We had a great group with Geary, Sandy, Shane, and Christina. We started off trying to pair the wines with courses, but pretty much gave up after the second course.
- N.V. Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvée Brut - France, Champagne
I did not record the lot number on this bottle, but...medium to light straw in the glass with a fine bead. Aromas of yeast with a touch of lemon and lanolin. Medium bodied with a late toasty oak note. Good.
Whites enjoyed with the first couple courses.
- 2008 Grey Stack Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Rosemary's Block - USA, California, North Coast, Bennett Valley
13.8% ABV. This bottle started off with a slight NZ cat spray quality, but it dissipated within a couple minutes. Slightly cloudy light gold in the glass. Tropical passionfruit, guava, and tart citrus with a nice underpinning of tangy saline. Cuts a great sweet tart candied lemon grapefruit path. Very nice.
- 2004 Aubert Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
15.1% ABV. Light gold with a slight green haze. Ripe tropical and apple fruit. A suggestion of an oily lemon quality Medium full bodied with rich flavors on the palate and final suggestion of marzipan or something nutty. Gorgeous. Reminds me some in a favorable way of Beringer's Sbragia Chard, but with better integrated oak.
- 2008 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Occidental Ridge Sonoma Coast - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Bright garnet translucent in the glass. Smoke and black cherry fruit o the nose. Rich. Medium to just full bodied. Finishes with a slight cola spice note and some light tannins. I didn't get to spend as much time as I would have liked with this, and it was served a touch too warm it seemed, but this is nice.
- 2004 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve - USA, California, Napa Valley
14.7% ABV. Dark garnet, mostly opaque in the glass. Caramel and a high toned oak and varnish nose over red currant fruit. Full bodied with rich black currant and black berry fruit on the palate. Still seems to have some tannin to shed. This is good wine, but it was clearly inferior to the 2001 Shafer HSS we tasted alongside.
- 2001 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select - USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
Dark garnet opaque in the glass with some translucence at the rim. Sweet oak, cedar, and black currant fruit on the nose. This just smells plush. Full bodied, rich and plush on the palate with seamless black currant fruit mingled with some toasty cedar accompaniment. Outstanding. Easy WOTN.
Dessert and Bonus Pours
- 2002 Château Lynch-Bages - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
A buddy poured me a glass of this to taste at an offline. Deeply colored translucent in the glass. Mint and some earth on the nose. Full bodied with somewhat reticent black currant fruit and suggestion of scorched or smoky earth. Good. This is pretty open for business.
- 2002 Bodegas Pintia (Vega-Sicilia) Toro Pintia - Spain, Castilla y León, Toro
Tasted this briefly at the end of a long dinner tasting. YMMV. Reticent herbal plum nose. Savory and somewhat taut after the Cali wines we'd been tasting. Not bad.
- 2001 Château Rabaud-Promis - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
13.5% ABV. Light amber in the glass. Bright fruit on the nose with light botrytis and nectar. Medium full bodied and medium sweet with more nectar-like flavors on the palate. Pretty good.
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