December '16 - January '17 Events

Tasted January 28, 2017 by pgb67 with 261 views

Flight 1 - Arlington "Port Party" 2016 (7 notes)

This wine group gathers during the holidays. The face off is usually between the most classic varietals from the New World v. Old World.

Red
2005 Virgile Lignier Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles Vignes France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny
94 points
This wine transported me to France. The wine’s concentration and earthiness evokes a classy bistro, zinc bar and woven café chairs. It has a fragrant bouquet with hints of cooked meat infusing the earthy red berry fruit. The spice and red berry-based palate is harmonious, well structured and focused, building toward a grippy finish. Truly seemed more old-world in every sense when matched up with the California pinots. That all being said, a majority of my guests preferred the Williams-Selyem …
Red
2011 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
94 points
Of the American pinots on the menu, this was the most pleasing – it showed a bit of the raspberry creamsicle note that I sometimes detect in W-S wines and which I love. But at the same time, it is bright enough to enjoy over time and had an earthy component on the finish that nodded to the old world.
Red
2011 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
92 points
This was definitely a Cali pinot but it was a nice counterpoint to the Lignier (amd the W-S for that matter). The fruit may have been a bit too upfront for me – black cherry and ripe plum. But overall one of the better KBs I’ve had. Interesting that the 2011s in the lineup showed well - I had understood it to be an underperforming vintage - but not tonight.
Red
2010 Domaine Durand Cornas Empreintes France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
94 points
Elegant and refined with powerful, mineral-tinged cherry and blackberry scents, along with notes of bacon fat and potpourri. Pure, concentrated and energetic on the palate, offering black and blue fruit flavors. Like the Lignier, seemed very French, especially in comparison to the Carlisle syrah I paired it against.
Red
2011 Carlisle Syrah Sierra Mar Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands
91 points
Very solid but maybe lacking the sophistication of some of the tablemates. Cherry liqueur, spice, and violet in the aromatic profile while the slightly sappy flavor of dark fruit is laced with notes of espresso and black pepper. Lacked some of the bacon and earth that the Cornas delivered.
Red
2008 Fontanella Family Wines Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder
94 points
The biggest surprise of the night for me – in an excellent drinking window with evolved tannins, mountain berry fruit still shining on the palate, and some secondary earthy notes emerging. Aromas of violets, blackberries, blueberries, and crushed stones are apparent. Medium to full-bodied but lean on the finish making it pleasant to sip on over time.
Red
2003 Clos du Marquis France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
I had this last 2 years ago and thought it was great- this time around it never opened up and was too acidic and lacked any distinctive flavors – a disappointment.

Flight 2 - Christmas Eve 2016 - Italian Style (5 notes)

The dinner menu called for Porchetta, Gnocchi, Baked Artichoke and other Italian delicacies , with classic Italian wine varietals to match.

Red
2013 Azienda Agricola La Giaretta Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
92 points
Very classic amarone with a pleasant raisin aspect upfront followed by some juicier black cherry flavors accented with delicate spice and grilled herb notes. Fresh and appealing with a chewy finish. Also this was a great bargain – circa $30.
Red
2010 Giulia Negri Barolo La Tartufaia Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
91 points
A theme for the night was freshness since I pulled a couple of “too young” wines - but I had tasted them before and thought they were ready (or at least showed what a young version can do). This Barolo delivered a fresh and pure nose of rose petal and orange peel. Medium bodied with fine tannins and a delicious finish showcasing tarry cherry with hints of citrus. Also a good bargain like the amarone.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Pian Delle Vigne (Antinori) Brunello di Montalcino Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
91 points
In keeping with the “drink ‘em young” theme, this was also a very enjoyable and accessible Brunello. Precise and focused showing violets, blackberries, and tea leaf. Medium bodied, velvety tannins, soft but rich.
Red
1999 Fattoria La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
Seemed to be passed prime and although drinkable it was easily the fullest bottle at the end of the night (e.g. not that popular with my guests).
White
2014 Passopisciaro Passobianco Italy, Sicily, Terre Siciliane
93 points
Loved this wine and, in general, am really liking Etna whites – have had several great ones in the past year or so. Elegantly structured with enticing aromas of citrus, Mediterranean herb, and fragrant yellow flower. The fresh, clean palate shows juicy lime, pear, and chopped herbs. Tangy acidity on the entry and a crisp, lingering finish. WOTN on Christmas Eve.

Flight 3 - January 2017 visits from friends and relatives (6 notes)

Many people passed through town this month and wine had to be served and rated!

Red
2008 Simon Bize Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Aux Guettes France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru
90 points
One of the classier, most concentrated SLBs I’ve had. Aromas of blackberry and licorice. Dense for a Savigny but still high-toned, with flavors of crushed blackberry and dark chocolate. Dusty tannins suggest there is still evolution left for this bottle. Agree with other note on the stemmy funkiness as well. Would have rated higher but it just wasn't at my preferred ripeness level.
Red
2012 Cà La Bionda Valpolicella Classico Superiore CasalVegri Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Valpolicella Classico Superiore
89 points
This is one of my favorite Valpolicellas and I try to pick it up across vintages – fresh and easy to drink, with tasty flavors of plum and dried fruits accented by interesting tapenade notes. But I’ve found other vintages to be a bit more forward – maybe give this another year or two for it to shine.
Red
2015 Château Thivin Côte de Brouilly France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Côte de Brouilly
93 points
Count me in as a big fan of the ’15 vintage for Cru Beaujolais – this was bright, structured and quite concentrated for gamay. Ripe red cherry and strawberry fruit on the palate with background hints of ginger and lavender. Energetic mouthfeel and spicy finish.
Red
2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah North Coast USA, California, North Coast
93 points
This wine was singing the night we served it. A wonderful interpretation of the Rhône Valley via California with notes of Mediterranean herbs, dark berries, pepper. Nicely layered mouthfeel with good concentration and extraction. Very quaffable but classy.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
90 points
Very smooth and seamless delivery but not particularly challenging. Maybe too heavy on the blueberry and not enough spice and bramble for it to catch my attention.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Orma Toscana IGT Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
94 points
After having it several times over the years this has entered my pantheon as favorite Super Tuscan (it probably helps that it is at a price point a bit lower than most of the STs). Very Italian – acidic grip providing a foundation for delicious smoky cherry fruit, spice mix, and black pepper. Long lasting finish. Drank it with a Carlise Zin and this showed way more complexity.
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