This past Monday a bunch of locals got together with xhoser on what may have been his last business trip our way for a while. It's been our pleasure to get to know him over the last year and a half. Dinner was at Topaz Cafe in Burr Ridge. They had us in a private room with a large quare table. This was a nice way to have some privacy and be able to see each other. Here are my notes on the wines generously shared - thanks everyone! I may have missed one or two of them, and I'm guessing we'll see notes from AllRed and Vino Me soon.
2010 Sine Qua Non The Monkey - Honey, lemon and chamomile scents. Full mouthfeel with floral notes similar to a Gewurz. Spice, very long finish. Cream and vanilla notes later as it opened and warmed. I've only tasted a few SQN and this may have been my favorite. 93.
2006 Cuilleron les Chaillets Condrieu - Initially muted nuse with black tea notes that opened up to some gorgeous tropical fruits including mango and pineapple. Great acidity. Citrus and tropical fruit flavors. Medium bodied with a great rich finish. Gets better with air. 93-94.
2008 Wyncroft Boucher Cab Franc - lighter in color, like a Pinot Noir. Sour cherry, dried herb, graphite and chalk nose. Very acidic, just shy of overly so. Tart cherries and spice. One of the more interesting MI reds I've had, mostly because of the complex nose. 87.
2010 Varner Bee Block Chardonnay - Deep gold. Pineapple and cream nose. Full bodied with mango, pineapple, papaya, lemon, caramel and sweet spice. The acidity gives this a great balance between huge fruit and freshness. Delicious right now but has years to go. 93-94.
1996 Chapoutier Cote Rotie La Mordoree - somewhat muted nose of plums with a hint of smoked meat. Plum, spice, black tea. Still plenty of acidity. Medium bodied and better with air. Some thought it was slightly corked early on, but it was just very French. 89.
2001 Charvin CdP Rouge - nose of plum, dark cherry, roasted meat, dried herbs. Bacon and tar creep in there as well. Palate - spicy blackbberry, plum, dried cherry. Medium bodied. Still seems young, but delicious. Nice grip at the end. 92-93 with upside.
2006 Herman Story Liam's Story - think it was a Syrah blend? Dense, dark purple. Huge nose of very ripe blackberry and blueberries. Some bacon notes. Very full bodied and extracted. Straddles the line of ripeness but fun to drink this style once on a while. 90.
2006 Araujo Eisele Cabernet Sauvignon - Dark and inky. Blackberries, menthol, eucalyptis, mint on the nose, but with black fruit and oak dominant. Dark crushed berries and coconut flavors, smooth tannins. Needs a few years to settle down IMO. 91 with possible upside.
2005 Hundred Acre Cabernet Sauvignon - Much more firm and refined than the previous couple of reds. Blackberry, currant and mint nose. Medium-full bodied, nice acidity, smooth tannins, good balance between the grippiness and dark fruits. Should open up with time. 94.
1988 Rieussec Sauternes - the darkest and oldest stickie I've had to date. Nose of marshmallow, cream, orange peel, roasted nuts, honey, sugar cookies. One of the more complex-smelling wines I've enjoyed. Toffee, caramel, baked apple and cinnamon flavors. Thick and rich, still vibrant acidity.
Special thanks to xhoser for reaching out on these boards last June. He is a great guy and responsible for causing many fun offlines to take place monthly since then. Cheers buddy!
I wondered when one of you note takers was going to post the list we drank.
There were a few opened that are not on your list:
2001 Worthy Sophia's Cuvee
2001 Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon Hyde Vineyard
2009 Stefania Syrah Split Rail
Also, I think the Araujo was the 2005, but I could be wrong about that. I also thought the Herman Story was actually a Red Car Syrah Vinyl. Although, that's from memory as I didn't take any notes, so I could be wrong there.
As for the wines, there wasn't a clunker in the bunch (as usual). My favorite red was the Hundred Acre, and white was the Cuilleron Condrieu.
The food at Topaz was very good, but the service was lacking in my opinion. Of course, that could be that we've been spoiled by Vie and some of the other places we've been. The private room was nice though - it let VM scream when he felt the urge.
Don't be a stranger xhoser - you're one of us now as far as I'm concerned.
Enjoyed the dinner. Sad that xhoser will not be coming in as often. Excuse me for getting a little emotional at the end. I know I hugged some of you for longer than is socially acceptable.
2010 Sine Qua Non The Monkey - USA, California (11/29/2012)
Opened by Allred. 52% Roussanne, 23% Viognier, 19% Chardonnay, and 5% Marsanne. A full bodied white wine. Notes of creamy pear, smoke and toasted oak. Spicy finish. Was worried that this would be too over the top but did not think it was in that category. 91 points.
2006 Domaine Yves Cuilleron Condrieu Les Chaillets - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu (11/29/2012)
Opened by Dan. The best white of the night in my opinion. This had a lot going on. Floral nose. Silky texture. A fine sweetness running throughout the wine. Notes of peaches and honeysuckle. 93-94 points.
2010 Varner Chardonnay Spring Ridge Vineyard Bee Block - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains (11/29/2012)
Opened by LostVerse. The first Varner wine which I have had. Thought the nose was somewhat muted. Notes of oak and white pepper with some apple. Too heavy for me. 87 points.
2009 Stefania Syrah Split Rail Santa Cruz Mountains - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains (11/29/2012)
Opened by Allred. Thought this needed more aging to show better. Firm tannins. Rather primary and somewhat acidic at present. Tart fruit notes. 88+ points.
2006 Vinyl Syrah Liam Storey - USA, California (11/29/2012)
Opened by Dan. This had an artificial aroma to it. A big wine with a thick texture. Thought it lacked balance. Long legs with cassis and dark chocolate covered blackberries. 86-87 points.
1996 M. Chapoutier Côte-Rôtie La Mordorée - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie (11/29/2012)
Opened by Allred. 2nd time I have had this wine. The last time was in August 2011 (also from Allred) and the wine was beautiful then. This bottle was very different. Strawberry starbursts on the nose but the flavors were very muted and bland. Some herbalness but also a bit of cardboard. Slightly corked.
2001 Domaine Charvin Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (11/29/2012)
Opened by Dan. Unmistakably old world and Rhone. Drinking well but with plenty of life left in it. Wet earth, black fruit, plum and violet. Smooth finish. Integrated tannins. 92 points.
2001 Worthy Sophia's Cuvée - USA, California, Napa Valley (11/29/2012)
Opened by LostVerse. 3rd time I have had this wine. This is going strong without and is not fading. An earthy wine with notes of licorice and berries. Medium bodied with moderate tannins. It had a little bit of an old world character to it. 90-91 points.
2005 Hundred Acre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Kayli Morgan - USA, California, Napa Valley (11/29/2012)
Opened by xhoser. A big and brutish California cab but with surprisingly good balance. 15.5% alcohol. Deep purple color. Concentrated fruit. Firm tannins. A hint of alcohol with notes of blackberry, coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Mouthcoating finish. 95-96 points.
2005 Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard - USA, California, Napa Valley (11/29/2012)
Opened by Allred. Never had the 2005 before but have had the 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2003 vintages. This wine was right up there with the 1995 and 2003 and with some additional aging could be the best of that group. Still young. A meaty and substantial wine. Notes of vanilla, red currant and cedar. Medium to full bodied. A long and round finish. 93-94+ points.
2001 Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon Hyde Vineyard - USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros (11/29/2012)
Opened by J3. I had the 2002 vintage of this wine twice but never the 2001. This vintage was superior to the 2002. Drinking very well. Notes of dark cocoa, mocha and plum. A concentrated texture with solid tannins. 93 points.
1988 Château Rieussec - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes (11/29/2012)
Opened by BillHike. 2nd time I have had this with similar notes. Last time was in 2006. Fresh tasting but not as spicy and vibrant as I would like a Sauternes. Notes of orange rind and apricot. 92-92 points.
2003 Chateau VinoMe Vin de Noix The Last Curse - USA, Illinois (11/29/2012)
Took a bottle to an offline with xhoser and some of the CWM. A fortified dessert wine I made using walnuts, vanilla beans and a few other secret ingredients. Tootsie roll color. Mmmmmm. The oily goodness of walnuts. Nobody passed out or went into a coma. This wine got it's name because it was made in July during the 2003 Cubs season, racked in September during their pennant run and bottled in October during the "Bartman" incident. The Cubs will not win a World Series until the last of these bottles are consumed. I think I have 4-5 left.
VMThis message has been edited. Last edited by: Vino Me,
Does that include The Last Curse?
Good to see everyone once again. Hopefully xhoser is able to find a few more excuses to get out this way again...or perhaps get some of us out his way for a change.
VM - one quick correction- it was billhike who contributed the very charming Rieussec.
DINNER WITH XHOSER - Topaz Cafe, Burr Ridge (11/26/2012)
Posted from CellarTrackerThis message has been edited. Last edited by: AllRed,
Wine is passion. It is family and friends, warmth of heart, and generosity of spirit.
~ Robert Mondavi
Thanks. I fixed it. Thought that was too many wines from one person to bring. Even for you.
You had me at that.
All in good fun!
Nice get together, some interesting wines for sure.
I think The Last Curse doesn't actually count as wine.
Are you still angry because I wouldn't pay your medical bills the last time you drank it? You did sign the disclaimer.
Wine is passion. It is family and friends, warmth of heart, and generosity of spirit.
~ Robert Mondavi
I'm glad you reminded me. I lost most of my memory after the last time I drank The Last Curse.
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