Serious Fun With Wines
We do drink wine mostly every day, thus we do have fun with wine every day. But then every so often, we are lucky to get together with the other wine
crazy people aficionados, usually to celebrate some sort of occasion (Birthday, etc. ), and this is when from everyday simple fun we advance to the area of “serious fun”.
What makes the wine fun “serious”? It is age and pedigree for the most of the cases, where just a quick glance at the bottle makes your heart race. “Wow, this is so cool” the brain sings, and you literally start to salivate even though it will be a long time until dinner will be served and the wine will be opened. If you will look at the lineup in the picture, you will easily get my point.
We started our evening with the 2013 Paumanok Chenin Blanc North Fork of Long Island, New York (11% ABV) – it had a nice nose of white fruit, white stone fruit on the palate, fresh acidity and overall very uplifting character with residual sweetness on the finish. Drinkability: 7+
The next wine was quite unique and different, at least for me – it was Sauternes, but – it was a dry Sauternes. 2007 Chateau Suduiraut S de Suduiraut Blanc Sec, Bordeaux (70% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Semillon, some oak aging) was definitely an interesting wine. I’m still trying to understand if this wine was already past prime, or was simply in its slumber. It is unfortunate that the Chateau Suduiraut’s web site lists no technical information about the wine, only implies that it underwent the oak aging. The wine was showing as full bodied and plump. At the same time, the fruit was very muted and initially the wine showed a hint of oxidation on the finish, which disappeared as the wine was breathing. I think this wine left all of us puzzled – it was not bad by all means, but it was not great either. It would be interesting to try the same wine maybe in 5 years – not sure it will be easy to do as it is quite rare. Drinkability: 7
And then there were reds. We opened both 1994 Tignanello and 2001 Quilceda Creek, and Tignanello was exhuming the pleasure, while Quilceda Creek was clearly asking for decanter – which was provided. Meanwhile, another fun and rare bottle was opened. I’m sure you know Bollinger. Yes, the Champagne producer. But – according to Champagne AOC rules, even Champagne producers are allowed to make … yes, still wines! 2002 Bollinger Ay Rouge La Cote Aux Enfant Coteaux Champenois was a bit tight first in the glass, but after about 10 minutes, it opened up into a luscious, complex goodness. Dark garnet color in the glass with some orange hue, an earthy nose of mature fruit with just a touch of characteristic Pinot Noir smokiness. Soft, supple and round on the palate, good amount of dark fruit, well integrated tannins and balancing acidity. Definitely a very interesting wine and experience. Drinkability: 8
1994 Antinori Tignanello (80% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon) didn’t even show any signs of age! Dark ruby color in the glass, intense nose of dark cherries with a touch of leather and herbs. Fresh fruit and fresh acidity on the palate, cherries, leather and sage, perfectly balanced and ohh so enjoyable! I believe I tasted Tignanello before at some of the trade shows, but this was my first one on one encounter with this wonderful wine, with the ability to slowly enjoy and savor every sip. Drinkability: 9-
2001 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Washington (14.9% ABV, 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 22 month in New French oak) spent about two hours in the decanter – but even that was not enough. Dark, brooding, concentrated, powerful – but not yielding much of the fruit, all closed up behind that power. After a first glass, we decided that we were simply wasting this wine, and we moved on to the another bottle.
1999 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red Oakville, a classic Bordeaux blend with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Dark ruby red in the glass, blackberries and blueberries on the nose. Powerful and concentrated on the palate, with black currant, eucalyptus and espresso notes on the palate, soft tannins, very balanced with the medium long finish. Drinkability: 8
And last, but not least – dessert! Yes,the liquid dessert. 1977 Grahams Port. The first challenge was to get the cork out – this is where I regretted not having the Port Tongues available. The cork was pulled out almost completely, with a few little crumbles going back into the bottle, so we used a little mesh to pour the wine. The Port was beautiful – fragrant, fresh, with good acidity, palate full of not overly sweet dried fruit – dried cherries and may be dates come to mind. Perfectly balanced and very very enjoyable. Drinkability: 8+.
And the drop of Scotch to finish the meal properly – very unique and different, Bruichladdich 14 Years The Italian Collection Sassicaia French Oak – the scotch was beautifully mellow, well integrating a touch of traditional Bruichladdich peatiness with round and polished, almost sweet finish imparted by Sassicaia French Oak casks.
That concludes my “drool report” for now – well, life is an interesting thing, so it seems that couple of upcoming weeks will lead to more of the “great wine” reports.
Whether you had or had not any of the wines I’m talking about here, your comments are most welcome! Cheers!