On one of the last evenings before the total descent of Christmas madness fell upon us all, a bare quorum gathered around a dark table in a rundown neighborhood in Old East Dallas and drank some fine bottles of old wine and enjoyed another great meal thanks to Mitch and the crew at Urbano Cafe. All notes and descriptions of that event have long since been lost, but the following is set down from what memory still lingers...
Three of us started with a white wine. It was weighty on the palate with unctuous notes of pear and honey, finishing with a minerally richness. Brad said it was the last of the bottles he had bought. To start the conversation I threw out Condrieu. "OK," said Brad, "You win. It's Viognier." I think the producer was Jaffurs, but I could be wrong.
John put out the second bottle. The wine was dense and massive, tight and massive, seamless and massive. We kept going back to it over the evening. Notes of espresso and black fruits slowly emerged. Any discussion is forgotten, but not the wine. 2005 Clos Fortet.
The third bottle was Brad's. Again, the producer and vintage is lost in time. (reminders would help) The wine remains. Elegant Napa Cabernet Franc. Red and black fruits, but the defining flash of fresh tobacco leaf tagged the variety. Rich, full, elegant and delicious.
The next wine had been decanted for the fourth time when we arrived at the restaurant. Opulent aromatics of red and black fruit combined with the complex savory notes of earth and underbrush let tasters to the Rhone Valley. A massive wine. The extensive decanting allowed a glimpse of what the wine has to offer in years to come.2010 Bosquet des Papes Chantmerle.
Tran joined us for the last two bottles which he brought. The first was a Diamond Creek Volcanic Hills 1996 if I remember correctly and it's not the first time we tasted this wine. The aromatics are always the same cedary potpourri that takes me back to my grandmother's cedar chest. This bottle showed less aging than the previous one with young vigorous fruit.
His second bottle was another beauty from Napa. Graceful, aromatic, yet with elegant power, it was the 1995 Meritage from Cosentino. What a treat it was to taste these older wines. They let the evening coast to a close.
When we were the last customers remaining, Mitch and his chef were able to join us and taste through the wines with us as we finished a memorable evening.
I wrote this post from memory several weeks ago, but did not post. I was too embarrassed to post with incorrect identification of the wines. Finally, I found my notes and am happy to say that I got most everything correct. Well, I got the order wrong on the last two wines. Here's the list in the correct order. Sorry the notes are so late. Having finally finished, I am DEFINITELY READY for our next gathering!
#1 Jaffurs Viognier 2009, Santa Barbara County
#2 Clos Fortet 2005, Saint Emilion, Bordeaux
#3 Ovid Experiment K1.5 2005, Napa
#4 Bosquet des Papes Chantmerle 2010, Chateauneuf du Pape
#5 M Coz 1995, Cosentino, Napa
#6 Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill Cabernet ????, Napa.(Vintage not in notes.)