Mr. & Mrs. SD-Wineaux hosted another splendid cellar diminishment party at their lovely home. All wines were provided by SD-Wineaux, properly decanted at his discretion, and tasted and scored blind. Tasting impressions are my own; rankings are by group vote.
- 2003 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
Clear light straw color. Delicious notes of jasmine, orange blossom, peach, lime, slate. Fresh and pure. ShaneT identified nearly the exact vineyard for this wine, whereas I was happy simply to recognize it as a riesling. Tied for SECOND PLACE.
- 2003 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Clear light straw color. Muted nose of light jasmine. Restrained on the palate as well, with light bitter herbs. I guessed white Rhone. Seems to be in that closed phase that many of them go through from ages 4-12 or so. Ranked at the bottom tonight, with no votes for first, second or third place.
- 2006 Marcassin Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Clear medium yellow. Bouquet of smoky toasty oak, butterscotch, coconut, pear, lemon, herbs. I guessed New World chardonnay. In 2011 I wrote that this wine's style is so far removed from my personal taste, that I can't score it. That remains true. It ranked at the bottom tonight, receiving no votes for first, second, or third place.
- 2000 Tardieu-Laurent Cornas Vieilles Vignes - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
Clear medium ruby-garnet. Clean animal fur, musk, nice tart red fruit, minerals. I guessed this French syrah to be a French pinot noir.
- 2007 Turley Zinfandel Salvador Vineyard - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Contra Costa County
Hazy medium blood-garnet color. Sweet red berries, incense, rose petals, milk chocolate, marzipan. Almost port-like, but with no harshness or heat. Very unlike the bold, jammy $15 zins I usually drink. I ranked it #3 and guessed Old World syrah or pinot, with some age on it. Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Shows no hint of its 15.5% alcohol.
- 2005 Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon Don Melchor (Private Reserve) - Chile, Maipo Valley, Puente Alto
Clear deep garnet color. Fantastic, powerful bouquet of cassis, blackberries, cloves, espresso, charcoal. Full body, great balance, long finish. Very youthful. I ranked it #2 and guessed New World cabernet.
- 2001 Cuvée du Vatican Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve Sixtine - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Clear deep garnet color. Cassis, blackberry, charcoal, minerals, earth. Outstanding wine with full body, great balance, long finish. Seems youthful. I guessed Bordeaux.
- 1996 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Merlot - USA, California, Napa Valley
Clear medium blood-garnet color. Wonderful profile of fresh red fruit, cigar tobacco, river rocks. Fresh and pure with great balance, full body, lingering finish. My #1, group's SECOND PLACE (tie). I guessed aged Bordeaux. This Bordeaux-style wine is the envy of Bordeaux, just like its ancestor in 1976.
- 2007 Kutch Pinot Noir McDougall Ranch - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Clear cherry-ruby color. Attractive bouquet of raspberry, cola, stewed rhubarb, smoky oak, animal fur. Pleasantly tart red fruit on the palate, with some sassafras. I guessed New World pinot noir.
- 2005 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon S.L.V. - USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
Clear dark garnet-purple. This bottle seemed overripe with a stewed prune character. Concentrated, full body. I guessed New World cabernet sauvignon.
- 2001 Feudi di San Gregorio Pàtrimo Campania IGT - Italy, Campania, Campania IGT
Clear inky garnet-black. Huge tannic beast of a wine with gobs of blackberry, cassis, charcoal, bitter cocoa. I guessed this Italian merlot to be a New World cabernet.
- 2004 Le Cadeau Pinot Noir Diversite - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
Hazy blood-ruby color. Sharp nose of green olives, balsamic, rust, tart red fruit, cedar. Similar on the palate. A somewhat atypical Oregon pinot noir. Nice food wine.
- 2005 Domaine des Baumard Coteaux du Layon Clos de Sainte Catherine - France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Coteaux du Layon
Clear light yellow. Beautiful bouquet of grilled pineapple, Meyer lemon curd, honeysuckle, creme brulee. Similar on the palate, with fresh acidity. Most of us guessed Sauternes, and a very good one at that. Group's FIRST PLACE. SD-Wineaux remarked that it was the lowest priced wine tasted tonight.
We enjoyed some wonderful food along with the wines -- cheese and charcuterie boards, homemade tapenade (thanks Jabe11), BBQ ribs and wings, my effort at coq au vin (a bit generous with the brandy), and more. Desserts from Azucar, a new patisserie in Ocean Beach, were sensational -- thanks Azwiese! Many thanks again to Mr. & Mrs. SD-Wineaux. Cheers!
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