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!