It poured early Memorial Day, then cleared and got very hot and humid. We had invited a big crowd, and people came despite heat. I made mango salsa and guacamole, and marinaded hanger steak in bulgogi sauce and salmon in a teriyaki-ish sauce for the grill. I also grilled hot dogs, chicken wings that Betsy then coated with a honey-chile sauce, and sausages. She also made a broccoli salad and deviled eggs. John Dawson showed up with a couple hundred (not a typo) clams, some of which were shucked, some grilled, and some sent home with partygoers. Others brought a load of salads, a bevy of desserts, steak and chicken for the grill, fruit, beer, and lots of wines. Excess food, excess wine, excess heat, but plenty of fun.
These are brief impressions, I wasn't taking contemporaneous notes, just jotted down some thoughts every couple hours
2009 Litaud Macon-Vergisson
round, not as nervy as a prior vintage, but good. B
2010 Berger Gruner Veltliner (liter)
usual dependable value, light and easy. B/B-
2006 Ferret "Hors Classe " Pouilly-Fuisse
Big, rich, maybe a tad hot. Interesting, but maybe better at dinner table than in a hot yard. B-
2009 Delhommeau "Clos Armand VV" Muscadet (mag)
Crisp, saline, good with clams. B
2004 Muller-Catoir Gimmeldinger Mandelgarten Riesling Spatlese
Sweeter side of Spatlese, rich fruit, but impeccable balance, lovely. A-/B+
2010 Edmunds St John Bone Jolly Rose
Fresh, cherries and raspberries, floral. fun. B+
2010 Pepiere "La Pepie"
fresh, lively, but seemed a tad simple and short next to ESJ. B-
2010 Castellroig Ull de Llebre Vi de Terrer
dark rich color, but light, fresh red fruits, a little onionskin, interesting and good value. B/B+
2009 Knoll Loibner Rose Blauer Burgunder Federspiel
Some people really disliked, but I thought good. Herby, medium bodied, a bitter edge I liked and others didn't. B/B+
2008 Bouchaine Syrah rose
Dull, short, not for me. C/C+
1970 Peirazeau-Groffier Charmes-Chambertin
Elegant, red fruit and forest floor, focused, never heard of this producer but delicious, thanks Stuart. A-
1976 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon
I opened several older CalCabs for the geeky crowd. Great looking cork, still showing well, light tannins remaining, cassis, earth. Nice length, very good wine. A-
1974 Sonoma Vineyards "Alexander's Crown" Cabernet Sauvignon
Still life in this, but sweet almost candied fruit doesn't have as clean a profile as the Phelps. B
1978 Beringer "Knights Valley" Cabernet Sauvignon
I realize this isn't a wine intended to age 33 years, but KV is a sentimental fave, the 1991 was one of my rare case purchases. This bottle I picked up cheap was tired, but still with some interesting black fruit. B/B-
1993 Comte Armand Pommard
This was a wine I took as a generous gift from Bob Ross. Still plenty of life to this, but a heavy style of Burgundy that isn't my favorite. I handed a glass to Mark blind, he immediately guessed Cali PN (which is indeed what it tasted like). B-/C+
2008 Abeja Merlot (Columbia Valley)
Maybe I would have felt different with a steak, but this seemed ponderous, sweet, overoaked for my tastes. C
Few I didn't make it to before they were gone included a 2009 Joseph Castan Cab (Pay d'Ocs), a Mionetto Prosecco, and a 2009 Mignard "Cuvee de Olivers" VdP.
Fun day despite heat.
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.
- posted 9 years ago