Summer 2014 Distinguished Cellar Auction Tasting

Spectrum Wine Auctions @ San Diego Wine Storage Solana Beach
Tasted Wednesday, July 30, 2014 by f22nickell with 137 views

Introduction

I just booked a work trip to Southern California TRACON in San Diego when I got the email from Spectrum wine auction for this fabulous tasting opportunity in San Diego that (luckily) coincided with my trip. So, for $25, I was able to taste the following highly-rated, expensive wines.

Flight 1 - Bubbles and Whites (3 Notes)

One champagne, one Riesling, and one cult California Chardonnay ... The Alsace Riesling was my favorite, hands down.

  • 1996 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon

    France, Champagne

    Again ... I just don't "get" champagne ... I enjoyed it just fine, but I couldn't tell you the difference between this bottle and a dime-store sparkler.

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  • 1999 Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste. Hune 92 Points

    France, Alsace

    Clear golden yellow color. Aromas of petrol, minerals, limestone, yellow apples, honey. Silk smooth acids on the palette with hints of lemon, and yellow apples. Full bodied wine with a smooth texture and a long finish. I really enjoyed this one.

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  • 2009 Marcassin Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard 90 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast

    Salted caramel and butterscotch on the nose with dried apricots and pear. Tropical fruit on the palate with good weight, richness and density. Well balanced and all in harmony. Subtle caramel over dried apricot and yellow apple skin. Not my thing, this what-I-call "California caramel" style of wine.

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Flight 2 - Pinot Noir - Burgundy (4 Notes)

Two Grand Crus, a 1er, and a village wine... The village was easily my favorite.

Flight 3 - Pinot Noir - New World (3 Notes)

Two Sonoma County and one Oregon. The Aubert was my favorite.

  • 2008 Ken Wright Pinot Noir McCrone Vineyard 89 Points

    USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Yamhill-Carlton

    Very earthy nose with raspberries. Tart palate and not as sweet as expected given the vintage. Nice strong acidity on red fruited finish.

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  • 2011 Littorai Pinot Noir The Haven 90 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast

    Very young and tight nose. Some stemminess, minerality, a little oak, red fruits and a little forest floor. Clean. Nice enough, but not very interesting.

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  • 2011 Aubert Pinot Noir UV-SL Vineyard Sonoma Coast 91 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast

    The wine has a beautiful garnet color, light in the glass with almost no legs. The nose was light with hints of fruit and minerals. A light fruity taste that is tart and not sweet and a smooth texture. The finish is long. My favorite of the new pinots, but not a good QPR to me.

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Flight 4 - Assortment of heavier old world reds (3 Notes)

A CDP, a Brunello, and a northern Rhone. Hands down the Cote Rotie was my favorite, and WOTN for the tasting.

Flight 5 - Dessert. Wines (back at my room, not part of the tasting) (2 Notes)

A Washington Red Mountain Ice Wine and an Aussie Sticky. Sadly, I enjoyed the $10 Aussie sticky more than everything at the tasting save the Delas Cote Rotie and the Alsace Riesling.

  • 2010 d'Arenberg Chardonnay The Stump Jump Sticky 91 Points

    Australia, South Australia

    BVAL nailed it. Only real flaw is the acid takes a few seconds to catch up with the RS and flavors. Starts too sweet, but ends up crisp. At $10/split, this is outstanding QPR.

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  • 2012 Kiona Chenin Blanc Ice Wine 89 Points

    USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain

    pretty nose of citrus, ripe pear, some apple and some minerality as well as a touch of honey. Light-bodied with medium acidity. Good length. Not enough acid for me, but a decent enough ice wine that is all about freshness.

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Closing

All in all, I was disappointed with 90% of the offering. Just goes to show you that expensive, highly-sought-after wines don't necessarily translate into "good" wines for your palate.

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