A friend, who like me is a pediatric nephrologist and big wine geek, just took his board exam yesterday so we decided to open some bottles to celebrate. We met at his house in Providence, RI, in the company of a few friends, including one who is a sommelier.
2012 Iron Horse Wedding Cuvee: Crisp golden apple, pear, toast, and a touch of shaved almond. Very enjoyable start to the night. 90/100.
2004 GD Vajra Bricco delle Viole: My contribution to the party. Double decanted about 3 hours before serving, and already as I was decanting the smell was intoxicating. Layers of sweet balsamic, tar, dried cherries, dried roses, and leather overlying chestnuts and baking spice. Tannins are grippy but well-integrated and nicely balance the acid. The finish is long and ends on sweet nutty flavors including shaved almond and chestnut. Likely in its drinking window now but will shine in another 10-15 years. Went well with bolognese. For the price, this is Barolo I could drink week after week. Now to try to horde some older vintages, as I only have the 2012 and 2013 releases currently. 94/100.
2006 Parador Cabernet Sauvignon Hossfeld Vineyard: My friend’s sommelier buddy brought this one, who slow ox’d it a couple hours before coming over. I would’ve thought this was an old world Bordeaux blend if served blind. Big barnyard funk on the nose that dissipates after a few minutes, exposing lovely aromas of blackberries, black currant, licorice, and cedar. Silky tannins, medium body and moderate complexity, ends on a spice-driven finish. Everything is in balance. 92/100.
2008 Inglenook/Rubicon Estate/Niebaum-Coppola Cuvee Rutherford: Brought by another couple, PnP. A polar opposite of the last wine. Jammy blackberry, boysenberry, and plum, sweet tobacco, chocolate and a touch of spice on the finish. Despite the big nose the wine is actually rather elegant on the palate with a medium body and refined tannins. Ends on a sweet blackberry and tobacco finish. Tastes much younger than the vintage would suggest, still very primary. 90/100.
1994 Shafer Hillside Select: My friend allowed me to open any bottle he had, so in keeping with the theme I opted for this. PnP, wonderful nose of blackberry, black currant, dried blueberries, cedar, eucalyptus, and tobacco that keeps intensifying with time in the glass. Full body with fully-integrated tannins and a long complex finish that fluctuates between black fruits, organic earth, and eucalyptus. Everything about this wine is in perfect harmony right now but it still has plenty of life left. 96/100.