In anticipation of another dinner with the fantastic dinner group I`m privileged to be a part of, I had a feeling of excitement and anticipation going on inside all day long This was.mindful of the days of playing sports and watching the clock and feeling the steady growth of energy building up until game time.
The special group dined at the Wine Cask Restaurant which has been a go to place for many of us over the past 30 years or so. Our table for 10 happened to be in the same table space used by my original lunch group which was founded in 1989 at the Wine Cask by Doug Margerum; therefore, the familiar ambiance served to be a flashback for me of many wonderful times with one more notch being carved on this night.
Our wine theme was champagne, white Burgs and interesting, fine red wines. We succeeded in satisfying the basic requirements and then some. Our wines included:
NV RUINART BLANC de BLANC BRUT- the striking bottle shape is almost enough to make this a winner, but since I did pop the cork, we needed to sample its contents, we all agreed, it is even more impressive on the inside; I`ve long been a fan of this house and their Brut Rose is one of my go to home wine drunk frequently; this bottle was fabulous; it was replete with bright acidity which highlighted the fresh, rich flavours including the citrus laden lemon delivered in a mild creamy mousse; like the light yellow colour, this is a lighter, brighter, pleasing bubbly with tight beads lending an aura of elegance.
NV R.H. COUTIER BRUT ROSE- although not among my 6 or so rose champagnes used for house bubbly, this could be a serious candidate and may well be found in the cellar soon; Its brilliant pink red colour invites further exploration and I obliged; it gifted us with lovely red apple, strawberry, cranberry and red cherry fruit which flows over the palate with hints of spice and clove; it`s so refreshing and being only mildly fruity, it possess a perfect state of elegance; 55% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir
NV JEROME PREVOST LA CLOSERIE les BEGUINES EXTRA BRUT- made from Pinot Muenier, this is somewhat big and mouth filing; the acidity is bracing; there`s an immense amount of citrus notes which finish on the tart side.
2015 PIERRE-YVES COLIN-MOREY LA COMME SANTENAY- absolutely fabulous and also a great GPR; love the light toasty, mineral infused rose petals in the perfume and the honeysuckle and apple that joins in once tasted; it has a great mouthfeel that lengthens the finish with all of the goodies blossoming to a crescendo; I have enjoyed this wine albeit in its youth and fortunately have more in the cellar for which some long term storage is mandated.
2013 PIERRE-YVES COLIN-MOREY EN REMILLY SAINT AUBIN 1er Cru- another fantastic bottle that gave nice mineral , steely, flint accents to the apple and pear fruit; viscous, medium bodied and long; love this too.
2013 COMTES LAFON MEURSAULT-PORUSOTS 1er Cru- a great bring and the wine honoured us with many treasures including its spicy, mineral driven fresh apple and citrus notes with a late arrival of minty lemon and lime; it had a nice texture, medium to full body and a long welcomed finish.
2014 DOMAINE PATTES LOUP VENT d`ANGE CHABLIS- very nice Chablis with mineral infused fresh lemon and grapefruit notes in a light to medium body and pleasing texture; it had elegance and finesse; loved it.
2012 MALAT KREMSTAL RESERVE GOTTSCHELLE 1 GRUNER VELTLINER- new to me, this was incredible; it had concentrated acidity along with crisp, tasty grapefruit and pear fruit and an amazing texture which enhanced the whole experience; with many wines to go, I drank the initial small pour and had a another splash.
1974 MONDAVI CABERNET SAUVIGNON- at first, somewhat corked; a few minutes later, seriously corked.
2002 JAFURS THOMPSON VINEYARD SYRAH- my favourite vineyard for all Syrah wines from Jaffurs, this was outstanding at first and kept unfolding moving into even better places; it had a serious fruit profile that seemed more primary than mature for a 15 year old wine; there was a bit of bacon along with blueberry and plum past mid palate which I recall from these wines when opened in their youth; this bottle was the bomb!
1995 CHATEAU de la NEGLY LE CLOS des TRUFFIERS COTEAUX de LANGUEDOC- although cork taint was present, there was at least some redeeming qualities that seeped through; the colour was an inky dark purple, the nose and taste had some talc and chocolate black cherry and there was a decent texture; it even had a hit of blackberry appearing late, but the overriding wet cardboard character just would not go away.
2005 LEVIATHAN RED WINE- this Bordeaux blend was made by former Screaming Eagle winemaker, Andy Erickson; interesting it was and that`s what was asked of us to bring in the red category; it was very intense with an immense sweet black fruit profile that dominated; some leather and liquorice came through and tried to subdue the wine, but failed; it was full throttled, full on and in general, a huge, masculine wine.
2009 CAYUSE VINEYARDS IMPULSIVO EN CHAMBERTIN VINEYARD WALLA WALLA VALLEY- 14.6%; Tempranillo; big, intense, rich and tantalising, this massive wine was another in the HUGE category; it had some earth, liquorice and cigar box accented red and black fruit; I don`t know how interesting it was, but it sure hit the mark for being BIG; made by Christophe Baron, the youthful French winemaker.
2000 DOMINO de PINGUS RIBERA del DUERO-this was absolutely amazing from its rich, deep dark colour on; the nose offered such an inviting perfume of talc and black fruit, the taste came in with just the right amount of liquorice and milk chocolate laden blackberry and blueberry fruit and the mouthfeel was probably the hallmark above and beyond; it was silky smooth almost creamy and carried all of the treasures to the back end with grace and elegance; this wine was in perfect balance and drinking beautifully now with promises to go on and forward for eons; easily and hands down, the WOTN.
2007 COHO HEADWATERS NAPA VALLEY BORDEAUX BLEND- after the Pingus, it was difficult to get excited about another wine, but I gave it a go and thankfully so; this was decent enough to make the grade; it had nice cedar and liquorice accents to the black cherry and black currant fruit which was somewhat sweet but not to a fault; 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot.
2004 SINE QUA NON MR K THE STRAW MAN BRANDER VINEYARD SEMILLON- 375 ml.; from the donor of the Pingus, our price of sweets scored again with this delicious liquid dessert in a glass; honeyed apricot with a touch of ginger is delivered in a syrupy texture; a spoonful will do ya.
Bt the end of the evening, my adrenaline rush had subsided, I was relaxed, satiated, full of nostalgia and even more grateful for the camaraderie of our group.