Wine Spectator newbies

Marriott Marquis

Tasted October 18, 2018 - October 20, 2018 by MC2 Wines with 641 views

Introduction

Have seen some amazing tasting stories about this weekend over the years. We finally decided to be in town for it. Pretty impressive wine line-up and certainly a lot of wonderful events.

Flight 1 - Grand Tasting - Thursday & Friday nights (66 notes)

Combined these as many of the wines we tried both nights and comments are a reflection of that. I was impressed with this. The quality of wines being poured was top notch and while it was certain busy, it was possible to get pours from all of the places that we wanted to visit.

Red
2011 Château Cheval Blanc France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
My WOTN and it was the first one that we tried. This was just rocking. Lots of red fruits and a certain softness and almost caramel and chocolate note to the wine. Very pretty and a wine that I really wanted to sit down with and savor although this wasn't that sortof tasting format.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2008 Château Margaux France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
Possibly my second favorite wine of the tasting and it was the second wine I tasted. This was just wonderful. The kindof wine that draws you in and really belongs more in a sit down tasting format where you can try it and revisit and try again. Lots of bright red fruits, some herbal notes. Comes across as very fresh and open. Beautiful wine. Much too young to be drinking now. Just goes to show you top houses make good wines regardless of year.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2008 Château Lafite Rothschild France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Interesting. I've never quite found myself liking the L first growths (Lafite, Latour) as much as the others. Could have been that the youth on this was more pronounced. It was very very tight. Just a hint of black fruit. Lots of tannins. And just didn't give up much of anything. Perhaps revisit in some more years.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Masseto Toscana IGT Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
Tried this both Thursday and Friday nights. On Thursday it came across as more tight and not giving up quite as much. On Friday more expressive, lots more red fruits. Still a lot of tannin and a general feeling that the wine is a baby. A nice wine though and something to try in maybe 10 years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
2015 Château d'Yquem France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
It's possible that we went back to this booth a few times over the two days. This wine is just stunning. It's hard to express. The finish just goes on and on. It's got this wonderful level of sweetness, but then the acidity keeps it so very light in its feet. It's light spring blossoms and candied apricots and spring rain and I don't know what else. Just lovely. A standout from the weekend.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Harlan Estate USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
Still waiting to have an 'ah ha' moment with Harlan. This came across as very young and tight. Definitely more of the new world style. Almost a touch too much. Would be interested to see what these are like with some more age.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Bond Vecina USA, California, Napa Valley
This came across as a bit more refined than the Harlan that was at the booth next door. It's more approachable. Perhaps I got to it later than the previous note as this didn't taste as closed down as they suggested. Still definitely quite young and not ready to drink. But it was pretty. Darker fruits. A bit of intensity, but balanced. Well done.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Château Pavie France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
What a wonderful wine. This starts off quite tight and young and with some swirling in the glass it seems to open up almost all at once and then red and black fruits and nice structure and just very tasty. Would hold for at least 10 more years, but this will be really great.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Château Angélus France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
Lots of tobacco and red fruits and very tannic. The last few times I've had with this wine have started to be better. This was again very very very young, but had some nice stuffing and could be very interesting in some more years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
N.V. Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Champagne Blanc de Blancs France, Champagne
After we went through quite a few reds it was time to do a palate cleanser champange. This was nice. Some sour apple. A bit of spice. The bubbles are very intense. Almost a bit harsh. But good to rebalance.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2013 Raventós i Blanc Brut Blanc de Blancs Vino Espumoso Spain, Andalucía, Vino de Calidad de Granada
A house that is trying to up the level of cava and create a higher quality product from that area. It's an interesting wine. There's almost a sand flavor to the bubbles which doesn't sound great, but works. On the heels of champagne it's clear it's not really that level, but is more interesting than a standard cava.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Domaine Saint Préfert Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve Auguste Favier France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
This was just over the top for me. Very high fruit and intensity and lower acidity. It's the hot style of CdP which isn't always my favorite.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah In the Hills USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
This is just great and while I think the wine is on the young side it was very open and expressive this evening. Lots of brine and blood and olive and all of that. It very much harkens to a northern rhone. Just 'popping' as I wrote in my notes.
Red
2006 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Still on the young side but drinking very nicely right now. Lots of black fruits and some spice and a hint of lavender. Really nicely done. Lots of life left here, but this does work at this age too.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 M. Chapoutier Hermitage La Sizeranne France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
Didn't take very detailed notes on this one. I remember liking it though. It's well balanced. Not overly fruity but there's fruit here. It was enjoyable.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Hentley Farm Shiraz Clos Otto Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
Very fruity and intense. This is not a wine for the faint of heart. Somehow though it's a bit more interesting to me than some others in this style. It's got darker fruits and lower acidity, but it reminds me a bit of a hedonistic style. And seems to work. Enjoyable.
Red
2005 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Still a very young and tight bordeaux, but also quite nice. I almost get a bit of mint here. Lots of fruit. Very bright in style which I like. Lovely wine.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Château Léoville Barton France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
Very bordeaux in style and more of the savory, tackroom style. Lots of leather. Not so much in the fruit category. A nice wine that is a bit more muted in type.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Château Léoville Las Cases France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
Another very tight bordeaux. Not ready at all. Lots of leather and cigar and more library notes. Fruit more muted. Still a nice wine.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2006 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
This was not my favorite of the bordeauxs at first. It came across as a lot thinner. More tannin. Less flavor in the beginning. With time then the cherries and black fruits start to come through. And intensity picks up. Needs a lot more time.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2008 Ridge Monte Bello USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
You can tell they are going for an old world style and yet this is new world fruit. Lots of wild strawberries in a field. Still quite young. Needs quite a few more years, but this will be lovely.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2008 Château Pape Clément France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
This wine reminded me very much of hanging out at the barn on a spring day. There's lots of horse blanket and barnyard and saddle leather. Still a bit of a freshness to it. Almost a touch of spiciness at the end. Good wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Château Cos d'Estournel France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
Wow is this good. Really impressive. It's lots of fresh blackberries. There's almost a sweetness to it like the fruit had been just picked. Classy style. Very well done. One of my favorites of the tasting.
White - Sparkling
N.V. Henriot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut France, Champagne
Champagne after a bunch of red wine is hard to beat. There's something nice about getting that freshness and break for the palate. This came across as quite pretty and refined and elegant. Hints of white flowers. I enjoyed it.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
1995 Charles Heidsieck Champagne Blanc des Millénaires France, Champagne
The only champagne served that had some age on it and I always appreciate that. This was very nice. Lots of bubbles. Almost a candied apple style. Tasty.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
This is a bit more astringent than some of the other wines that we tried. A touch higher alcohol. There's definitely more to taste here, but it feels like it's just tight tonight and other flavors are hiding. Needs a lot of time.
Red
2010 Château Talbot France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
Very nice and easy and still a bit interesting. Get some fruit compote which surprised me. On the heels of the Pichon Baron that was very tight this felt much more expressive. Still good.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Carter Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon The O.G. Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
This was an evening of a lot of Bordeaux which made this style stand out a bit more. It's got much more intense blackberry. Lower acidity. Lots of fruit. Slightly higher alc. I think this suffered a bit from switching styles, but do appreciate that this is well done in this way.
Red
2013 Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta Chile, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley
Lots and lots of very ripe green peppers. This has a hint of sweet and a hint of spice. It's a tasty wine.
Red
2012 Château Calon-Ségur France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
Here again it's lots of barnyard and horse blanket and all of that. It's a bit intense, but it seems to work.
Red
2012 Diamond Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary Gravelly Meadow USA, California, Napa Valley, Diamond Mountain
This wine is an interesting contrast. Again the old world style but with new world fruit. The fruit itself is heavier and on the darker side and yet there is something that keeps the wine quite balanced and structured. It's too young, but interesting nonetheless.
Red
1998 Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Madonna del Piano Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
flawed
Corked which was a bummer. It's not very flawed, but something def not quite right and that background of wet cardboard.
Red
2015 Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia Italy, Tuscany, Bolgheri, Bolgheri Superiore
This is a wine with all of the stuffings. It's tight, but still can see the vanilla and the black fruits and the slight levels of spice. Give it 20 more years and then revisit.
Red
2014 Tenuta San Guido Bolgheri Sassicaia Sassicaia Italy, Tuscany, Bolgheri, Bolgheri Sassicaia
Interesting how different this wine is from its 'aia' cousin. This is all minerals and red fruits and very pretty and lacking some of that intensity but has a nice elegance to it. Well done.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
White - Sparkling
N.V. Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée France, Champagne
163rd edition. This was great. Some vanilla and toast and just very nice. It's hard to beat krug.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2008 Perrier-Jouët Champagne Belle Epoque France, Champagne
Lighter and pretty and lots of apple blossom and tasty and just nice in general. This is a great year obviously for champagne. Have tried some that end up quite tight, but this was actually pretty open and ready for business.
White - Sparkling
2002 Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Cuvée Rare France, Champagne
Lots of chard in this style. Tons of toast. Brioche. It's a nice wine. A bit tight, but still quite good.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2002 Pol Roger Champagne Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill France, Champagne
Fresh and crisp and almost a touch sweet. It's still very young. Needs more time.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
2016 Forge Cellars Riesling Lower Caywood USA, New York, Finger Lakes, Seneca Lake
I hadn't heard of this producer until a few days ago, but know someone who is planning a trip to the Finger Lakes and I did some research and this came up in the same company as Ravines and Hermann Wiemer. This was nice and easy and fresh and crisp. Good example of a riesling.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2015 Château Coutet France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Barsac
Tough to be at the table right next to D'Yquem, and while this is not in that class really it's also nowhere near that price tag. Lots of apricot and dried fruits and a sortof sugar water sense. It doesn't have the body of the d'yquem, but when drinking separately there is still a nice finish to this. It's a good wine.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red USA, California, Napa Valley
Here again the new world producer who takes some learnings from the old world. Fruit not quite as ripe or as sweet but still very much there. Great skeleton. It's much too young as many of the wines are, but there's a lot of potential here.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2006 Château La Mission Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
Fresh style of wine with a hint of barnyard and fruit and cigar. This is nice and enjoyable and yet somehow doesn't quite live up to all of the hype I always hear about La Mission.
Red
2015 Château Quintus France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
From the same ppl who bring you HB and La Mission HB this is their new estate on the right bank. Was lucky enough to have a short chat with Prince Robert on it. He noted the wine is still work in progress, but they are making the changes to make this estate really something. To my mind, they are already on a good track. This is super young still and needs a lot more time. Still, it's tasty and there's something there underneath the tightness that I enjoyed. Looking forward to following it going forward.
Red
2011 Château Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
A great wine and very enjoyable so we ended up trying both nights. This is still quite young and shows the age even a bit more than the Cheval of the same year does. But there's good stuffing here. Perhaps a bit more open on Friday when the cigar and smoke and pepper came through a bit more.
Red
2015 Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 707 Australia, South Australia
I was expecting this to be very new world fruit forward and intense and this wasn't quite as far down that path as I might have expected. There's a bit more structure and elegance to it. It's still a very very young wine and needs a lot more time to develop. I like where it's starting from though.
Red
2003 Château Mouton Rothschild France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Very pretty. Lots of shoe leather and the like. It's approachable now unlike some of the other wines being poured, but certainly will improve with time. For some this was the first growth of the tasting although I liked the Margaux a bit more. Prob similar to the HB for me.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2006 Château Clerc Milon France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Totally fine and reasonable bordeaux. Not as great as some of the others at the tasting, but also not at the same tariff as those. This was standard library flavors (leather and cigar and a hint of mustiness). More one-dimensional. But decent.
Red
2015 Viña Almaviva S.A. Almaviva Chile, Maipo Valley, Puente Alto
This was again the very fruity and intense style of wine. Slightly lower acidity. We tried one of these (different year) when we were in Chile and it was my favorite wine from that country. In this company though it didn't stand out in the same way.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Château Montrose France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
Really lovely and wonderful and one of my favorites. There's a great structure to this which stood out for me. Good fruit. Young and needs time, but will be great.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2008 Romano Dal Forno Amarone della Valpolicella Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Amarone della Valpolicella
Helped me understand the hype around this wine. I don't think of Amarone as elegant, but there is a certain elegance to this. A nice acidity that keeps the wine from feeling over done. More of the pretty red fruit flavors. We're heading to this area at the end of November and had hoped to visit, but turns out that is very tough to do (head of marketing referred us to head of wine making who referred us to head of marketing).
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
Had this on the heels of the Dal Forno and the difference in styles is really evident. This is much more intense and fruit and lower acid and higher ripeness. A lot more in your face. A touch much for me at this point in the evening.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2006 Bodegas Vega-Sicilia Ribera del Duero Único Spain, Castilla y León, Ribera del Duero
Maybe one of the biggest baby killings of the evening. These wines are tough young - very tight and the oak still quite prevalent and everything is just not quite as pulled together. It's actually hardly drinkable at this stage, but knowing these wines it feels like it could be really quite good with 20+ years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Bodegas Muga Rioja Gran Reserva Prado Enea Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
Too young like many of the other wines and perhaps more pronounced since spanish wines always seem to do better with a lot more time. This should be interesting though with more time.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Damilano Barolo Cannubi Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
More accessible than I expected it to be. Lots of fruit in the mid-palate. Overall an enjoyable wine.
Red
2012 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Riserva Falletto Vigna Le Rocche Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Lots of cherry flavors which I always love. This is darker. More brooding in style. There's a tightness to the wine. Needs more time. But it's got the right stuffing and will be quite delicious with time.
Red
2014 Domaine Serene Pinot Noir Aspect USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
Very intense and fruit forward. I was a bit surprised by this, but I do find that I prefer these wines with some more age. This has a touch of pepper and spice. Interesting wine.
Red
2015 Château Pontet-Canet France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
This is an unfair time to be trying this wine. First impression is it comes across as a bit simple, but I think it's really more that it's young. The red fruits are there and there's a tightness that is prob holding back other flavors. I would just give it time. I think it could be quite nice.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Bodega Colomé Malbec Altura Maxima Argentina, Salta
I think this is a wine that needs some more time to show what it can do. It's also very fruit forward but there's a nice dusty tannin that seems to keep the fruit into a reasonable spot. It's from the tallest vineyards in Argentina and the world (other than some ones in Nepal that apparently aren't wine producing yet). Would be interesting to try this side by side with a wine from a lower elevation. I still haven't gotten a great feel for how much that improves the wine, but this was nice.
Red
2013 Dominio del Plata Nosotros Nómade Argentina, Mendoza, Valle de Uco, Altamira
Interesting because we visited this winery a few years ago and had this wine and in the interim they planted a new vineyard and have started pulling grapes from there. This is plum and darker fruits and a depth of flavor to it. Higher alc in style. Drinking well, but could use a lot more time.
Red
2015 Continuum Proprietary Red USA, California, Napa Valley
Was great to get to try this. We were at the winery earlier this year but with the size of this vintage we ended up tasting the '14 again rather than this. Nonetheless went long as this is our wedding year so we have quite a few bottles. This is super young and intense. It's got lots of dark fruits and a strong tannic structure and my impression is just needs a lot more time to get together. Will let ours sit for 15-20 years.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Lynch-Bages France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Very young and very tight. Lots of dusty fruit. A wine that needs a lot more time. Prob 20+ years.
Red
2009 Dominus Estate USA, California, Napa Valley
More intense and new world in style than I was expecting. There is though a bit more tannin than sometimes see these days in California. And '09 was a warm year so that could be driving the more intense fruit flavors.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Mission Hill Oculus Canada, British Columbia, Okanagan Valley, Okanagan Valley VQA
I was impressed by this wine. Drunk among some of the best wines in the world and this one held its own. It's not my favorite in the tasting, but nor did it feel like it didn't belong which is more than I can say for many of the Canadian wines I've had. There's more of an old world influence to it. Bit more leather and that style rather than just fruit. At the end there's just a hint of green at the finish. But a nice wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2011 Masi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Serègo Alighieri Vaio Armaron Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
What a wonderful interesting wine. Not made in every year but instead looking for those optimal conditions. After the standard oak barrel it's finished in cherry. Leads to an intense and fruity wine that has a certain depth and character to it. Interesting. Led to us to an interest in making a visit here when we are in the area in November.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2011 Paolo Scavino Barolo Riserva Novantesimo Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Wow was this excellent. I love those wines with a hint of the ethereal and this has it in spades. There's a lightness and a brightness of flavor that is really impressive. Lots of the wild cherry. Really wonderful wine.
White
2016 St. Urbans-Hof Wiltinger Riesling Alte Reben Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
Disagree with the note before mine, but that's perhaps because I don't seek out the petrol in my Riesling. This was nicely done. Very crisp and refreshing and well done. I was intrigued by the wine. Enjoyable.

Flight 2 - Australia Chardonnay (0 notes)

Phil Sexton: Giant Steps Chardonnay Yarra Valley Wombat Creek Vineyard 2017 (92)

Peter Gago: Penfolds Chardonnay Tasmania Yattarna Bin 144 2011 (93)

Simone Horgan-Furlong: Leeuwin Chardonnay Margaret River Art Series 2010 (95)

So I'm not a chardonnay person so didn't take notes on these. Just small sips. Will say the Yarra Yering was a bit interesting. Very light and a different style.

Flight 3 - Wine Star #1: Laura Catena (1 note)

Had heard from some folks that the wine stars were one of the weak links in the program but I didn't find that to be the case at all. Laura was wonderful. Her presentation was informative and insightful.

Red
2004 Bodega Catena Zapata Malbec Catena Alta Argentina, Mendoza
Interesting how these wines age (or don't age as the case may be). This wine could easily have been just a few years old. Bright red fruits. Lots of pepper. Served slightly chilled and it was just right. Created a touch more balance for this. Still very very young. This wine has a long life ahead of it.

Flight 4 - Burgundy Grand Cru (4 notes)

A visit of Corton with a few different wines. I think one of if not the biggest Grand Cru area of Burgundy which allowed it to be served to the broad group at Wine Spectator.

Red
2016 Domaine Tollot-Beaut Corton-Bressandes France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru
Very tart. On the nose its all cinnamon. The palate begins with red currant and then slightly harsh in the finish. Wonder if that is something that will smooth out with some more time. There's a bit of an ashy note right at the end.
Red
2014 Bouchard Père et Fils Corton-Le Corton France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru
Similar nose to the wine before with a lot of cinnamon. Again this has nice red fruit. On the clear and clean side. Again has a kindof quick finish that doesn't feel like it quite works. More tannins. A hint of green note right at the end.
Red
2004 Faiveley Corton-Clos des Cortons Faiveley France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru
More of a mix between the spice and potpourri and red fruits. It's a bit smoother and a bit less of an intense finish that the other two had. Almost a touch of coffee towards the end. This softened in the glass. Starting to prob be a bit closer to the drinking window.
Red
1999 Louis Latour Corton-Grancey France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru
Again a bit of the clean and crisp style which I like. This is almost tea-like at first. Fruit is a bit softened and perhaps a bit less dominant. There's an almost breath-mint sense right at the finish. Drinking very well right now. As these were sourced from the winery the bottles seemed to be in good condition. Felt like it was right in the drinking window (not necessarily falling off).

Flight 5 - Wine Star #2: Mark Aubert (0 notes)

Aubert Chardonnay Sonoma Coast Lauren Estate Vineyard 2014 (93)

Another Chardonnay. When I looked at the program for 2017 it seemed there were quite a few syrah tastings which appealed quite a bit to me. Of course this would be the year of the Chardonnay instead.

Flight 6 - Wine Spectator's Top Ten (Wines #8, #7, #4) (3 notes)

Wine #4: Giacomo Neri, Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino 2012 (95)

Wine #7: Stephan von Neipperg, Chateau Canon-La Gaffeliere St. Emillion 2014 (95)

Wine #8: Stanley Cheng, Meyer Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2014 (95)

Red
2012 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
Lots and lots of oak on this. Some sweeter red fruits. Higher tannins. It's a wine that feels like it needs some more time to come together.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
Hard core tannin and oak. Background of leather and almost a shoe polish. Lots of earth. Some bark. As Stephan von Neipperg said, this is definitely infanticide. But an interesting wine and one that will be quite good.
Red
2014 Hestan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Meyer Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley
Coming on the heels of a Bordeaux and this is prob the opposite of the bordeaux that came right before. All fruit and vanilla. Both have the oak. It starts ok, but the vanilla dominates at the mid and end. A bit intense. Could use some more time to come together.

Flight 7 - Wine Star #3: Jon Bon Jovi and Jesse Bongiovi (1 note)

Ok, I'll admit that I was a bit skeptical of this wine. I mean too often it feels like celebrity wines trade more on the celebrity name than on the quality of the juice inside. Seems this one might be worth taking a bit more seriously.

Rosé
2017 Gérard Bertrand Hampton Water France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc
I'll admit I was skeptical of this wine, but actually it was quite ok. I'm not sure it really stands out. It's very much in that group of good southern france rose. Hints of crushed sweet tart. Some red fruits. Fairly fresh. Blend between Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvedre.

Flight 8 - Lunch w/Instituto Grandi Marchi (0 notes)

First time doing this one and a bit interesting for us. They put out maybe 14 different wines on the tables. It's hard to serve that number of ppl with reasonable food so I'd say it was all kindof so-so, but there were some interesting wines. Esp the Pio Cesare and the Donnafungata.

Flight 9 - Wine Star #4 Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta (1 note)

We visited this winery a few years ago and it was the worst visit we had in Tuscany. Really a shame given how wonderful the wine is. Got more from seeing the seaside nearby. But do appreciate that we did that as this is a wine that very much evokes the place.

Red
2006 Tenuta San Guido Bolgheri Sassicaia Sassicaia Italy, Tuscany, Bolgheri, Bolgheri Sassicaia
This is still really quite young so if going to drink it needs a decant or at least some time to open up. This was very pretty. Again the red fruits and the minerals and the more pretty style. Very fresh. A very enjoyable wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 10 - Wine Spectator's Top Ten (Wines #10, #5, #2) (3 notes)

Wine #2: Charles Smith, K Syrah Walla Walla Valley Powerline Estate 2014 (95)

Wine #5: Louis Barruol, Chateau de St.Cosme Gigondas 2015 (95)

Wine #10: Eric Jensen, Booker Oublie Paso Robles 2014 (95)

This was prob one of the funnier panels that they hosted all weekend. Eric clearly wanted to be controversial and so he started by telling everyone it was just grape juice and easy to make and went from there. I tend to agree with the don't take yourself so seriously. I tend to disagree that this means you just follow some science and make some 'yummy' wine that has higher appeal to a 5 year old's palate than mine.

Charles gave one of the best talks of the weekend and I'm not even always convinced about his wines. But the discussion of what he wants you to get when you drink his wines (love, passion, life, etc.) was very compelling and brought tears to a number of eyes in the audience not least of all his own.

Red
2014 Booker Vineyard Oublie USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
I'm sure part of this note was colored by listening to Eric Jensen describe his philosophy (some of which I agree with, some of which not so much). As he explained it, this is a wine that is meant to be yummy. And it's prob true that if a five year old was going to drink wine, this is the wine that they would want to drink. It's very fruity and ripe and more intense. It's that new world Grenache where there's an overly candied nature to it. A wine meant to be drinkable early because (and I quote) 'women like their wine young'. I think he's hanging out with the wrong women. Not really my cup of tea even if it is structurally sound.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château de Saint Cosme Gigondas France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Gigondas
Another grenache this time from the old world but definitely taking the warmer and more ripe approach. This is a bit candied as well. Needs more acid. Not quite my style.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 K Vintners Syrah Powerline Estate USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Again it's hard to separate what Charles said from the wine in some ways. And his presentation was a real show stealer. He wasn't the only person tearing up in the room. This was interesting to me. A different style. Much more bloody and gamey. There's fruit there, but it's taking a backseat. Much less intense than I had expected it to be based on trying other wines from this producer. There was a hint of a chill to it that seemed to help with the wine being in balance.

Flight 11 - Wine Star #5 - Nik Weis (1 note)

Anyone who serves an entire vintage of wine to a crowd of wine loving people for exactly zero dollars I think deserves some respect from that group. His talk came on the heels of Charles Smith's and it was wonderful to see the passion continue in the discussion. TBA is a monster to make, but the wines are really special and this was no different.

White - Sweet/Dessert
2015 St. Urbans-Hof Leiwener Laurentiuslay Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
Wow what a treat! I think this was most all of the production of this wine for this year getting served at the Wine Spectator event. Which is really too bad because this was just a beautiful wine and really at the beginning of its life. Lots of white flowers and a great level of sweetness and amazing length. This is a wine that stays with you and even a few days later is easy to conjure. Beautiful.

Flight 12 - Schrader Cellars (7 notes)

We certainly like Napa wines and even the cult ones, but I'm not sure that Schrader is our favorite. Dropped the list a few years ago when it felt like we were taking a spot that more appropriately belonged to someone who was more passionate about the wines. These were good. The Old Sparkys do always seem to be a cut above. The '05 esp was pretty nice.

Red
2005 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon RBS Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
This is dominated by the pepper which just seems to jump out of the glass at you. There's still the darker fruits and some tannin and of course the alcohol at the end. A certain crispness to the wine that I didn't expect. This is clearly well done in this style and interesting to try it with some age. This hasn't actually aged all that much - many more years to go.
Red
2005 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon CCS Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
Very fruity. Again darker fruits. Again quite intense. Like a jam almost. But there is some acidity that keeps it more in balance. A bit alcoholic towards the finish. Again a wine that is really quite you when you think about it. Could go for a lot longer.
Red
2005 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon "Old Sparky" Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
I wasn't totally sure how the Old Sparky was going to show next to the other two, but in this case it does seem like the blend is not a bad way to go. The fruit comes across as a bit brighter. There's still some pepper, but it's not quite as intense as with the RBS. Maybe some tobacco now. A bit more of a blend of flavors which makes the wine more interesting and multi-dimensional. Also very young with lots of life left.
Red
2008 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon RBS Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
Amazing what a difference a few years makes. This was much more intense even than the 2005 was. Lots more vanilla and fruit. Less of the pepper or spiciness. This feels not quite as well pulled together as that wine. Perhaps it's just the difference of a few more years in the bottle?
Red
2008 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon CCS Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
Very dark sweet fruits here. Again some vanilla and a bit more pepper here than the '05 had. Get the oak in this. I think maybe just needs some more time.
Red
2008 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon "Old Sparky" Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
I was pretty excited to try this and expected to like it even more than the '05. As it was, it came across as a bit more intense. Lots of fruit. There is also some menthol and a bit of tobacco. I think the blend allows these wines to get quite a few more dimensions. It's still just too young though. I prefer my wines when the oak has faded some and for this wine it's still quite there.
Red
2011 Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Romirasco Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Very nice and appealing. There's a great deeper red fruit flavor that is just the right balance. It's more of a 'tasty' wine, but well good balance and not overripe or over done at all. Enjoyable.

Flight 13 - Wine Spectator's Top Ten (Wines #9, #6, #3) (2 notes)

Wine #3: Aline Baly, Chateau Coutet Barsac 2014 (96)

Wine #6: Sarah Hwang, Domaine Huet Vouvray Demi-Sec Le Mont 2016 (95)

Wine #9: Cleo Pahlmeyer, Pahlmeyer Chardonnay Napa Valley 2015 (95)

White - Off-dry
2016 Domaine Huet Vouvray Demi-Sec Le Mont France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray
Pear and floral and a nice mouthful of a wine. This has wonderful acidity that keeps it well balanced and a finish that goes on and on. Somewhere in the midpalate I start to get a bit more citrus, almost a hint of tangerine. It's very tasty and a great value.
5 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
2014 Château Coutet France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Barsac
Nice to get get to try the Coutet not right on the heels of the D'Yquem. This was their top 10 wine in Wine Spectator. Still very much sweet and there is a touch of the sugar water to it, but it's more complex than that. Orange blossom, some apricots, some general freshness. There's a lingering finish. This is a great wine and a great value and generally tasty.
2 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 14 - Wine Star #6 - Cristie Kerr (1 note)

Really enjoyed hearing a bit more about Cristie. Don't follow women's golf that much so much of what we found out was goggled while she talked. Clear that she is a passionate person who is good at lots of things. Also impressed with what she's done for breast cancer. Wine is maybe still a work in progress, but I think maybe with some time.

Red
2013 Kerr Cellars Reserve USA, California, Napa Valley
It's hard to not be totally taken with Cristie Kerr who presented this wine. The wine itself is sourced from Missouri Hopper and Houyi vineyards so both good spots. I think the wine was a bit closed down or at least it's coming across as a touch more 1-dimensional right now. Lots of darker fruits in the style that evoke Napa. Also, a fair amount of drying tannin. Wonder what some more years would do for this.

Flight 15 - Biondi-Santi (4 notes)

Props to Biondi-Santi who actually brought some wine to this event that was in its real drinking window so that we weren't totally baby killing the whole time. Very much appreciated that.

Red
2004 Tenuta Greppo (Biondi-Santi) Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
We had an impression that there was something just a touch off on this wine and seeing the notes I'm more sure of it. Not a full out corked situation, but one where the flavors are all more muted than they should be. Maybe some tomato paste. Still get the tannin. But less expressive than I'd have expected.
Red
1997 Tenuta Greppo (Biondi-Santi) Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
This was much fresher tasting than the '04, lots of dark red fruits. Still get the drying tannins but more flavors going on. Tomato paste towards the back-end. Interesting to try this in a vertical. To my mind this wine just isn't ready yet when compared with the '90 or the '83 (in fact, even the '90 tasted fairly young). But on a good trajectory.
Red
1990 Tenuta Greppo (Biondi-Santi) Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
This again is still on the young side, but I like the direction it's going and I appreciated getting to try these as a vertical to see how the wine evolves with time. Here the oak is still obvious, with some red fruits, again the more drying tannins. It's powerful, but doesn't feel like it's been fully integrated yet so while many pieces the overall impression is not as complex as the '83.
Red
1983 Tenuta Greppo (Biondi-Santi) Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
Finally - in a vertical that had '04, '97, '90 this was the first wine that I felt like was truly in drinking window. The different pieces are well integrated. There's some secondary flavors coming through (leather and a bit more earthiness) in addition to the red fruits and hint of tomato. Makes for a much more interesting wine. My favorite of the group.

Flight 16 - Chef's Challenge (8 notes)

Have heard that this is one of the highlights of the weekend and I'd be inclined to agree. It is not easy to cook for this number of people and I think the chefs took that into account in what they prepared. All food that was ok if it had been sitting out a bit and still showed quite nicely. My other takeaway is Jose Andres is one heck of a person. From a wine perspective, interesting to me how the wine that I liked the best on its own was often not the wine I liked best with the dish.

The four dishes:

Jose Andres: Cauliflower Cream with Truffle and Caviar
This homage to Chef Joel Robuchon features a rich cauliflower cream with a black truffle gelatin, caviar and hazelnut oil
Emeril's wine: Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet Embazees 2015
Tom's wine: Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne La Grande Dame 2008

Ti Martin: Cayenne Smoked Redfish Salad
Fresh fennel and celery root salad with citrus supreme, roasted pecans, cured orange peel, tarragon, and creamy Herbsaint-infused Green-Goddess' ravigote
Jose's wine: Bodegas Itsas-Mendi Bizkaiko Txakolina 7 2015
Tom's wine: Domaines Ott Bandol Rose Chateau Romassan 2017

Mario Carbone: Country Terrine with Foie Gras
Goose and pork, inlaid with Madeira, marinated foie gras, figs and castelvetrano olives. Served with fresh seasonal fruits, dressed in a relish of Italian mostarda and pickled mustard seeds
Ti's wine: Catherine & Pierre Breton Bourgueil Trinch! 2016
Tom's wine: Clos Fourtet St.-Emillion 2015

Emeril Lagasse: Daube Glace with Apple-Horseradish Salad
A traditional chilled sliced terrine of daube glace made with oxtails and short rib. Served with a compote of sliced apples and red horseradish. Garnished with a petit salad of fall greens tossed in a light crunchy mustard seed vinaigrette

White
2015 Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Embazées France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru
I am not a chardonnay person and would not normally have written a note on this one, but I was quite impressed with this pairing. It's for sure a chardonnay and the flavors are what one would expect for that. But the pairing is actually kindof nice. The creaminess of the wine goes well with the creaminess of the cauliflower cream and there's just the right level of acidity to help with the balance here. While I am not a big fan of the chard flavor, I did appreciate how the structure of this wine worked.
White - Sparkling
2008 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut La Grande Dame France, Champagne
As the previous note mentioned, this wine is more about potential than it is about performance at the current moment. This wine is intense. TO begin with it's almost all bubbles and acidity and feels like it wants to shoot out of the glass at you. I am sure with some more time that will calm down and this is clearly a wine that's built for longer term aging. But right now the way the wine was structured overpowered the food a bit and so didn't work quite as well as the chardonnay.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
2015 Bodegas Itsasmendi Nº 7 Spain, País Vasco, Bizkaiko Txakolina
Interesting how two different wines can bring out such different parts of the dishes. While the rose brings out fruit, this one is much more bringing out the spice. The wine itself is more mineral with maybe a hint of citrus. It's tasty as well and a bit off the beaten track which was fun to try.
Rosé
2017 Domaines Ott Bandol Rosé Château Romassan France, Provence, Bandol
Really nice and I like the interplay here. This wine helps cut the spice in the redfish and really brings out the fruit in the dish and the dish conversely helps bring out the fruit in the wine (I've had this wine where it comes across as more mineral dominant, but here it was the fruit and almost a touch of sweetness at play). Very nice pairing.
Red
2016 Catherine et Pierre Breton Bourgueil Trinch! France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Bourgueil
I very much liked the way this pairing went. Good black fruits and a bit of a lighter style was a nice counterbalance to the terrine which was more intense. There's good spice here. Esp seemed to pair with the foie in the dish. This is one of those wines that was just ok before the food, but seemed to step up a level with it.
Red
2015 Clos Fourtet France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
We had this both in the Grand Tasting and the Chef's Challenge but in order to prevent duplication I'm just writing the one note here. This is a nice and VERY young wine. I think with time I will prefer it to the Loire that it was side by side in the chef's challenge with, but at this point that wine seemed to be a bit more connected to the dish. This has some fig notes and a touch of herbal and generally just tasty. But like I said also young and so a wine that I would wait to pull. It went fine with the food, but didn't feel like that the food improved the wine or vice versa.
Red
2015 Copain Pinot Noir Tous Ensemble USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County
This was decidedly the better pairing although I preferred the Gamay on its own. The higher intensity of this wine worked well with the higher intensity of the daube glace. Rather than getting overshadowed by the dish this wine almost seemed to tame down a bit and feel a touch more in balance. The extra fruit was nice and complemented the meat well. Overall, a very nice pairing.
Red
2015 Louis Jadot Moulin-à-Vent La Roche Château des Jacques France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Moulin-à-Vent
I preferred this wine a bit more on its own, but it wasn't as good of a pairing as the Copain with the dish. This is nice and fruity with a good structure and some more moderate black fruits. The dish though was more intense and higher fat and just needed a wine that was a bit more in that vein as well (or at least the Copain that was higher octane seemed to fit well).

Flight 17 - Lunch @ La Masseria (1 note)

We learned a bit from the previous day and so decided it might make more sense to pop out for lunch and get something that wasn't mass cooked. Headed to a small Italian restaurant around the corner that we've been to before and had a nice meal with some bolognese and truffle pasta.

Red
2015 Vietti Langhe Nebbiolo Perbacco Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
Off the wine list at La Masseria in NYC. This was totally fine. More in the style of table wine. A wine that is meant to be drunk with food. It paired a bit better with the truffle and pasta than with the bolognese, but still tasty with both.

Flight 18 - Oregon Pinot Noirs (4 notes)

We have long been a fan of Oregon Pinot. All of these were nice versions of it. Seem to be newer producers rather than some of the old guard.

Red
2015 Big Table Farm Pinot Noir Sunnyside Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
Bigger black fruits, lots of freshness. This wine is made all naturally and that seems to come out. Vines are older than the winery (planted in 1970). There's this funny metallic note part of the way through and I think that helps with bringing the fruit more in line and making the wine overall a coherent whole.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Chapter 24 Vineyards Pinot Noir The Last Chapter USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
Very fresh with hints of barnyard and fruit more towards the background. There's fig and maybe a bit of bing cherry. It's an interesting wine and seems to work ok. Doesn't jump out of the glass at me, but I remember thinking totally ok and enjoyable.
Red
2015 Lingua Franca Pinot Noir Mimi's Mind USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
Some similar characterisitics to the Chapter 24 we had right before. This is higher tannin, lots of mineral notes, a hint of the metallic. Touch drying in style. It's young as well and could use some more time in the bottle.
Red
2015 Résonance Pinot Noir Resonance Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Yamhill-Carlton
I was intrigued to try this one as I think we've had an earlier vintage and have heard a lot of buzz about this producer. This was very smooth. Lots more black fruits than some of the others in this flight. A bit less metal. A touch of earth. This was nice. Again felt to me like a good wine, but not sure if it's a great one (yet anyway). Still young.

Flight 19 - Wine Spectator's Wine of the Year (1 note)

Red
2014 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot Three Palms Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley
Served a bit on the cool side which has worked well for some other wines this weekend but didn't seem to do this one quite as much justice. Instead gave it a bit of an antiseptic note in addition to the fruit. Released at a really great price for California merlot (of course getting #1 wine of the year made the pricing a bit less great). Overall totally fine, but not really the best wine that we've had this weekend.
2 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 20 - Haut Brion (6 notes)

This was prob the grand highlight of the weekend. And well it should be. The wines were on the younger side. Still, it's not often that you get to do a vertical of first growths and this is one of my favorite first growths.

Red
2010 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
Had a rather different experience from the note before mine. This was I thought drinking quite well. More complex than I had expected for the second wine. Great balance between the fruit and the earth and just generally well structured. Still perhaps on the young side, but expressive (esp compared to some of the first wines that we had afterwards which had great stuffing, but were getting drunk much too young).
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Château Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
This has such a really wonderful nose and it feels like the palate hasn't quite caught up yet. There's some freshness to it like a woodland in the springtime. While the wine itself is tight, still get hints of truffles and black fruits. Very well done and very young. Give it a lot more time. We heard a fun story about this wine where the winemakers had created 3 different blends for this vintage. They had a favorite, but it was the one that they could create the smallest quantity of and so they wanted to make sure there was alignment. The Prince noted that he agreed wholeheartedly with their blend and when they raised that it was the smallest quantity the clear guidance was we need to make the best wine. Always appreciate owners who feel that way.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Château Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
For this vintage this is a very well done wine. It's again still very young and for my tastes needs at least another 5 and maybe 10 more years. The herbal notes stick out more here. Great black fruit. It has a sortof prettiness to it that I like.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2000 Château Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
Again another really lovely wine with a bit of prettiness to it. This is more red fruits than the others have been. Lots of herbs again. Very bright and well structured and well done and still just young. Agree with note before that adolescence might be the right age group. But not really prime time drinking yet.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
1998 Château Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
Still really not quite at drinking window. This wine reminded me a bit of the gangly kid. Lots of energy, lots of fruits, very vibrant wine. But there's some hard core tannins that haven't really softened yet. It started perhaps a bit closed, but swirling in the glass got it to open up more. This still has a long life ahead of it, but quite nice.
White
2013 Château Haut-Brion Blanc France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
I don't have much experience with these wines, but this was clearly something very good. Lots of minerals and a freshness and some grass and yet a bit more elegant than I expected. The SB seemed to dominate a bit more. Overall very tasty and interesting.

Flight 21 - Champagne reception (0 notes)

Didn't take specific notes on these wines, but there were a collection of big house bubbles (more of the moderate ones rather than the top cuvees). All totally fine.

Flight 22 - Grand Award Banquet and afterwards (5 notes)

This was meant to be a celebration of the Evenstads of Domaine Serene but unfortunately didn't make it to the point of the dinner where they were serving those reds (the Evenstad Pinot and Grand Cheval). We were lucky to have some friends at another table where we were able to do a bit of sharing. Ended up slipping out a bit early to meet some friends who were in town that we hadn't expected to see so missed the bigger part of the meal.

Red
1988 Château Lynch-Bages France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Lovely aged Bordeaux. After a weekend of drinking wines that were mostly on the young side it's nice to see something that's right in window. There's the balance of the leather and the fruit and everything well integrated. Feels like it would do a touch better with food, but overall, very tasty. Many thanks to the folks who shared.
Red
1964 Giacomo Borgogno & Figli Barolo Riserva Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Have had a lot of luck with this old Barolos. This one is very fun. I am not entirely sure on the treatment, but wouldn't be surprised if it had been decanted in advance since the fruit was poking through. Still also some of that more tomato style wine. And a good character. Nicely aged which again was quite nice given all of the young wines from the weekend.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Similar to previous notes. This continues to be one of my favorite Pegaus and one of the only wines that I really like from 2003 Rhone. It's hard to describe this wine and convey how well done it is. There's an energy that goes through it that just makes all of the flavors pop a bit. Lots of red fruits and spice notes. Approachable and yet appears to have a long life ahead of it. Well done.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2001 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Man I love this wine. Continues to be a favorite for me. And we did this one right. Opened and decanted for a few hours in the afternoon. Rebottled and brought to a dinner. Fast forward and we ended up drinking most of the bottle at home. This continues to be one of the more elegant vintages of this. There's always power in this wines, but this one also seems to be a bit quieter. Lots of black fruits and violets. More feminine perhaps in nature. But by the time I had a glass very expressive and open and enjoyable. Will let the others sleep for awhile, but always enjoy these. Recommend a serious decant if drinking now.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Sine Qua Non Syrah This is Not An Exit Eleven Confessions Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Sta. Rita Hills
Another baby killing in a weekend of baby killing. At least we did decant for a few hours before rebottling. This wine is not for the faint of heart and on the heels of an hommage that is one of the more refined versions of that wine it takes a bit of readjustment. Still, this is very well done. Yes, it's slutty and a bit hedonistic and 'yummy' (as the owner of Booker would say). It's also got a certain charm and midpalate acidity and just wealth of flavors that makes it a rockstar. Not for everyone for sure, but I do like these.
2 people found this helpful Comment

Closing

The highlight might have to be the Haut Brion tasting although I appreciated the 1983 Biondi Santi and some of the great wines in the Grand Tasting. A fun weekend overall. Suspect we will be back.

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