Second Sunday Group: 1999 Napa cabernets

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Tasted November 10, 2019 by AllRed with 82 views

Introduction

The 2nd Sunday group gathered for our regular double blind tasting. For this group, we are presented a couple of double blind warm ups before the main flight. The warm ups are discussed & unveiled before moving on to the themed main flight. We spent forty five minutes or so tasting and evaluation the eight wines for the main flight before ranking the wines and then making guesses as to what we were tasting. Wines are ranked 1-8, one point for each place, and then unveiled from last place to first place. After the tasting, dinner is served with the additional wines brought by the group, nonblind. As Domino and I hosted this event, we tasted single blind, i.e., we knew the wines but we did not know the order (I bag them and she arranges them). For this tasting we had twelve tasters and the cost was $35.

Flight 1 - Warm ups (4 notes)

The Champagne was served nonblind.

White - Sparkling
2008 Alain Thienot Champagne Brut Millésimé France, Champagne
89 points
Medium mousse. Apple, floral and dried yeast notes. Apple, chalk and almond flavors; fine bead. Balanced. Very nice. 89+ pts.
White
1984 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay USA, California, Napa Valley
First of two from a recent purchase from the winery's library and while not cheap, priced fairly enough that given the ideal provenance I felt it was worth a shot. Served double blind to the group. Deep golden yellow color. Cooked apple, a hint of oxidation- one immediately discerns that this is an older wines. A touch of something varnishy on the palate, though there are hints of mature/old fruit underneath. While not dead, it was more intertesting than good, but definitely drinkable. Knowing there are no great wines, only great bottles, perhaps we will get lucky with the second one when it comes time to open it.
White
2008 Yves Boyer-Martenot Meursault Les Narvaux France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault
92 points
Served double blind to the group. Lemon and mineral notes dominate the bouquet. Rich texture with lemon and apple flavors; mineral-tinged finish. Balanced; good weight and presence. Showing really well right now. 92-93 pts.
White
2017 Cameron Chardonnay Dundee Hills USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
89 points
Served double blind to the group. Cotton, apple and pear. Decent fruit, but a bit clipped on the finish. Higher acidity. This was much better (92+) a few days later when we finished up the last third of the bottle. Give a healthy decant if drinking now.

Flight 2 - Themed flight (8 notes)

The wines double-decanted about two hours before the flight was poured.

Red
1999 The Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder
84 points
Blind. Opens with a baked red currant note but there's also a bit of oxidation here. Plummy red fruit on the palate. A hint of bouillon as it gets more air. Not completely devoid of fruit or charm, but this bottle clearly did not hold up as well as others.

My #7, Domino's #8
Group 8, 76 pts
Red
1999 Araujo Estate Altagracia Napa Red Wine USA, California, Napa Valley
92 points
Blind. Opens with aromas of herbs and red fruit which follow through on the palate. A bit of chocolate on the palate as well. Develops some interesting earthy elements as it sits. Nicely balanced, with abundant red fruit and a medium/long finish. Drinking very nicely and should continue to do so for at least a couple of years yet.

My #3, Domino's #2
Group #1, 32 pts
Red
1999 Leducq Vineyards Le Ducq USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
93 points
Blind. This is immediately appealing with notes of tobacco and what I will describe as cooked red berry fruit, and I mean this as a very positive thing here. Medium-bodied with balancing acidity and flavors of mixed red and black fruit, spice box and tobacco. This has an old world sensibility that is very enjoyable. For me the most complex of the wines in the lineup, and my favorite by a slight margin.

My #1, Domino's #4
Group #2, 36 pts
Red
1999 Pine Ridge Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
92 points
Blind. Opens with an odd cheese-like note that blows off after a few minutes, revealing coffee and black fruit aromas. More of the coffee on the palate, with red berry fruit rounding things out very nicely. Doesn't change much as it sits, but that really doesn't matter as this is just a nice glass of wine. Balanced, slightly plush, with nice fruit.

My #5, Domino's #5
Group #3, 38 pts
Red
1999 Silverado Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley USA, California, Napa Valley
flawed
Blind. Red fruit and mocha notes with dark berry fruit on the palate. However, as this sat and had more time to breathe, a subtle musty note began to emerge. Sure enough, this was slightly corked, but those with a lower sensitivity were able to enjoy it.

My #8, Domino's #7
Group #6, 73 pts
Red
1999 Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Martha's Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
93 points
Blind. Notes of chocolate, black fruit, evergreen/pine, and eucalyptus. Red fruit on the palate. Softened tannins; terrific weight and texture on the palate. Red fruit carries through the lingering finish.

My #2, Domino's #3
Group #4, 43 pts
Red
1999 Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley, Spring Mountain District
92 points
Blind. Red cabernet fruit under roasted bell pepper notes-a dead giveaway- this is the Togni. Soft tannins. Mixed red and black cab fruit on the palate. The fruit tends more to the balck spectrum as this gets more air in the glass. Really well-baalnced. Very nice if you like this style, which I do. Drinking well- no reason to hold. 92+ pts.

My #4, Domino's #6
Group #7, 75 pts
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1999 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve USA, California, Napa Valley
88 points
Blind. Herb and tobacco notes with red frut underneath. A bit thin across the palate. Good red fruit flavors, just lacks presence. I was suprised to see this unveiled as the Mondavi Reserves tend to perform much better for my palate preferences. Perhaps this bottle wasn't the greatest example of this wine. 88+ pts.

My #6, Domino's #1
Group #5, 59 pts

Flight 3 - Dinner/dessert wines (14 notes)

Enjoyed with choucroute garni and a pear frangipane tart. MaY brought out the port toward the end of the evening and served it double blind.

Red
2008 Château de Fieuzal France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
89 points
Really nice mix of fruit and earth. Balanced. Tannins are softening nicely; not yet at peak.
Red
1990 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
90 points
Pale ruby red color with some bricking. Pretty red fruit and spice notes with an underlying bretty funk. The fruit follows nicely on the palate. Medium finish.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1990 E. Guigal Hermitage France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
92 points
Red berry fruit, iron and barnyard aromas. Balanced. Integrated tannins with abundant red fruit, pepper and earth. Finishes with good length. Shows more depth and nuance than the Jaboulet on this night.
White
2018 Dönnhoff Riesling trocken Germany, Nahe
89 points
Peach and mineral notes. Orchard and stone fruit elements; mineral and dried honeycomb flavors. Very nice.
White
2011 Domaine Weinbach Gewurztraminer Altenbourg France, Alsace
93 points
Notes of apricot, gooseberry and honey. Honeyed fruit and spice on the palate. Balancing acidity. Long finish.
White - Sweet/Dessert
1989 Hugel Gewurztraminer Vendange Tardive Selection Personelle Jean Hugel France, Alsace
92 points
Stone fruit and gooseberry with terrific underlying spice elements. Good concentration and balance. 92-93 pts.
Red
2013 Georges Noellat Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Boudots France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru
91 points
Cherry and warm spice notes with an underlying iron note. Medium bodied. Cherry and pine flavors with a nice finish. 91-92 pts.
White
2005 Zind-Humbrecht Muscat Herrenweg de Turckheim France, Alsace
93 points
Very bright and pretty with pear and white fruit notes. Dry, but with terrific fruit and length on the palate. Good balancing acidity. This was the best match for the choucroute in my book. 93+ pts.
Red
2005 Lucien Le Moine Morey St. Denis 1er Cru Clos des Ormes France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Morey St. Denis 1er Cru
93 points
Pine sap, herbs, cherry, white currant and earth notes. Cherry, mineral, spice and earth on the palate. Long finish. Opened nicely in the glass. Very enjoyable, though could use an hour in a decanter.
Red
2008 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Rabajà Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
92 points
Red currant, cherry and licorice notes. Balanced. Full-bodied. Red fruit and spice. 92+ pts.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Domaine de Saint Siffrein Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
90 points
On the riper side, with plum and red fruit and raisin undertones. Medium-bodied. Red berry fruit, raisin and spice flavors. Medium+ finish.
Red
1998 Clos de l'Oratoire France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
91 points
Red berry jam, iron, forest floor and black currant aromas. Bright. Red fruit and earth. Medium+ finish.
Red - Fortified
1977 J.W. Burmester Porto Vintage Portugal, Douro, Porto
93 points
Double blind, courtesy of MaY. Very pale ruby color with an orange/brown meniscus- clearly older. Aromas of cherry, cassis and rose petal, though clearly fortified as the spirits are also noticeable. Cherry, raspberry, licorice, cassis liqueur and spice flavors. Fresh and bright. I really enjoy this. Easy to identify as port, though I cannot recall what vintage I guessed.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2013 Royal Tokaji Wine Co. Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos Red Label Hungary, Tokaji
93 points
Consistently excellent and a terrific match with the pear frangipane tart.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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