Just finished up a great tasting on this crystal clear and cold evening. Good wines, tasty food and good company were the orders of the night.
Started with a Napa Riesling. Most knee jerk reactions were German Spatlese Riesling, but it really tasted more like an Oregon Riesling. Two tasty Pinots followed that. The Claudia Springs was a favorite for having dark cherry and earthy flavors, but also being easy to drink and had an elegant mouthfeel.
The St Joseph was from a colder and rainy year which added some less ripe, green characteristics. This pulled some people from the Syrah camp over to Cabernet Franc. This 10-15 dollar Thierry Saint Chinian was a sleeper. It's delicious and many guessed it as a Chateauneuf du Pape. I thought it was a bit to big for one and a little less elegant. Tons of Violet floral character and just a terrific wine. The price makes it even better. Can age easily for the next five years and improve.
There was an Alban Syrah which didn't make it into the picture. It was massive, ripe and full of dark plum and herbal character.
The two left bank Bordeaux wines were a treat. The Brane Cantenac only has 4.5 percent Cabernet Franc and a half percent Carmenere, but the flavors shone through and really melded with the lush and fruity Merlot.
The Unti was full of piles of blueberries and cream. It was rich, ripe and elegant. Unfortunately the Tablas Creek Esprit was corked beyond belief. I took the world's smallest sip to see if there were any redeeming qualities, but it was a waste.
We finished up with a side by side of three different St Amant Tawny Ports. They were made up from different harvests and had varietal differences. Ran the gamut from milk to dark chocolate, burnt orange peel, rich red fruit ro darker plum and from flabby to bright, complex and nutty.
Not a terrible way to start the week.
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