Holiday Parties 2019

Dogwood Grove, Arlington, VA

Tasted January 6, 2020 by pgb67 with 54 views

Introduction

Some highlights from the holiday season ...

Flight 1 - Christmas Eve (4 notes)

Red
2012 Cà La Bionda Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
94 points
Mouthfilling and rich, with a decant unveiling a lovely creamy blanket of dried cherry and plum fruit. Structured with close-grained tannins, but enlivened by a vein of acidity. Continued to evolve over time to develop more sophisticated notes of clove, espresso, and roasted coffee bean. Quite satisfying with a rich and elegant Christmas meal. Would recommend holding this a few more years or decanting for a couple of hours.
Red
2012 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
97 points
Smooth, elegant but powerful. Fresh red cherry aromas that explode into your sensory area, graced with hints of flower and stone. Rich and round palate that avoids being a fruit bomb thanks to a tangy acidity. Flavors of plums and dark berries deliver a memorable palate that draws you in. Long spice-laden finish befits the pedigree of this wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 La Porte Saint Jean Saumur Les Cormiers France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Saumur
88 points
Picked this up in Saumur during a trip to France this summer and felt compelled to re-live the memories of that wonderful town at Christmas Eve dinner. Unfortunately my enthusiasm led to a premature open for this wine, which still needs plenty of time. The wine has a deep, structured smokiness to go alongside black cherry and dark berry fruits and anise. Hold.
White
2016 Oceano Chardonnay Spanish Springs Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, San Luis Obispo County
89 points
Didn’t spend a lot of time with it and not particularly well versed in this category. Pure and balanced, showing a Chablis-like steeliness on open but warmed up (literally and figuratively) to show ripe pear flavors layered with lemon and buttery toast.

Flight 2 - New Year's Eve (3 notes)

Red
2014 Saxum Heart Stone Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
97 points
Aromatic wine that was a real crowdpleaser and disappeared before it had time to develop much. But it was singing right from the start with scents and flavors of creme de cassis, crushed violets, and fresh blackberries. Notes of underbrush add a rustic cowboy element that reminds you that you are in new world California. Ripe but resolving tannins offer good structure to the seamless mouth. Quite decadent really and a pleasure to drink now.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2008 Château la Bienfaisance Sanctus France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
92 points
Refined and elegant, offering up a floral nose and notions of black cherry and blackberries on the palate with sophisticated hints of espresso roast and toasty oak. Medium bodied with a lovely texture. Another one that disappeared before any significant development in the glass could occur.
White
2015 Joseph Fritsch Riesling Schlossberg France, Alsace, Alsace Grand Cru
90 points
Straightforward and pure with juicy apples, white peaches, and hints of tropical fruits. Displayed a fruitier, more extracted nature than I usually get from entry-level Alsatian wines. So it was easy to drink, although not particularly complex.

Flight 3 - Other 91's (3 notes)

White
2016 Viña Otano Rioja Blanco Spain, La Rioja, Rioja
91 points
I don’t drink much Rioja Blanco but maybe I should change that. Hits my "sweet spot" with bitter citrus flavors of lemon pith and orange rind and aromas of freshly sliced citrus. Mouthfeel is full and refreshing.
Red
2010 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Tina Marie Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
91 points
Fragrant with an inviting nose of raspberries, crushed rocks, and subtle background forest notes. Medium-bodied but more flavorful that I expected given the naturalist reputation of the makers – tasted more fruit than rocks, which was a good thing on this day.
Red
2011 Paradigm Merlot USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
91 points
Every time I pick up a quality merlot, I think I should be drinking more of this stuff (see Rioja Blanco note above). Round mouthfeel and intricate nose and flavor profile of plum and red berries with some notes of toast and chocolate to boot.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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