CT Offline IV--Hill Country Edition

Austin / Texas Hill Country / Castleman Ranch

Tasted May 18, 2012 - May 19, 2012 by ckinv368 with 951 views

Introduction

This offline was a wonderful, wonderful experience! Great people, amazing food, perfect surroundings, and (of course) fantastic wine! Thanks so much to Mr. and Mrs. Castleman Sr., and YoDaddyO for being such wonderful hosts! This one won't be easily replicated or matched for sure!

Flight 1 - Friday Night Dinner at Hudson's on the Bend (25 notes)

Wonderful al fresco dinner at Hudson's on the Bend just outside of Austin. Loved this venue, had a wonderful Elk steak, and greatly enjoyed the company of great wine and great dinner companions!

White - Sparkling
1996 Fleury Pere & Fils Champagne Brut France, Champagne
91 points
Grassy, fresh with rose on the nose. Effervescent, a bit green, some bitter oxidized strawberry, and some peach and lychee in a dark over-ripe sort of way. Really nice taste of yeast as well, but very muted and in a fresh nice way. Do like the freshness left in this well-aged champagne. Wonderful treat!
Rosé - Sparkling
2002 Henriot Champagne Brut Rosé France, Champagne
89 points
Yeasty nose, with some notes of strawberry. Straw, very dry, but some burnt and dark strawberry for sure. Definitely a dry style, but prefer the regular Henriot to Henriot Rose. Just doesn't seem to be quite enough freshness in the rose for my palate. Still a lovely champagne though. Just not my favorite style of rose.
White
1990 R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Viña Tondonia Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
89 points
Apricot on the nose. Lovely lovely honey color. Dark, toasty, and smokey on the palate. Super interesting, and somewhat vegetal. Really interesting wine. Somewhat dusty, with great acidity. Just like sauternes, but without much, if any, of the sweetness. Have never had a wine like this before, so my palate is unfortunately quite uneducated. But super enjoyable to try. Great experience for sure!!
White
1997 Le Sillage de Malartic Blanc France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
87 points
Smells a bit oxidized, but in a pleasant way. On the palate I think this is finally done. It's Almost smokey, spicy, and a little bitter on the palate. Buttery, and bacony on both the palate and the nose. The hints of fruit that were there a year ago are now gone. Interesting to try these bottles over a period of years. Not everyday you try a 15 year old sauv blanc. While it was much better a year ago, this was a fitting send off for the last bottle I had in my cellar.
White
2010 Cold Heaven Viognier Le Bon Climat USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
92 points
Tons of perfume on the nose. Like Estee-Lauder perfume. So incredibly lovely! Lots of floral on the palate. Some citrus, orange, lemon, and really smooth and lovely. Great acidity, but perfect and not overpowering at all. Much more dry than I would have expected. But great wine for sure.
White
2008 Ramey Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
90 points
Buttery and yeasty on the nose. But still sweet and pleasant. Pretty fresh, and lots of good acidity. Not a lot of oak at all. But definitely some nice smooth, sweet, yeasty taste for sure. Still pretty floral, and definitely not normal California in character. No over-oaking or over-malo on this wine.
White
2005 Domaine Weinbach Pinot Gris Altenbourg Cuvée Laurence France, Alsace
92 points
Drank from magnum. Great straw color. Sweet, honey-like, absolutely wonderful and floral. Super enjoyable. Definitely like a young sauternes, although not quite as viscous and sweet. LOVED this wine.
White - Off-dry
2008 Schäfer-Fröhlich Bockenauer Felseneck Riesling Spätlese Germany, Nahe
91 points
Drank from a magnum. Very grassy on the nose. Sweet, smooth, yet nice citrus fruit. Very fresh, but seems much older and more well-refined than a 2008 riesling would otherwise be. Lovely for sure. Love this wine---has gotten even better after being open for a couple hours!
Red
2003 Jean-Claude Boisset Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaut St. Jacques France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru
92 points
Really full of perfume on the nose. Very, very smooth and lovely on the palate. A bit of spice, and some lovely blueberry and blackberry on the palate. Just a great bottle of burgundy. Great wine.
Red
2008 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Westside Road Neighbors USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
90 points
Pretty sweet, but still somewhat spicy on the palate. Nice sweet toffee and caramel at the end of the palate and ends with a nice long finish. Still pretty floral at the end of the day. Really enjoyable wine.
Red
2004 Thomas Pinot Noir Dundee Hills USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
95 points
Green herb and green pepper and cedar on the nose. Lovely nose. Smooth, silky, lovely, tasty, beautiful. Love it!! Red fruit, cherry (dark) and herb / leather / earth all mixed together into a tantalizing cocktail of perfection! What a wonderful bottle of wine! Like a beautiful beautiful woman. WOTN so far. Don't think pinot can get a whole lot better than this. Really phenomenal!!

Turned out to be one of the 2-3 wines of the weekend for me!! Must get on this mailing list!
Red
1995 Gaja Barbaresco Sorì San Lorenzo Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
93 points
Sweet, floral, and full of perfume! Like a spicy men's perfume on the nose. Lovely and really unique! Smooth, yet with a good amount of acidity on the palate. Very smooth in the middle and end of the palate. Long, long finish for sure! Gets sweeter and smoother as the finish goes on. Some peach and pear at the very very beginning of the palate. Very dry for sure. And includes blueberry, a bit of dark strawberry, and a tad bit of dark, over-ripe blackberry on the end of the palate. Love this wine!
Red
2003 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de mon Aïeul France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
92 points
Drank from a magnum. Beefy, meaty, and very hearty. A good amount of alcohol on the nose. Spicy, yet full of sweet licorice. Really lovely wine for sure! Lots of spice in the middle of the palate and very very long at the end of the palate. Some fig, and a little bit of toasted, poached pear. Really enjoy this wine for sure.
Red
2008 Mont Tauch Fitou Les Trois France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Fitou
87 points
Somewhat meaty and antiseptic on the nose. A bit thin. Some smooth, yet meaty elements on the palate. Just not my favorite, although not a bad wine for sure. May just need a few more years to resolve itself and get balanced where it needs to be.
Red
1974 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve USA, California, Napa Valley
93 points
A bit bitter, yet still a good amount of life in it. Some barnyard at the very front of the nose, yet smooth, sweet, and a bit garlicky. And there's some great green pepper and onion notes. Leather, a bit of earth, and some nice cedar resolution as well. Great finish also. Just love this wine. Lovely and really great experience! Thanks for sharing GalvezGuy!
Red
1994 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve USA, California, Napa Valley
91 points
Smooth, lovely, a bit of earthiness, and green pepper with cedar notes mixed in. Some graphite, and maybe a hint of menthol / mint. Really great, smooth, bordeaux-type wine. Love the wine, just seems like it's a little bit sedate for what it is. Lacking that "oomph" that I loved in the '95. But still a lovely wine.
Red
1995 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve USA, California, Napa Valley
94 points
Smooth, elegant, yet still very vibrant. Lots of cedar, green pepper and just a good bit of spice on the palate. Still has lots of age potential left. Not a ton of different fruit notes in this wine. Some dark cassis, and hints of blackberry. But definitely lots of forest floor, pine tar, cedar and smoke / spice. Love this wine.
Red
2005 Clos de l'Oratoire des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
90 points
A bit closed, but may be because it was just a little bit too cool. Sweet, just a tad bit of spice at the end of the palate, with some lavender, blackberry, blueberry, and a bit of pear.
Red
2005 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de mon Aïeul France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Sweet, with tons of notes of baked figs on the palate. Lots of acid for sure. A little bit of funk, but definitely a serious wine that needs some time to mellow out a bit. So much astringency that it almost out-shines the fruit in the wine. Needs some time for sure. But will turn into a great wine I believe.
Red
1997 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve USA, California, Napa Valley
91 points
Sweet, smooth, lovely. Lots of life left in this one. Lovely cab. Almost needs some years before it turns into the smooth woonderfulness that it will become.
Red
1994 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve USA, California, Napa Valley
92 points
Very smooth, a bit earthy, and really pleasant. Sweet plum on the nose. A bit of menthol and strawberry and cedar and forest on the palate. Love this wine, although not quite as good as the 1995. Just not quite as concentrated. A little bit thin now. But still a great bottle of wine.
Red
1997 Flora Springs Trilogy USA, California, Napa Valley
93 points
Smells like the classic aged bordeaux blend. Love this!! Smooth, sweet, lovely, with a bit of cedar, forest, and a little funk, and lots of smooth blueberry, blackberry and cherry. Love this wine!
White - Sweet/Dessert
1970 Château Suduiraut France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
93 points
Honey, floral, rose petal, lavendar, wonderfully sweet and tasty, with just a bit of spice and unctiousness that makes me love sauturnes so very much! So very smooth too. Glides down one's throat. Lovely, lovely wine. Exactly what you would want to expect out of a 40+ year sauturnes. Just a wonderful wine that will provide years of additional of enjoyment. Drink up for sure, or hold to enjoy!
White - Fortified
N.V. Alvear Pedro Ximénez Montilla-Moriles Solera 1927 Spain, Andalucía, Montilla-Moriles
Drank with cigars. Sweet and smooth, great with cigars. Really fruity, and not low-alcohol, but still lots of fruit / aged sweet prunes, caramely tastes, and dark tastes that belied a long life ahead of it before the fruit disappeared. Great little wine! Not hugely complex or expensive. But still quite enjoyable.
Red - Fortified
1988 Ficklin Vineyards Vintage Port USA, California, Central Valley, Madera
Very dark and raisony on the front of the palate. Not a ton of fruit at the end of the day. Seemed to fade more quickly than I would have expected for a VP. Not a bad little wine at all, just not quite what I expected it to be.

Flight 2 - Double-Blind Tasting---it's 80s night (or afternoon I guess) (13 notes)

Red
1982 Hanzell Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
92 points
Tons of exuberant dark berry fruit. Blue and blackberry for sure, smooth, fresh, almost minty. Still some vegetal tastes for sure (bit of very fresh green pepper), but also has great fruit and acidity showing this one has a long life ahead of it. Not tired a tall--will last for a long time. Really love this wine!
Red
1982 Pio Cesare Barbaresco Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
87 points
A bit of chemical on the nose--a bit like windex / cleaning solution. Definitely bricking for sure. Not a ton of fruit left on this one. Still a bit of mint on the palate, and a bit of acidity and astringency still shines through. A bit of vegetal and a hint of cedar. But this one is sort of lacking in a lot of taste. Seems like the bulky taste this once had is pretty much gone at this point. Pretty delicate, although pleasant for sure.
Red
1982 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley USA, California, Napa Valley
91 points
Lots of cedar and vegetal on the nose, and a bit of barnyard, and some spice. Sweet, almost a bit like bubblegum on the palate. A bit of cedar and light green pepper. Really smooth, with a bit of spice as well. Really astringent, and good acidity, showing this one can last for a long time. Almost like some vanilla and floral / flowery notes. Really delicate, like a beautiful woman. Really like this wine. Think it will be really mature and showing its full potential in a few years, but frankly may be too young to really accurately predict what it will be. Think it'll turn into a beauty though.
Red
1985 Dominus Estate USA, California, Napa Valley
94 points
Consensus winner of '80s double-blind tasting.

Definitely a lot of barnyard and a bit of chemically funk on the nose. Completely different on the palate. Floral, delicate, with great taste of perfume. Some roast beef, some brisket, some philly cheesesteak. Lots and lots of tannin left in this one. Long finish with cedar, good good spice, vegetal mix, all melding beautifully. That, combined with the tannin lasts and lasts and lasts. Like 45-60 second finish. A bit of perfume at the very very end of the palate. Lovely wine for sure! Lots of life left in this one!
Red
1987 Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Martha's Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
92 points
Floral, especially violets and lavender on the nose. A bit of spice as well. Wow!! SO MUCH FRUIT and power!! Some astringency, lots of floral, sweet onion, leek, chive. Great spice as well! A bit of beef on the palate as well. Really smooth and pretty silky, but still lots of life left. Really lovely wine. Others thought this bottle was tainted, and I cannot speak to that. But I really did enjoy it (tainted or not). Does that make me a bad person?
Red
1998 Clos René France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
92 points
Lots of smooth fruit at the outset, but turning into very smooth, lovely, silky, perfect floral and vegetal notes. Hits you with flavor at the outset, then just fades and fades and fades. Like a long, lovely story. Really like this wine. In a real sweet spot right now. Definitely nice low-alcohol, old-world style. Tannins have integrated really well.
Red
1981 Château Margaux France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
90 points
Came in 3rd place in consensus double-bline tasting. Roast beef sandwich on the nose for sure! Dark cherry, smoke, roast meats, bacon, almost some salt. A good amount of tannin, although almost seems thin at the back of the palate. Pretty delicate at the end of the day. Not a long finish, but still a nice little wine. A lot of character for sure! Really do like this wine, especially on the second taste.
Red
1984 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
92 points
Mint, peppermint patty, very very fresh! Very similar on the palate. Some peppermint, some cake icing, some vanilla, very fresh, very fruity, very floral. Really enjoy this wine. Long on the palate, with a nice amount of spice and cedar at the back end. Great wine for sure!! Really alive.
Red
1985 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve USA, California, Napa Valley
91 points
Came in 2nd place in consensus double-blind tasting.

Barnyard, cedar, vegetation on the nose. Lots of smooth, sweet, yet silky fruit on the palate. Always love the silky tannic integration on these wines! Just a hint of spice in the end of the palate. Silky vegetation / green pepper / onion. Really lovely and smooth and wonderful! Right where this needs to be. Matured beautifully.
Red
1981 Château Lalande France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
Popped and poured and had some notes of roast beef, and a bit of sweet green pepper. Very thin, and the fruit is completely gone. Not really unpleasant, just completely unremarkable. Imagine this was an ok wine at some point, but hard to tell that now.

After being open for less than 30 minutes, this wine was absolutely dead. Became even thinner, unpleasant to smell / taste, vinegary, and well past where it needed to be. Which was unfortunate since it had a remarkably high fill level prior to it being opened, and was (allegedly) sourced directly from the chateau's own stock. I will find the Parisian wine-merchant that sold me this bottle and have some stern words for her in the future!!
Red
1986 Château Gruaud Larose France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
89 points
Salty and beefy on the front of the palate. Bitter onion and seared dark spicy green pepper as well. Not a really long finish, to be quite honest. Somewhat astringent, but think that it has reached a plateau, although probably near the end of it's plateau. Drink up now, because fear this wine might start to decline somewhat soon, if it hasn't started to do so already.
Red
1988 Château Rausan-Ségla France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
88 points
Salty, peanut-buttery on the front of the palate. All the fruit seems to be gone at this point. Not a lot of taste on this one to be honest. Short finish, and really just not a lot here (at least to my palate). Some spice at the end of the palate, which helps. But just not a lot of other. Just a hint of dark fruit, and maybe some vegetal flavors mixed in as well.
Red
1986 Château Meyney France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
92 points
Not a lot on the nose. But really silky, smooth, cedary, and smooth onion throughout the palate. Kind of right where it should be. Some dark cherry and dark fruit as well. But certainly not acidic or tannic. Really pleasant. Perfectly matured and singing beautifully! Really enjoy this!

Flight 3 - Perfectly catered dinner at Bar Ten Creek Ranch (17 notes)

What surroundings, what food, what wine, what great company!!

White
2008 Araujo Estate Sauvignon Blanc Eisele Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley
90 points
Tons of citrus, floral, and lemon zest. Lovely wine for sure. Lovely honey and citrus notes. Love this wine!
White
2009 Kongsgaard Chardonnay The Judge USA, California, Napa Valley
92 points
Spicy on the front of the palate for sure! Crazy spicy! Sweet and lovely!
White
2000 R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Reserva Viña Tondonia Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
87 points
Bitter, anise, floral and spring-time and dark, dried apricots.
White
2005 Domaine Weinbach Gewurztraminer Altenbourg Cuvée Laurence France, Alsace
93 points
Drunk from magnum.

Grass, lemon, sweet, silky, and lovely. Tons of floral notes. Like sitting in a field full of wildflowers drinking sunlight. Such an amazing wine. Just perfect!
Red
2003 Windy Oaks Estate Pinot Noir Henry's Block Schultze Family Vineyard USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
92 points
Sweet, yet smooth, lovely and a really great wine. Good spice at the end of the palate after tasting blackberry, raspberry, and blueberry throughout. Really wonderful wine!
Red
2005 Windy Oaks Estate Pinot Noir Estate Cuvée Schultze Family Vineyard USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
91 points
Spicy on the palate. Very similar to the 2003. Great fruit, blueberry, blackberry, and a bit of raspberry and strawberry on the palate. But not quite as acidic or tannic. Still a wonderful bottle of wine!
Red
2009 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
91 points
Really lovely. Sweet, almondy, a bit of fruit and cedar. But really a nice little wine. Some nice spice at the end of the palate.
Red
2001 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
90 points
Smooth, sweet, silky. Really enjoy this wine for sure. Really nice fruit, but at the same time has great acidity. Really really nice.
Red
2001 Ferrando Carema Black Label (Etichetta Nera) Italy, Piedmont, Northern Piedmont, Carema
92 points
Sweet, anise flavored. Some good smoke and a lot of spice. Really nicely long finish. Great wine for sure.
Red
2003 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
92 points
Spicy, lots of fruit, but tons of life. This is going to last forever. Lots of dark berries and a bit of beefy goodness on the palate that mellows out the fruit. Like a steak with a nice dark-cherry, dark berry glaze. Love this wine for sure. Super heavy, yet really a great wine. Want this all the time!
Red
2004 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
91 points
Tons of spice at the front of the palate. Really can't taste a ton fo fruit becaquse of the spice although there are some nice blueberry and blackberry notes on the palate prior to the spice kicking in. Leave this one for several years and it will be magnificent. So strong right now. Once it mellows a bit, and all of the flavor profiles meld and integrate, this is going to be a seriously wonderful wine! Lots of potential for higher score---probably 93-94 eventually.
Red
2009 Domaine de la Pertuisane Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes Le Nain Violet France, Languedoc Roussillon, Roussillon, Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes
88 points
A bit meaty on the nose. Extremely sweet, and really tannic and acidic. Way too young to drink this one for sure. Let sit for several more years. Lots of fruit, but just not mellowed out to be what it can be.
Red
2005 Hundred Acre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Kayli Morgan USA, California, Napa Valley
89 points
Sweet apricot on the palate, along with some dark, bitter cherry as well. Really nice, but somewhat bitter as the palate progressed toward the end. Certainly smooth enough, and not overly-acidic or tannic. Think the fruit will mellow out to be nice and smooth in a couple to a few years.
Red
2004 Torbreck RunRig Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
93 points
Sweet, spicy, and a really really long spicy finish. Some great spicy black fruit--blueberry, blackberry, currant--on the front of the palate, with tobacco and cedar as well. Really wonderful wine.
Red
2002 Torbreck RunRig Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
91 points
Sweet, spicy, and a really really long spicy finish. Some great spicy black fruit on the front of the palate. Really wonderful wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
89 points
Thin, seems to be somewhat weak. Nice at the end of the palate though. Nice spice at the very very end. Still somewhat bitter. While there's some fruit, it's a bit faded, other than some bitter blueberry, and blackberry. Think this CdP is going through its "funky" stage where it is super shut-down. Wait a few years and bet this one will really shine. Until then, keep in your cellar. Much better things to come.
Red
2007 Castleman Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
91 points
Some great to kalon fruit. Smooth, yet a bit spicy. Somewhat sweet and full of blueberry and blackberry. Very integrated tannins and nice and refined. Still power, but with dignity and finesse. Great wine for sure. Worth much more than they charge for this.

Closing

This was certainly a remarkably successful CT Offline event. Certainly won't be easy to top, or even get close to replicating. Enjoyed my time immensely!

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