New Year's Eve, San Diego


With the Mayan apocalypse behind us but the fiscal cliff still looming, we opened some special wines on the final night of 2012. Mr. & Mrs. SD-Wineaux hosted a splendid evening of great people, great wines, and great food. We debated whether to vote on our favorite wines, or to simply admire each for its own merit. After some parliamentary maneuvering, we decided to rank them. Rankings are by group vote; point scores are my own. These tasting notes are brief, intended to get the conversation started.
Mrs. SD-Wineaux's entree of beef rouladen set a new reference point for fork-tender, juicy perfection.
  • 1996 Salon Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs - France, Champagne, Le Mesnil Sur Oger, Champagne
    Clear straw yellow color. Scant mousse, very fine bead. Initial bouquet of brioche and mushrooms, leading into wondrous notes of apples and lemons, with chalky minerality. Complex, refined, with a great sense of purity and precision. My #4 and group's FIRST PLACE by a wide margin. (95 pts.)
  • NV Delamotte Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut - France, Champagne, Côte des Blancs, Champagne
    The label indicates "Le Mesnil Sur Oger." This is a non-vintage cuvee from the producer of Salon. Clear light pale straw color. Vigorous mousse, medium bead. Yeasty bread dough, apples, pear, white grapefruit. With less sense of terroir, less delineation and wow-factor, and much less damage to the pocketbook than its big brother. (91 pts.)
  • 2011 Domaine J.A. Ferret (Louis Jadot) Pouilly-Fuissé - France, Burgundy, Mâconnais, Pouilly-Fuissé
    Clear light straw color. Light fresh notes of white grapefruit, Macintosh apple, daisies, and minerals. Light and crisp. (90 pts.)
  • 1933 Château L'Evangile - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
    Mid shoulder fill. Cork was soft, crumbly, and covered with dark mold. Decanted gently and served immediately. Clear dark mahogany-chestnut-old blood color. Fully oxidized with notes of dry madeira and iodine. I wanted to believe that this wine still had something to offer, but terse Gigond Ass delivered the harsh truth with one word: "dead."
  • 1952 Château Mouton Rothschild - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    Upper shoulder fill. Opened two hours in advance, then decanted gently and served immediately. Clear blood-ruby-brick-mahogany. Bouquet of forest floor, dried red currants, saddle leather, iron filings. Medium body with silky mouthfeel and short finish. Began to maderize after an hour, with notes of caramel and cashew. This wine has clearly seen better days, but still clinging to life. Thanks SD-Wineaux for this special treat.
  • 2003 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
    14.5% alcohol. Bright purple-cherry-garnet color. Wonderful notes of bright fresh berries, cedar, and minerals. Rich, seamless, great balance, with long finish. My #2 tonight. (96 pts.)
  • 2007 Sine Qua Non Syrah Labels - USA, California, Central Coast
    Clear inky garnet-black with opaque core. Dense, extracted profile of red licorice, cherries, plums, and campfire, with more bacon fat character than the 2003 Jaboulet La Chapelle. Rich, opulent, over-the-top, full body and then some, with long finish. I'm always reaching for superlatives with SQN. A powerhouse of a wine, but impeccably balanced and, despite the low apparent acidity, very age-worthy. Group's SECOND PLACE tonight. (94 pts.)
  • 1968 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley - USA, California, Napa Valley
    Clear ruby-brick red. Bright fresh red currants, cedar, leather. Seamless, balanced, medium body with lingering finish. Not merely "still alive," this particular bottle was truly outstanding. (93 pts.)
  • 1965 Charles Krug Winery (Peter Mondavi Family) Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage Selection - USA, California, Napa Valley
    Youthful garnet-ruby red. Fresh notes of red currants, earth, tobacco, leather. Pleasantly tart, with medium body and nice finish. Outstanding. (92 pts.)
  • 1995 Château de Fieuzal - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    Bouquet of scorched earth and stones, fresh red currants, tobacco and leather. Seamless, balanced, medium body, outstanding. (91 pts.)
  • 1992 Pierre Damoy Chapelle-Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru
    Decanted 30 minutes before tasting. Clear medium ruby color. Seductive, sweet perfume of dried strawberries, raspberries, incense and potpourri. Just enough gaminess or clean barnyard to show it's real Burgundy. Complex, assertive but weightless on the palate. This is why "everyone ends up in Burgundy." Truly fabulous. My #1 and group's THIRD PLACE tonight. (96 pts.)
  • 1973 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon S.L.V. - USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
    Top shoulder fill. Decanted gently and served immediately. Hazy blood-ruby color. Notes of tart red berries, cedar, leather and iron filings. Beautifully balanced, mellow, seamless, medium body, lingering finish. My #3 tonight. The winner of the famous 1976 Paris Tasting, still going strong at age 39. (95 pts.)
  • 1997 Struzziero Taurasi Villa Fosca - Italy, Campania, Taurasi DOCG
    100% Aglianico. Clear medium garnet-purple. Intense bouquet of sweet red cherries, leather, savory herbs. Firm mouth-puckering tannins on the palate, with full body and medium finish. Plenty of Italian character, in a good way -- reminiscent of a fine nebbiolo or sangiovese grosso. I hope to try more of this varietal -- especially with a bit more age. (91 pts.)
  • 1998 Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume - France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Quarts de Chaume
    Clear light straw-honey color. Bouquet of quince paste, honey, apricot, apple cider. Similar on the palate, fresh and delicious. Excellent with apple pie. (93 pts.)
  • 1976 Château Suduiraut Ancien cru du Roy - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Clear light-medium amber-copper-gold color. Bouquet of pine needles, apricot, honey, pumpkin pie. Similar on the palate, with some mossiness. Oily and viscous on the palate, with long finish. I think decanting for an hour would have helped, and hope someone will post notes on subsequent tastings from this bottle. (90 pts.)
  • 2002 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année - France, Champagne
    Brut, 60% pinot noir, 40% chardonnay, disgorged 11/2011. Opened at midnight, by which time my taste buds were on life support. Delicious wine with notes of fresh bread dough, apple and pear. Wonderful acidity providing structure and freshness. Outstanding now, and may improve with a few more years. (92 pts.)

Many thanks to Mr. & Mrs. SD-Wineaux for a truly wonderful gathering. How or why they keep doing it, I don't know. They're probably still sweeping up shards of Riedel glassware as I type this. (It wasn't a Master Sommelier, was it?)
Posted from CellarTracker
Original Post
Thanks SD-Wineaux and Mrs. SD-Wineaux. The amount of work you guys put into this before we got there, while we were there and probably after we left was tremendous. You provided great wines as well.

I liked the rouladen, when I got home and woke up from my nap I wished I had some in the fridge! Same with that casserole!

Good to see everyone.

1996 Salon - loved the bread flavors and Champagne this intense and exotic always makes me think of ginger.

1933 L'Evangile - I did not pick up the iodine but thought this tasted like Aussie muscat or tawny and like Bordeaux. That said, why get caught up on how something should taste to where you can't enjoy what is there? This wine still tasted good to me.

2003 Paul Jaboulet Aine - Always like Hermitage!

1968 Mondavi - was my favorite Cab based wine that night.

1992 Pierre Demoy - Awesome Burgundy!

1997 Struzzeri - ok I brought this and am favorably biased towards Italian wine and was looking forward to this. Reminded me of nebbiolo but more accessible and a little more exotic. Further reason to support my decision that most of my nebbiolo dollars will be spent on aglianico in the future. Still seemed a little hardcore and would benefit from age.

2002 Bollinger - I like this but by midnight I was in no shape to be drinking. The down side to offlines is some beauties get lost in the blur and do not get the attention they deserve.

2007 Sine Que Non - I enjoyed this wine! Big and still coming together but I liked the complexity. I have had 3 SQNs but this is my first enjoyable experience.
And another thanks to Team SD-Wineaux for making this a very memorable evening. After re-reading Javachip's notes, I can't help but think that we really know how to have a tasty good time.

I'm impressed that Javachip could give a detailed tasting note on the '02 Annee. A midnight toast with this provided by SD-Wineaux? Yeah, we know how to roll.....

And thanks to all for pulling out some amazing wines to share.
Thanks once again for your notes on the wines, Javachip. It's always fun to relive the wines from memory.

Happy to have had you over. Sit-down dinners are a fun change from our usual format, although the space constraint is a downer. But Mrs. SD-W was quite happy with the rouladen given a less successful rendition at Christmas.
Originally posted by wine+art:
I curious, what was the thinking in opening the '52 Mouton two hours prior to drinking?

Also, the label by Leonor Fini. You talk about a bohemian women that lived her life without regard. Eek Cool

Slow ox (the so-called Audouze method), and it was actually more like 6 hours. I've used it to good effect on previous older bottles. Hard to tell if I did it harm this time or not since I only smelled it and didn't pour a taste at opening.
Originally posted by newsguy:
Originally posted by SD-Wineaux:
Mrs. SD-W was quite happy with the rouladen given a less successful rendition at Christmas.

i had never heard of the dish before now, but just looked up a recipe for it and it looks quite tasty. need to give that one a try!

Yep, that's pretty much the recipe that my wife follows from her mom, but they've always skipped the pickle.
Originally posted by Rothko:
That was an impressive line up of wines.

Thanks for the notes. I think the 65 Krug cab would have been a lot of fun to try!

Both the Krug and the Mondavi were fun to taste side by side... By the best of my research it was the last bottling the brothers produced in collaboration along side and an early R. Mondavi offering to compare.....

I agree with Java's notes on them both being alive, but the Mondavi had more fruit left in it. Both a bit dusty but fun and still enjoyable to drink. The Mondavi was still kicking on day 2, as I took it home.. could not find the Krug the next am, as some scoundrel offed it, LOL!

Agree with all the players that night, good peeps, good wine and good grub... Can't beat bacon and steak rolled into a single entre... Devilish

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