A Pre-Birthday Dinner with the Guys

SY Kitchen, Santa Ynez Valley

Tasted May 21, 2015 by JonnyG with 468 views


A casual BYO was just the ticket to get things started ahead of this long holiday weekend, and SY Kitchen continues to lead the pack on all counts up here in paradise, especially with their Thursday family-style, corkage-friendly evenings.

Flight 1 (9 notes)

2004 Brewer-Clifton Chardonnay Clos Pepe Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Sta. Rita Hills
93 points
Not shy even after 10+ years: intense aromatics of citrus, saline, herbs and petrol; noticeable alcohol on the nose and palate, settled some as it came up in temperature; notes of lemon curd and slate; intense minerality; very lengthy finish; vibrant, rich & world-class. Consensus WOTN.
2012 i Clivi Ribolla Gialla Italy, Delle Venezie
89 points
Fresh and aromatic, with evident minerality and plenty of acidity, making this a perfect quaffer for a summer eve.
2010 Foxen Pinot Noir Sea Smoke Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Sta. Rita Hills
85 points
I know this review is utterly out of step with every other CT note to date, but I call 'em like I taste 'em, and this was a sappy, confected mess. The five others drinking with me (including 3 winemakers) agreed. Something was wrong here, but the provenance was perfect and there were no signs of a flaw...
2012 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
89 points
More or less consistent with my last note, this wine continues to come off as one-dimensional and a bit uninspiring. A ripe strawberry nose; unobjectionable on the palate, but no nuance or texture yet. Maybe with some age after it goes to sleep?
1 person found this helpful Comments (3)
1998 Andrew Murray Syrah Best Barrique USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
91 points
A real delight, this was released only to wine club members. I stumbled on it and bought it more or less as a lark. It was open for business from the get-go, with lovely aromatics of pepper and spice. A touch lightweight on the palate, but offering notes of blue fruit, herbs and green olives. Not bad after all these years!
1998 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Unlike past bottles, this one was overwhelmed by barnyard brett, which never blew off. Drinkable, but barely.
1998 Luciano Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
93 points
Decanted for about two hours. Stunning aromatics: sweet cherry, flower petals, muted spice. On the palate, it showed medium weight with a creamy texture and deep red fruit. I did not detect any oak, and the tannins were surprisingly light. After a while the wine did seem to shut down quite a bit, telling me that further patience will be rewarded.
2010 La Ca' Nova Barbaresco Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
88 points
A bit of a bruiser that probably deserved more attention than I was able to give it by the time we got to it. Dark black fruit, spice and soy, but not much in the way of nuance at this early stage.
2007 Colgin Merlot Jubilation USA, California, Napa Valley
Tasted thanks to the generosity of a nearby diner, I only got enough to get a feel for the wine, but not enough to score it. I found this surprisingly sweet, almost confected, and a bit one-dimensional. I am a regular Colgin wine list buyer and huge fan, had not seen this before.


Kudos to Andrew Murray for the unexpected longevity of his '98 and to Greg Brewer & Steve Clifton for the expected but impressive longevity of their '04.

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