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Old 26-10-2010, 08:36 PM posted to
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Default TN: SOBER @ my house- Champagne, Alsace, Bdx, Piedmont, Burg,Rioja, Loire

On Oct 26, 10:57*am, DaleW wrote:
My turn to host SOBER. Next time I take the afternoon off! A little
frantic, but although Betsy was going out she made the first course
and gave general assistance. Nice group as always, who demonstrated
patience with the tight spaces, needy dog, and hard vegetables.

We started off as people drifted in with various cheeses, duck
rillettes and prosciutto, sweet capicola, and 2 bubblies.

1998 Billecarte Salmon Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Fresh and zippy, mineral and citrus, nice length. I really enjoyed
this (actually more than the '98 Cuvee Nicholas-Francois I had last
year). B+/A-

1996 Pommery "Cuvee Louise" Champagne Brut
I found this not nearly as fresh. Yeasty, appley, but flat. One person
thought it was just being a grumpy adolescent. But while I caught no
sign during dinner, a sip as I was putting stuff away seemed to show
trace TCA NR

On to the blind flights. It's fun to be the one who knows for a
change. :

First Flight
1993 Drouhin Clos de la Roche
Showed a bit of diaper on opening, but that had mostly dissipated by
serving time. Someone called this low acid, I'd say moderate, but I'm
surprised as I remember previous bottle being *a bit brighter.
Pleasant, solid, but lacking a bit of depth. B

1993 Chandon de Briailles Corton-Bressandes
Some mixed opinions on this one, but I quite liked. Red fruit, smoke,
earth. A bit lighter than I expected for Corton, but I enjoyed. Group
got CdBeaune quickly, but took a while for the wine. B+

First course was a Marcella Hazan seafood salad, with *squid, octopus,
clams, mussels, and shrimp. Due to some trepidation on opening the
whites, I warned people to hold on to their Champagne.

Second Flight
(not served) 1983 Trimbach Cuvee Frederic Emile Riesling - this had a
bit of a fill issue, but a similar fill from same source was stellar
earlier this year. This, however, was not stellar, but instead dying.

1996 Trimbach Clos Ste. Hune Riesling
A quick guess of white Rioja, then Dan said "no, we're in Alsace." The
problem was the guesses then turned to 25-30 year old wines. My
original plan was to do a Loire flight, but after recently seeing a
note on a dinner where John had a PremOxed '96 CSH, I thought try this
now. Well, if it was 30 years old, this might be acceptable, but this
is not what one wants in a 14 year old CSH. C+

1999 Trimbach Clos Ste. Hune Riesling
This was the backup for the CFE, but needed to do duty for both. Not
as advanced as the 96, but worrisomely soft. A glass during cleanup
actually showed better than it did during dinner, but still at best a

Third Flight
1964 Lopez de Heredia Bosconia Rioja Gran Reserva
Very earthy, smoky, cranberry. Good but not my favorite bottle of old
LdH. B/B+

1964 Monte Real Rioja Gran Reserva
My favorite of flight. Spicy, red fruit, nice balance, plenty of life.

1964 Vallana Spanna Montalbano
Funky, herby, red fruity. Some VA. Tim quickly guessed Piedmont, and
Spanna on his third try. B/B-

Oh, I need to remember next time to make sure Betsy is joining us (and
handling cooking). I had done a leg of lamb with coriander and garlic,
with vegetables. When the lamb was done, the vegetables were somehow
still hard. I put the veggies back in oven, but after 15 minutes some
were still underdone. I've never had this issue before (and should
have carved the lamb after 5 minutes rest, the 15 led it to medium).
The dinner flight

Fourth Flight
1975 Trotanoy
Guesses were mostly Left Bank, and there's enough tannic structure to
see why. Ripe dark fruit, mocha. Firm and young. A-

1979 Cheval Blanc
Tangy '79 acids, spicy, maybe not as full as you'd hope for CB, fully
mature *but I quite enjoyed. B+

1978 Giscours
John got Marguax, but I think every classified estate was named before
Giscours. Red berries, floral, lower acids than flightmates, tasty but
drops off a tad on finish. *B

Fifth Flight

1978 Borgogno Barolo Riserva
This was the (plesant) surprise of the night for me, showing more
complexity than most Borgognos. Good acids, resolving tannins, tar,
Meyer lemon peel, earth, coffee. A-

1988 G. Conterno "Cascina Francia" Barolo
Some guesses for modernista, but they got before long. Chewy, big,
suffered a bit being next to the a pointe '78 Borgogno but I liked. B+

Final wine wasn't blind. I have had several bottles of the '89 Foreau
Reserve, but last year CSW had the 1989 Foreau/Clos Naudin "1ere Trie"
Vouvray Moelleux Reserve. Great acids, stunning sweet fruit, long,
tangy, lively. I thought about serving next to the (great) regular
Reserve, but 2 750s of dessert wine as people are leaving seemed
absurd. Still, would have liked to see any differences. My *(and most
people's ) WOTN. A

I was a bit unhappy with the main course, *and chagrined by the
Trimbachs, but informative night and some good wines in the mix.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent
wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't
drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no
promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.*

I feel your pain the CSH! I thought microwaves were for finishing
veggies that aren't quite done? :-) Finally, what is the deal with
Borgogno? I'm seeing a bunch of old Borgogno Barolos around and have
recently had a 1959, a 1966 and an early 70's just in the past
year....all were reportedly from the Borgogno library.