Blind Dinner at Browntrout

Browntrout - Chicago, IL

Tasted December 18, 2014 by tooch with 438 views

Introduction

Super fun dinner that was super humbling.

Flight 1 (16 notes)

White
2013 Trisaetum Riesling Dry Riesling Ribbon Ridge USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Ribbon Ridge
85 points
Generally, I thought this was a little simplistic. A touch of sweetness on the palate with some nice peach and tangerine tones. Didn't revisit later in the night, maybe it got better?
White
2004 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis 1er Cru La Forest France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
flawed
Served blind. Got a big whiff of TCA at first, then it kinda went away, then it came back in spades with air. Oh well.
White
2013 Arnot-Roberts Chardonnay Trout Gulch Vineyard USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
91 points
Despite my promise not to open another one of these for a while, I couldn't resist. Brought this to a blind tasting, but I knew that this was mine. Very bright and tropical (at times) nose at first with tangerine and peaches. Some guessed it was a pinot gris, others thought it was Burgundy or California chardonnay. The palate was intensely mineral-driven - so different was the plush flavors that were coming through on the nose. Definitely needs some time to gain complexity and depth, but I liked this quite a bit.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2002 Luneau-Papin / Domaine Pierre de la Grange Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie Le "L" d'Or France, Loire Valley, Pays Nantais, Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine
Served blind. I guessed Muscadet, but wasn't quite sure on the age. Most people thought this was a bit corked, but I thought it was just aged Muscadet. Dunno. Anyways, the nose had tons of stony and airy tones of florals and tangerine. The palate was crisp and lively, I think some got some corky notes here, but again, I didn't see that as much. Wasn't as moving as the bottle I had back in September, but I'm always a fan of aged Muscadet.
White
2009 Pyramid Valley Chardonnay Field of Fire New Zealand, South Island, Canterbury, Waipara
91 points
Served blind. Wow, what a funky nose at first. Some cheese-y notes, peach, truffle, and cream. Definitely fooled me here - definitely didn't guess the South Island of New Zealand. Liked the palate a lot. It had a touch of creaminess that got most of us thinking it was a warmer climate. The lower acid seemed to give the wine a subtle texture...which in turn made the body plush. Lemons/limes with a subtle touch of peach and florals made this quite enjoyable. Another great bottle from Pyramid Valley.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1990 Serge & Bruno Sourdais Chinon Les Cornuelles Vieilles Vignes France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon
92 points
Served blind. Pretty clear that this was cabernet franc - the bell pepper, and bright red fruit really stood out. A 100% new producer to me, there was a lot to like here. Bigger picture was that it was incredibly fresh - left many of us thinking maybe early 2000s Chinon - but we were all surprised when we saw it was a 1990. I'm familiar with this vineyard through Marc Plouzeau's current lineup, but these vines must be a bit older. Definitely a density of flavor and a complexity that was alluring here. Very good.
Red
2013 Arnot-Roberts Trousseau North Coast USA, California, North Coast
91 points
Brought this to a blind tasting - had decanted it for 4 hours ahead of time.The nose just screamed Beaujolais with lots of racy red fruit flavors. The cranberry, cherry, and raspberry were obvious and juicy. The palate was much different...it didn't have the Beaujolais profile, but had a darker fruit profile with more blackberry and black currant. I thought this had a bit of earthy/leafy flavors going on too that gave it a more rustic feel. Another good showing.
Red
2011 J. Christopher Pinot Noir Olenik Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains
87 points
Served blind. Lots of pinot characteristics on the nose - some juicy reddish fruit, herbs, and some earth. The palate was a bit sweet and I thought this was a pinot from Anderson Valley. Not as ripe as some of the Russian River pinots, but not as mineral-driven and fresh as the pinots I'm familiar with from Oregon.
Red
1994 Leeuwin Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Art Series Australia, Western Australia, South West Australia, Margaret River
91 points
Served blind. There was a lot of conversation about this being from California because of the eucalyptus that was coming through on the nose, but I think that the dark fruit and earthy/cedary notes got me thinking about Graves. Way off...but this was a lovely bottle that showed incredibly well. Leeuwin Estates is certainly a top producer in Western Australia - I think every bottle I've tried has been fantastic.
Red
2004 Château Montrose France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
90 points
Served blind. Clayton brought this, and we spent time as a group talking through what we thought this was. I think Tim was on the right path - thinking it was Bordeaux from a coolish vintage. I've always thought that Montrose was one of the most distinct wines in Bordeaux, but I certainly wasn't thinking this when it was revealed. This had a lot of firm and fresh berries, and earth but lacked the funky notes that I've come to associate with this Chateaux. Nevertheless, I liked this a lot.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2001 Casanova di Neri Sant' Antimo Pietradonice Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Sant' Antimo
89 points
Served blind. I think there was near consensus that this was a super tuscan. Lots of dark fruit, earthy notes, and violets. The fruit was bold and powerful, the tannins were still drying and firm and I thought that this was definitely younger than 13 years. This isn't a style that's usually in my wheel house, but I liked this. Probably 5 years too young, but pretty good.
White - Sparkling
N.V. Mouzon-Leroux & Fils Champagne Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut Cuvée L'Ineffable France, Champagne
91 points
This was a perfect palate cleanser during a long blind dinner. Nice and fresh with good lemon, brioche, cream and mineral notes throughout. Is my score inflated a bit by the sequencing of this wine? Probably. But it's still really good.
Red
2007 Wind Gap Wines Syrah Griffin's Lair USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
79 points
Served blind. I had this off the list at a restaurant a couple months ago, and really loved the wine. Not sure why this bottle was so different, but it just didn't connect well with my palate. The flavors were a bit cloying and sticky with dark/dense black fruits, smokey notes, with a lot of creaminess. The bottle I had at the restaurant was a bit cooler and had been decanted for a bit, so maybe that played a role. I was certainly disappointed when the bottle was revealed.
Red
1996 Marchesi di Barolo Barolo Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
91 points
Brought this to a blind dinner. When I opened this I was SO close to dumping it because I thought it was heat damaged. The nose was prickly, hot and had that disgusting stewed plum note that I usually associate with heat damaged wines. Figured I'd bring it along and give it a try after 4 hours of air. Glad I did as I thought the wine performed well. The nose was dusty and dark with earthy, smokey, dark-fruit fueled notes. The palate had nicely integrated cherry and floral tones. Doesn't have the rigid 1996 tannin structure - i think 1998 was guessed - but this showed very nicely.
Red
2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah T Block Hudson Vineyard USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
75 points
Served blind. The flavors were dark and dense, but the palate was just too cloying for me. No freshness. I've never found a Bedrock syrah that I've liked...thought this was an average wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Shane Syrah Jemrose Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Bennett Valley
75 points
Served blind. Definitely had the signature of a powerful new world syrah. Lots of power and density on the nose and palate, but it's just hard for me to like without acidity. This didn't have much, and therefore, I found it a bit cloying.
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