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Unbelievable food and wine at Green Gables Inn in Beach Haven, NJ last night. All wines were tasted blind (except the Kistler) in appropriate Riedel Vinums supplied by ojeffso. Let's get started.

1999 Kistler McRae Vineyard Chardonnay supplied by love_cab_chard and myself started us off. Accompanied by salmon tartare. Beautiful golden color with pear, butterscotch, custard and bread dough. Slight minerality in the long finish. Excellent and better than my previous tasting last fall. RP 92-94 jb Rating 93

WINE A-1995 BERINGER KNIGHTS VALLEY brought by Cousin Mike.
Garnet color with a nice nose of cassis. Medium bodied with black cherry, leather and game. Smooth and probably has some bottle age as the tannins have shed. Nice finish. jb Rating 90.

WINE B-1997 FERRARI CARANO TRESOR brought by Short.
Deep dark red, but aromatically reserved. Full bodied with blackberry, leather, and mint. Chewy tannins. This needs more time IMO. Moderate length. jb Rating 89

WINE C-1998 MAXWELL LIME CAVE BAROSSA brought by ojeffso.
Inky black fruit forward with a fine bouquet of blueberries. Full bodied wine with plum, cedar, and cola on the mid palate. Good finish. Very nice wine. (RP 94+) jb Rating 91.

WINE D-1997 GREENOCK CREEK BAROSSA brought by ojeffso.
Dark and thick, this is one beautifully crafted wine. Blackberries, earth, balsa and some toasted oak. Moderate tannins and good balance. Long and sweet finish. Loved this wine. (RP 98) jb Rating 93

WINE E-1996 FLORA SPRINGS TRILOGY brought by jb.
Another inky black fruit bomb. Aromatically big nose of black currant and cedar. Full bodied wine with blueberries, black currant, chocolate, cola, and a hint of game. Huge fruit, but still well balanced by the tannins. (WS 94) jb Rating 94 (ojeffso rated this wine a 98 and thought it was on par with '94 Harlan!)

WINE F-1999 VON STRAUSSER DIAMOND MTN. brought by Revlis.
Dark garnet color. Floral nose of rose and mint. Medium bodied with black cherry, mint and some oak. Mild tannins and moderate length. This wine may have suffered from the bomb that was dropped before it. jb Rating 88

WINE G-1997 RENTERIA NAPA VALLEY brought by Short.
Another fruit forward inky black wine. Nice aromas of dark fruits and herbs. Blackberry, currants, chocolate are all present. Firm tannins and moderately long finish. jb Rating 91

WINE H-1993 SILVER OAK ALEXANDER VALLEY brought by love_cab_chard.
Dark, dark red. Aromatically reserved, but nice flavors of blueberry, cassis, oak, and a sweetness on the finish. Moderate tannins and nice structure. jb Rating 89

We ended the night with a sweetie that I can't remember the name of and an excellent bottle of 1987 Cockburns or Churchill(?) Vintage Port. Someone commented that the wine was almost being overshadowed by the amazing food. Some highlights were the sauteed fois gras over pears in a plum reduction, and porcini mushroom/duck confit risotto (unreal!). Everyone chime in on your impressions of the wines. Great night and I hope we can do it again soon!

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[Smile] [Cool]

Maybe someone can remember more about the Port, please?
I'm not aware of a Cockburn '87, other than Quinta do Tua, which I have had...
I also have '87 Churchill Alta Agua, have not tried it yet, but did discuss it with Johnny Graham. I'd be most interested in notes on that, especially if from one who has not read what Suckling said about it.
Ok, here comes my newbie TN. Mine aren't as organized as j bembry's are. Mostly random thoughts as I was able to slowly but surely discern different things out of each wine. Granted, by the end it was all melding together. These are my notes as I wrote them down. Exactly.

Oaky, long finish, big nose. Some chocolate, medium smooth tannins. Blackberry, leather, little spice, not too fruity, fairly complex, not to acidic, yet earthy. Old wine, definitely. Rev scores it: 93 (I tasted this wine again about an hour? later with what was left in the bottle. This wine is ready to drink now, don't let it sit too long. It was starting to turn and get very acidic.)

More oak than A. More tannin than A. Younger wine. Leathery, earthy, terrior, very smooth, slow legs. Not too fruity, but like the complexity. Rev scores it: 92

Great fruity nose, great dark color, lots of fruit, long after taste, some cherry, blackberry, fairly tannic. Rev scores it: 92

not as much nose as C. Some oak, definite blueberry. Paso Robles?(wrong) Little fruity, very thick, nicely complex, well put together, and long finish. Rev scores it: 93+

So fruity on the nose! Dark color, firm tannins, blackberry, long aftertaste, tremendously fruit forward. Rev scores it: 94+ (wasn't any left to try again! go figure, since it was the best at this tasting)

Very fruity also, not as much as E. Very spicy with the lamb. Some oak. Doesn't seem as complex. (Additional note, I tasted this another half hour from what was left in the bottle. It definitely opened up more as the tannins calmed down, as I remember being shocked at the new layers of fruit in this wine) Rev scores it: 91
Rev scores second tasting: 93

Smells like F, very fruity, little more acidic, fruity, leather, oak, tannins are heavy. Rev scores it: 93

Complex smell, a little closed, leathery, earth, oaky, with some blackberry. Rev scores it: 91

I wrote down the 1987 Churchill Vintage Porto Quinta Da Agua Alta. I remember it as "a light port with heavy brandy" and remember a comment by RawReds where he said he doesn't like ports where you can taste the brandy, but then I said that was exactly why I DID like it. This port reminded me of growing up on the Hiram Walker Blackberry Brandy. I haven't had many ports at all, and I really didn't like them until this one.

We also had the 1995 Vacarro Reisling dessert wine. It was overshadowed a bit my the lemon something or other we had for dessert, but once that intense flavor cleared, the dessert wine was really refreshing and nice. Not as thick as I remember dessert wines being (again not much experience here).

Lastly, the 1999 Kistler McRae Chard (that we had first), I thought was great, but will just take a bow to j b's TN on this one.

I wish I had written down what the food was. Instead, I'll just say the 26 rating that Zagat gave the Green Gables might be too low. :-)
Revlis, great job on the notes. Let's see what ojeffso has to say about these wines. Obviously, Jones and Board-O have not seen this thread yet. I'm sure they must have a comment about ojeffso's 98 rating of the '96 Trilogy and Harlan comment. Never had a Harlan, probably never will either.

Dr. T-Loved these Cabs, everyone of them was a good bottle of wine. As you can see though, I jumped right back to a Gevrey-Chambertin last night.

ok guys, here we go.

first-this was a blind tasting of cabernets and cabernet blends, except we all knew the wines we had brought. i brought the two aussies, but had never tasted either one. jb brought a ringer, but at the time none of us were aware.

second-the kistler mcrea was outstanding.

third-the dessert wine was a 1995 navarro anderson valley late harvest riesling. very good compliment to the dessert.

fourth-port fans, it was the 87 chuchill (rp93).

fifth-the wines. beringer knights valley 95-excellent wine. soft tannins. good complexity. i had thought this was the most mature wine of the night. rp89, me90

ferrari carano tressor 97-another excellent effort. tons of fruit and very chewey. long finish. me91

maxwell lime cave barossa cab 98-fruit bomb. dark inky purple. is this the first aussie? rp94+, me93

greenock greek barossa cab 97-wow, huge massive fruit bomb. a very hedonistic wine with a long, long finish. deffinite aussie. rp98, me96

flora springs triology 96-the ringer. 44% cab, 40% merlot and 16% cabernet franc. not really a cab blend, since most of the wine is non cab. another huge fruit in your face bomb. massive bouquet, intense concentrated fruit, chewey, long finish. attempting to gage this wine against other classics i've had. using the 94 harlan as a benchmark, i kept going back between a 97 and a 98. by now this wine had been opened for about 2 hours. is this another aussie? rp91, ws94, me98

von strasser diamond mountain cab 99-by now everything is beginning to pale against the last two wines, but this is still an excellent effort.
ws91, me91

renteria napa cab 97-another fruit forward wine with an excellent bouquet, nice concentration and long finish. i am starting to get numb. ws91, me92

silver oak alexander cab 93-i am numb. along with the beringer, the most refined and mature wine of the night. different style than most of the others, but still an excellent effort. rp90, me91

jb-great night and organization. short-little short was a joy and great pleasure to have around. a real gentleman who understands how 6 month olds are to behave in restaurants. lcc-pleasure to meet you and you wife and us easterners are all behind you in your battle with those laid back west coasters. revlis and rawreds-great to meet you guys and see everyone soon.
kybo: it's a little bit of small town heaven in hudson county (gag)

seriously, it has its good points and its bad ones, just like any place else. But no, it's not like a 70s SNL bit [Big Grin]

Rev, when you had the knights valley it had been open for more like 3.5 - 4 hours. My poor wine just couldn't handle all that air after 4 years down the cellar!

JB: Ben and I are fighting lately since he's started taking all of my roles. After all I did for him!
You all know I'm not a big Silver Oak fan, but the '93 we had was the favorite one I've tried. Better than '95 and '96.

ojeffso, we decided that the wines brought had to be mostly Cab. It's more Cab than anything else, BARELY! I can't believe the Harlan fans arent' all over the comparison with the '96 Trilogy. I have no frame of reference there. Thanks for bringing the extras, too. I loved the port!!


Quite honestly, you know I'm a pinot freak and I don't have many Cabs. The only choices I had were the following:

'99 Viader
'97 Insignia
'97 Cinq Cepage
'97 Tapestry
'96 Mt. Veeder (only in magnum)
'97 Trilogy and
'96 Trilogy

So you see, other than going out and buying something newly released, I was in a bit of a quandry. The Viader is way too young. I could have gone with Insignia, but I thought everyone had that wine. Ditto for the Cinq and the Tapestry. Mt. Veeder was out because of its size. So it was either the '97 or the '96 Trilogy. I picked the '96 because it was supposed to be the better wine of the two. I really only had one choice. I'm glad it turned out to be a winner. BTW, that was the first bottle I collected. I bought it back in early '98.

I have a lot of older ones (Silver Oak that is). But, I specialize in Cabs., will talk in the future. /along hte way. I will try to convert you from the "Dark Side" back to a be a Jedi warrier (Joking)...

That's what its all about. Sharing "Good" Wines with people that can appreciate it. Name the place & the Time.

P.S. Did you ever try the Kistler Pinots or Martinelli Pinots. They are GREAT...
What a fantastic evening all around! Mrs. Short, Baby Short and I really enjoyed the company, the setting, the food, and the wine.

Here is my feeble attempt at TN for the evening. Not only was I engrossed in great conversation, I also got real fuzzy toward the end hence the minimal notes on the last few wines.

My exact TN are:

Wine A - Heavy tannin, not overly fruity ('99 Bordeaux (boy, was I wrong!). Earth, lead pencil. Good solid starter. 88 points.

Wine B - Heavier tannin; long finish, chewy mocha notes. 91 points.

Wine C - Sexy cab, shorter finish; got bigger after each sip. Oh what legs! 89 points.

Wine D - Blueberry big! Delicious wine. 93 points.

Wine E - Astounding nose! Best of class, velvety tannin, long, long finish. This is a blockbuster. 96 points.

Wine F - Not much more but fantastic profile (don't ask me what that means)! Chewy, slight blueberry, heavy tannin. This wine is huge. 92 points.

Wine G - Heaviest tannin of the night. 87 points.

Wine H - Little fruit. 88 points.

See what I mean? I got lazy toward the end. And, as ojeffso stated, after D and E, all else paled in comparison (but were still great wines).

Can't wait to see you guys again and plow through another case of wine!

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