Dinner last night with good friend Kriss Reed in Long Beach. I brought the white wine (gee, what a shock) and he brought 4 different bottles of red for me to choose from. I chose one that had been passed over the prior time, and it showed very well.
1997 Domaine des Baumard Savennieres Clos de Papillon
Initially very closed. There was a hint of Chenin, but not much. Later it devleoped that waxy, honeyed character that both Kriss and I really liked, but this showing told me that 3-5 more years of cellaring are warranted before opening another bottle. Surprising given the precocious nature of the 1997 Loire wines.
1997 Dehlinger Cabernet Sauvignon (Russian River Valley)
Inky and initially showing like a Napa Cab wanna be, but hold on. Give this some air and it turns out that yes there is effusive up-front fruit, but behind all that is a mid-palate and finish that is clean and elegant while not being wimpy. Really a delicious Cab, but it too could stand a few more years in the cellar. It is still very primary.
Precocious yet substantial. Not bad.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.