Jay Miller invited a pleasant crew to his place in Jersey City for a potluck yesterday. It was called a potluck, but Jay and Arnold did the heavy lifting with coq au vin, leg of lamb, roasted cauliflower, biscuits, and more. The rest of us brought an assortment - wild mushroom bread pudding, lobster salad on arugula and sunflower shoots, grilled vegetables (peppers, squash, asparagus, carrots), pasta salad with tuna, cheeses, breads, desserts, and more.
Jay even arranged for a fireworks show over the Manhattan skyline.
Shockingly, there was also wine. I wasn’t really taking contemporous notes, but periodically noting wine names and a few words on 2 scraps of paper. Unfortunately this AM can only find one of those scraps (and some words are cryptic), so I’ve probably messed up a few names or vintages.
2010 Vatan Sancerre- as a Vataniac (hey better than a Vaynermaniac) I found this disappointing. It seemed plodding, someone called it hot, and I did get some alcohol on a revisit. B-
2009 Rhys Chardonnay - I thought this was ok on first taste, but liked much more second go around. At first it was pleasant, pear fruit and light oak notes, a B, but Jay suggested a revisit and I found more soil/mineral notes, though still a solid base of white fruits. B++
(2010?)Alzinger Loibner Steinertal Gruner Veltliner Smaragd - surprisingly soft, very full with some nice green pea meets wild herb notes, but I liked this less than I’d have predicted. B/B-
2000 Latour-Giraud Meursault -can’t remember vineyard. No PremOx, certainly alive, pleasant but not compelling. B
1981 Huet “Le Mont” Demi-Sec-wooly, screechy at first, some thought corked but I didn’t (though I freely admit I’m probably at best average in TCA sensibility), on drier side of DS, interesting even if not classic Huet. B+/B
2000 LdH Tondonia Rosado
It’s usual polarizing self, but I’m at the like pole. B+
1974 Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon
I had a great mag at my 50th 2 years ago, this 750 had the same aromatic nose- all green herbs over red fruit - but was a bit lighter on the palate. Some thought it cracked up quickly, but while it got a little ashtray-y on last couple sips, I enjoyed my glass. B+
1995 Clape Cornas
Funk, olives, meat, solid body of fruit, good acidity, tannins in check, one of my faves. A-
2009 Coudert/Roillete Cuvee Tardive Fleurie (mag)
this was pleasant but somewhat generic and a bit tight early, opened up very nicely and became one of my favorites of the night. Very floral and pretty. A-
2004 Jasmin Cote Rotie
I would have thought I’d like this more, but maybe I was brainwashed by groupthink, I heard others dismiss before I tried. For whatever reason, one dimensional. B/B-
1991 Robert Pecola Cabernet Sauvignon
New producer to me. I thought this was also 1-dimensional, sweet redder fruits with a rather short finish. B-/C+
2001 Edmunds St John Wylie Fenaughty Syrah
Drinking very well, solid dark berry fruit with smoke and floral notes. Nice balance, good length, my fave of the ESJs. A-
1995 Edmunds St John Durrell Syrah
this was a bit unfocused, still a nice Syrah with some tannin remaining, but a little muddy on finish compared to the Wylie-Fenaughty. , I’ve liked other bottles more, but still a good wine. B
2006 Edmunds St John Old Black Magic
Kirsch and leather, herby notes on finish, I like. B/B+
1999 S. Esmonin Gevrey VV
Brad asked if I thought smelled heat damaged, I thought it just smelled old (I thought bottle said 1991). Clipped and caramelly on palate, probably heat damage after all, definitely not was a ‘99 should taste like. C/C+
2001 Fourrier (Combe Aux Moines?)
Fresh, bright, light on its feet. B+/A-
1999 Karl Lawrence Cabernet Sauvignon
nice midweight, good balance, dark fruit and cocoa. B
There was also a Poulsard where I never noted producer that others liked more than I did, and a very fine bottle of Muller Catoir where I have no clue re bottling or vintage. I think most people loved a bottle of Tokaji opened late, my palate was shot by then and it just tasted sweet.
Thanks to Jay for inviting, and everyone for their contributions.
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.