'Sorry if this has already been addressed; I haven't seen any threads like this, but it's difficult to search for such a thing.

We've each had our wine epiphany - the wine that opened our eyes to the fact that wine is more than just a tasty beverage that aids in the digestion of a good meal, but after that epiphany, have you had wines that raised your standards as to what and how good a wine could be? - Wines that expanded your world and even made it more difficult for other wines to measure up?

Back in April I had the good fortune to drink a 2005 Sine Qua Non Syrah 17th Nail in My Cranium and a 1998 Guigal La Landonne within a couple weeks of each other, and things just haven't been the same since. Especially in the realm of dry reds, those two wines were so compelling and memorable that I fear that I'm enjoying other reds less because of them. I've had some arguably world-class reds since then, but I just can't stop thinking about those two.

Have you had this experience? What was/were the wine(s) that raised the bar for you?

... and how did you cope? Frown Wink
Original Post
Ch. Cos d'Estournel 2005

quote:
Originally posted by stickman:
... have you had wines that raised your standards as to what and how good a wine could be? - Wines that expanded your world and even made it more difficult for other wines to measure up?

Have you had this experience? What was/were the wine(s) that raised the bar for you?
I expect my list of benchmark wines to change as I drink and taste more wines since some of these wines weren't drunk at their peak.

Bordeaux - 1988 La Mission Haut Brion
Barolo - 2000 Pio Cesare Ornato
Brunello - 1999 Casanova de Neri Cerretalto/ 2001 Siro Pacenti
CA Cabernet - 1983 Diamond Creek (not sure of the vineyard), 1997 Heitz Martha's Vineyard, 1995 Beringer Private Reserve
CA Pinot - 2002 Martinelli Bondi Home Ranch Water Trough Vineyard
CA Sauvignon Blanc - 2008 Merry Edwards
Tuscany - 2000 Antinori Solaia
WA Cabernet - 1999 Quilceda Creek
White Burgundy - 1996 Domaine Rollin Père et Fils Corton-Charlemagne
Spring 2008
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by THA:
Was opened at a tasting of the 2000, 2003, and 2005 vintages of Cos, Ducru, and GPL.

quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by THA:
Ch. Cos d'Estournel 2005



You have already opened a 2005 Cos? Red Face


When?
quote:
Originally posted by stickman:
quote:
Originally posted by spo:
No, I just don't relate to that kind of thinking.


You've never had a bottle that so thrilled you that it stuck in your memory as different from your other wine experiences?


I have had ones I remember as being different really good or even the best, but none that have forced me to think less of a good bottle of wine. You won't catch me using the e word. I know this is not about points but I could probably convert 80-94 to the Decanter 5 star scale and that is how I feel about wine. I guess it only moves me so far.
quote:
Originally posted by spo:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by THA:
Ch. Cos d'Estournel 2005



You have already opened a 2005 Cos? Red Face


If that was his mind-blowing wine and pinnacle experience no sense in him being embarrassed.



Where in the world did you pick up embarrassed? Confused

He said he had it at a Bordeaux tasting on release.
2001 M. Chapoutier Hermitage Blanc Chante-Alouette
2001 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova
1986 Chappellet Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Signature
1998 Giuseppe Quintarelli Valpolicella Classico Superiore
1994 Giuseppe Quintarelli Cà del Merlo Veneto IGT
2004 Larmandier-Bernier Champagne Vieille Vigne de Cramant Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by RDHudak:
When I had my first bottle of Dominus, it blew me away. I never had a wine at that point that had given such complexity and length.


Which vintage?

I know this isn't the best year, but it was the 03 and it rocked my world. It was surreal how it coated my palate with delicious Napa fruit and the finish went on forever. I honestly remember thinking after my first sip that I hoped the rest of our party didn't care for it so I could have more than a glass.
Not sure if I'm supposed to feel embarrassed, innocent, or like a whore. If anyone in Houston is going to the Hilton on Tuesday afternoon (or the Monday evening event on Smith), let me know so I can say hi.
quote:
Originally posted by spo:
I know what you mean, but THA seems too innocent for that.
quote:
Originally posted by Rob_Sutherland:
1985 Heidsieck Charlie


+1 I simply had no idea that Champagne could be so good. I've had it about five times, and each was special. I like my Sparklers with lots of toast on them, and this is my reference wine, even though I've had better pedigree Champagnes since.

As far as whites, I've had a couple of N. Joly bottlings that were unlike any white I'd had. Amazing, unique wines that seemed to change by the minute and develop over 48 hours in the decanter. Really bizarre/beautiful/personality-driven wines. I probably started subtracting two or three points from other wines after having Joly, even though they aren't 95-100 pointers for me.

Reds: Lots of great wines, but nothing that caused my rating scale to need recalibration.
quote:
Originally posted by indybob:
quote:
Originally posted by NolanE:
2001 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova


Not to go all Wine+Art on you, but, really? It's so young. . .

I've got one bottle of this and it's buried in the box with the '94 port.
I definitely agree that it was young, but it was my first Brunello (to date my oldest), and none I've had since came close. It was brought to an offline, so it's not like I did the dirty deed.
I had one last weekend at jburman's house. 2 actually:

82 Leoville Las Cases
95 Krug

I had a Tor Grenache that set my Grenache expectations, and some Cayuse and Alban Syrahs that have set those bars for me. Can't wait for my Cayuse, Royal City, Saxum, and TC Panoplie are ready to drink!
quote:
Originally posted by RDHudak:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by RDHudak:
When I had my first bottle of Dominus, it blew me away. I never had a wine at that point that had given such complexity and length.


Which vintage?

I know this isn't the best year, but it was the 03 and it rocked my world. It was surreal how it coated my palate with delicious Napa fruit and the finish went on forever. I honestly remember thinking after my first sip that I hoped the rest of our party didn't care for it so I could have more than a glass.


I think 2003 was the first vintage of Phelps Insignia I tried...about 4-5 years ago when I was seriously getting into wine and wow. Then I had 1998 Redigaffi...then 1990 Montosoli...seeing what is possible with wine is an amazing experience.
quote:
Originally posted by THA:
Not sure if I'm supposed to feel embarrassed, innocent, or like a whore. If anyone in Houston is going to the Hilton on Tuesday afternoon (or the Monday evening event on Smith), let me know so I can say hi. [QUOTE]


What's going on at the Hilton?
1981 Chat. Montelena Estate Cab., had this about 9-10 years ago. Layers of flavor that went on forever, chocolate, raspberry and a deep color, considering it was 20 years old. Had this with my brother and at that point fully convinced him of red wine and starting a cellar.
quote:
Originally posted by NolanE:
quote:
Originally posted by indybob:
quote:
Originally posted by NolanE:
2001 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova


Not to go all Wine+Art on you, but, really? It's so young. . .

I've got one bottle of this and it's buried in the box with the '94 port.
I definitely agree that it was young, but it was my first Brunello (to date my oldest), and none I've had since came close. It was brought to an offline, so it's not like I did the dirty deed.


Excellent! Find yourself a '97 ASAP, from a quality maker. You may set a new benchmark.
There's a portfolio tasting tomorrow afternoon being put on by Pioneer Distributing, who has some top producers. It's supposed to be for the trade only, but I have a feeling that it will be pretty open. (Hell, they even list it as an "event" on their website.) 2pm -ish.
quote:
Originally posted by ThistlinTom:
quote:
Originally posted by THA:
Not sure if I'm supposed to feel embarrassed, innocent, or like a whore. If anyone in Houston is going to the Hilton on Tuesday afternoon (or the Monday evening event on Smith), let me know so I can say hi. [QUOTE]


What's going on at the Hilton?
quote:
Originally posted by stickman:
We've each had our wine epiphany - the wine that opened our eyes to the fact that wine is more than just a tasty beverage that aids in the digestion of a good meal, but after that epiphany, have you had wines that raised your standards as to what and how good a wine could be? - Wines that expanded your world and even made it more difficult for other wines to measure up?

Well, you're really touching on a continual process here. It's just that most of the time it's incremental improvements in the quality of a wine compared to those we've had before (or a different style of wine, for that matter). But it's those rare leaps forward that stick in our memories and shift our buying patterns.

I've had a few such wines in recent memory. But they haven't changed my enjoyment of "lesser" wines that I can discern. And I had plenty of headroom in my scoring to accomodate those special bottles, so no changes there either. Those bottles just nudged me to a higher level of insanity in my purchases to find that next high special experience.
quote:
Originally posted by THA:
There's a portfolio tasting tomorrow afternoon being put on by Pioneer Distributing, who has some top producers. It's supposed to be for the trade only, but I have a feeling that it will be pretty open. (Hell, they even list it as an "event" on their website.) 2pm -ish.
quote:
Originally posted by ThistlinTom:
quote:
Originally posted by THA:
Not sure if I'm supposed to feel embarrassed, innocent, or like a whore. If anyone in Houston is going to the Hilton on Tuesday afternoon (or the Monday evening event on Smith), let me know so I can say hi. [QUOTE]


What's going on at the Hilton?
Yeah you can walk in no problem.
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by Gigond Ass:
Only one in recent memory. 1958 BV Georges de Latour.


I still think about that bottle often.


My birth year. I guess I missed this as I had no idea there was something so special in 1958!

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