A small quasi socially distanced dinner on Saturday.
First, with charcuterie, a Zind Humbrecht Rangen de Thann Clos St. Urbain Grand Cru gewurztraminer 2009. I am so thankful these brilliant wines remain underappreciated and thus quite accessible. What a terrific way to begin an evening. Such an interesting wine that seems in its prime drinking window. Of course intensely aromatic -- honeydew, lychee, pear -- and fairly long. Not much of the nutmeg/clove that one often finds in gewurz, for better or worse. No idea how this will age, but, as I see a 1990 in the cellar, one of these days I will find out.
With mushroom risotto, a fascinating contrast in tempranillo -- Bodegas Alejandro Fernandez Pesquera "Janus" Gran Reserva 1994 and Bodega Numanthia Toro Numanthia 2003. The fill was a tad low and the cork crumbled on the Janus, but after a 5-hour decant she was singing! I haven't had one of these in a while, and my recollection was a bigger, bolder, more bdx-like wine. Instead, the wine was very soft, and could easily have been a rioja with its cherry and vanilla notes. Perfect spot in its evolution for this taster, with just the right amount of grip holding it together. The Numanthia of course was a very big wine -- though not over the top in a "2003" way. Dark fruits, smoky. Brought blind by a guest, I had a very tough time identifying it and thought it might be a high end CdP of similar age (and that is not damning with faint praise). Tasty though not exactly my sweet spot, this would be especially enjoyed by those who appreciate extraction.
With grilled ribeyes, Dunn "Napa" cabernet 1993. I don't think I've ever had a bad Dunn, and the 93 Napa kept the streak alive. Another immortal wine from Dunn -- doubt it is even middle aged yet. There is something telltale about Dunn -- is it cassis/black currant? -- in both the Napa and Howell Mtn renditions. And speaking of which, can someone here say with a straight face that he can distinguish between the two? I sure can't. Seriously, is there a more consistently delicious and ageworthy cabernet at this price point in the world?
Finally, with pumpkin pie (strange pairing, I know, but it worked), a Ch Guiraud sauternes 1983. The baby fat gone, this sauternes was sublime. This is the kind of wine that doesn't overwhelm the taster with sweetness, but rather seduces with honeyed soft tropical fruits and a very nice bitter/burnt quality.
Great wines, not a single dud.
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Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
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