Jen's birthday

Inovasi; Lake Bluff, IL

Tasted November 12, 2009 by psmith with 684 views

Flight 1 - Pre-dinner wines (2 notes)

White
1998 Marcassin Chardonnay Lorenzo Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Big, opulent, slightly smokey wine. Bright, waxy flavors - some honeyed more mature notes. Keep well in check. Some alcohol evident. Very nice.
White
2003 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
Not as big as I remember. Refined tropical fruits - exotic wine. Great delineation of flavors. Some alcohol. Subdued and clearly in need of time. Very good.

Flight 2 - Dinner (7 notes)

Five courses:

Organic aged carnaroli risotto, spanish marcona almonds, local ishikura onion, iberico cheese
Scarlet runner bean ravioli, homemade smoked bacon, water buffalo ricotta cheese, watermelon radish salad
Drunken kumamoto oyster shots, farm cilantro, rice vinegar, miso, pasila de oaxaca creme fraiche
Sustainable kingfish, handmade pasta, halibut broth, fresh white alba truffles
Grilled custom raised organic chicken breast & confit leg, chanterelle mushrooms, yuzu kosho sauce

White - Sparkling
N.V. Ruinart Champagne l'Exclusive de Ruinart France, Champagne
Likely a bit corked, but this seemed to fade over time, most likely as the wine just gained in body in masked it a bit. Clean, crisp nose with chardonnay-heavy styling. Mineral and oyster shell type notes. Big palate - clearly some more mature components as there's a nice richness here. Enjoyable despite the likely taint.
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White
2005 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
Still full of sulfur - just needs lots of time.
Red
1998 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
Elegant lines - cinnamon stick and dark blackberry fruits. Pretty, pure wine. Subdued. Very nice balance of components, and surprisingly well resolved. Very nice.
Red
1998 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Ermitage Cuvée Cathelin France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
Far more intense and youthful than the regular '98 Chave, and definitely takes it up a notch. More spice, structure, weight, and just about everything else. Knockout nose. More wrapped up on the palate, but still very enjoyable with a clear ton of development left to show. Really good.
Red
1986 Bodegas Vega-Sicilia Ribera del Duero Único Spain, Castilla y León, Ribera del Duero
Raw, Rioja-like sour cherry and dark fruit notes. Surprisingly tame, elegant styling. Firm acidity; low-profile tannins. Very nice - very drinkable now but clearly capable of lasting a long time.
Red
1990 Château Margaux France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
Big wine with lots of stuffing, but very raw right now. Dark fruits, tobacco. Clear Margaux elegance, despite the firm tannins that definitely need time to integrate. High-pitched. Very nice, but all potential at this stage.
Red
1995 Diamond Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Red Rock Terrace USA, California, Napa Valley, Diamond Mountain
Really nice, classic Cabernet notes - cassis and mineral notes. Still youthful but gives a lot of enjoyment. Refreshingly tame. Very nice.

Flight 3 - Dessert (3 notes)

Manjari chocolate "pot de creme", whipped coconut, togarashi pistachio brittle

Red - Fortified
1970 Graham Porto Vintage Portugal, Douro, Porto
Reasonably ready to drink. Bright flavors, with less weight than expected. Ruby color. Medium-body. Carries its components well.
White - Sweet/Dessert
1986 Château d'Yquem France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
Not as big as I remember; rather, a refined, medium bodied d'Yquem. Bright tropical flavors. Firm and well structure. Youthful. Always a treat.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2005 Alban Vineyards Viognier "Rotten Luck" TBA USA, California, Central Coast, Edna Valley
This is terrible - like trying to drink honey. Vile stuff.

Closing

Great meal, great wines!

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