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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Another Heavyweight Round in Westchester
A absolutely wonderful night of hedonism, great company and terrible preparation of food (obviously kidding Leo...). I must have lost my sense of reality somewhere between the homemade bread, gnocci, lamb and roast...but la-la land was a tremendous place to be last night. Adored every second of it, and still have the tingles to prove it. World class wine aside, Leo and Connie- I'm lucky to know you two and am extremely greatful for the time we spend together. You outdid yourselves in spades...

Domaine Carneros 2000
Lovely, fine beaded sparkler to begin the evening with. Very directed aromas of citrus oils, roasted nuts and judicious toast shot through the glass. Ample weight and great lift on the palate carried the baked apple flavors to a lively finish. Poured from a magnum and is on its way to maturity. 89 points

Jadot Batard Montrachet 1998
Decanted for a few hours prior to consumption; the nose of this 7 year old Grand Cru Burgundy seemed far more evolved than that of the palate. Rich, creamy notes of nutmeg spice, tapioca pudding, honey dew and rich vanilla bean had such a sultry complexity to them that I found irresistible. Beautifully integrated and layered. I’d recommend consumption over the next 8-10 years. 92 points.
Chateau Beaucastel 1998
Lovely aged Chateauneuf w/ plenty of steam ahead of it. Showing classic Grenache notes of dried plumbs, figs, cocoa powder and pepper. Adequate richness on the palate was accompanied by layers of modest briar and spicebox tones amidst silky layers of dark fruit. Guy mentioned that the majority of the Mourvedre ended up in the Hommage bottling in ’98, making this a bit of an anomaly bottling for Beaucastel as it contained such a high content of Grenache. Mourvedre or not (definitely keeping her less funky), this is a deep, aged Chateauneuf that is drinking very well now. 93 points.

Jadot Latricieres Chambertin 2003
This peek into Grand Cru red Burgundy from the intensely exotic 2003 vintage was definitely a fabulous one! Dark, deeply colored ruby tones lead the way to a pungent smorgasbord of scents including smoked game, campfire grill and rich dark cherries. An initial glimpse could have fooled me into thinking this was a young Graves! This flamboyantly ripe pinot really strut its stuff on the palate, pumping out mouth-filling, full flavors of rich toast, huckleberry and currant coated flavors in a sheer cashmere cloth. Remarkable purity, opulence and length. Big time Burgundy! 94 points (my wife’s wine of the night)

Tentua de San Guido, Sassicaia 1998
Roll out the red carpet, this is officially my favorite vintage of this iconoclast Italian cabernet yet (no, I have not yet tasted the ’88 or ’85…but I’ll get to them eventually)! The nearly inky color was surprising, but not nearly as profound as the aromatics of roasted peppers, mushroom, truffles, coffee and smoke. Absolutely delicious and fat in the mouth, loaded w/ heady black currant, black raspberry, graphite and steel, punctuating its character w/ a remarkably long, gravel tinged finish. 1998 might have been less than exemplary in Tuscany, but Bolgerhi was surely rockin’ tonight! A home run, easily worthy of 95 points.

Tentua de Ornellaia, Masseto 1996 (from a magnum)
Well, I am officially bursting my Masseto cherry, and needless to say, it was an absolute privilege. This wine simply won over the entire table, eyes gawked and mouths drooled once putting this pure Merlot elixir to the lips. A beautifully complex bouquet of Starbucks coffee, melted licorice and touches of mint that are powerful and simply effusive. Fat, plush flavors of dark chocolate and dark cherry liqueur are flat our breath-taking as they cascade through the palate like a barrel trip through Niagra Falls! Out of this world. 97 points.

Tenuta del Terriccio 2003
This has been a hallmark bottle for us to chow on at the end of the evening. It began w/ the 2000 (which beat out the ’96 Sassicaia for wine of the night) and then migrated over to the 2001 (which was a sheer, caged animal that bounced all over the palate like a Gorilla carrying a banana) and now it’s time for the ’03. I figured the extreme heat and drought of ’03 would play right into Carlo Ferrini’s hands w/ this eccentric and loaded Syrah based blend, and it sure did. This is undoubtedly was a WTF wine! Much like a beginning taster’s first experience w/ a rich Amarone, this juice evokes such blatant characteristics that it demands one’s creative apparatus to kick into full gear! A nose of pure black peppercorn salami, scorched chestnuts, espresso roast and pure bacon fat (no, I’m not kidding!). You can’t help but explore further, like an Archaeologist on a forbidden dig. The palate had a ferocious sense of depth and opulence, while maintaining such a silky feel that was almost haunting. Flavors of fig and vivid blueberries danced their way through the night….a sheer tour de force! 95 points (excitement, yes…just not the polish of the Masseto, but this aint about polish!).

I am going to allow Guy to post on the dessert wines (on the eBob board)...the Vouvray you brought was one of my favorite Chenin Blancs of all time (god what a versatile and under-appreciated grape!). All you guys are the best, salud- I will open something dynamite tonight and toast to the eternal health of your families.


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