Future Mrs. Whiner and I had dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Jaimetown last night -- as great as these wines were, the company was even better! (but, damn! these wines were good! )
2002 Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay: Amazing CA Chardonnay. One thing that is so unusual about this wine is that it manages to mantain a strong CA identity while still being elegant and balanced. Roast hazelnut and key lime were the two flavors I picked up most, but there was plenty of complexity. Rich without being heavy, I opened this about 45 min before we consumed it, I think this is ready to go now and I doubt it will seriously benifit from significant cellaring. 92.5-93.
1998 Clos Mogador Priorat: Terrific wine. This reminded me of an Amarone -- it had that same concentrated, slightly raisiny texture and nose. There was, however, a bit more "Elmer's glue" and a bit of bramble to this wine. Dark, rich, and concentrated, yet not heavy. Absolutely excellent. Terrific, long finish. 92.5
1998 Finca Dofi Priorat: Wow! What a wine. This was consumed following, then along side, the 1998 Mogador. And, it is even better. Jaimetown described this as "an Armani suit" and I somewhat agree. It certainly has that level of polish. However, no one should believe this anology means "polish without substance." This wine has more going on than I could ever describe. On the nose there was Elmer's glue and black rasberry. On the palate the black raspberry turned into a schmorgasbord (sp?) of super-ripe fruits which, somehow, became focused on the super-long finish. As tonight was my first forray into high quality Priorat, I don't know how this will age, but I'm planning on buying some '98 and '99 Dofi to see how they are in about 5 years. Right now, I would assign about 93 points.
1995 Roda I Rioja: Holy Guacamole! Perhaps it is because this is the wine that really made me believe that Spanish wines could be among the greatest wines in the world, perhaps it is because Future Mrs. Whiner had this 3 1/2 years ago on the last night of the vacation that convinced us we were in love. For whatever reason, this wine speaks to me in a way that very few do. Currant, raspberry, black cherry, blueberry, and just about every other dark berry you can imagine seem crushed and jammed into this spicy, cedar-scented gem. From the great cigar nose to the nearly 1 minute finish, this blows my mind every time I try it. 94+
"What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?" -- W.C. Fields