dark red cherries and some floral tones.
overall: Like the bottle in september, this was from a magnum. While it had youth to it, it was drinking just fine. It can age a while, but one wouldn't go wrong with taking a peek right now. (91 pts.)
- 1996 Brokenwood Shiraz Graveyard - Australia, New South Wales, Hunter Valley
nose: Mature and very well balanced nose of dark red cherries, spice tones, black fruits, earth tones, and leather notes as well. There was good depth to this as well.
taste: Full bodied with some nice tannins still persisting. Polished with good depth and balanced tones of dark red cherries, spice tones, black fruits, leather and a touch of violets on the back end.
overall: This was a high quality Aussie Shiraz. Showing off maturity, but with a lot of polish to it on both the nose and palate. (92 pts.)
- 1970 Château Durfort-Vivens - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
nose: Showing off it's age a bit on the nose with tones of leather, tobacco, dark red cherries, sandalwood, and cedar box. Lacking some depth, but it is refined and mature.
taste: There is an elegance to the medium feel with some refined tannins. Balanced with very good tones of cedar box, dark red cherries, sandalwood, leather and tobacco leaf tones.
overall: This was a very nice and mature Claret. It feels like it's slightly on the downslope right now, but is enjoyable nonetheless. (89 pts.)
- 1985 Laurel Glen Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Mountain - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Mountain
nose: There is a real elegance to this with excellent balance and tones of mint, cedar, berries, dark red cherries and cassis tones. Nice depth to it as well.
taste: Medium/full bodied with nice depth and medium acidity. Balanced with tones of mint, cedar, dark red cherries and cassis. Not as complex on the palate as on the nose.
overall: This was a straight pop n pour. Very well balanced and showing very well. (91 pts.)
- 1993 Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
nose: Very pretty and balanced nose filled with tones of herbs, spices, cedar and dark red fruits. There is some real nice depth to the nose as well.
taste: Medium/full bodied with good tannins that are more in a supporting role. Well balanced with good depth and tones of dark red cherries, cassis, herbs, cedar and spice tones.
overall: This is a wonderful mature California Cabernet. There is very good balance to it and a good amount of depth on both the nose and palate. (93 pts.)
- 1997 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley - USA, California, Napa Valley
nose: This is wound up fairly tight but tones of mint, eucalyptus, dark red cherries, and spice tones poke through. There is good balance to it and some nice depth as well, but it's taking a bit to get much.
taste: Full bodied with very grippy tannins. The structure is a bit unforgiving with some tones of cedar, mint, dark red cherries and spice tones.
overall: There is good complexity on both the nose and palate, but it just seems too young still. (90 pts.)
- 1997 Fisher Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Wedding Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County
nose: There is a nice dark red fruit core with tones of mint, dark red cherries and cedar tones. It is wound a bit tight right now and seems a bit shy.
taste: Full bodied with chewy tannins and medium acidity. The structure is a bit imposing, but there are good tones of dark red fruits, dark red cherries, cedar and mint tones.
overall: This didn't seem fully ready to go. There is a nice dark red fruit core to both the nose and palate, but it just seemed a bit shy. (91 pts.)
- N.V. Egly-Ouriet Champagne Brut "Les Vignes de Vrigny" 1er Cru - France, Champagne, Ambonnay, Champagne
nose: Very pungent with tones of lemon curds, crackers, white fruits, pears and baked dough tones. Very good depth and class to it as well.
taste: Full bodied with high acidity. The structure is pretty big with tones of crackers, lemon curds, white fruits, and baked dough tones coming through.
overall: This is from a 9/11 disgorgement. The structure is big on it right now. It would be nice to see how it is in a few years. (92 pts.)
- 2001 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
nose: Wide open and flowing nose with tones of hot stones, mesquite, black cherries, dark red fruits, spice tones and a touch of funk as well. Good complexity with very good depth as well.
taste: Medium/full bodied with chewy tannins. There is some youth on the palate with tones black cherries, hot stones, garrigue, and funk tones.
overall: While this is in the starting to drink stage, it still has a long way to go. The nose was more open than the palate right now. This does feel like it can be a long distance runner. (93 pts.)
- 1999 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
nose: Nice balance to the nose with tones of creamed black fruits, red fruits, garrigue and red berry tones. Nice complexity, but lacking some depth.
taste: Medium bodied with nice supporting tannins. Balanced with tones of black fruits, red fruits, and garrigue tones.
overall: A nice and straightforward Telegraphe. Well balanced, it's just lacking some complexity and depth to make it really good. (90 pts.)
- 2002 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Éloge - USA, California, Napa Valley
nose: Nice and balanced nose with tones of cedar, mint, berries, cassis and dark red cherries. Very good depth with a nice touch of class to it as well.
taste: Full bodied with medium acidity and nice tannins still persisting. Balanced with nice depth and tones of mint, berries, cassis and dark red cherries.
overall: A very nice Eloge. It probably could use a bit more time and it would've been nice to spend more time with it. It's still a quality wine that is drinking on the young side. (91 pts.)
- 2006 Sine Qua Non Chardonnay Mr. K The Noble Man - USA, California, Central Coast, Edna Valley
nose: There is very nice depth to this with succulent tones of nectarines, green apples, pears, and honey tones. Definitely on the richer side as well.
taste: Full bodied with a real honeyed feel. There is a richness to it along with tones of nectarines, green apples, and honey tones. Very good depth as well.
overall: This was a really good dessert wine. While I wouldn't confuse it for a kracher, it was still really enjoyable. (93 pts.)
Many thanks to Phil for hooking this up. One of my meals of the year with Rob pulling out all the stops. It's nights like this that make me wish he still cooked full time. There were just a couple less wines than last year, but there was a lot of great stuff nonetheless. Add in the crowd and it was an easy mixture for a great night.