Some close friends took advantage of the birthday’s boy’s having purchased a charity dinner of impressive pedigree, na#es omitted to protect the innocent.
Aperitif and Apps.
NV J. Lassalle Champagne Préférence Brut 1er Cru - France, Champagne
From a magnum. Full bodied and fresh, with notes of tart apple, lime and saline. Good minerality. An enjoyable Brut. (89 pts.)
2009 Robert Mondavi Winery Fumé Blanc To-Kalon I Block - USA, California, Napa Valley
A beautiful accompaniment to the lobster salad with beets and a lemon caviar dressing, this beauty wowed with its balance and finesse. Complex citrus flavors, notably lime and verbena, Crisp minerality, but lush as well, especially in its finish, due I suspect to the well-integrated oak. Second only to the Lail Georgia to my when when it comes to Napa SB’s. (93 pts.)
1998 Dalla Valle Maya - USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
In perfect balance, featuring lush layers of coffee, herbs and dark berries, with a touch of caramel a la Pomerol. Sweet tannins throughout. Very long finish, with many, many years to come. (96 pts.)
2009 Dalla Valle Maya - USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
Still a baby yet very approachable, at least until it seemed to shut down after 90 minutes or so. The palate is dominated by dark fruit: black cherry, espresso and Asian spices. I detected some herbaceous notes (in a great way, like with a Mouton), but the hostess took umbrage to that a bit. (96 pts.)
2010 Dalla Valle Maya - USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
Dense, powerful and full-bodied, displaying rich and impressive waves of dense berry and oak flavors, along with touches of mocha, tar and spice. A stunning wine, barely beginning to strut its stuff. Even richer than the 2009. (97 pts.)
An Outlier with the Birthday Boy
1966 Château Lynch-Bages - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
A beautiful bottle, evidencing great tertiary characteristics and wonderful typicity. Some bricking on the edges, and a touch of madeirization on the nose and palate, but nothing that distracts from the balanced and lovely leather, cedar and soft berry flavors. Gentle and inviting, without the apparent fragility others have observed in recent tasting notes. (92 pts.)
Brown Liquor Around the Fire Pit
NV Black Maple Hill Distilling Co. Premium Small Batch Bourbon Aged 16 Years - USA, Kentucky
I was a bit too woozy at this point to do much more than savor this textured, smooth and rich beauty: caramel, candied pecans, cinnamon and clove are about all I can recall.
NV Tesseron Lot #90, XO Selection - France, Cognac, Grande Fine Champagne Cognac
Just a quick sip before calling it a night, so not much I can do apart from memorializing it for posterity’s sake. My fuzzy recollection is of caressing waves of sweet heat. I’ve had this once before, remember it fondly and hope I get the chance to savor it again.
I won’t soon forget these marvelous Maya, which seems to be back on its game in a big way after some disruptive replanting. Few Napa luminaries are so aligned with my palate.
Posted from CellarTracker