Wow. I just looked it up. the last post in this series was in February, 2013. Over three years. Time passes quickly when you get old.
Not that the group hasn't gotten together. We have. Several of us have joined for dinners and lunches. When I've been able to attend, I just didn't take notes and blog. We do stay in almost constant touch with a running text thread. But Saturday night was a big deal. #4 and his wife outdid themselves and had us all over for dinner Saturday night. Big dining room table with white table cloth and a jillion wine glasses. Their children served and cleared the table. High cotton for sure.
And the wines were all amazing. I didn't take notes I can't remember all the wines. Here are some highlights.
Sepi's five year old Sigalas Assyrtiko was spectacular. Big petrol nose, penetrating stone fruits, mouth watering salinity. What? Everything screamed Riesling except it didn't taste like Riesling. Of course not. The wine was from Santorini and wants to be drunk with grilled octopus!
That was followed by a fruit driven Gavi di Gavi from Michele Chiarlo. Of course we were stumped again. We were tasting double blind!
Then a flight of old reds. Definitely more familiar territory. 1989 Lynch Bages. Boom! Nailed. (The wine was perfect, there was no evidence of aging, even on the edge of the rim.) 1986 Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadows. The call was old Medoc, but the wine showed some age, the color showed some bricking, but the wine was 100% pure essence of Cabernet. But the shocker was the 1990 Arrowood Sonoma County Cabernet. Showing some oak and faded fruit but hanging in there strong! Not a reserve, not a single vineyard, but well made ordinary wine made by a master. Bravo.
And then the battle was on. We were Pickett's Charge headed up the hill against massive armaments: Clos d Vougeot, Contrada Nero Mascalese, Mica, Lussac, Axios, Amon Ra. Casualties were high, but we kept on charging. And then, and then, and then we reached the summit.
Skip to yesterday. I attended a fabulous trade tasting of Australian Wines. d'Arenberg, Jim Barry, (note to Michael Waddington, Alan says hi, keep the sample requests coming!) Yalumba, (three viogniers from three terroirs, oh and the Bush Vine Grenache, benchmark!) Torbreck (Runrig!) and Penfolds and Dallas's own D'Lynn Proctor.
So, I went up to D'Lynn to say hi and told him I had been talking about him Saturday night.
"Really," he said.
"Yep. I was at a blind tasting Saturday night with some friends. Took an 89 Lynch Bages and it was perfect. BUT I was trumped. So my question to you is how do you trump a perfect 89 Lynch Bages?"
He just looked at me, cocked his head and raised an eyebrow.
I said, "With a 1998 Grange."
And he just grinned and shook his head.
"How do you trump a 1998 Grange?" he asked.
I shook my head.
"With another 1998 Grange."
Yep, #4, Mr. Massetto his own self blinded us Saturday night with a 1998 Penfolds Grange. And you can't get much better than that. THANKS John, for a fabulous evening.
Of course, not that we were done, Scott brought a Chateau d'Arlay Vin Jaun from Cotes de Jura. Its bone dry funk was the PERFECT foil for the Amaretto glazed pound cake. And then a Chateau Guiraud Sauternes and then the 100 point Alvear Pedro Ximenez of which there is no more. (Bradley cornered the market.)
I think we all survived. That's how great it was.