Mr. Grape Ape hosted quite a few of us over at his house tonight (Pyang, Mr. and Mrs. Enjoyingwine, Vista, and the Gusbo's). A 14 lb. Prime rib was ordered from Lobels via the internet, and a truly decadent evening was set in gear! The food was over-the-top fantastic, and the wines were amazing, although we had some serious surprises. Here goes:
Very nice, and VERY young. Lots of bracing acidity. Lemon and citrus all over the midpalate, finishing with lots of acid and a creamy mouse. Toasty long finish. This needs time....94+ pts.
N.V. Krug (old label)
'00 Kistler Hyde Vineyard Chard.
Not a bad wine. Better than when I had it at the Neal Family Charity dinner last summer. Notes of lemon rind, sea shell/mineral, and grapefruit. Good but not great. 90 pts.
'00 Kistler Vine Hill Chard.
The Harlan Veritical
This consisted of the '92, '94, '95, '97, and '01......
Definitely showing signs of age. Dark ruby red in color with slight ambering around the edges. Right now the structure outweighs the fruit. Bright cherry and sweet tobacco prevail. Tasting like an aged CA Cab. Nice wine, but not mindblowing....91 pts.
Quite an improvement here! Definitely deeper nose and darker color in the glass. No real bricking, and a dark blood red/purple color. The nose could be smelled from 2 feet away. Dark bluberry pie, vanilla oak, and baking spices. CA fruit w/ a Bordeaux sensibility. This was a big step up from the '92. Nice long finish and weighty midpalate, but the fruit is starting to fade and I think this is not getting any better. Drink up.....95 pts. solid.
This is like the '94 but more acid and tannin, with the fruit still slightly in the background. Beautiful cassis, briary blackberry pie, vanilla oak, and a hearty dose of tannin and acid. This is some palate stripping wine! Decant if you're going to open! The most agable one on the table IMHO. Intense fruit muted slightly by it's awesome structure. Lovely...96 pts.....
Slightly corked....TOTAL BUMMER!!!
The REAL DEAL!!!! I'm going to let this wine speak for itself. If you want a 100 pt. experience, buy it, drink it now, and enjoy. If you don't like this, you are not meant to drink CA wine. Ethereal......100 pts. easy....
What amazed me most with this tasting was that ALL of these wines had a VERY distinct sense of place. While they all differed, they also all had a very similar personality. This property is one of CA's great expressions of Cabernet...period.....And...on the flip side this also showed the "new age CA Cabs." weakness for aging. The Harlan's progressively got better as you went from old to young. The ultraripe fruit and higher alcholor just doesn't seem to be a great agable combo. And, the intense primary fruit is where these wines shine the best anyway....Just my $.02....
'01 Foley Wines....tasted blind
1. '01 Hourglass
For me, the weakest of the group. Bright candied flavors with no midpalate and a short finish. Lacking in depth and showing moderate tannins and acids. Very weak compared to the other Foley wines....90 pts.
2. '01 Pride Claret
A big step up from the Hourglass, but showing it's Merlot components in a weaker way for me. Nice candied red fruit, toffee/snickers elements, but lacking in some depth and structure that the '01 Pride Res. Cab. had.....94 pts.
3. '01 Pride Res. Cab.
Deeper, darker, more structure and more alcohol than the Claret. Showing slightly more closed in as well. Dark briary blackberry, toffee, mocha, and firm tannins and acids. I think this has now entered it's dumb phase compared to what it was like on release.....96 pts.
4. '01 Switchback Ridge Cab.
This clearly stood out among the others and displayed a weight and gravity the others did not show. Dark blood red with hints of black. Dark blackberry pie, fresh herbs, mocha, firm tannis, and sturdy acids. This was the best showing from the Foley wines. Great structure and fruit to back it up. Very nice. 97+ pts.
A wine I've wanted to try for a LONG time now. Thank you GUSBO!!! Dark carmel in color. Burnished pecans, caramel, apple pie, and toasty Jack Daniels on the nose. Toasty burnished fruit on the midpalate as well (honey, caramel, apple pie, and glazed almonds). It had the nose, entry and the finish, but the midpalate flavors seemed to fade too quick. Great wine, but not perfect. 96 pts. for me.
While I like the '67 for it's maturity and what it has developed into, I like the '76 for what I think it will become! Golden honey in color. Notes of citrus oil, honey suckle, toasty oak, and creamy lemon mousse. This has many years ahead of it. Not at it's peak yet. The promise here is greater than with the '67. 97+ pts....
What a frickin' amazing evening...Thank you everyone...especially Mr. Grape Ape!!