Last week some wine loving friends and I gathered together for a tasting. We've been trying to host them on a regular basis but invariably something comes up with someone and we have to postpone. Oh well. Bryce, Elizabeth, Michael and I went over to Richie and Megan's apartment to pop some bottles. Richie had already decanted a 2002 Henschke Keyneton Estate Euphonium Shiraz. It had been resting peacefully in its gorgeous glass container, waiting to be drunk. He had also opened a bottle of 1999 Modus Ruffino to let it breathe and blossom. We all were anxious to taste this particular bottle because the 2000 vintage that Richie brought to an earlier tasting was corked. He had taken that bottle back and had it replaced with the '99, which, according to critics, was a much better vintage.
We started off with Michael's bottle, a 1998 Marcel Deiss Gewurztraminer from Alsace. It had a beautiful nose of peaches and jasmine. The mouthfeel was voluptuous and creamy with bright acidity and tasted of honey and ginger. Gorgeous wine, absolutely gorgeous. Pair this wine with gorgonzola or some other salty blue cheese.
Next up was the '99 Modus Super Tuscan. I smelled red raspberry, red pepper and fennel. On the palette was a strong flavor of leather and earth with balanced acidity and firm tannin. Pair this wine with strawberries or prosciutto. The berry flavors complement the strawberry and the earthiness mirrors the earthy flavors of the prosciutto.
Then we tasted the bottle I brought, 2002 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Right Bank. This particular wine is a blend of cabernet franc and merlot. It had been quietly blossoming in the decanter that Michael brought (thanks Michael) while we were enjoying the two previous little gems. The reason I brought this wine was completely based on Michael and Richie's reaction when I suggested previously that I might bring it. They both grew HUGE grins on their face and grunted "Yeah, yeah, yeah bring that!" Okay, back to the wine. On the nose there were violets and cinnamon and hint of sweet vanilla. The taste was all sweet fruits, figs, plum; with medium tannins. TASTY TASTY TASTY!
And then we tasted the 2000 Clos Mimi Bunny Slope Vineyard Syrah (Thanks Mr. Burhop!). I was especially psyched about this wine since I've lately been drinking, and loving, syrah. The nose had hay loft notes, cedar, and what I said smelled like a berry bush in the center of a briar patch. The taste was a bursting mouthful of raspberries. I definitely think this wine could still age some more and it would still be KILLER.
Continuing with the syrah lover's wet dream, we tasted the 2002 Henschke Keyneton Estate Euphonium Single Vineyard Shiraz. It poured forth scents of chocolate, black cherry and pie crust. I could taste coffee, blueberry, earth and chocolate. In my notes I wrote "Very F***ing good"
Last of the night was a 2002 Williams Selyem Russian River Forchini Vineyard Zinfandel. On the nose was stewed fruit, raspberry & blueberry compote, and rich dark cocoa. The taste very closely mirrored the nose. I was extremely impressed. This wine was the perfect ending to a stellar tasting.
Thank you, Richie and Megan, for hosting this awesome lineup. And thank you Michael, Bryce and Elizabeth for the KICK ASS bottles you contributed.