1500 Parker Points of Wines

GHT

Tasted June 28, 2015 by Loren Sonkin with 965 views

Introduction

Last night, my wife and I were joined by four other couples for a private dinner at a local restaurant. Our theme was 100 point wines. The wines had to be rated as 100 by Robert Parker (not WA, WS, or any other reviewer). While clearly an exercise in hedonism, this was more. It was a great exercise in friendship as well. We all dug deep in our cellars to put this together. The dinner was a multi course meal spanning almost five hours. The wines were grouped into flights and served non-blend. As at least two of the couples preferred young wines, all wines were opened at the beginning of the meal and allowed to breathe but no decanting.

Flight 1 - A Beer to start the evening (1 note)

Beer
2015 The Alchemist Heady-Topper USA, Vermont
94 points
Tom W. brought this as a starter since we had no 100 point Champagne. I am told that in beer circles this is a bucket list beer that can sell for $20 a can. Tom bought these while visiting in-laws in Vermont. Very generous as we all shared about 7 bottles. I am not a big IPA fan but this was very good. Other's liked it even more than I. There is a nice malt component and while this is certainly hoppy, it is balanced to some extent and doesn't dominate except perhaps on the finish. For my tastes, easily the best IPA I have had and quite a treat.

Flight 2 - First White (1 note)

White
2008 Marcassin Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
96 points
The nose is smoky with nice lemon cream. Pretty creamy texture. Very smooth. It has a lot of ripe/sweet fruit on it but it worked well with a cheese tray. A little more acidity was needed for my tastes, but I could see a lot of people swooning over this one.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 3 - A second white (1 note)

White
2000 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Blanc De L'Orée France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
98 points
This was a very interesting wine. White Rhones are different, but this seems like a good time to open this. The nose is complex with marzipan, honey and wax. Tom F. thought it slightly oxidized, but I am not sensitive to that. Others had no issue. On the palate, this I very dry, complex and quite elegant. Tom W noted a light resemblance to aged Riesling which I agreed with. It seemed like more than most wines, this showed differently for everyone at the table. Sadly, the food was a delicious cabbage salad but with fresh Jalapenos which while delicious, dominated the wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 4 - A CdP Flight (3 notes)

Red
2001 Domaine de la Mordorée Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de la Reine des Bois France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
94 points
A nice showing, this was probably hurt by the other wines in the flight. Purple in color. The nose has black raspberries, licorice, smoke and dried floral notes. Very nice. Less complex on the palate, but still outstanding. More sour cherry fruit than raspberries. Nice juicy texture. Long finish. Worked well with food.
Red
2007 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de mon Aïeul France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
99 points
Loved this wine. Just shy of 100 points. The nose is great robust and young but showing a lovely adolescence. Raspberries, blueberries, Chambord, floral noted, black licorice and some roast beef. Beautiful. On the palate, this is seamless. Some tight layering that opens in the glass. So easy to drink. Another couple of years, this gets to the 100 mark I bet.
Red
2003 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée da Capo France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
100 points
Wow. This was my WOTN and although not unanimous, seemed to be the groups WOTN too. And, not what I expected. This is clean, and not a monster wine at all despite having 16% alcohol. Purple/ruby in color. The nose is complex and great with black cherries, black raspberries, grilled meats, lavender and anise. Clean, no barnyard. The texture is amazing. This is light on its feet as it dances on my palate. I hear people talk about a wine being sexy, well this is it. Complex. Ethereal. One of the top wines I have ever had.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 5 - Napa Cab Flight (3 notes)

Red
2008 Kapcsándy Family Winery Cabernet Sauvignon (Grand Vin) State Lane Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, Yountville
100 points
Wow. This is young but in a great place now. It will mature and has a couple of decades left, easy. This is gorgeous now. inky purple in color. Cassis, dark chocolate, coffee grounds and tobacco on the nose. Velvety texture. Deep and complex as it slowly opens in the glass. This drinks like a powerful Bordeaux from a ripe vintage (say 2009). Its best days are ahead though as the firm tannins and all that fruit suggest this will improve. There is the dilemma, its a 100 pointer now, but can get better. Must be one of those time space anomalies.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2007 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
100 points
In an amazing flight, this was my and most peoples WOTF. A couple found the oak a bit problematic though. I love SHS. Purple in color. The nose has cassis, cigar tobacco, spice, and some licorice. On the palate, the texture is incredible. Juicy, velvety and muscular. Delicious. Each sip makes me want another. Complex. Accessible but there are some smooth tannins. This has a long life left as well. The is the third straight time I have scored this wine 100. Gorgeous.
4 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2010 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Estate USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
98 points
I have no doubt that this wine will be a 100 pointer someday for me. Tonight, its a bit young and made in a style that needs time. This is a very Bordeaux styled Napa Cab. Purple in color. The nose has cassis, very perfumed, and spice. Also some graphite. On the palate, this is seamless. Great texture. Very tight though. Juicy acidity. great balance. It unwinds in the glass but could use air or time. George said it seemed more closed down than it was on release which makes sense. I would hold these at this point.
3 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 6 - 2012 Napa Cab Flight (3 notes)

Red
2012 Bevan Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon McGah Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
100 points
I am always impressed with how well Bevan wines drink young. Purple in color. The nose has black and red raspberries, graphite, cassis and licorice. On the palate, this is delicious. Perhaps the most delicious wine on the table. Sweet, ripe fruit. It coats my palate. I want to chug it down. Black raspberries, and some blueberries. No sign of heat. Oh so smooth. Clean finish. A beautiful wine. I wonder how this ages, but why wait. Gorgeous today.
3 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2012 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon CCS Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
100 points
Inky purple in color. The nose is great with black raspberries, blueberries, some pencil lead and some charred wood. On the palate, this drinks much deeper than the Bevan. While not as delicious perhaps, it has complexity and depth to it that event his young, is obvious and interesting. Great pure cassis fruit on the palate. Wonderful slippery yet full texture. Long finish. I suspect this shuts down a bit, but right now its amazing.
6 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
2012 Realm Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
98 points
Another wine that will probably eventually merit a higher score if I get to try it. Sadly, this was my only bottle. It was well worth sacrificing at this age though to get a glimpse of what these wines have to offer. This was the most Bordeaux like in this flight. The nose has cassis, tobacco, and warm dry earth. Thee is also a good amount of oak showing at this point. On the palate, there are firm tannins. Juicy acidity. Great cassis fruit that is deep but refuses to fully unwind in the glass. Long finish. Beautiful wine today, but in a decade it should be even better.
3 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 7 - Syrah Flight (3 notes)

Red
2006 Alban Vineyards Syrah Lorraine USA, California, Central Coast, Edna Valley
95 points
Purple in color. The nose has a bit of VA on it. It helps lift the aromatics but it is also a bit distracting. The nose shows sour cherries and dark cherries, black raspberries, grilled meats and black pepper. On the palate, this is smooth and silky. Great black raspberry and dark cherry fruit. It drinks on the younger side of maturity at this stage but is very open. Nice finish. A beautiful wine.
Red
2007 Saxum James Berry Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
100 points
Saxum is probably my favorite winery and this is my favorite Saxum. Easy 100 points. Still youthful but it is starting to develop complexities. The nose has black raspberries, gamey meats, white pepper and some grilled meat notes. On the palate, this is juicy with a great texture. It is light on its feet with incredible power (this Muhammad Ali). Showing a nice layering to it. Perfect balance. Yes, there is a lot of alcohol, but it doesn't show. Great with grilled eggplant. Long finish. A close #2 in my WOTN (and a few votes from the group).
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Sine Qua Non Syrah Stockholm Syndrome Eleven Confessions Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Sta. Rita Hills
99 points
Wonderful wine. Everything I want in a wine, but lacking that elusive (well maybe not on this night) emotion/quality to be 100 for me. That said, this is a wow wine for sure. Black raspberries, charred wood, black pepper, a bit of grilled meat. Ripe, but balanced fruit on the palate. No heat. Not cumbersome. Complex layers of fruit and earth unwind in the glass. Smooth finish. Went well with food.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 8 - A Dessert wine for the road (1 note)

White - Sweet/Dessert
2004 Sine Qua Non Sémillon Mr. K The Straw Man USA, California, Central Coast, Edna Valley
94 points
This was very good. Iced tea in color. The nose has crème brulee, slight glazed pears, and honey. IIRC, there is supposed to be a fair amount of acidity in this vintage, but it still tastes a bit flabby to me. George and I compared it to an 09 Yquem we shared a few weeks ago noting that the Yquem was much crisper and fresher. Its hard to say this wine is tiresome after 15 wines, but almost everyone loved this wine but failed to finish a two ounce pour. That was a combination of the food, the wine and the lateness of the evening. But still, a sip went a long way here.

Closing

I am a bit slow today, but that was fun! And that's the real point of having these wines. Sharing with friends. I wouldn't/couldn't do this every week, but once in a while, its a blast. I am sure there are some who will deride Parker or such excess, yada, yada, yada, but I challenge you to have an evening with so many laughs, stories and shared generosities and say that's not one of the best things in life.

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