1998 Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon
Damn, champagne is the shiznit. After our Champagne Offline a few weeks ago, I seriously was jonesing for more vintage champagne but that's like Billy Bob jonesing for Angelina again...not gonna happen, buddy. Luckily, my brother-in-law turned 40 on July 4th and he just happened to have a bottle of 98 Dom! Gorgeous pale yellow color and it just looked light on its feet. Toast, honey, butter, and custard on the nose which precedes the vibrant crisp apples on the palate accented by citrus and pear. This baby is lively and even a bit earthy. If you've got one, pop it. Why wait? 93pts.
2005 Long Shadows Pedestal
Decanted for around an hour. I decided to put aside my irreverence for New World merlot so I could enjoy my brother-in-law's 40th birthday. This wine certainly didn't change my mind. While it was well-made in that international style, it just didn't possess any remarkable components to make it stand out in a crowd. Dark blue with ruby edges, it initially had aromas of blackberry, plum, chocolate, some spice, and vanilla cream oak. The ripe fruit was immediately evident in the mouth but quickly vanished and gave way to a hollow mid-palate followed by oak and a hefty tannic bite. I'm fairly oak-tolerant but this was weaving back and forth between the imaginary line that we winos draw in the sand for oak allowance. All in all, an okay wine for $25 but not in the cards for $50. 89pts.