Christmas weekend random tasting notes

My Christmas Eve and Christmas dinners were just me, my wife, my mother in law (who has never had a drink in her life and eyes our drinking with a medium level of skepticism and disdain), and my two kids age 10 and 14. And on the 23rd, my MIL took us to Morton’s. So my lineup ended up:

23rd at Morton’s:

2007 Quilceda Creek Red Wine. I’m pretty amazed at how these come around with some age, as they are really oaky and brutish when young. This was in a great place, just pop and pour. Dark, concentrated fruit, menthol, good texture, pretty balanced and without heat. Modern Washington cab in a good way. A real overachiever for the probably $40 or so I paid at the time. I’d say this is right around the early or middle part of its prime drinking window.

Christmas Eve at home:

2004 Cédric Bouchard Champagne Inflorescence Blanc de Noirs La Parcelle. A birthday gift from my tasting group buddies. Oddly low fill, which I’ve never seen in Champagne, but the wine was pristine, really quite light colored and youthful. This is squarely in the nouveau zero dosage grower Champagne camp - lean, minerally, tart apple flavors, very high acids on the finish. Good overall in that sharp and savory style - more of a food wine and/or a cerebral type of experience, less of something to serve to civilians.

2008 Sea Smoke Pinot Noir One Barrel. I bought this at the time for a very high price, like $150 or something, on the mistaken belief it was a magnum and not a 750ml bottle. But it was very good, at least. Great purity of ripe fruit, some nice holiday spice, balanced and pretty overall, no oak or alcohol sticking out at all. On the riper side (14.5%), but far from being a fruit bomb. To paraphrase Vince from Pulp Fiction, that’s a pretty fing good pinot noir. I don’t know if it’s worth $150, but it’s pretty fing good.

Christmas dinner at home:

2015 Turley The White Coat. A Rhone blend white from Paso. This is a good winter white, with medium plus density and richness, some almond and butter notes, stone fruit. Walks the Rhone white tightrope between bitterness and heat pretty well. Better at cellar temperature than cold. Not exceptional, and not something I’d probably want to have more than once in awhile as a change of pace, but interesting and well made.

1997 Fontanabianca Barbaresco Sori Burdin. This producer gets completely overlooked on this board, and fairly little of it is made and exported to the US, but the wines are very pretty. Somewhere in between modern and traditional in style, and with a more feminine, smooth, textural style to them. The 1997 drank well right from popping the cork, and started to fade slightly after the bottle had been open a few hours, so I’d say it’s right around the end of its prime drinking window. Smooth medium red cherry fruit, red flowers, some cinnamon and nutmeg spice, starting to get soft towards the back end.

Any tasting note referencing the ‘5 dollar shake’ is ok with me.

Seriously, if this were an $80 or $90, I could see it as a rare special treat wine for people who like Sea Smoke. It makes no sense at $150, but at least it was a good $80 wine for $150, which is not always the case when you splurge for a luxury cuvee of something.

Dude, you’re drinking Bouchard…I don’t even know you anymore. [scratch.gif]

I feel pressured into doing it by all the cool kids around me.

Yea, they don’t put bourbon in it or nuthin…