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Just the three of us. Two locals, Latour67 and stemor, along with the traveling BHVineyards. We found a convenient and wine friendly restaraunt, and brought three ... no, make that FOUR ... bottles of wine.

They were:

'90 Chateau Clinet Pomerol (from Latour67)
'90 Livio Sassetti Brunello (from BHV)
'99 Justin Isosceles (me. I can't he'p myself!)

I was going to bring a '94 Ridge Montebello, but then realized that I was dining with Latour67. Why bring a California "bordeaux style" when you KNOW you're already going to enjoy the real thing?!? So, I opted for something different, going for YOUNG and FRUIT FORWARD..

Then, there was a fourth wine, but that was later.

<< EDIT: See separate post, below. * means that I messed up on recalling my notes, transposing these two scores. [Embarrassed] >>

'90 Chateau Clinet. Throwing strong sediment, most of it staying in the bottle. Great aroma (after opening up) and taste of juicy dark berries and chocolate. Consistent ruby color all the way to the rim, showing very light orange shade. SM93*

'90 Livio Sassetti Brunello. No sediment, nice consistent cranberry color. Typical nose and taste of cherries, along with some leather and earth/mushrooms? I even thought I was smelling cigar smoke after it sat in the glass for a while. Moderate finish. Good, well balanced acidity and tannins. SM91.

'99 Justin Isosceles. Completely decanted (that is, in an ideal decanter with HUGE open space for oxidation) for 1:45. It didn't hurt that our waiter's name was Justin, so we shared with him. He loved it. We loved it. [Big Grin] Everyone else here has either bought it, tasted it, or isn't paying attention. You know the drill: Dark, opaque, fruity, with legs trying literally to stretch all the way out of the glass. It's not terribly complex or built to age, but I love this stuff NOW. SM94*.

Oh, and we collectively had two racks of Lamb (aka British Columbian Scampi? [Confused] ) and a Prosciutto-wrapped Tuscan Grouper. It was beautiful.

Lastly, BHV snuck another bottle in to the table wrapped in aluminum foil. He poured and asked what it was. We swirled, we sniffed, we swished, we waffled.

Old Zin. New Syrah blend. California. Australia. Can't be Pinot, which I expected based on my first perception of the color (and the fact that that is what BHV grows 100% on his Oregon property). I don't know.

When pressed, we agreed that it was a zin-ish wine that was light in color and showed the restraint that you might expect in a wine made in '95 or '96. Probably California, probably mid-state ... NOT a over-ripe wine, therefore probably from Napa/Sonoma?

Well, it wound up being '96 Ridge Grenache, Lytton Springs. Ironically, it was exactly this wine (from '97) that I tried to give away at the 6/15 dinner and no-one took, so I brought it home with me (as I mentioned in a post just a few hours before my dinner began. Funny how things work, huh?!?) This wine was not only delicious and unique, it sells for ~$20 through the Ridge ATP. Why pay more? SM93.

Thank you BHV for not ONE but TWO delicious wines. Thanks to Latour for the Muscat back at the Chateau. Thanks.

[ 09-09-2002, 08:20 AM: Message edited by: stemor ]
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Well, this is my first post in about 4-months; been busy out in Oregon for most of the summer trying to keep the grapes happy, and pushing rocks around for four more acres of pinot to be planted in the next several weeks.

Stemor: Great meeting you last night, and great notes! I'm pretty-much with you on all the reviews, perhaps would be a point or two higher on the Clinet, and a point or two lower on the Justin (don't take it personally, I'm just more fond of finesse and structure than richness).

The Brunello, '90 Pertimali Riserva, aka Livio Sassetti was for me, a bit of a disappointment. (I feel OK saying this, since I brought it!). While it had much finesse, it was lighter on fruit than it should have been. A very good wine, but not the "extraordinary" wine I had hoped for. Perhaps a byproduct of my cellar, which is generally in the low-60s versus the ideal 55? Still, a very nice wine!

Regarding those wondering about Latour67 actually being spotted in public; I too will support Stemor on this one. Latour was indeed right before my very eyes! He also vindicated himself very well; initially guessing the "blind" ridge as a '96 or '97 Grenache, or similar.

As for the Ridge Grenache, this has always been one of my favorite value wines, and it did not disappoint last night. I think it would have been a bit better a year or so ago, but it was still full of fruit. There's not alot of it around, but it is worth a hunt (usually direct from the winery). Again, being more of a structure hound, I'd give it a 91 vs. the SM93, but still not bad considering the wines it was up against!

It was great to finally meet the man behind the BHVineyard, and look forward to catching up with you again soon. Also, please remember to put us Memphians on your "hold for shipping instructions" list!

I must sheepishly admit to mis-remembering the points in my sleepy post-dinner state. After looking again at my scribbled notes, I see that I transposed my Justin and Clinet scores.

The new (corrected score) is
Clinet 94,
Justin 93,
Pertimali Riserva, aka Livio Sassetti 91

When you were here it had the unfortunate name of "Saddles". Who wants to eat at a steakhouse with THAT name? [Eek!]

It has now refined its name to "Equestria", it's located on Poplar Pike at Forest Hill - Irene.

Total bill, counting 3 salad/app's, 3 entree's (2 Australian Lamb and 1 Tuscan Grouper), 12 quality glasses, two decanters, tax and tip? $50/person.

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