TNs--I sneezed, I laughed, I had my second perfect wine ever---Salil and Dave in Indy

This was my first chance to actually meet Salil—it comes out of me needing to deliver tribute wine(s) for a couple of past fantasy baseball seasons. I had an absolutely wonderful evening, especially so since Dave Dyroff came up from St. Louis to join us—fantastic to see him again.

1976 JJ Prum Graacher Himmelreich Ries Auslese

Only a bit of funk which blows off quickly. This remains full of energy—Salil gets some vanilla on the nose which I miss, but I do find a subtle spice mix, including cardamom, on the palate. Excellent acidity with fine finish, this is a very complete and enjoyable wine, such a treat

2019 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Ries Spat #10

I brought this from yesterday, it’s nicely crisp apple and curls of floral and has good cut all the way through. Should grow into more, though I like the #5 more at this stage

2000 Pira Barolo Marceno

True-blue Barolo, the tar scents hit all of us right away. Plenty of berry fruit and just a little camphor playing up. I put this in a decanter for an hour, but it could have used more. Convincing power yet in velvet glove, the palate too is old-school Barolo. Went great with the ragu

1989 Chateau Magdelaine

Rather resolved aromatics for me, surprisingly some graphite, but requisite dark fruit and nips of woodsy scents. On the tongue, still somewhat young and energetic, the pure red plum and cherry fruit is very pretty. This whole wine is very pretty. This was a great bring from Dave

2018 Quivet Beckstoffer Las Piedras Cab

Salil had called for big bold red. I bid fair to meet the challenge. In fact, though this checks in at 15.1% listed, it handles that extremely well. Some tobacco, piney scents just a little and lots of earth and black fruit, that’s replayed in the mouth with some strict structure. Salil loved this more and more as the night went on. I gave this 1.5 hours in the decanter. Safe to leave for 5 years. I was pleased that Salil enjoy this so much

1994 ZH Gewurtz Rangen Den Thann SGN

Not sure where to begin, since this glorious wine never ends. A truly unique combo of lychee and tropical fruit and smoked and baked caramel. The whole is so stunningly put together—acidity, huge length, energy and intensity are balanced off with a curious kind of joy. ‘Perfect’ for me is when a) a wine can’t give me anything more I could want in a wine drinking experience, b) it touches my soul/makes me shiver, c) I sip at it like I would a single malt and I don’t have more because I worship it so much, and d) will stay with me for years. For the second time in my life, that has happened here. I am indeed still tasting this 2 days later. 100 points

2003 JJ Prum Wehlehner Sonnenuhr Ries Auslese auction goldkapsel

Open for a day from half. It was very nice with a good degree of purity. It was unfair to try to assess this against the ZH

All of this was set against some peach amaretto soup that I brought and a fabulous pasta and ragu that Salil made from scratch—4.5 hours of braising for the ragu and hand-made papardelle and tagilatelle.

THANK YOU, both of you, for making such a memorable night




Sounds like an awesome night!! Nicely done. I do love 1980s Magdelaine. I’ve had a 1994 Clos Jebsal SGN, which was very fine, but nowhere near the magic that you describe.


That’s a hell of a line up, and what sounds like a wonderful night. I liked your definition of a perfect wine, it’s a very personal thing for me as well. Plus, completely get that is unfair to give an appraisal of the 03 JJ after a religious experience. Good call.

When the wine is that memorable, I also think it’s perfect. So much of that is about the individual bottle and the experience. A couple of the few that have reached that height for me have also been dessert wines.

Great evening. Salil also opened a Tyrell’s semillon and a cider a bit earlier as we awaited Mike’s arrival, both of which were tasty.

Great showing by the Magdelaine and the '76 Prüm, and the Z-H really was all that. And from a 750 to boot! Not to slight the others - an embarrassment of riches!

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Indeed, this was a blast. Glad you both made it over. The whole evening was wonderful, and hearing our esteemed commissioner Dave analyze late night cricket in his best Aussie accent was quite something.

Some thoughts on the wines

  • The starter Tyrrell’s Semillon that Dave mentioned was the base 2019 Hunter Valley bottling, and it showed wonderfully. Tart, lean, energetic, and a stupid good value. I’m happy it’s getting easier to find these wines. (This one from a local retailer in downtown Indy!)

  • '76 Prum was something special. On a lot of other nights that may have been my WOTN - once that initial bottle funk cleared it was really beautiful. Loved the clarity of the fruit and the brightness of the spice. Pleasantly, didn’t notice as strong/honeyed a botrytis character as I expected given '76.

  • '89 Magdelaine was terrific and gave me resolve to hold my bottles of other vintages (alas, no '89) a while longer.

  • '18 Quivet was an eye opener for me, impressively big and rich but also really well balanced and structured with little sign of the alcohol. Thanks Mike. A wine that would have been quite out of my comfort zone a few years back, but I really liked this now.

  • 94 ZH - can’t add much to your description of that wine which nails it. Such a thrilling, haunting wine.

(I’ll also note that the cider Dave mentions was a Bordelet Sydre Argelette that just showed up from Robert Panzer last week, and I am really digging these.)

Well, best late-night, post-wine Aussie accent anyway.

I’m convinced it was better with wine, because I don’t remember many interactions with Aussies who were sober. (Definitely not when at the MCG.)

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I actually learned a little about cricket. We had fun stating “dis-MISSED”—with apologies to our valued Aussie wineboard friends…but that was a “thumping”.

Yes, the Tyrell’s was a nice starter—and the Sydre was the best of this cuvee I’ve had in several years—though I do still prefer the pear ciders now from Bordelet

Sounds like an excellent night. Hit me up the next time you’re in Indy.


I surely will, Patrick—there wasn’t much time for me to beat the bushes this time around—had a busy trip with stops in Cleveland and Dayton as well.

The sneezing came on rather uncontrollably for about 2 minutes, no clue as to why–it certainly wasn’t a reaction to the quality of the wines!

I’ll add some notes of some bookend wines I also opened on this weekend road trip.

2020 Model Farm Wildcat Chard

This was my first bottle from their Sonoma-based site. I was pleased—good focus and dashes of minerality around citrus and yellow fruit. It all seems in early balance and promises likely even better things to come with a year or two of time.

2020 Kutch McDougall PN

Early to try this, it still showed me plenty of verve and small-berry focus both on nose and palate. There seemed to be a touch of earthiness and, very hesitantly, I am attributing a slight change in overall palate profile over the last couple of years to the maturity of these vines and the vineyard. I continue to be a fan.

2020 Quivet Pellet Cab

In quite a contrast to the 2018 profile, this was a freight train of fruit, both in the nuzzie and on the tongue. Really rich plum and blueberry form the main ingredients. There is zero–and I mean zero–sign of either smoke or overuse of oak. This went very well with the mole chicken I prepared and delivers a lot of pleasure in its style.

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Not surprised to see the positive note on the 2020 Quivet cab. We visited in September and tasted several of Mike’s 2020s. None of them had any sign of smoke taint. They were very fruit forward, which is often the case with Mike’s wines when they’re young, but maybe even more so in that vintage.

So nice, thanks for sharing.

Love that feeling of being able to taste a wine days later.

Happened with me with a 1982 Latour in 2001 . . .

Sounds like your ZH truly was . . . SGN.

If SGN can also stand for ‘so good now’, absolutely Karl