Last night, at a blind tasting with a few of the locals:
1999 Bollinger Champagne Brut La Grande AnneeJust 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 VerzenayEveryone 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 SavennieresObviously Chenin. No one guessed vintage or producer. Very nice.
2008 Benzinger Chardonnay Sangiocomo Vineyard CarnerosMost guessed California Chard. Noticeably oaky and buttery. Would be very nice with a cream based seafood dish.
1995 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Napa ValleyAgain, universally identified as California Cabernet. Very dense. No one got producer or vintage.
1997 Fattoria di Monsanto Chianti Classico ReservaNobody 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 MedocSeveral 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 MonprivatoA 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, SangioveseDecanted 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 CatherineLaydown for varietal and location. No one got the producer or vintage
2005 Les Cailloux Chateauneuf du Pape, Cuvee CentenaireSeveral 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....