New Years Day 2005 dinner with friends

Al's house in Mundelein, Illinois

Tasted January 1, 2005 by Al Ehrhardt with 431 views


We had some friends over for a New Years Day dinner. We wound up with nine people, as one person could not make it.


Cheese, Salami, and Olives
Veuve Clicquot Rose Reserve Champagne, 1990
I bought a case of this when it was released. Prior to last night, my last bottle seemed like it was starting to get tired so I thought it was time. We had two bottles and both were really nice, mature champagne. I will drink my last bottle this year, though.

Butternut Squash Flan with Parmesan Sage Sauce
Failla Viognier ‘Alban Vineyard, Edna Valley 2002
If it been in the unfortunate position of being paired with the Kongsgaard, it would have showed better. Nice fruit, not cloying, it went very well with the dish.

Kongsgaard Viognier/Roussanne, Napa Valley, 2003
Wow! What a wine. Full bodied, was double-decanted prior to dinner. Peach, floral notes, minerals. The best Viognier I have had, other than some Guigal La Doriane’s.

Pears, Gorgonzola, and Pine Nuts over Mixed Greens
Kistler Pinot Noir ‘Sonoma Coast’, 2002
A monster. Decanted for about three hours. It needs a few years to integrate the oak.

Failla Pinot Noir ‘Hirsch Vineyard’, Sonoma Coast, 2001
Every time I open a bottle, it has been a great wine. Beautiful nose. Smoke, pepper, black cherries.

Red Wine and Mushroom Risotto
Copain Syrah ‘Cailloux & Coccinelle Vineyard’, Walla Walla, Washington 2001
Not the best showing I’ve had, but still a great bottle. The funkiness was great with the mushrooms. Bacon, earth, smoke, spice, dark fruit. As some others have mentioned it may be starting to hibernate.

Saxum Syrah ‘Bone Rock’ Paso Robles, 2001
What else can be said about this wine, that hasn’t been said already? I’ve had four bottles, and been blown away every time. The purity of fruit, big, but well balanced, and what a nose. Much more new world in style than the Copain.

Provencal Lamb Shanks with Carrots over Braised Lentils
Beringer Reserve Cabernet Franc ‘Third Century’, Howell Mountain, Napa 1997
A beautiful cab franc. Velvet in a glass. While it may hold a couple more years, I doubt it will get any better and it would be a shame to lose the beautiful fruit that is still there. There is still a bit of a tannic backbone, but it is not harsh.

Peter Michael ‘Les Pavots’, Knights Valley, Sonoma, 1999

Peter Michael ‘Les Pavots’, Knights Valley, Sonoma, 1999
Opened a second bottle with the same results.

Woodward Canyon Cabernet ‘Old Vines’, Columbia Valley, 1999
Pulled to replace the TWO corked Les Pavots’. Very nice cab, but overshadowed by the Beringer Cab Franc.

My brother-in-law acquired older Bordeaux’s from a friend who had them stored at 55 degrees since release. He wanted to pull the corks to see if they were still alive.

Chateau Haut-Batailley, Pauillac, 1982
A great surprise. Very nice, mature Bordeaux. Elegant and smooth. If you have any, I wouldn’t wait any longer.

Chateau Bouscaut, Graves, 1982
Very earthy, just OK. The only bottle not finished.

One of my friends just couldn’t get into the Bordeaux’s and was looking for some more red. He is a zin-head and LOVES the Copain zin.

Copain Zinfandel ‘Arrowhead Mountain’, Sonoma, 2002
The first 02 I’ve opened. Man, is this a mouthful. BIG, huge black fruit. Lots of spice. A very complex zin. It can still use some time.

Emeril’s Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding
Barros Colheita Porto, 1977
This tawny went very well with dessert, but was kind of lost at the end of a long evening.

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