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Sorry, Not Sorry! No Poker on Poker Night!

Jason's House

Tasted November 12, 2022 by I'd Rather Be Drinking Wine with 49 views

Introduction

A small group got together to share some wine and play some poker...the purpose was to introduce Marvin to some other friends. Joe brought his wife and James and Carrie came over, we were joined by two of my nieces, one who Marvin met at the two previous tastings and one of her sisters who was visiting from Miami. A fun night filled with some pretty remarkable wines!

Flight 1 - Champagne Flight (3 notes)

White - Sparkling
2006 Pol Roger Champagne Vintage Brut France, Champagne
92 points
A great start to a fun night....was suppose to be poker and wine, but somehow we never got to the poker part! This Champagne showed off the 2006 vintage, which was excellent. Lots of toast and tart apple, some citrus and some sea shell notes. The Champagne had nice acidity and fruit, and was drinking way above its price point, IMO. 92 Points. I don't see this improving much, but no rush to drink either.
White - Sparkling
2006 Billecart-Salmon Champagne Cuvée Nicolas-François Billecart France, Champagne
94 points
This Champagne was very tasty and more intense than the 2006 Pol Rogers, but with a similar profile, i.e., Brioche/yeast, tart green apple and citrus with lively acid and lots of sea shell/saline minerality. A nice Champagne to sip on, and great addition to the tasting. Nice mousse too, and the lift and fruit had you coming back for another sip! A solid 94. No hurry on drinking these!
White - Sparkling
2008 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut France, Champagne
97 points
A great Champagne! I liked this much better than the 2005 we had, but it is a matter of preference. I found this Champagne Champagne just had a little more of everything, i.e., more fruit, more acidity, more minerality and more mousse, with a more silky and creamy mouthfeel than the 2005, although the 2005 was still drinking remarkably well. To me, this showed the pedigree of the vintage. I do agree with another taster that it was slightly behind previous bottles, but still absolutely stunning. 2008 Cristal is my benchmark Champagne, and this was not quite up to previous other bottles. I am not sure if that is due to bottle variation or if this Champagne is getting ready to shut down some (or totally). Still, for now, and this bottle, a 97 point wine for me!
6 people found this helpful Comments (2)

Flight 2 - Old School (3 notes)

Red
1996 Harlan Estate USA, California, Napa Valley
flawed
So my goal here was to compare the 96 Harlan (my benchmark wine) with the 96 Margaux (a wine I love, but wasn't sure if it hit my benchmark) What better way to find out than a head to head smackdown! Unfortunately, this wine seemed flawed....while certainly drinkable, it was no where near previous bottles and actually smelled slightly corked to me....the usual perfumed nose was funky and wet newspaper to me, and palate was also lacking, as well as Harlans signature silky mouthfeel. On the palate, fruit was still present, but some of it seemed stewed. The cork was pristine and there were no physical signs of heat damage, but who knows....all I know for certain is that it was not a representative bottle, thus scoring reserved. What a bummer for such a good wine. Guess the comparison will need to wait!
Red
1996 Château Margaux France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
98 points
This wine was singing tonight and could have dethroned the 96 Harlan as king of the hill....unfortunately, the Harlan did not want to play this night! Classic Margaux nose, so perfumed with lilac and purple flowers, plenty of red, purple and black fruit on the nose, some chocolate and some old leather as well as some earthiness and sweet tobacco notes. The palate was equally stunning with red and black fruit, lavender, mushroom, forest floor, leather, pencil lead, cigar and sweet oak. Very nice balance between fruit and tertiary flavors and both were equally prominent...in a perfect place for my palate! A phenomenal wine, and 98 points, tying my highest score to date! Will definitely need to do a face off with Harlan one of these days! The best Bordeaux wine I have tasted to date too!
2 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
2003 Château Gruaud Larose France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
93 points
This a wine that consistently shows well above its price point. Along with Lynch Bages, this wine offers a great value....unfortunately, it requires a lot of age, and is thus now beyond my ability to buy on futures. However, even at current prices (approx $125), this is still a pretty good buy! Typical Gruaud Larose, with plenty of dark fruit (mostly cassis), some graphite and some earthiness, with hints of leather and tobacco. Oak is toasty and well integrated and finish is medium. This leans slightly on the fruit side of the spectrum, which works for me! This may have suffered slightly following a phenomenal 96 Margaux. Easy 93, and that may be slightly conservative. In a very good place for my palate, and has years ahead of it.

Flight 3 - Big and Bold (2 notes)

Red
2018 Impensata Cabernet Sauvignon Engelhard Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley
95 points
A friend from San Francisco came to visit and brought 3 2018 wines Nigel Kinsman was involved with, i.e., this wine, Kinsman Anjea and Kinsman Rhadamanthus. I was looking forward to tasting all of them! I thought this wine would be the most people friendly wine, so went with this for the group to taste...some people in the group are francophiles and prefer older wines, of course this wine misses that mark on two scores! Others, including me, really appreciate good CA Cabernets and the purity of fruit and structure of these wines. My nieces, who were in attendance and tried all three wines favored this wine...they also favored this wine over all the wines in the tasting, including the 96 Margaux.

This wine is definitely built for aging, but it does taste pretty darn good now! Florals and fruit on the nose, with gobs of plush black, dark red and blue fruit coupled with some cream, cocoa and vanilla to go with plenty toasted oak on the palate. A very nicely structured and mouth coating wine! I thoroughly enjoyed this wine! Thank you Marvin!! Solid 95 now, and should improve....my second fav of the trio! (Spoiler alert, 2018 Rhad was my fav)
3 people found this helpful Comments (11)
Red
2012 Roger Sabon Châteauneuf-du-Pape Le Secret des Sabon France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
94 points
I don't recall having one of these before and am not familiar with this producer, but it was definitely my style of CdP! Fruit forward with plush red fruits (raspberry and cherry), some blackberry, some meaty notes, some sage and other herbs, and some anise. The tannins were fine and velvety, giving the wine a creamy mouthfeel. Finish was medium. A very nice wine and squarely in my wheelhouse! Thanks for bringing this Joe! A solid 94 for me!
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 4 - Forgive me for Forgetting Poker! (1 note)

White - Sweet/Dessert
2009 Château d'Yquem France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
98 points
I feel like a broken record....once again impeccable balance and a solid 98 points....still my benchmark Sauternes and can't imagine anything better! Full of orange creamsicle, honeyed stone fruits and apricot jam with a hint of citrus and spice. Just the right amount of acidity to balance the sweetness....always a treat! 98, yet again!

Closing

OK....let me start by saying that how often can you go out to gamble and go home with what you came with? Doesn't that kind of make everyone a winner? My fault, we got so caught up on the wine, we forgot poker until the end of the night, and by then it was let's just open an Yquem! That's just like winning at poker, isn't it?!?! Cheers!

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