Scubarex decided to throw together an offline for some of the Chicago Wine Mafia at his home last Saturday. The theme he chose was the 1980's. He graciously opened up his cellar and pulled out 20+ wines from the era including some real gems. Music from the decade set the mood. Only Otis though dressed for the occasion by pulling out one of his narrow ties for the night. Scuba also defrosted some meat he had in his feezer for the last 25 years (actually he made a couple very nice roasts- beef and buffalo).
Here are the 1980 era wines which were poured together with my TN's (a few recent vintage wines made an appearance as well but I am not going to include them in this thread):
WHITES- Not too many 1980 era whites on hand.
1989 Josmeyer Gewurztraminer Alsace Grand Cru Hengst- One of my contributions. I've had this before and it is not my style. Here is my original TN. 84 points this time.
1989 Bert Simon Riesling Serriger Herrenberg Auslese- Another of my contributions. I recently had the 2003 vintage of this wine and was impressed. This was an outstanding wine as well. Sweet but not dessert level. Smooth with notes of pear and slate. Good complexity. 90-91 points.
BORDEAUX- These were a bit disappointing and not showing well as a group. All Scubarex wines.
1982 JP Mouiex St. Emilion- Very light with little fruit left. Some cherry on the finish. Over the hill. 78 points.
1982 JP Mouiex Lalande de Pomeral- Musty nose. A bit lackadaisacal but it had some character left. Muted tannins with currant notes. Light body. 82 points.
1982 Chateau de Costis Bordeaux- No appellation designation. A little funk on the nose. Sharp bitter notes with red fruit. 79 points.
1982 Chateau Haut-Plantey St. Emilion- Definitely a step up from the previous wines. Smooth red and black fruit t=notes with moderate tannins. Drinking very well. 88 points.
1981 Chevalier-Lascombes Medoc- No tannins left. This seemed to be falling apart to me. Juicy. Soft. Not much character left but still hanging on. 80 points.
1982 Chateau La Tour de Mons Margaux- The best of this group. A mushroomy and earthy nose. Notes of cherry and cassis. Integrated tannins. Medium body. 90 points.
CALIFORNIA CABS- The cream of the night as far as I was concerned. Clearly the best producers by reputation. They are in no particular order. All Scubarex wines except for the Freemark.
1984 Groth Cabernet Sauvignon Napa- Brickish red color. This still had firm tannins and a fine fruity core. Cassis and blackberry notes. 89-90 points.
1989 Mayacama Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Melin Vineyard- Nice red color . Notes of cocao and berry with an earthiness and chewy texture. 88-89 points.
1982 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley- Some of the other CWM at this tasting liked this better than I did. A little musty with stone fruit notes and red berry. Medium bodied. Faded a little on the finish. 87-88 points.
1985 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley- I thought this was the equivalent of the 1982. A darker red color. Mellow fruit with moderate tannins. 87 points.
1989 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Sycamore Vineyard- This is the 3rd time I have had this wine. I bought a case of it 2 months ago for $9 per bottle. This is holding up very well. Dark red color without any signs of age. Full rich fruit with some spice and oak notes. 89-90 points.
1985 BV George de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Private Reserve- I thought this was still fine but on its way down. Showing definite signs of bricking. The tannins were dry. Notes of currant, coriander and licorice. Not up to the 95 points WS gave this in 1991 and 2000 in my opinion. 90 points.
1982 Opus One Cabernet Sauvignon Napa- This was holding up great and was one of my favorites of the night. Deep crimson red color. Smoket fruit. Medium to full bodied. Long finish. 92+ points.
1985 Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District- The top Cab of the night as far as I was concerned. Ripe fruit notes of raspberry and black cherry with wild game. Complex with a long finish. 93-94 points.
1988 Chateau St. Jean Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma- Probably slightly past its peak but I still liked it very much. Especially for its fresh aroma. A medium red color. Sharp red berry and melon notes. Subtle tannins. 90 points.
1985 Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvignon Napa- Another wine which held up well. No signs of bricking. Currant and smoke aromas. Firm tannins and a good core of fruit with some chocolate notes. 88-90 points.
1984 Storybrook Mountain Vineyards Zinfandel Napa- Very different than the bold fruity high alcohol Zins most board members drink today. Past its prime but still very drinkable. 87 points.
RIESLING DESSERT WINES- All from Scubarex.
1987 Bookwalter Late Harvest White Riesling- From Washington state. 10.4% alcohol. An inky smell (Otis mentioned mimeograph paper). Brown carmel color. Creamy fruit with vanilla and apricot. Rich texture. I liked it. 90-91 points.
1981 St. Georg-Hof Riesling Schweicher Annaberg Eiswein- I'd never heard of this producer from the MSR. A gold color. Notes of peach nectar, apple and other white fruit. Lacked acidity. One dimensional. Overtly sweet. 74 points.
1982 Quady Zinfandel Port Amador County- A little too sweet and syrupy for my palate but not bad overall. Still had a gripping bite. Notes of blackberry and raisin. 84 points.
1985 Dow Vintage Port- From 375ml. 2nd time I have had this. Notes of candied cherry, brandy liquer and black fruit. Silky finish. Drinking well. Still no sign of the volatile acidity problem mentioned by James Suckling. 91-92 points.
A first class evening Scuba and a magnanimous gesture opening up so many of the wines you have stored for the last 20+ years.