TN: Rhone wines with friends

RHONE WINES WITH FRIENDS - The Posk’s (8/28/2016)

Last night my wife and I were joined by Chris and Rene at the home of Michael and Lori for dinner. It was a pot luck dinner including lots of great food and wines. Although there was no official theme to the night, Rhone varietals prevailed. All the wines had a great showing. It was a really fun evening of good friends with enough wine to get a good pour and revisit the wines.

  • NV Roederer Estate Brut Rosé Anderson Valley - USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
    Pale rose in color. The nose has some oranges on it along with a slight strawberry note. On the palate, this is refreshing. Fruity with nice balance. More elegant than a fruit bomb though. Good acidity. Nice way to start an evening. (89 pts.)
  • 2013 Denner Theresa - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Light golden in color. This is a tight wine that seemed to open a bit with air, but seems to need a bit more time. The nose has peach with spice, maybe cinnamon. Also a slight dried floral note. Great texture. Tight complexity. No heat or signs of alcohol. This was very nice but on this night, the 14 is the better wine. That may change in a year or two. (91 pts.)
  • 2014 Denner Theresa - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    My second time trying this wine. Just a gorgeous wine. The nose has cantaloupe with slight peaches. Also a bit of spice (cardamon?). On the palate, juicy acidity. Lovely texture. Layers of peaches and melons with a slight grassy note (very slight). Lovely wine that I wanted to just sit and drink the whole bottle of. Really a special wine. (94 pts.)
  • 2010 Denner The Ditch Digger - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Gorgeous showing for this wine. While not at peak maturity, I can’t imagine this getting better. At first blush I rated this 93 and going back at the end of the night, raised it a couple of points. Purple in color. The nose has plums, black raspberries and some brown tobacco. Also a slight candied note. Great lush texture. On the palate, flavors of black raspberries, plums, dark cherries and licorice. Shows a tight complexity that unwinds in the glass. Good balance. Long, long finish. Every sip makes me take notice despite a lot of wine. No hurry, but why wait? Love to re-taste in a few years to find out. (95 pts.)
  • 2014 Cave Dog Wine - USA, California, Napa Valley
    My first time trying this wine. Chris thought it might be an AFWE wine, that is picked less ripe with less alcohol and fruit. Not. This wine has a ton of fruit. I did not notice the alcohol, but this is a big wine. Purple inc color. The nose has dark cherries, some cassis, roasted herbs (rosemary?) and vanilla. Also some coffee. On the palate, juicy cherries with some dark cherries. Good acidity. Not a ton of complexity but obviously young, let’s see what some cellar ageing does. Nice finish. (91 pts.)
  • 2010 Thomas Pinot Noir Dundee Hills - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
    This took an hour or so to open after popping the cork (not decanted). Ruby in color. The nose is lovely with cherries and some raspberries. Soft texture. A lovely, pretty complexity with cherries, sherry juice and slight earthiness. Slight tannins. Really impressive that such a pretty wine stood out so well among some bigger Rhone wines. Long finish. Still quite young though, I would hold these. (94 pts.)
  • 2009 Saxum Paderewski Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Great showing for this wine. Perfect with home made pizzas. Inky purple in color. The nose has black raspberries, dark cherries, slight soy, coffee and a bit of bramble. On the palate, this is slightly sweet/ripe. Lots of black cherries, raspberries and plums. Very deep. Great acidity. A lot going on here but this kept unwinding all night. Its great now but I think it will come together more and could garner another point or two. No harm drinking now though. (95 pts.)
  • 2001 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    Great showing for this wine which certainly seems to be coming into its peak (it has a long life left though). Purple/ruby in color. Dark cherries, black raspberries, violets, leather, slight earthy funk but a clean wine and some cigar tobacco. On the palate, full bodied. Juicy black cherry fruit with some black raspberries, some earthiness. A lot of complexity here but fresh and vibrant fruit. Long finish. Just outstanding and the WOTN. (96 pts.)

A great evening of great food and wines and great friends. Can’t ask for more than that.
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