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Old 29-11-2013, 09:32 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN: Thanksgiving with Bea, Coudert, Donnhoff, Mondavi, and others

We had a diverse group for Thanksgiving, with no real geeks, but a few with some interest in wine. We had canapes of smoked salmon with horseradish creme fraiche plus Korean meatballs to start (with an emergency cheese addition when we found out last minute re a surprise vegetarian). We had a fresh local turkey, bacon/mushroom dressing, brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, and kale & mushrooms in a miso cream sauce.

Cooking used up most of a bottle of the 2001 Paolo Bea Santa Chiara. I had drunk my other bottle of this last year, found it more interesting than tasty. The problem is once you’ve tried, it’s less interesting intellectually. So I sacrificed to cooking, and discovered my mistake when I gave it a taste hours later. Hey, this is interesting AND tasty. Creamsicle, apricot, cashews, citrus zest. Good acids, full, firm. Not sure if this was a better bottle, or the several hours of air made the difference. Very good. A-/B+

Greeting wine was the 2000 Charles Ellner Cuvee Prestige Brut Champagne. Bready, slightly oxidative, very full bodied, good. B

With the main meal
2011 Donnhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett
I have liked this before, and this is not a bottling that I have thought ever really shut down in earlier vintages, but here I was just getting some sweetness and some acid, not much else. B-/B

2005 Coudert/Roilette “Cuvee Tardive” Fleurie
Tight on opening, but did well with some air. Raspberries, cocoa, flowers, still some light tannin, good acids, long finish. B+/A-

1977 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa)
Red fruits, leather, smoke, but really dominated by herbs. Not the longest or fullest of the 70s Mondavi Napas, but a satisfying midweight at end of maturity plateau. B+/B

after a stroll around the neighborhood with the dog, a dessert wine with the pumpkin and apple pies.
1969 Heinrich Seip ”Niersteiner Spiegelberg” Riesling Beerenauslese (Rheinhessen)
OK, mediocre year, unknown vineyard, unknown producer. But surprise - nice wine. Color is a nice brass/gold, darkens in decanter (typically for BA to me). Honey and spice on the nose. Obviously quite sweet, but there is balancing acidity, with flavors of lemon candy, apricot, and candied apple. Not really as complex as a top-flight BA, but a solid tasty bottle, and I’m happy to have one more (they were cheap!). B
Fun holiday meal (despite surprise vegetarian- not his fault) and a nice group

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.

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