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Brian K Miller


Passionate Arboisphile




Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:05 am


Northern California

Too Eager to Post? WTN Christmas Eve Party Napa Cabs, St Em, Haut-Brion

by Brian K Miller » Mon Dec 25, 2006 4:38 am

My friends put on an amazing feast tonight, and even three hours later, I'm not sure I'll be able to fall asleep. Definitely a "diet" after the 1st. Groan. I can't sleep, so I'll type instead.

Dinner centered around prime rib, so we mostly had Cabernet Sauvignon tonight. I providced the wines, they fed me incredibly well. :) A pretty good bargain, imo.

In some ways, I was disappointed tonight. Several of the wines did not show as well as they did at the winery when I tried them. Bottle variation? difference in palette tonight versus a tasting room? The food? Who knows????

Clos Badon Thunevin 1999 (Saint Emillion "Garage Wine") I know this guy is supposed to be "New World" in style, but this didn't taste at all like a Napa Merlot blend!!!! WOTN for me-at a pretty cheap price, too (around $30) Very nice nose-rich, dark, savory. Dark, rich fruit on the palette as well with that lovely Bordeaux savory finish. What's this-a bit of bitterness at the very end of the finish? Interesting! The bitterness was not overwhelming in any way. I have a 2000 Cantemerle and I hope it has a similar subdued bitter touch to the finish. It adds another level of interest-intellectualism in wine tasting? ***1/2 Will look for this again.

Varozza Petit Sirah 2001. Very, very nice! Another "elegant" Petit Sirah for the weekend! Around $30. They don't have to be tannic monsters. Nice rich black color. A somehwat tannic??? nose, but nicely resolved and light on the palette. Blackberry-but definitely not too sweet at all. Very nice claret-like finish. the second seriously enjoyable wine of the evening for me! A favorite for my friends, too. ***1/2

Whitehall Lane Reserve 2000. It disappeared too quickly for me to get any for review. :lol: :( I sure liked it at the winery! NR

Saint Supery Dollarhide Ranch 1999 The biggest disappointment of the evening for me. Where did the vanilla oak blanket come from? It sure wans't there when I tasted it in Rutherford. I did decant the wine for a short while. Maybe this one needs to be decanted for a few hours? At least the St. Supery has a nice savory note on the finish (unlike the infamous Silver Oak :o ) What happened? It did get a little better, but nothing like when I tried it earlier! I have a bottle of St. Supery Rutherford Cab, so when I open this one, I will let it breath for a long, long time. **1/2

Stonestreet Black Cougar Ridge 1999 Another disappointment that showed much better at the winery. No obvious faults here, no blanket of oak or strange bell pepper notes or sourness. Just sorta "meh" with no real interest or character at all. "Weak" my friend said. **

Ch. Bernadotte Haut Brion 1999 Frankly, another wine with no obvious faults but no real interest, either. Another disappointment. Quite abit of sharpness/acidity on the nose when I decanted the wine. Nice black color. Decent varietal character and a bit of savoryness on the nose, but just sorta "meh." Maybe I'm looking for too much "wow" from French wines? Maybe it's just in a dumb phase right now? Ch. Bernadotte is supposed to be a relatively early drinking wine, from what I've read. If anyone is familiar with Ch. Bernadotte, did I just drink it too soon? It was decanted. **1/2

I could not find where I stashed my 1997 Chianti-Cab blend I meant to drink tonight. :oops: My storage "system" needs some improvement.
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach

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