Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Kick ass night of food and wine...

Spent Sunday night drinking some fine juice at a going away party for a friend whose ditching the goold ole USA for the land of Crocodile Dundee. Anytime this crew gets together, nothing is sacred, and that certainly was the case this night. Seems that big, dense, extracted Cali Cabs were on the menu but a Napa Syrah took the WOTN for me. It was so similar on the nose to Cayuse that if served blind, I would have shouted, "Another great Cayuse nose!" Great night, great food, and terrific company...

2007 SQN Stars and Stripes Rose -- Unlike any Rose I've ever had. A very dark color that if you just took a glance, might mistake for a lighter colored red. Took a whiff and had to laugh because the first thing that came to mind was that it smelled like grape juice (no sh#t, Sherlock, it is made from grapes) which seemed ironic. Dry, with a bit of heat, very interesting. A thinking man's Rose. 90pts.

1995 Kirchmayr Gruner Veltliner Solist -- Honey colored with and aged sweetness of apples and pears. Reminded me of a 1997 Cuvee Freddie I had a couple months back but not quite as complex. 88pts.

2004 Donnhoff Norheimer Kirschheck Riesling Spatlese -- Liquid gold, baby! Golden straw with a nose of stones, honey, and apples. Surprisingly dry in the mouth with a core of sweetness without ever thinking of stepping over the line into cloying. Just cleanses the palate with minerality wrapped by ripe pears. Intense and mouth coating. Loved it. 93pts.

2002 Shafer Hillside Select Cab -- Beast. Punch to the face of ripe, extracted, concentrated dark fruit. Cassis liqueur, graphite, palate staining blackberry fruit. Dense but balanced with a brightness and luxuriousness that doesn't quit. Thanks Travis! 96pts.

2003 Benjamin Romeo Rioja La Vina De Andres Romeo -- Muscular, spicy oak, ripe blue fruit, Old World aromatics. This was just a huge wine that seems to need some more time to integrate. Tons of potential. 91+pts.

2004 Kongsgaard Syrah Hudson Vineyard -- My WOTN! You could just tell from the first smell that this was going to kick ass. Nose of mocha, ripe blue fruit, pepper, funky animal fur (similar to a certain WA State winery whose wines I've occasionally liked ). Huge in the mouth with blueberries and blackberries that had every bit of life squeezed out of them. Lush and silky but radiant and enlivened your taste buds. Century long finish. Ridonkulous. Thanks Steven! 97pts.

2004 Cayuse Widowmaker Cab -- The first reaction from everyone after their first sip was a nodding of the head and a this is good (reminded me of the scene in Pulp Fiction when Quinten Tarantino gives Harvey Keitel that cup of coffee). Lots of herbs, spicy oak, and just a hint of bell pepper on the nose. Handfulls of plums, currants, and pomegranates that balanced out the earthiness. Medium bodied with a nice interplay of savory vs. sweet. Chewy finish. 93 pts.

2002 Chateau Mouton Rothschild -- Old World nose of a little underbrush, #2 lead pencil, and oak spices. Nice solid core of currants, cassis, and black raspberries that allows a seamless transition to integrated tannins. This wine just exudes class --I thought of Sophia Loren while another thought of Catherine Deneuve. Drinking well now. Again, thanks Steven! 92pts.

2006 Maybach Materium Cab -- Big and ripe with gobs of blackberries, currants, blueberries, tobacco, cocoa. Full-bodied, dense, and powerpacked with oak and tannin. You wouldn't think it could be balanced but the extracted fruit, tannin, and oak compose a freakin' good wine with even a little hint of elegance and good length. 94pts.

2003 St. Clement Prometheus Cab -- Smoky oak, dark berries, cigar. A little more tannin than I was expecting. All the stuffing for a very good wine but just needs a bit more time for all of the components to integrate. 90+pts.

N.V. Pedro Ximenez Solera 1927 -- Copper color with nose of nuts, caramel, raisins. Only took two drinks but was tasty nonetheless. Tim kept getting an anise flavor that seemed to be lurking in the background. Nice finish to a great night.

There were two wines that I didn't get a chance to try--a 1999 Jean Luc Columbo Hermitage and a 2003 Friends of Devin Syrah. There is a tragic stroy behind the Devin Syrah so if you see it around...give it a whirl.

Monday, May 18, 2009

TN: 2005 Soos Creek Artist Series #5

Decided to go old school this past Saturday night for my father's 62 birthday. I've enjoyed past vintages of this wine and have a vertical from 01-06 that I'm going to pop for dinner some night. David Larson has been making wine for 20 years under the Soos Creek label (only about 5 minutes from where I grew up in Kent). He has been sourcing fruit from Washington's best vineyards for years and that's one reason his wines age effortlessly. If you see one of his wines around town, pick one up--you won't be disappointed.

Essentially a pop and pour (although I left my glass alone for the first 15 minutes). Initial aromas of red currants, plums, tobacco, and some sweet oak. Medium-bodied and ripe polished berry fruit in the mouth with a real nice smokiness that gives way to a vibrant acidity. Noticable depth and well rounded tannins lead to a smooth, long finish. I know this isn't one of my more exciting notes but the wine was just a great example of an elegant, well made Washington bordeaux blend (49% cab, 42% cab franc, 9% merlot). Nothing to make it "pop" but also no flaws...just darn good. 92 pts.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

TN: 2007 Vincent Dauvissat Chablis La Forest

Popped and let sit for 30 mins. This baby possessed such a vibrant yellow color that it furthered my already high expectations. After about 5 minutes of swirling, I think I resigned myself to the fact that I opened this too early (it was fairly open two months ago). It was so tight that my wrist hadn't been this sore since the first time I laid my eyes on the gorgeous Heather Thomas in an episode of the Fall Guy. After tons of coaxing, I finally could distinguish some Meyer Lemon and granite on the nose. Muscular, with enough acid to provide a backbone that would make a T Rex proud, hints of spicy apple, and enough stones to put African blood diamonds out business...this is built for the long haul. This may be the first time that I've felt guilty popping the cork too early but it was so good in February. Still a 92 point wine, with the stuffing to be a 95 pointer in 5-10 years. 92+ pts.

Night of Zind-Humbrecht, Kutch, Switchback Ridge, Cayuse, Saxum

Dudes,Sorry I'm tardy with my notes and comments. Work and family seem to get in the way of all the fun! Travis and Mario, thanks for hosting and putting out a kick ass spread of cheese, meats, salad, and hospitality. I'm definitely glad I hadn't eaten beforehand. Fun to meet a couple of new Seattle wine guys --Tim and Tom -- and always good to see Tom Lee, who is a beacon of wine reason amongst all of our wine blabbering! On to the notes...

2005 Francois Villard Condrieu Le Grand Vallon -- Served blind. Creamy roundness with a spiced baked apple tart note and dried pineapple. A lush white and once it was revealed, it made sense that it was viognier. I liked it alot. 92pts.

2002 Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer -- Dale is a big fan of ZH so I'm lucky to get to drink his bottles. This was another winner. Nice deep copper color with a nose of passion fruit, stones, along with honey. Dense in the mouth with a geat lush texture balanced by tropical fruits, minerals, and acid. Not as spicy as I was expecting but very good with Mario's spicy shrimp nonetheless. 92pts.

2006 Kutch RRV -- I am on the waiting list for this so was excited to finally try one. As with most pinot for me, it had a knockout nose but disappointed in the mouth. Nose of cola, stewed strawberries, and even a little underbrush. Medium bodied with a thin mid-palate did me in. Just not much going on for me. 87pts.

2005 Galardi Terra Di Lavoro -- This was thrown in and served blind. Strong nose of vanilla oak, baking spices, and dark fruit. Strongly tannic and acidic, this baby needs years to integrate all its parts. When that happens, it will be a very special wine. 90 pts. now with potential to be in the 93pt range.

2004 Switchback Ridge Merlot -- Not a big drinker of merlot but have heard good things about all of SR's wines. Very pleasantly surprised with this wine --thanks Tom Lee. Creamy nose of vanilla, dark fruits, and mocha. Filled with spicy plums, currants, and toasty oak all in balance. Delicious. 91pts.

2001 Blankiet Cab -- I don't think I even got to try this. Not sure how I missed it.

2006 Cayuse En Chamberlin -- After Jay Miller's tasting, we were all looking forward to drinking this and it lived up and even surpassed our expectations. 100 point nose with huge amounts of beef stew, fur, funk, pickles, and black fruits. Decadent mouthfeel giving way to layers of dried beef, blood, sour cherries and cabbage, all made tolerable by the copious levels of New World fruit. Gangbuster finish that leaves that wonderful Cayuse taste lingering for mintues. 96 pts.

2006 Saxum Bone Rock -- It was cool to bring this as a couple people had never drank a Saxum before, so I figured why not bring out a big gun. Decanted for around two hours, this puppy was rockin' from the get go. Big nose of blackberries, blueberries, jam, meat, and spice. Waves of ripe dark berry fruit in the mouth along with chocolate and even some spicy oak. As usual, everything is seamless so there's no hint of heat or tannin. This was so good now but will get even better with a few years under its belt. 95pts.

Wish I would have stayed a little later as I found out Travis and Mike opened a Carlisle Zin to cap off the night! By the way, great write up Tim!