Blind Night

HB Home Bistro, Chicago IL
Tasted Friday, January 29, 2010 by KeithAkers with 366 views


This had been organized as a fun way to kick off the year. I lost the score sheet of how I did with guessing the wines, but it didn't turn out all too well. Given that we had nearly a full crowd, this promised to have a real good wide range of wines

Flight 1 - Opening Whites (and one red) (4 Notes)

  • 2006 Wente Vineyards Chardonnay Nth Degree 89 Points

    USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Livermore Valley

    nose: creamy and rich nose of lemon meringue, tart citrus tones, red apples and some butter tones. Good depth, and the butter isn't too much and adds a nice touch

    taste: fuller bodied with a touch of heat on the back end and rich tones of creams, lemon meringue, tart citrus', and red apples. Well balanced with lower acidity and a good richness to the palate as well

    overall: A quality chard done in the bigger style. Good aromatics and good balance on the palate give this a nice backdrop, but the touch of heat is a bit disappointing. This was served blind

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  • 2003 Peter Michael Chardonnay Ma Belle-Fille 93 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Knights Valley

    nose: big, full, and rich nose with bits of honey, buttered toast, citrus', meringue, white fruits and a good bit of peaches. Great depth and very rich

    taste: full bodied with big tones of honey, buttered toast, white fruits, citrus', and a good amount of peaches. Lower acidity and a very suave feel to it

    overall: A great chard. Full bodied and very much in the big california style. Not too much butter, but it is very rich and with some power behind it

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  • 2002 Tawse Cabernet Franc 87 Points

    Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Niagara Peninsula VQA

    nose: very nice nose of red fruits, herbs, some bits of red currants, and a touch of red florals. A bit lighter, but still very nice with decent depth

    taste: excellent medium feel with very pronounced acidity that is a bit overwhelming and tones of red currants, red fruits, and a bit of herbs. The acidity is very dominant right now and the finish is a bit clipped

    overall: the nose was really good on this, but the palate was showing a bit of age. Still a very nice wine and interesting to see a new world cab franc hit 7 1/2 years or so

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  • 1993 Deutz Champagne Blanc de Blancs 93 Points

    France, Champagne

    nose: beautiful and balanced nose of roasted nuts, brioche, figs, bits of honey drops, and a touch of white fruits. Great depth and with a more nuanced approch

    taste: smooth and polished medium feel with good medium+ acidity that is nice and refreshing. Showing some of the age with tones of honey drops, brioche, roasted nuts, citrus', almonds and some bits of white fruits

    overall: A lovely champagne. This is in a great place right now. It has great balance with more mature tones emerging while still having some of the primary tones. The feel is great on this with a lot of polish. This can go a good way and is a great BdB

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Flight 2 - The blind line up (11 Notes)

This was a complete double blind lineup. The only main rules were that the wines generally be between 20-65ish

  • 2001 Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta 89 Points

    Chile, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley

    nose: well balanced and pungent nose of herbs, cocoa, dark red fruits, dark red cherries and some bits of berry tones. Good depth and aromatic, but seems to be holding back a slight bit right now

    taste: medium/full bodied with medium+ acidity and tones of herbs, spice tones, dark red fruits, dark red cherries, and some leathery tones as well. Still tannic with a real classy feel, but the tannins are very noticeable

    overall: Coming off as young right now and in need of some sleep. The bordeaux varietals showed through on both the nose and palate, but this had a rustic side to it that made it seem more old world when tasted blind

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  • 2001 Poggio San Polo Brunello di Montalcino 92 Points

    Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino

    nose: savory and elegant nose of herbs, red cherries, roses, spice tones and dark red fruits. Expressive with very good depth and an almost feminine quality

    taste: pretty medium feel with medium+ acidity good tannins with plush tones of herbs, star anise, red cherries, spices and bits of dark red fruits. Very well balanced and showing a good smoothness to it right now

    overall: This seems like an earlier drinking brunello. Could still use another couple of years, but is really showing great characteristics right now that really showed through blind. Balanced and aromatic, this was very nice and enjoyable

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  • 2000 Shafer Relentless 90 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley

    nose: rich, dark, and ripe nose of red cherries, blue fruits, black fruits, chocolate tones, and bits of red and black currants. Good depth, but a bit over ripe right now and over the top

    taste: full bodied with rich and chewy tannins along with massive tones of black fruits, chocolate, red and black currants, and tones of red cherries. The tannins are a bit overpowering and mute the tones a bit

    overall: Was very surprised when the vintage was revealed. This came off as very young and was massive. On the ripe side and showed itself off well in the bigger style

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  • 2006 Bodegas El Nido Jumilla Clio 90 Points

    Spain, Murcia, Jumilla

    nose: showing a very new world style on the nose with rich and ripe tones of black currants, oak, dark red cherries, and bits of dark berries. Decent depth, but the tones seem a bit on teh surface and not the most expressive

    taste: ripe and full bodied with rich tones of black currants, dark red cherries, red currants, oak, and some bits of dark red fruits. Good tannins support this wine with lower acidity and the oak is fairly noticeable

    overall: this seemed like a california cab that had a slight bit of age on it. Dark in the glass and on the ripe side, but wasn't over the top. Seems like it could use a bit of time to round into form

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  • 2005 Rudolf Fürst Spätburgunder 88 Points

    Germany, Franken

    nose: nice and soft nose of red fruits, red cherries, strawberries, and some bits of spice tones. Decent depth, but not too expressive

    taste: good medium feel with medium acidity and tones of red fruits, red cherries, some bits of funk, berries, and spices. Good complexity, but lacking a bit on the palate and the mid-palate is a bit thin

    overall: a very nice pinot. It was relatively easy to pick this out as pinot, but I haven't had many Spatburgunder's, so this was a nice throw off to confuse us. Showed some nice red fruits on both the nose and palate, but seemed to be lacking depth on the nose and palate as well

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  • 2000 Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot 92 Points

    USA, California, North Coast, Napa / Sonoma

    nose: this is a lovely nose with an herbal tinge to it as well as tones of cherries, all sorts of red and purple florals, red fruits, and some bits of red currants as well. Very good depth with a nice expressive side to the wine as well

    taste: balanced medium feel with a refined quality to it and tones of berries, bits of anise, red fruits, herbs, red cherries, red currants and tones of red florals. Smooth tannins showing off a bit of age on the wine with a real smoothness as well to the feel

    overall: This was showing off its age and was showing some medium acidity as well. This fooled me a bit as it had a lighter ruby color in the glass and the herbal quality to it that seemed to make it more italian then new world. A real lovely showing for this and was very enjoyable

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  • 2000 Stonyridge Vineyard Larose 92 Points

    New Zealand, North Island, Auckland, Waiheke Island

    nose: very pretty nose filled with tones of spices, herbs, dark red cherries, cedar, red florals, and some bits of red currants. The nose was seamless with a real touch of class to it as well as very good depth

    taste: smooth and classy medium feel with good tannins and elegant tones of spices, red currants, cedar, red florals and some bits of dark red cherries. Well balanced with real nice depth and showing off it having a couple of years on it

    overall: Several of us thought that this was a right bank bordeaux. A beautiful wine that is drinking great right now. I've never had a higher end NZ bordeaux blend and this was a real treat

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  • 2007 Klinker Brick Zinfandel Old Vine 87 Points

    USA, California, Central Valley, Lodi

    nose: bold and rich nose of menthol, black fruits, dark red fruits, and black currants. Overpowering and a bit overblown

    taste: big and bold on the palate with big tones of menthol, black fruits, dark cherries, and dark red fruits. Low acid and tannins with a full bodied feel as well

    overall: this seemed like an aussie shiraz. It was over the top on the nose, but was slightly dialed back on teh palate

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  • 2004 Mendel Unus 90 Points

    Argentina, Mendoza, Lujan de Cuyo

    nose: nice and pungent nose of red currants, creamy tones of red fruits, red cherries, berries, and some tones of spices. Good depth and expressive right now

    taste: medium bodied with a smoothness to the tannins and tones of red fruits, red cherries, berries and a touch of spice tones. Balanced with nice depth, but comes off as a bit simple on the palate

    overall: This was drinking very well. Nice and balanced, it was hard to get a read on it as it was fairly international in taste and style, but enjoyable

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  • 2001 Vérité La Muse 91 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County

    nose: real lovely and perfumed nose of red cherries, herbs, spice tones and bits of fresh picked berries. Well balanced with very good layering, but coming off as a slight bit tight

    taste: Elegant medium feel with plush and round tones of herbs, spices, berries, and a good bit of red fruits. Very good medium acidity with a slight rustic edge to the tones

    overall: a real classy wine. Balanced and very perfumed on the nose, this just seemed to be slightly holding back on both the nose and palate

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  • 2001 Fernando Remírez de Ganuza Rioja 92 Points

    Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alavesa, Rioja

    nose: very pretty and elegant nose of red fruits, dark red berries and dark red cherries along with tones of herbs and bits of spices. Very well balanced with a perfumed quality to it that is more on the feminine side

    taste: elegant and beautiful medium feel with medium+ acidity and chewy tannins with great tones of red fruits, dark red berries, spice tones and a good bit of herbs as well. Showing off some youth on the palate, but also showing a real pretty side as well

    overall: A very pretty wine that is in need of time. It was hard to put down where this was from other than it being old world. Well balanced with a feminine quality to it on both the nose and palate that is very attractive

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Flight 3 - An ending sticky (1 Note)

  • 2001 Château Sigalas Rabaud 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    nose: succulent and beautiful nose of sweet nectarines, peaches, citrus tones and bits of white fruits. Very expressive, but lacking a bit of depth and holding back a bit

    taste: very young with a fat medium feel and medium+ acidity and tones of peaches, nectarines, and bits of white fruits along with tones of pears

    overall: A young sauternes. This could use some more depth and complexity, but that should come with some more age. Still very young right now, and though tasty, it is only showing a bit of what it can bring

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A great night. I didn't do well at all on getting the wines right and it was very challenging. As would be expected, some outside of the box wines were brought which made for an even bigger challenge. Definitely a humbling and very educational night as well as being a blast. Can't wait to do this again