Monday, September 14, 2009

Dust on the Bottle

There might be a little dust on the bottle,
Don't let it fool ya about what's inside.
-David Lee Murphy

Last night, my brother-in-hairstyle Danny Gold put together one of the more interesting wine tastings I've ever attended. He and a couple of his fellow Party Source pals decided they'd do a tasting of aged wine. Now, we're not talking 1967 Chateau d'Yquem here -- but it was a pretty impressive spread of wines. When I say "impressive," I mean...well...judge for yourself:
  1. Jean Laurent Millesime 1997 Champagne Brut
  2. Weingut Baumann Oppenheimer Sacktrager 1975 Riesling Auslese
  3. Domaine Marcel Deiss Engelgarten 1999 Alsace (white blend)
  4. Domaine Zind Humbrecht 1994 Grand Cru Pinot Gris
  5. Carmenet Winery 1995 Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon (Sonoma)
  6. Azilia 1998 Barolo Bricco Fiasco
  7. Castillo Ygay 1989 Rioja Gran Reserva Especial
  8. Domaine Tempier 1996 Bandol
  9. Barossa Valley Estates 1997 Ebenezer Shiraz
  10. Corison Vineyard 1989 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa)
  11. Hacienda Monasterio 1996 Ribera del Duero Crianza
  12. Ravenswood 1998 Old Hill Zinfandel (Sonoma)
  13. Beringer 1996 Private Reserve Cabernet (Napa)
  14. Montepeloso Val di Cornia 1999 Rosso
  15. L'Ecole 1999 Seven Hills Vineyard Merlot
  16. Benjamin de Vieux Chateau Gaubert 2000 Graves (Bordeaux)
  17. Paradise Ranch 1998 Pinot Blanc Icewine (British Columbia)
I haven't had the opportunity to try much 10+ year old wine, much less 30+ year old wine, so I was fascinated to see how these wines held up, how they'd age, and so on.

For me, the highlights were the Riesling (which tasted like nectar with a wonderful spiciness); the Pinot Gris (a late harvest pinot gris -- not at all what I expected from Alsace); the Bandol (an earthy, smelly, yummy wine with a smoky finish that went on for ages); the Ribera del Duero (mammoth, sumptuous, and lush); the Montepeloso (an Italian wine with French funk); and the Bordeaux (2000 is a fantastic vintage).

None of them had gone to vinegar, although a few were clearly past their peak. The 1995 Sauv Blanc was certainly past its prime, as were the Corison (a bit flat) and the L'Ecole -- which tasted like a basic Merlot. Even so, how often do you get the opportunity to even taste a wine that's legitimately aged to that point?

Add in Riverside Restaurant's hosting and buffet for us, and we had quite an evening.

I'd certainly recommend getting on Danny's mailing list. He sends out fairly regular wine notes, announcements of these tastings, and information about wine dinners he does in conjunction with various local restaurants. For more information, you can email Danny here.

No comments: