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On Saturday, May 21, the Highdesertwines hosted the Pinot Envys and the Wine Cats, along with a few other friends, at the Chateau Chang restaurant in Victorville, California.

The night’s festivities had actually began prior to arrival at the restaurant, as two half bottles of 1989 Ch. D’Yquem were consumed with an accompaniment of chicken liver mousse on toast points. The d’Yquem was epiphanal, showing ripe mango and apricot fruit wrapped by crème brulee aromas and flavors. Perfectly balanced, it put to shame a 1997 Ch. Rieussec and a 2000 Stony Hill Semillon dessert wine.
98 points for the 1989 d’Yquem

In true Southern California fashion, where Chaos Reigns Supreme, the following wines were consumed in no particular order:

2001 Kistler Chardonnay, Cuvee Cathleen – This was the tweener chardonnay of the evening, striking a middle ground between the Lewis and the Leeuwin. The sharp oak wood notes have still not fully integrated with the solid core of ripe, fleshy stone fruit.
94 points

2001 Leeuwin Chardonnay, Artist Series – Before dinner (the crew was very impatient and thirsty), it was overshadowed by the other two chardonnays. With the meal, it was in a class by itself, revealing elegance and layers of lemon cream, fig, hazel nut, toffee, and a long, lingering finish.
97 points

2003 Lewis Chardonnay, Barcaglia – Not the best bottle of this I have had, but still impressive for its rich, fleshy tropical fruit with nutmeg shadings. It was deemed the best without food.
93 points

2002 Patz & Hall Pinot Noir, Hyde Vineyard – An in-your-face style of Pinot, prototypical of California, with bright, jammy, black raspberry fruit.
92 points

1988 DRC Richebourg – Unfortunately, this wine was cooked beyond recognition.

1995 Denis Mugnenet (sp?) Nuits St. Georges – Still backward when first opened, it took a good two hours of aeration to hit its stride. Once it did, it was all silk and elegance, with pretty, refined red cherry fruit and whiffs of mint.
91 points

1998 Roc de Cambes, Cotes de Bourg – A pleasant surprise, this is a Bordeaux that is drinking at its peak now. A compelling nose of roast coffee and cinnamon wrapped around black currant fruit. Not as full on the palate as one would expect from the nose, but nicely balanced and enjoyable.

1997 Ch. Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate (from Magnum) – This is a real powerhouse of a Cab, just now beginning to shed its tannins. It was decanted for considerable sediment three hours prior to dinner. It’s a layered wine, with lots of cassis and black cherry fruit intermingled with cedar, leather, pipe tobacco, mint and more. A complete wine still going strong at the end of the evening.
96 points
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Seaquam: Jump on it. You will not be disappointed.

Winetex: We also were offered the option of the 1990 Ch. d'Yquem, but I have had that on three other occasions (rating it 100 points each time) and I feel it is ageless, a good candidate for 2050, if not 2100. But we'll probably enjoy it in 5 to 10 years.
The 1989 is just drinking superbly right now, so it was the obvious choice for this get-together.
The Montelena showed exceptionally well, thanks Glen, a great bdx styled cab with hints of old school Heitz Martha's!
The '95 Mugneret Nuit/LSG was a little quirky/funky at first on the nose but even with the first sip; you knew in an hour or so this was going to be great glass of Pinot Noir.
The d'Yquem.....yep.... it was d'Yquem :-)
(seems like we been drinking alot of that)
and the 1988 DRC....

I have a call into the supplier of this travesty. This is the 2nd flawed 1988 DRC bottle from a lot of 3-- purchased at the same time. Although I cannot speak to provenance prior to my ownership, since I acquired it earlier this year, it has been quietly sleeping at 52 degrees and 68-70% humidity. Probably the only decent rest this baby has seen as it was a disgusting, cooked, vile bottle of wine! We will see what happens!
OK, so Seaquam's note got me thirsty...

The Pinot Envys were up in the High Desert for dinner, so out came a bottle of the 2001 Leeuwin Chardonnay, Artist Series. Along with several others.

The Chard is more open from first pop of the cork. Still crisp, with a flavor profile of hazelnut, lemon-lime, fig, and toffee. With crab legs and butter, the spice and ripe fruit came to the fore.
Still young. I fear my last few bottles will not make it more than a few more years, though. Life is too short not to enjoy wine like this in its prime.

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