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2004 Le Serre Nuove dell'Ornellaia. Enjoyable, but the tannins demand a few hours of air or better yet, 5 more years hibernation. Saved half the bottle for later this week to see if it settles down.

Edit: Day 2: in balance now, a beautiful wine. Ripe dark red fruits and lengthy finish reminiscent of a young Bdx. Glad to have more of this.
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Last night, at a blind tasting with a few of the locals:


1999 Bollinger Champagne Brut La Grande Annee
Just lovely. I love this style. One taster nailed the vintage. I knew what it was, but I brought it!
2003 Jean Claude Mouzon Champagne Brut Integral Grand Cru Verzenay
Everyone knew it was Champagne, but no one got close, even on vintage. Showed like an older bottle. Large bead. Lovely flavor and aromas. Never would have guessed it was a Blanc de Blancs from color or taste.


2002 Nicolas Joly Clos de la Bergerie Chenin Blanc Savennieres
Obviously Chenin. No one guessed vintage or producer. Very nice.
2008 Benzinger Chardonnay Sangiocomo Vineyard Carneros
Most guessed California Chard. Noticeably oaky and buttery. Would be very nice with a cream based seafood dish.


1995 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Again, universally identified as California Cabernet. Very dense. No one got producer or vintage.
1997 Fattoria di Monsanto Chianti Classico Reserva
Nobody came close on this one. It was added to the tasting by the owner of the restaurant, who joined us for most of the wines. I was further embarasssed, as I have this wine in my cellar and had opened one 4-5 years ago. This wine was just singing and showing no signs of tiring. Lovely.
1982 Chateau La Lagune Haut Medoc
Several had this pegged as Left Bank Bordeaux. Nobody came close on vintage. Everyone guessed younger. This came from an impeccable cellar. I'd love to try this again on its own. Delish.
1998 Giuseppe E Figlio Mascarello Barolo Monprivato
A majority at the table identified it as Barolo. A couple got the vintage. No one guessed the producer. Right in the sweet spot now. Really good wine.
1994 Lopez de Heredia Rioja Gran Reserva Vina Tondonia [Tempranillo (75%), Garnacho (15%), Mazuelo and Graciano (10%)]
Only one taster got this one right. We were all over the place on this one. Very, very good.
2001 Flaccianello Della Pieve, Sangiovese
Decanted and rebottled after 3 hours of air. Still young, but really nice. Several guessed Brunello/Sangiovese. No one guessed it was Flaccianello, and there are several bottles in our cellars. I brought this one, so I nailed it!
2006 Kistler Pinot Noir, Sonoma, Cuvee Catherine
Laydown for varietal and location. No one got the producer or vintage.
2005 Les Cailloux Chateauneuf du Pape, Cuvee Centenaire
Several of us nailed this as a CdP. No one got the producer. This wine is a brute. Really lovely. Maybe my "nose" of the night.
2005 Chateaux Pavie, Saint Emillion Grand Cru Two of us guessed Pavie. A really delicious, non-Bordeaux like bottle.


2005 Domaine des Baumard, Quarts de Chaume (750ml)
Most guessed Loire Chenin. Most of us have a bottle or more of this in our cellars. It seemed a little lighter/thinner/more delicate than my last tasting of this wine. Last bottle of the night. My palate was toast...

Each bottle was tasted and guessed at before we moved to the next. It was very informal, very humbling and a lot of fun. I need to taste blind more often. A very generous bunch of gents, too. The restaurant was great, the food was excellent, service outstanding. I have a long day in the office today, and am not enjoying it too much so far.... Roll Eyes

At a tasting tonight in Chicago presented by the winery:

2012 Chateau Montelena Rose Napa Valley (Zin)
2012 Chateau Montelena Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley
2011 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay John Muir Hanna Vineyard
2003 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Estate
2009 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Estate
2009 Chateau Montelena Petite Sirah Napa Valley
2009 Chateau Montelena Sauvignon Blanc Late Harvest Nspa Valley
Trialto French tasting (wines that stood out for me)
Pierre Gimonnet Fleuron Blanc de Blanc 1er Cru. Soft, smooth, great apertif champagne.
1998 Gosset Celebris Extra Brut, Slight oxidized/rancio/whatever you prefer to call that thing that happens to champagnes as they age. Good now.

2010 Faiveley Burgundies (6). Light vintage but some good ones. Vougeot and Clos des Cortons were great as expected. Beaune Clos de l'Eclu 1er was great for the price point ($60)

Zind H:

2010 Pinot Gris Heimbourg. Luscious and beautiful
2010 Riesling Brand VV GC. Superbly structured and balanced Riesling
2010 VV Vendage Tardiff Gewurtz. Yum. Rose water/Thrills gum and bright fruit. Not to sweet.

All the ZindH were beautifully balanced and showed typical characteristics of the varietals.

Dinner after at Marben w VinChanted, Sunnylea & friends:

2001 Vincent Girardin Chassagne Montrachet La Romanee
Wonderful, light hazelnut, butter.

2006 Ballot-Millet & Fils Pommard Rugiens. The 2006 is open for business, opened up nicely. Fuller than some of the 2010s. Excellent. Earthy, cherry..

1999 Jean Michel Guillier Gevrey Chambertin. WOTN. Mature with forest floor, cherry, strawberry. Surprisingly fresh with bright acidity. Still lots of life.

1998 Muga Rioja Riserva. Still young. Very good. Nice wine to finish up on.
Last night with some excellent Szechuan food, 2001 Fritz Haag Riesling Auslese Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Goldkapsel #12; this is outstanding, light in texture but still intense, citrus, apricot/peach, green apple and honey, great acidity, very long finish. I have one more bottle that I might leave for a year or twenty; this is going to live for many years yet, wonderful Riesling. I think this would show even better with some good cheese rather than the spicy food we had with it.

Tonight, taking to dinner a 2001 Les Cailloux Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Centenaire, which I last had 4 years ago; we'll see whether it's completely open yet.
Originally posted by wine+art:
Originally posted by redknife:
Originally posted by wine+art:

1999 Jamet Cote Rotie

How was it?

Have you had any other vintages?

Very nice wine. I have been drinking Jamet for a very long time and am a fan.
Agree. I'm a big fan of Jamet. I struggle with the amount of oak used by a lot of N. Rhone producers, but Jamet does it right for my palate. Jamet with a little age on it and some grilled meat is a beautiful thing!
Last night at home with friends; I did not take formal notes:

2008 Didier Daguenau Silex - incredible from the get go and it got better with air and added degrees. Toasty element in the citrusy nose. Mouthwatering. 95. I'm guessing this will end up being my WOTM. If it gets surpassed, well then good for me!

2008 Pegau Cuvee Reserve - decanted about 2 hours. Typical old-world aromas but without the brettiness that some get with this vintage. Really nice CdP. 92.

2010 Sojourn RRV Pinot Noir - young but delicious. The nose of strawberries was beautiful. Lively. 93.

2005 Guiraud Sauternes - Incredible bouquet of cream, caramel, marshmallow and pineapple. It lacked some acidity on the palate, though. Not a great showing for this wine. 89-90. Maybe just in a dumb phase?
Originally posted by Rob_Sutherland:
How was the BdM?

Took them both to Goosefoot in Chicago last night (really spectacular food).

The BdM was simply brilliant. A nice mix of youth and age - still some lemon and acidity, but starting to develop the brown notes that I love in old champagne. Want more.

La Jota was a lot more modern than the other ones I've had and still was very youthful, but a very nice wine, just not in the same league as the BdM.
Originally posted by GlennK:
Sounds like a good time billhike. Have you tried the 08 Pur Sang? It is pretty awesome as well.

The only Pur Sang I've had was an 04 or 05 that was on a restaurant list last year. I've not seen them retail - Silex is the one that most retailers carry. The bottle we had last night was generously brought over by a good friend.
2011 Domaine de la Côte Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills - wanted to get an early look at this one but it's painfully young right now. Some nice tart fruit on the palate along with some savory notes and loads of acid on the finish. Needs time to come together but the components are there for something interesting.
Last couple of nights, dinner at Le Logge (Siena) and Enoteca Fouripiazza (Greve):

2006 Tere Nere Prephylloxera Etna Rosso
1999 Argiolas Turriga
2006 Cavallotto Barolo Riserva Bricco Boschis

Ran into the exec chef from Osteria di Passignano having dinner at Enoteca Fouripiazza with his family. Good to see that we both have the same tastes.
This weekend:

2011 Bastianich Colli Orientali del Friuli Friulano – A little flat on the palate and just a touch boring overall.

2011 Weingut Niklas Kerner Alto Adige – This is more like it. Really aromatic and just delicious. This is richer on the palate compared to other Kerner’s I have had recently, but it’s still fresh and lively on the finish. Wonderful pairing with garganelli, mild italian sausage, caramelized red onion and a little dab of fresh pesto.
Originally posted by Board-O:
Originally posted by on the wine:
2006 Santadi Terre Brune

How was it? I have some of the 2005. I think this is just about the best wine made on Sardinia.

The 06 Terre Brune was drinking very well last night. I had it with Filet Tartare and it paired beautifully. I had the 05 last year and it should also be in prime drinking condition.

But don't agree with your claim to being the best wine from Sardinia. I prefer the 1999 or 2002 (and even 2005) Turriga, but Terre Brune comes close.
This weekend in Toronto at La Forchetta.
2007 Sassicaia
2007 Guisto di Notri
1997 Ornellaia
The first two were from my cellar and were opened in the morning and decanted before serving. The Ornellaia was from the wine list and clearly showed me that while enjoyable young these wines go to another level with time.
I also enjoyed a 2002 Comtes that night and it was spectacular. Banana
Last edited by unclejohn
Originally posted by KSC02:
Originally posted by Uncle John:
The Ornellaia was from the wine list and clearly showed me that while enjoyable young these wines go to another level with time.

Definitely. An excellent lesson gleaned Wink

I will still sample many wines before they reach maturity as I enjoy the lush fruit and bold flavors of young wine. That's why I buy many bottles of wines like 2007 Sassicaia which is drinking surprisingly well for a wine that historically needs 10-15 years. FYI read the CT notes on this wine.
I also enjoyed a 2002 Comtes that night and it was spectacular Wink
Originally posted by wine+art:
Originally posted by wineismylife:
And did you enjoy Jaleo?

We enjoyed it a great deal. I guess on Sunday nights they cook an entire pig, and have an 'all things pig' special menu. We had dish after dish of pork fixed so many different ways.

I'm not sure if it is every Sunday or just one Sunday a month, but oh my. Cool

Excellent. Jaleo is pretty high on my hit list the next time I'm forced to visit Vegas.
2011 Sandhi Wines Chardonnay Rita's Crown

Tasty wine, with crisp apple and pear notes. Plenty of acid on the finish making you want to take another sip. Good stuff.

Just started exploring the Santa Barbara area a bit more over the last couple of months. Sandi is run by Rajat Parr, Charles Banks and winemaker Sashi Moorman. The fruit for this wine is at the highest point in the Santa Rita hills at about 500 to 1000 ft. Looking forward to seeing what the Pinots offer from Sandhi.

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