97 Beringer PR, 85 Laurel Glen, 97 Leweling - Poker Night

A bunch of us got together for an interim game of poker (as many of you know, we have a big monthly game). This was a hoot with some really great wines. I didn’t take formal notes, but others did and will surely post here.

Here are the wines:

97 beringer priv reserve

97 ristow napa cab

97 lewelling napa cab

87 etude napa cab

00 sandrone barolo cannubi boschis

85 laurel glen sonoma mtn cab

02 ramey diamond mt district napa red wine

06 andersons conn valley vineyards prologue napa cab

02 pegau cdp

06 etim seleccion garnacha

96 roederer estate l’ermitage brut

03 delas st.joseph, tournon

06 eric kent dry stack syrah

83 ch. Belair st emillion

04 chateau st michelle cab cold creek vineyard

94 warre’s vintage port

05 ordonez malaga. Seleccion especial #1

We didn’t take a vote, but my wines of the night were the Laurel Glen and the Lewelling

And the photos!

The port was corked so we decided to do the saran wrap trick…this is Michael Malinoski getting his saran wrap out! Is this what people mean when they talk about “PORT TONGS”???

Hey Zach,

Thanks so much for being such a gracious and generous host. By my count, like 7 or 8 of the wines were supplied by our host!

Congratulations to Gerry, our big winner (even though he knocked me out with a trip King on the freakin River and kept me out of the “money”…). He took home 5 (after opening the Ch Ste. Michelle for us at the end of the evening) QPR bottles for his prize.

Quick hits while I type up my more formal notes:

We had a bummingly high percentage of corked wines–the '96 Roederer Estate L’Ermitage Brut, the '83 Belair St Emilion and the '94 Warre Vintage Porto. In addition, I have to believe that the 2000 Sandrone Barolo was somehow not a good bottle. Moreover, the 2002 Pegau smelled decent but tasted metallic and boring–perhaps a “success” for the vintage but certainly not very enjoyable.

Beyond that, we were in good shape! My favorites were also the Lewelling and the Laurel Glen (which was the '85–Zach might want to change that in the thread title). Both were drinking well, but could go for a while, especially the Laurel Glen (which may have even been showing a bit young).

In a whole different vein, the Ramey and the Eric Kent were super-charged versions of Cab and Syrah, respectively. I can see how these would be turn-off wines for some (and for me, this is usually the case for Syrah). But I have to admit that the full-throttle style of both wines was kind of a nice change of pace and added good variety to the line-up. Indeed, the Ramey reminded me of a Cabernet version of a fine MacPhail Pinot Noir–which I really like. I think I saw Peter’s brain and taste buds twitching in pain as he drank the Ramey, but I found it pretty exciting, though again within the expected parameters of what it is shooting for.

My least favorite wine (other than the flawed wines noted above) was the '06 Andersons Conn Valley Prologue–it reminded me of drinking a melted down plastic ficus mixed up with shredded chunks of actual ficus.

I’ll be sorry to miss the next “official” poker, but was really glad to have this interim fix–thanks, guys!


Nice lineup guys.

How did the Beringer PR '97 drink?

Last time I had that bottle was with some guy from a winery called Fiddlehead. Claimed he was out here to do some business, but I think it was really just to eat and drink at my place…


Are you sure that is all that happened? Maybe this happened or something else? [gheyfight.gif]


I thought it was ok, but like most 97s I’ve tasted, past peak and slightly drying. 96s seem to have more nuance across the board in Cali and this was another example.

Probably would have been best drunk 5 years ago.

Sounds like another great poker evening! Looking forward to the 29th!

I thought the 97 beringer was lacking some fruit. It was just popped and poured, so not sure if the fruit is gone or if we just drank it too soon after opening.

I love the old Laurel Glen’s, I’m glad yours showed so well.

Phil - it was a great bottle!

I believe that guy also brought over a bottle of Boones Farm Strawberry Hill, but you opted for the Beringer PR instead. And yes…that guy did enjoy his birthday meal at your place…and the 7 bottles of wine consumed between 3 people. Jersey Baby!!!

Haven’t hit the BFSH yet. We’re triple Audouzing it.


had the 85 Laurel Glen last week as well. really interesting 2-night bottle. initially the wine was light in color, shade darker than 100% Zin, and bright in the nose. mouthfeel fine and taste was a bit one-dimensional though that dimension was sweet, bright cherries. finish medium. had 60% of the bottle night #1.

stored the rest in a 375 and my food refrigerator. next day, once brought back to nearly room temp, the wine was considerably darker in color and a bit cloudy. taste was full of darker fruits and finish lengthened. neither night showed the tannins to be biting or harsh in any way. i agree this bottle is still youthful in several ways.

Glen, thanks for that note. I really would have liked to taste that Laurel Glen after a night in the fridge. The final glass I had right toward the end of the night was the most expressive aromatically, though the wine still felt pretty coiled up on the palate.


Michael - love the tongs pic!

I swear that saran wrap works to remove the taint. Undoubtedly the remaining wine isn’t on par with a similar pristine bottle, but it makes the wine drinkable without question!

Zachary, is that NV Maalox?

One word of advice boys…lay of the Tylenol/Acetaminophen/APAP while drinking all the wine.

We had a poker night this past Friday and also had the 87 Etude Cab. It didn’t do much for me, but the 87 La Jota Howell Mtn. Cab did. It was pretty tannic and fruitless for the first 30 minutes until it opened up in the decanter. Great tobacco, lead pencil, leather and blackberry notes. The tannins subsided and this wine really opened up. Still a youthful wine, but lacking some acidity…

I am glad the Laurel Glen showed so well. I love their wines

Steve, if you have a chance grab a bottle of this Laurel Glen, it truly was eye opening for me.