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What an evening! Just down the street from Martinelli, Mr. and Mrs. Orlando invited us over for an amazing evening of food, wine, and incredible hospitality. We all had a fantastic night, and I can't thank them enough! I look forward to future events Smile ....

Here are the wines:

'01 Sine Qua Non Albino

Not exactly sure what this is composed of but it was very nice. It had a lot of Viognier like characteristics. Very heavy duty, but light on it's feet. Full of resiny citrus oil, jasmine/white flowers, macadamia nut, and finishing with a tangerine rind slightly bitter finish. Impressive....I think this wine could have used more air time. 93 pts. for me.

'01 La Mondotte

This sucker is nowhere near ready to drink. Laser sharp focus, and very tight. Notes of melted asphalt, smoke, tar, violet and plum on the nose. Very firm tannin and fresh acid on the palate. The tannins are definitely controlling the fruit right now. Notes of black cherry, white flower aromaticity, tobacco, fresh juicy cranberry, a small hint of bacon and a touch of mocha. This should be far more interesting in about 10-15 years. 93+ pts for me.

'01 Cloud View Cab./Merlot Blend

I had never had a Cloud View prior to this. Located up on Pritchard Hill I think this wine does a fairly good job competing with it's neighbors. Lots of fresh blue/dark red fruits. Vanillin, blueberry pie, sweet black cherry and baking spices dominated the wine. Low acid and mod. tannins. I thought this was very well balanced. 92 pts. solid.

'01 Clark Cauldon Cab.

I'll have Orlando fill in the blanks here. I was't paying much attention with this....the company was too good. But, I don't remember being bowled over.

'01 Surh Luchtel Sarache? Vineyard (Napa) Cab.

I think "Sarache" is the name of the vineyard designate we had. I hardly ever take notes, so the name is escaping me. Plus we had a LOT of wine! Very nice. Lots of vibrant fruit...juicy currant, blackberry, cinnamon, and a creamy vanilla element to it. Nice palate presence with low acid and mild/mod. tannins. Very tasty. 92 pts.

'95 Harlan Maiden

Corked. Not terribly bad, but the fruit was pretty muted and the wine became more and more astringent as the night went on. Bitter notes of olive pit and black tea leaf dominated the wet cardboard/newspaper aroma. I hope to try this again one day....

'95 Harlan Estate

Shear power right out of the gates. Very intense on the palate. This wine creeps into every nook and cranny and then shocks the tastes buds. Beautiful cassis, black cherry, blueberry pie, and red rose petal on the nose. Thick vibrant black cherry pie, baking spices, gingerbread, toasty vanilla oak, toffee, and cocoaish coffee grounds on the finish. Very long. As the night went on, my only criticism is that the alcohol became more dominant on the palate. This wine will be a testament to Harlan's agability. At nearly 10 years old, it is showing NO signs of maturity. The color is deep blood red/black with no ambering, and the tannin and acid is very prominent, as well as the fruit! This is the most monstrous Harlan I've ever had. Sadly, it was my last one. I'd love to see what it's like in another 10-15 years. 98+ pts. for me.

'95 Araujo Cab.

If the Harlan was Pam Anderson, this would be Halle Berry. More elegant, and refined, but still very full bodied. Notes of clove, baking spices, milk chocolate, and sweet tobacco on the nose. The palate was a cross between Bordeaux and CA but more so CA. Wet earth, cinnamon, milk choclate, provencial herbs, sweet black cherry pie, blackberry, cigar spice, sandalwood, and vanilla bean dominate. The palate crescendo's beautifully, and the wine became more and more integrated as it decanted. The Harlan barely budged. This is a fantastic wine, and I'm thankful I FINALLY got to try a representative bottle of this as the last one I had (thanks again R4L!) was corked. 97 pts. solid. I think the '01 will give this a run for it's money once it gets a little more age on it.

R.L. Buller "Calliope" Muscat

By the end of the night, I could barely drink anymore. This stuff would be great with a raisin based bread pudding. I only had a couple of sips, so no real notes or points. I dug deep into my coffee at this point! Cool

Thanks again Orlando!


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DRAB, thanks for coming up, and for the great wines. It was a real evening!. Will put some notes soon. Thanks for the invitation at your house and for opening it to our two dogs. Thea loved them. The best chicken in my life. I just got home a had a supermarket cooked chicken (because the dogs need some food) ant it was a 72 points (yours a 98+).
Looking foward to our next encounter!
My notes will be simple, Drab have them all right in the money.
We started with some appetizers (chesse, rabbit pate, foie grass pate, nuts, dungennes crab dip) and the next 2 wines.

'01 Sine Qua Non Albino
46% chardonnay, 40% roussanne, 14% viognier
Opened in the bottle about 4 hours. Will last many years.

'01 La Mondotte
Very good wine but still closed. May need like 5 more years.

Still some appetizers on the table, so we had the following two wines with were left overs from the day before at Parker's 100 Vintners from Around the World wine event at the CIA

'01 Cloud View
57% Merlot and 43% Cabernet Sauvignon
Barrel aging: 22 months in 100% French oak, with 86% new. I think the have an excellent property, and wines are very good. Nose is really very good and it is very tasty now. Can age well. About $60

'01 Clark Claudon Cab.
These wines need time, they open up about 3-4 years after release. They are 100% CS from Pope Valley. Full body, with the fruit still hiding.

We then moved to the table and have a butternut squash soup followed by a crab cake with salad.

'95 Harlan Maiden

Corked. It is a shame because it is the only bottle the original 3 pack contained. I could have taken back to Harlan the next Monday but it will be a lot of trouble in my schedule.

'01 Surh Luchtel Sacrache Vineyard CS.
From 375ml, just to get the Maiden out of our minds. Very good for a $40 cab, fruity, approachable.

We then had a veal chop/grilled portobello with gnoccheti pasta

'95 Harlan Estate


'95 Araujo Cab.


Then a tiramisu cake

R.L. Buller "Calliope" Rare Muscat

Excellent dessert wine!

We had strong coffee, and try them to stay, but Mrs Drab was fine and drove back home arriving at 2am.
Last edited by orlando

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