TN: SQN, Scarecrow, Myriad, Alban, Kapcsandy, Antica Terra, Shea, Maybach...

Last night a few of us got together to open a mix bag of mostly cabs and syrahs. All wines were served non-blind and people went through them in whatever order they wished.

2011 Bedrock, Casa Santinamaria Vineyard

Floral and stone fruit on the nose. Crisp, minerally and fruity start to the evening.

2010 Antica Terra, Erratica

Not quite a rose, but not a red either. Tart cherries and strawberries. Very saline. Complex with lots of depth and a bit of grip. Long finish that makes you think about roses in general.

2006 Shea Wine Cellars, Homer

Big, dark and brooding. Red and black berries, but I wouldn't have guessed pinot double blind. Nice wine, but the finish is short and a bit thin.

2007 Kapcsandy, Endre

The lone non-varietal red in the lineup. Had a small glass before dinner, but revisited after the syrahs and cabs. Plums, meat and black/blue fruits on the nose. Exceptionally smooth, like velvet. Coats the mouth with blackberries and chocolate. Bordeaux-like. Beautifully long finish.

2006 Maybach, Materium

Dense aromas of red/black fruits. Hints of cedar and menthol. Almost port-like on the nose. Smooth, dusty tannins. Lots of blackberries, currants and tobacco. Little bit of vanilla and maple syrup on the finish. Nice wine.

2006 Sequoia Grove, Stagecoach Vineyard

Bright nose filled with dark fruit, eucalyptus/sage, flowers and Big League Chew. Good acidity and tannins. Palate yields more red fruit, rosemary and a smokey meatiness. Probably my favorite of the cabs.

2005 Scarecrow

First time having Scarecrow. The nose was closed in comparison to the other two cabs. Menthol, tar and herbs de provence. Oak, blackberries, mesquite smokey tobacco and drying tannins. The finish was short. Considering the pedigree, I was disappointed. Needs more time, perhaps?

2007 Myriad Syrah, Las Madres Vineyard

Smells like a blackberry dominated fruit salad. Some vanilla and black pepper on the nose. Smooth and silky on the palate. Nice spice. Olives, roasted meat and black raspberries. Medium finish. Nice wine, but outclassed by the Alban.

2008 Sine Qua Non, B20 Syrah

Nose was a bit flat in comparison to the Myriad and Alban. Dense, jammy flavors of black fruits, vanilla and herbs. Bit saline with decent spice. Long finish, but I preferred both the Myriad and Alban.

2003 Alban, Reva

My wine of the night. This is a powerhouse. Charred meat, herbs de provence and the slightest bit of VA on the nose. It explodes on the palate with salt, olive oil, grilled meat, leather, raspberries, herbs, truffles and green and black olives. Tastes like a reduction of the other two syrahs.

2003 JJ Prum, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Auslese

Loads of sulfur on the nose, but once you get past that it is a lovely wine. Green apples, peaches and limes combine with the searing acidity to provide great balance and finish. Unfortunately, I didn't spend too much time with this.

1995 Nicolas Joly, Clos de la Bergerie
Completely oxidized.
Original Post
I agree with Ron on most of his notes, but have a few different opinions.

The Bedrock was a good starter, but the Antica seemed like a warm summer day wine to me.

The Shea was one of the better Pinot I've tasted, but I don't generally like Pinot. I'm not sure I could have picked this as the Pinot blind, knowing that one of the reds was a Pinot.

The Kapcsandy was right in the range of a wine of that price, which is to say you're getting what you paid for. The Maybach was slightly better, but should have been more so, based on the price. It was my favorite Cab. The Sequoia tasted like a more expensive wine, and probably was the best QPR. The Scarecrow seemed closed down, similar to the '09 I tried back in November. It didn't show enough promis that I would buy any.

For the Syrah, I didn't have a clear winner. I tried the Alban first, and saved the SQN for last. I'm most familiar with the Myriad, and it was what I expected. I wanted even more from the Alban and the SQN, but maybe because of expectations, they let me down, and all seemed to be in the Myriad range. I've had the B20 before, and it was a great wine, one of the best Syrah I've ever tried, but either the bottle or the comparison to the other wines made it simply good.

Overall, I would say that any of the reds could have easily been enjoyed all night by themselves. Some were better with the food than the others, but they all were very tasty.

The host put together a nice variety of food which we enjoyed as much as the wine. Thank you again if you're reading this.
A great evening indeed. Super thanks to our wonderful host and everyone that brought such great wines.

My opinion of the Scarecrow was higher than Ron's, plus even though the Alban was very good, I thought a bit to extracted and ripe. Even though a great wine, I feel they went past pushing the boundary into going over it. Eek

I brought the 06 Shea Homer and had the same thoughts as Ron B. I went home and tried another bottle from my cellar and it was no where near as syrupy and extracted as the one at the off-line. I believe Shea still over-extracted the wine, for such a hot harvest, but the bottle at the off-line appeared a bit off,imo.
I'll agree with Sandy that the Alban was extracted and ripe. I think it was right at the line, but not over. That's the wonderful thing about wine! All were very good wines and I think everyone had a slightly different perspective. I'll stop drinking wine when there is a wine that every single person that drinks it thinks it is perfect. I've still never had a "perfect" wine (and I don't think "perfect" wines exist...).
I'll agree with Sandy that the Alban was extracted and ripe. I think it was right at the line, but not over.

I had the '05 Reva recently, and thought the same. This is an incredible expression of Syrah, but it's also a "meal" of a wine. Overall, I enjoyed the experience, but I can easily see this as "Love it or Hate it."
Originally posted by wine+art:
Originally posted by RonBurgundy:

I've still never had a "perfect" wine

That's too bad. Frown

I've had several that others rated 100-pts. I just don't believe in the idea of a perfect wine. Nor 100 points. It could always be better.

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