Last night Tim hosted SOBER, and we made our way to Stamford on a wet and foggy night. He greeted us with straight from the oven gougeres, and the 1996 Dom Perignon. Full, solid acids, elegant mousse, nice length, I don't care how much they make this is fine Champagne. A-
To table, for the blind wines:
First flight (with an assortment of cheeses- a Buffalo, a goat, a smoked Blue, Humboldt Fog, Sottocenere, a Spanish sheep's milk, and at least one other I'm forgetting)
First guess was Italian, then Mark guessed Rhone, where upon John immediately said first Northern, second CdP, when confirmed then Hermitage for first..
Red #1 -dark fruit, smoke, a little animal note. B+/A- 1989 Jaboulet "La Chapelle" Hermitage. B+/A-
Red #2- soft, red, round, a little barnyard, long, got more and more complex. 1989 Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape. A-
Second Flight was served with a cauliflower/onion tart.
Everyone quickly got Bordeaux, but we flailed for the specifics a bit (I guessed Lynch, but for the wrong wine!). Once unveiled I'm a bit surprised to have found both so soft.
Red #3 Black fruit, herby, a bit of earth, 1996 Lynch Bages B/B+
(I've liked this more before)
Red #4 Cassis, soft, cedary, I thought it had a nice finish but someone else described as clipped.
1996 Pichon Baron. B+
Third Flight was served w/ lentil & mushroom pot pie. Mark immediately says Italian, John Piedmont, then Barbaresco, then Mark goes directly to '98 Santo Stefano.Good job.
Red # 5 Red fruit, tar, smoke, long and lovely. My WOTN 1998 Giacosa Santo Stefano Barbaresco Riserva. A-
Red # 6 Black and red cherries, citrus peel, earth, nice balance. 2001 Giacosa Santo Stefano Barbaresco. B+/A-
Last flight was served w/ swiss chard & mushroom lasagna and roasted okra. The food was great, brave to do meatless Monday with these carnivores, but no one was disappointed. ! I thought Australian on all three wines, it took group a long time to get around to these.
Red #7 Oak and kirsch, burnt notes, hot. Not a fan. 2001 Muga "Torre Muga" Rioja. C
Red #8 Very ripe,oaky, lush, superInternational but I like more than flightmates. 2000 Casa Lapostolle "Clos Apalta" B-/C+
Red #9 Ripe, pruney, a bit more acid than first one. 1998 Muga "Torre Muga" Rioja C+/B-
Last blind wine was clearly Port, Craig guessed vintage on first try, then John got Taylor on his first. Sweet red fruit, spices, nutty, very nice. 1977 Taylor Vintage Port. A-
Great night, thanks Tim.
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.