TNs:Vilmart, SQN In Flagrante/ Inamoata, Kilikanoon, Booker, Burge, Jonata, Hourglass
Our dinner group met recently to enjoy some fine food at a local favorite, Petit Valentien, with an open wine theme that somehow resulted in mostly Syrah and a lot of challenges for me:
NV VILMART & CIE GRAND CELLIER RUBIS BRUT- disgorged 2/10; really nice acidity; lots of citrusy notes especially fresh lemon; crisp, clean and a good palate preparation for the food and wines to come; medium bodied and a consistent winner after 5-6 bottles in the past few months.
1999 JJ PRUM WEHLENER SONNENUHR AUSLESE RIESLING- I got more grapefruit in the nose followed up by vanilla, honeyed apricot and peach on the palate, all delivered in a thick, oily texture; it`s loaded with minerals and there`s some floral notes as well; a treat.
1997 BURGE FAMILY WINEMAKERS DRAYCOTT BAROSSA VALLEY SHIRAZ- this is the 2nd vintage of this wine imported to the US and the regular bottling; I have not had the reserve, but am told it is stellar and it should be as this showed pretty really well; after some heat in the nose which dissipated, there`s a lot happening here with major, intense notes of wild, red/ black fruit with a medium body and weight and at first a quick, dry finish that improved with time; this could have stood some decanting for a few hours prior to serving.
2003 KILIKANOON ORACLE CLARE VALLEY SHIRAZ- dentist pleasing inky dark teeth staining color with a nose that had some funk in it which I called veggie as in bell pepper, but another disagreed; the taste profile was very different and for my palate was overall not desirable; no question, the wine is very serious in whatever it has to offer, I`m just not sure what that is and how to describe it and whether this was a bottle variation or not; I did get some mint chocolate and coffee notes; I have had some Oracle from other vintages that I liked, but for me, this bottle was not a great experience.
2007 BOOKER VINEYARD MY FAVORITE NEIGHBOR PASO ROBLES RED WINE- 34% Syrah, 33% Cabernet, 33% Petit Verdot; big and full bodied, this also had some veggie character in the nose, but moved into an intense ripe wild black and blue fruit with some licorice, cedar and chocolate; this monster needs a lot of time to evolve and to be decanted for hours in advance of drinking and then I`m not sure what we`ll have; it should be interesting to follow.
2000 SINE QUA NON IN FLAGRANTE SYRAH BLEND- 86% Syrah, 10% Grenache, 4% Viognier; 14.9% alc.; I`m thinking it`s me after sampling a 3rd wine that was not all that great IMHO and I know this one is a big hit with the group, not to mention on the wallet; again, I`m getting a nose that`s hot and veggie bell peppery to the extent I questioned the stemware, but remembered sniffing all prior to pouring any wine- no problem; also it was difficult to get a fix on the taste profile although later on, it opened up a little and offered some blueberry and blackberry fruit inside an oaky cloak.
2004 JONATA LA SANGRE DE JONATA SYRAH- 14.9%; guess what?; this was the worst of the night= #1 WWOTN; it had to have been cooked; the nose was awful as in stewed tomatoes; knowing the possibility of storage issues in the case, it was quite believable.
2008 HOURGLASS BLUELINE VINEYARD CABERNET- the sigh heard around the world at 8:30 pm on this night was from me as I stuck my nose into this wine; after the last few wines, my thought was a resounding “YES!”; I`ve had this wine a few times and although it`s in its infancy, it`s always delighted and shown well; for me, this is guaranteed to be an enhanced experience in many years to come; not yet integrated and developed, it still has a lot of oaky notes including some vanilla, talc and sandalwood, but the dominating notes of sweet violets and freshly made dark chocolate with black cherries and blueberries takes over and is delivered with a silky smooth texture and a long welcomed finish; my #1 WOTN.
2001 SINE QUA NON VIN DE PAILLE INAMOATA- 375ml; 7.8% alc.; meaning “a woman who you are in love with” in Italian, I`m in love with this one; made of air dried Roussanne from the John Alban Vineyard, this is sweetness layered upon sweetness; it exudes thick honeyed, wondrous intense apricot and peach with maple syrup poured on top; amazing and such a treat which for me, served to conclude an interesting evening of some palate challenging and some pleasing experiences.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".