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.
A look at October's harvest in Washington
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