Holidays 2018

Dogwood Grove

Tasted January 6, 2019 by pgb67 with 105 views

Introduction

This is a compilation of notes from a couple of Christmas-season events - Christmas Eve dinner and our annual "Port Party" (so named because the original party featured only port). And then we drank a couple of other interesting bottles during the season.

Flight 1 - Port Party (6 notes)

Red
2010 Bodegas y Viñedos Maurodos Toro Viña San Román Spain, Castilla y León, Toro
91 points
I decided to lead off with this wine because it always exudes class and not everyone is familiar with Toro wines, so it provided an opportunity for education. And the bottle showed well. Powerful elegance. Think fine Bordeaux with a hint of savory Spain. Strong notes of black fruits and wooden box. The wine is well structured and integrated but still shows grippy tannins. Drinks classy enough that it could be mistaken for a modern Bordeaux. Alas, it perhaps didn't stand up to some more pedigreed wines in the tasting.
Red
2011 Saxum Broken Stones USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
93 points
If I include Saxum in a flight, it usually comes in as an anchorman because of its power. But by then, palate fatigue has set in and it doesn't get the attention it deserves - so on this night it went second in the lineup. I really liked this on open – deep, concentrated flavors of black raspberry, licorice, and peppercorn, and a penetrating nose of plum and meats. Special. Over time, however, it lost some energy. The aromatic profile becoming less distinct. The palate showed more a more brooding side, with a smoky cassis and brandy profile.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Bodega Catena Zapata Nicolás Catena Zapata Argentina, Mendoza
90 points
Drinks like a Bordeaux with an Argentinian accent (which is what it is …), but I was perhaps expecting more power here. Structured and defined, with a pleasant nose of cherry liqueur and strawberry, and an elegant palate with resolved tannins and plum and cassis-driven flavors. Finesse and femininity, which maybe was a surprise. At the end of the day, I might prefer my Bordeaux sourced from Bordeaux.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Giusti Ranch Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
93 points
I chose this and the Rivers Marie for the lineup to see how they might compare, and they did their jobs by showcasing different elements. The KB had an oddly reticent nose, but the palate was a powerhouse. Lush and well-spiced dark fruit and ripe berry flavors. A pleasure to drink, and on this night, the drinking pleasure outweighs the aromatic gratification.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Gioia Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
90 points
In sharp contrast to the KB, this had a wonderful evocative nose of citrus, pomegranate and raspberry. But the palate was less pleasing, with a more earthy, stemmy character. Although, I love aromatic wines, this one just didn’t do enough on the flavor front
Red
2008 Damilano Barolo Cannubi Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
96 points
A real holiday treat – the feast of kings with the wine of kings. Evocative nose of cherry, eucalyptus, and spice. Great mouthfeel with tantalizing, elegant tannins that strike the right note between chalky, grippy freshness and black tea sophistication. The impressive, flavorful palate was a final luxury – seeped cherries, tar, plum. The ten-year mark seemed to be a fine time to pull this out of the cellar. Consensus (possibly unanimous) WOTN.

Flight 2 - Christmas Eve Dinner (5 notes)

Red
2001 Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
89 points
In honor of holy night, I pulled one of my oldest bottles from the cellar. Interesting, exotic, rustic. Enjoyable but somewhat lean and lacking some complexity. Spice, briney olive, cherry characteristics. In this lineup, its age maybe prevented it from standing out.
Red
2005 Château d'Issan France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
88 points
On this night, not my thing –tight and not particularly flavorful. Dried herb, tea, and cedar notes dominate. Nevertheless, it was long and showed elements of class. Seemed to be the least successful wine with my guests based on how much wine was left at the end of the meal.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Domaine Robert Chevillon Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Chaignots France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru
92 points
Entered this into the lineup so that the French "Big 3" regions were represented on the menu and to offer a contrast to the California pinot I was serving alongside. This was more youthful and alive than the other French wines. Complex and concentrated with flavors of dark fruit, spice, and smoked meat. Good freshness, ample tannins, sustained finish. Exudes oaky masculinity. Might have wanted to see a bit more acidic verve, and on this night anyway, the California pinot I paired it with shined with its sun-infused fruit just a bit more.
Red
2009 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Coastlands Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
94 points
This seemed special – a lifted nose of strawberry with pleasant accents of cedar and coconut and a satisfying modern palate of berry medley, strawberry preserves, vanilla. It was long and delicious. Provided an interesting contrast with the Burgundy – less earthy and long, but more delicious and vibrant. In a great drinking window, and might have several good years to come. Although I think the Burg can go even longer.
White
2012 Schloss Gobelsburg Riesling Reserve Gaisberg Austria, Niederösterreich, Kamptal
95 points
The lone white for dinner. I loved this wine on release and it’s just as good a few years later. Chiseled, gravelly, but approachable even for those who don't go for rocks in their wine. The fruit is fresh – green apple, lemon zest, peaches. Granite minerality with a saline tug makes for a sizzling feeling on the tongue. Develops sweetness over time and with exposure to room temps. Finishes with a gingery spice note. My WOTN in a close call over the Coastlands.

Flight 3 - Misc. Extras (2 notes)

Red
2008 Fontodi Chianti Classico Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Classico DOCG
93 points
At ten years of age, this is surprisingly spry, and drinks like something far classier than a chianti (although Fontodi's CC is possibly the best around). Expressive aromatic profile of dusty rose and rosemary. Balanced with a firm acid backbone providing a palate cleansing grip. Precise palate with signature tobacco leaf and accents of cherry flesh, sweet spices, iron. Finishes with dry mineral notes and a hint of residual sweetness.
Red
2014 Viticultor Goyo Garcia Viadero Garcia Georgieva Finca Cascorrales Spain, Castilla y León, Ribera del Duero
92 points
Very sophisticated wine with real Ribera style. Rich and dense with a woodsy and loamy character. Notes of currant and tar on the palate with ample acidity making it easy to sip. Flavors of cola, dark chocolate, balsamic.
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