Friday we had Betsy's dad, her brother-in-law's dad (don't ask) and her nephew for croquet and an early Father's Day dinner. Spaghetti with a Bolognese sauce, broccoli, salad. No one was a real wine geek, so I served a simple Sangiovese, the 2004 Di Majo Norante. Red plum and cherry fruit, moderate acids, a bit short on finish. Not a rush out to buy again, but decent for $7. B/B-
As everyone else had dessert, I skipped out to join my local tasting group in Tarrytown. Theme was supposed to be 2002 Oregon Pinots, but because of lack of availability locally a couple of CAs got included. Fun time outside on a gorgeous night, as I wasn't driving I enjoyed (blind):
2002 Elke "Donnelly Creek" Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley)
A bit floral on the nose, initially a bit hard with spiky tannins. A little swirling seems to help, a medium-bodied ripe pinot. Not bad. B
2002 Hendry Estate Pinot Noir
Lighter fruit, heavier oak. Others like better than I. B-
2002 Belle Pente "Belle Pente Vineyard" Pinot Noir
Ah, this is more like it. Light hints of oak dance around the black cherry fruit- never dominating just accenting. Revisited later (ok, not driving, I basically hogged this bottle) more earth and spice emerged. My WOTN. A-
2002 Wyatt Pinot Noir
Sweet, with cherry raspberry fruit , a little vanilla. and a half teaspoon of sugar. Did I mention sweet? Light and sweet. Others liked better. C+/B-
2002 Walter Hansel Pinot Noir
Most controversial wine of night. I liked a lot. A bit high acid, and possibly slightly volatile at first. Lots of damp forest floor and good dark berry/cherry fruit. Most others gradually came around to liking it. B+/A-
2002 Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir
While the Belle Pente was my favorite, it was close. This was probably group favorite of night. Earthy, with light coffee and cola notes. Good strong red fruit, balanced acidity. A-/B+
Nice night with the guys (1 Canadian, 1 Belgian, 2 French, 1 German, and me as the ugly American- but no fights over World Cup).
Saturday Betsy made Boyce's lobster with corn and heirloom tomatoes (fantastic recipe- can't wait for the local tomatoes and corn, which make it even better). I served the 2001 Pierre Matrot Meursault. Warm pear fruit, a little toasty oak. I'm generally a big Matrot fan, but found this a bit low on acidity for my tastes. B/B-
Sunday was Father's Day. Betsy spurred my stepson & Basset Hound into action, in addition to a wild boar bacon breakfast I got some nice books (including the wine art book from Ralph Steadman) and new stainless steel grates for my grill. Grilled some freerange rib steaks, eggplant, and sweet potatoes; these were served with an Asian-influenced salad and the 1997 Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa).
This has rounded out nicely. Sweet red plum and blackcurrant fruit, integrated tannins, and a bit of vanilla on the respectably long finish. This is (a) actually a little better than I expected & (b) seems fully mature. I wouldn't hold long. Nice. B+
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.