We got back earlier today from Kona Hawaii. It was one of the best 8 days of bliss I've ever had. Fun, sun, good company, and good wine. At first the island seemed a bit boring and gloomy, but we did lots of exploring (above and below the water), and by the end of the trip I was in love. I would highly recommend it for those thinking of a Hawaiian vaction. Anyway, on to the wines we had....
'90 Gosset Celebris - After a long day of travel this was the perfect match to a beautifully lit outdoor dinner with the Pacific Ocean crashing in the background. A nice showing for the wine. This is about the 10th time now that I've had it, and it's certainly at it's peak. Lots of carmely/cinnamon baked apple pie. Full bodied, and flavorful, but it's mousse is weakening. There is nothing elegant about it, but it's like eating the old McDonald's hot apple pie. It hits the spot! 94 pts. for me.
'99 Martinelli Blue Slide Ridge Pinot Noir - We found this at a fantastic little Italian restaurant in Hilo. Some friends that were with us were Pinot Fans, so I ordered it. This was the best Pinot I've ever had from CA. Wonderful dark ruby color with a touch of beef blood/opaque/ambering. Fantastic nose of baking spice, very subtle soy, chinese five spice, and cassis. Very similar translation on the palate, along with black plum, blueberry, fig, anise and a long finish. This was in it's peak. 95 pts. for me.
Krug N.V. Rose - Very nice Rose. Not worth the $200 give or take price tag. Very intense, plenty of effervescense. Copper penny, mineral, white flowers, nectarine skin, sweet pink grapefruit and a nice long finish. Solid wine, but not much more complex than a Billecart Salmon Rose. 95 pts.
'01 Bonny Doon Menage a Trois - I want to say this was Chardonnay, Muscat, and Riesling. An interesting blend, and a nice match to the Lobster fried rice I had. Not very complex. Done in an old world style, little if any Malolactic. Some honeysucle, white carnation, light mineral, and not quite ripe tropical fruit. 86 pts.
'90 Bollinger R.D. - Wow! The best bottle of this I've had yet. An awesome bead. Very full bodied. Chalky, honey, mineral, seashell, and sweet lemon tart. Very round, complete, and a long finish with a subtle nutty toastiness at the end. Delicious. 96+ pts.
'02 Pride Reserve Claret - These wines are SOOOO hard to not like. Completely decadent. Toffee, ripe black cherry, creme de cassis, mocha, caramel, and baking spices. Plenty of glycerin. Fat round midsection. Long palate staining finish. Really long finish. This went with a perfect meal of Hawaiian raised organic Lamb loin. 98 pts.
'01 Lazy Creek Vineyards Rose of Pinot Noir - I want to say this was out of the Anderson Valley. Light pink in color. Very nice and refreshing. Honeysuckle, pink roses, fuji apple, lively acidity, and a slightly sweet moderate finish. I would love to find more of this. 89 pts.
'88 Krug - The best example of this wine I've ever had. I've had one flat dead bottle, 2 very good bottles (95 pts or so), and this one. This tasted VERY young, but drinking in it's prime, for me. Youthful vibrant fruit, honey, coconut, yeasty scone, a great mousse, and fantastic concentration. Long toasty chestnut finish. This is what Champagne is all about. 98 pts.
'90 Ch. Montrose - I've read SOOO many good reviews of this lately, that I had to open one and see for myself. #1...NOT READY! #2...Every bit as good as the 100 pts. bestowed upon it by R.P. Fantastic smokey blueberry, creme de cassis, sweet wet earth, briary blackberry, sage, anise, pipe tobacco, day old fireplace and leather. Perfect balance of copious tannin and low/moderate acid. This needs more time, but is a brilliant wine if you have to crack one now. I'll be waiting another 10 for my next one.
'97 Quinta Noval V.P. - Very interesting. Exotic spice, soy, black/blue berries, molasses, violets, and a good amount of heat. Needs more time to integrate, too primal right now. 94+ for me.
'02 Sine Qua Non Rose - Moderate/Dark copper in color. Very intriguing fruit flavor (guava, pink grapefruit). Heartier and a tad more complex/deep than the Lazy Creek we had earlier in the week, but not as pleasant for me. I would prefer a wine like this to maintain more of a refreshing lively personality. This got a bit weighty for a Rose. Still nice. 88 pts.
'01 Ornellaia Masseto - Black as night. This went very well with my Big Island Organic Filet of Beef! But...NOT even close to ready! Mega tannin and moderate acid in this. Very rustic flavored. Very Italian. Amazing silky and velvety texture. Mushroom, anise, briary blackberry, new oak, exotic spice, and finish that clamps down on your palate with a wall of copious fine grained tannin. Some heat as well on the finish. This needs time....95+ pts.
[I]'99 Kracher #7[I] - Lovely. Apricot, peach, honey, white flowers, cinnamon and coconut. Not over-done and "motor oily" like some Krachers can be. Fine balance. Slightly toasty long finish. 96 pts.
And, that's it!