Redhawk hosted a great lineup of Champagne, and started popping some serious reds afterward. Thanks so much for the hospitality Redhawk, great party.
1) (N.V.) L. Mawby Blanc de Blancs Leelanau Penninsula sparkling wine
My first Mawby sparkler. I could not believe the quality. Higher residual sugar content in this cuvee made it a likely crowd pleaser for many of the guests. Bright fruit over a clean, mouthwatering spine. Funny that at a retirement party before I went over to Redhawks, I met one of my old employees who works at L. Mawby in her retirement. Lucky her. 89 points, serious QPR.
2) (N.V.) Pierre Peters Cuvee de Reserve Blanc de Blancs
This wine was very clean and tight. Some citrus flavors, toast aromas. Appealing. I don't know what the price was for this wine but it was enjoyable and I would not hesitate to buy some if the price was really good. 88 points.
3) (N.V.) Taittinger Champagne Brut La Francaise
Lemon custard up front, very mouthwatering and crisp. Wet stone accents that follow through on a nice finish. My favorite of the NV lineup. 90 points
4) 2007 Domaine Carneros Brut Cuvee
This cuvee was controversial. I loved it, most hated it. It had a toasted/burnt caramel nose with very unusual nutty flavors. I noted a gamy, creamy finish similar to raw milk. Very strange compared to the rest of the lineup, but I really liked it. Unfortunately, it had a very bitter finish that most found extremely off-putting. 89 points for me.
5) 2000 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs
Nose had a strong, fresh grill-char component that I really found appealing. This was a perfectly balanced wine with very fine bubbles. Easy favorite for the night's Blanc de blancs, not even close. Round and mouthfilling. 93 points.
6) N.V. Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose
Redhawk related to me that other WS forumites had referred to this wine as "LPR" (Liquid Pantie Remover). Well, if I had panties, I would have taken them off, but none of the ladies seemed to be of similar mind last night. Delicious. I have had quite a few rose still wines and a couple of rose sparklers, but this provided me with a great benchmark of great quality. It was one of my favorite wines of the night. It had very clean and clear flavors with not one iota of bitterness that I seem to find in some rose. The pinot was expressed lightly with rose-petal, floral aromas and delightful cherry on the palate. This was a really great sipper and I found myself going back to it again for more. 93 points.
7) N.V. Krug Brut Grande Cuvee
FULL, PURE, focused yet extremely giving. This thing just packed a mouthfull of deliciousness and the finish was unbelieveable, going on and on. After getting into my glass about halfway, I could just sit there with the residual in my mouth enjoying it for a minute or two. Pretty awesome. The front of this champagne was just a laser of delicious toasty light fruit, cream, bread, and finished with an incredible taste of plum jam...yeah, that's what I am calling it...plum jam. 96 points.
REDS REDS REDS
1) 1997 Schweiger Napa Valley Cabernet (From Magnum)
Open for business. Middle to late drinking window, had very nice cherry kirsch nose and flavors. Tannins were very nicely integrated. A great wine for me. 93 points.
2) 2001 Chateau Lynch Bages
A little bit closed. Great structure, smooth glycerine tannins, delicate wood, restrained fruit. Hard to judge at this stage, but definitely a very good Bordeaux from this vintage. 91-93 points for me.
3) 1999 Beaucastel CdP Rouge
Intense floral bouquet. Slight bricking here, not a very deep hued wine at this point for a CdP. Has a pinot-like quality at this stage. Fruit is a bit restrained...had some earthy, tart strawberry, garrigue, and sour cherry flavors that really were nice. Alcohol seemed a bit hot, but this wine was in a nice place. 92 points.
4) 1996 Calon Segur
Delicious. Barnyard nose that blew off to leave a great bouquet. Deep Ruby color. Flavors of Iron, black olive, salt, mouth-watering beef blood, some spice. I loved this wine. 95 points.
5) 2001 Clerc Milon
Similar to the Lynch Bages, it had a restrained quality to it that made it hard for me to judge. If you gave me both of these wines blind, I might suggest you poured me the same wine. Pretty sure I had some palate fatigue at this point 92-94 points.
I had to shut it down at this point and head home. Again, thanks to Redhawk and his wonderful wife for a great night and great company.