On the heels of my dinner group`s wine theme of world class Syrah comes another one with the same theme from my lunch group which is comprised of a few of the same people. The choice of the wine theme is decided by different inputs however.
Our luncheon was held at the usual venue in the private dining room at the Santa Barbara Club and 16 of us thoroughly enjoyed another well prepared and righteously served marquee lunch.
Grilled quail with goat cheese pudding and Sicilian rosemary currant relish
Pork tenderloin stuffed with herbs and plums served with butternut squash potato and port reduction
Corned beef brisket with cabbages and horseradish
Flourless chocolate cake
Our wine selections began with 2 starter wines:
2014 JAFFURS GRENACHE BLANC THOMPSON VINEYARD- delightful minerals, floral, tropical, peach blossom and citrus notes are sensed in the aromatics and continue on with lemon lime, pineapple, kiwi, fig and grapefruit flavors joining in; this is so refreshing and a perfect entrée into the onslaught to follow.
2006 MARCASSIN THREE SISTERS VINEYARD SONOMA COAST CHARDONNAY- thanks to the one who brought this, I`ve had a fair share of this wine from different vintages including this one and this bottle shined ever so brightly; with bracing acidity, it had nice minerality to accompany significant spicy green apple and citrus notes in a medium to full body with pleasing texture and a long finish.
1st flight of 5 reds:
2004 RADIO COTEAU LAS COLINAS SONOMA COAST SYRAH- the nose offers some serious invitation of good things to come and it delivers with aromas of bacon fat laced cranberry fruit that moves on into a taste profile to include more of the same along with some spicy blueberry, black currant and plum; it finished with some heat.
2008 DOMAINE JASMINKA- from a local home wine making endeavor and brought by one of the 5 who crafted the wine named it after his wife, this offered nice fruitiness consisting of bright red cherry in the nose and a different taste profile of dried plum and cranberry on the palate; enjoyable and a good effort on the part of “the guys” involved.
2000 JADE MOUNTAIN PARAS VINEYARD MOUNT VEEDER SYRAH- the nose had some nice talc, wild berry notes and the taste profile was redolent with lively, licorice flavored cranberry cherry; it was in perfect balance and maintained a consistent alluring charm throughout.
1998 ANDREW MURRAY HILLSIDE RESERVE SANTA BARABARA COUNTY SYRAH- from one of our local stars that came on the scene in the early 90s, I believe the first vintage of this estate wine was in 96`; known for fruit forward Rhone varietals, this is no exception as it expresses loads of fruity perfume and moves into nice tasty dark berry and cherry notes on the palate; it`s complexity, smooth texture and lushness are hallmarks of this wonderful 17 year old that has a lot of goodness to continue to give down the line.
2001 LONGORIA SANTA BARBARA COUNTY SYRAH- a great follow up to Andrew Murray, this comes from another local star who has been crafting good wines since 1982, starting out with Burgundian varieties before branching out into other dimensions; Rick put another winner here; the nose is so inviting and the mouthfeel is so soft and smooth, but it`s the tasty spicy cherry flavor that stands out; this has depth and complexity with welcomed length.
2nd flight of 6:
1998 OJAI VINEYARD ROLL RANCH VINEYARD SYRAH- from another one of our local heroes of yesteryear getting his start about the same time as a few others like Rick Longoria and after breaking off from Jim Clendenen at Au Bon Climat in 1983; this warm climate vineyard delivered some bacon and then more bacon and a then just a bit more before being joined by some dark fruit by about mid palate; the fruit has evolved into tertiary flavors and is still very viable; the wine would be a good match with a BLT.
2001 OJAI VINEYARD MELVILLE VINEYARD SANTA RITA HILLLS SYRAH- loved this bottle showing beautiful balance with pleasant aromatics and wonderful spice and pepper notes to embellish the dark fruit profile; good from the nose through the tail.
2003 OJAI VINEYARD THOMPSON VINEYARD SYRAH- the nose was redolent with a hit of smoke and mild bacon notes blending in with some black fruit which started to fade about mid palate on; it finished with a little heat.
2001 JAFFURS STOLPMAN VINEYARD SYRAH- and now we get to cherish some of the wonderful wines from this local mostly Rhone based producer who was in attendance along with his quite capable assistant; although this bottle was corked, I`ve enjoyed many a fine bottle of Syrah from this producer/ vineyard pairing over many years and will look forward to trying a different bottle from this same vintage if it should happen.
2004 JAFFURS THOMPSON VINEYARD SYRAH- as much as I`ve liked the Stolpman fruit, Thompson has consistently been as good as it gets and with longevity too; this bottle had that serious welcoming party in the aromatics introducing a treasure to be experienced and so it was; the tastiness exemplified spicy pepper and almost chili pepper like notes that accentuated the blue and black fruit; it had nice balance and good acidity and structure to suggest a long and satisfying life.
2001 JAFFURS THOMPSON VINEYARD SYRAH- another very pleasing effort, this bottle seemed very energetically youthful; it displayed ideal balance and treated us to smoky blueberry, plum and black currant fruit; more than decent.
3rd flight of 4:
2003 RED CAR ALL NIGHT RADIO SANTA BARBARA COUNTY SYRAH- I was turned on to this wine by my good friend and now deceased Frank Crandell who founded the still popular local wine shop, Renegade Wines; I could always trust Frank`s palate for me to make buying decisions and this wine substantiated such; the nose had some pleasant smoked bacon and black currant; all carried on to the back end and was accompanied by plum, cranberry and black cherry notes; this is quite complex with layers unfolding, each offering delightful new nuances building on the last one; for me, a surprising winner as this was my first bottle to open.
2002 E. GUIGAL LA MOULINE COTE ROTIE- from the much maligned 02` vintage, i`m finding I`m just fine with this vintage and all of the La Las I`ve had have been very good or better; this bottle fell into the better category and was my WOTD; it was simply awesome; the aromatics had the requisite pepper and spice and the vivid blue and black fruit danced all over my palate to my delight; it finished as good as it started; the silky smooth mouthfeel just served to complete the deal; such a treat and definitely the KIND.
2002 SINE QUA NON “HEART CHOREA” SYRAH- usually, I`m blown out of the tub with SQNs, but this bottle was shockingly easy to drink and left my palate in tact for another day as well as the rest of this one; after an inviting nose, it had really pleasant smoke and licorice infused blue and black fruit served up in a medium to full body with lots of complexity and length; I was overwhelmed by this wine`s underwhelming; 95% Syrah, 5% Viognier; 15.8% abv.
1995 CHATEAU de FONSALETTE RESERVE COTES du RHONE- nice flavorful chocolate blueberry, blackberry and black currant notes abound in this blend which is 50% Grenache, 35% Cinsault, 15% Syrah; very tasty and expressive.
2005 DOMAINE JEAN-LOUIS CHAVE HERMITAGE- this bottle was a serious bring that was unfortunately seriously flawed with 4-ethylphenol Brettanomyoces displacing any fruit and leading to extreme dryness; a travesty and hopefully only a one time bottle issue.
4th flight of 3:
2012 PAUL LATO IL PADRINO BIEN NACIDO VINEYARD SANTA MARIA VALLEY SYRAH- and here we get another fine local winemaker`s effort who was also in attendance and gifted us with this bottle; it was deliciously inundated with sweet, vanilla coated cherry flavors with a touch of talc; a taste treat coming at a good time after the Chave.
2006 MARQUIS PHILLIPS McLAREN VALE SHIRAZ- loaded with wild black berry fruit, this had a soft and smooth texture carrying a full body of joy across the palate and holding on for a long finish.
2010 SAXUM VINEYARDS BROKEN STONES VINEYARD PASO ROBLES RHONE BLEND- 63% Syrah, 19% Mourvedre; 15% Grenache, 3% Petite Sirah; 15.3% abv; pretty serious here with major fruit forwardness consisting of black raspberry, cherry and hints of licorice and lavender; it`s rich and full bodied with consistent appeal from the nose on through to the back end.
5th flight of 2 dessert wines:
2012 PAUL LATO THE LAST KISS BIEN NACIDO VINEYARD DESSERT WINE- 90% Syrah, 10% Grenache; nutty, sherry like notes sings out in this mellow sweetie; it`s so tasty and better to experience in small sips; fluid dessert in a glass.
2011 PEDRO XIMENEZ ALVEAR de ANADA- some commented on Parker`s love for this dessert wine [RP100 points] and for once, I agree; this is the cat`s meow; it has a deep rich brown color and intense concentrated brown sugar flavored apricot nectar notes that are delivered in a sticky, gooey substance; do not get this on your fingers or you`ll be sucking your thumb with a smile on your face.
We just had another stellar luncheon among 12 a year and I look forward to returning next month with a wine theme of 1st and 2nd growth Bordeaux.
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