TN's: Lunchtime Wine - Saxum, Thackrey, Copain and...Dayton?

LUNCH AT THE OFFICE - Jason Hagen’s Office (6/4/2009)
No theme this time as we came together to help CFu celebrate his recent graduation and help him prepare for his Bar exam studies going on nearby. Got some sandwiches from The Hat across the street and tore into some bottles. A nice way to break up the day and week as always.

A nice collection of wines overall. If I had to pick a favorite it would probably be the Hawks Butte for its Cote Rotie like characters and its potential but that’s a slim wine. CFu’s declassified Cab find was a surprise also and both he and Leslie said it wasn’t drinking as well as the last go around! Served blind I thought it was a big time Cult like Cal Cab. Anybody got the goods on this one so we can know what it’s all about?

  • 1997 Domaine Leroy Bourgogne Blanc - France, Burgundy, Bourgogne Blanc
    Served blind. Funky odd nose and palate. Seems to be aged. Grassy notes on the finish. Austere and very lean. Guessed Bordeaux Blanc.
  • N.V. H. Billiot Champagne Brut Reserve Grand Cru - France, Champagne, Ambonnay, Champagne
    Ho hum another nice experience with this wine. Strong bread aromas. Expressive complex big palate. I love the richness and notes of red fruits on this.
  • 1998 Sean Thackrey Orion - USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
    Big heavy nose showing some motor oil and a good does of VA. Some rustic notes peek through giving it some interest and a bit of green pepper later on. Palate is fairly straight forward rich fruit. It leans out a bit later on getting a somewhat zin like note but also some growing VA. The Thackrey wines have been a real bottle to bottle adventure for me with some highs and lows.
  • 1999 Mauro Sebaste Barolo Prapò - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    This had a complex changing and moving nose. At the first of every pour a earthy mushroomy funk was present strongly but this would yield to some perfumed flowery notes and add some tarred rocks later on. Rich and dense palate for a Barolo with a bit of funk sticking around. The mid palate evens out with air and the wine gets more classically lean. I think it’s best days are ahead of it.
  • 2005 Copain Syrah Hawks Butte Vineyard - USA, California, North Coast, Yorkville Highlands
    Nose of tar, meat and lava rocks something similar to a Cote Rotie but maybe with brighter fruit. Tight and tart initially it picks up complexity with air. Shows nice balance with good acidity across a lean finish behind raspberry fruits. Very good wine with a great future ahead of it.
  • 2006 Saxum James Berry Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Decanted about 5 hours prior to consumption. Fat berry sauce with a touch of vanilla. Plenty of tannin still rich round fruit that may need some more time to lay back a bit as the acidity is almost over whelmed at this point. Lot’s of fruit here and is a big yummy wine right now that lingers on the palate showing lots of length. The clean natural acidity and emerging complexity sell it for me.
  • 2005 Dayton Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve - USA, California, Napa Valley
    Served blind after an overnight decant. Charred coffee and dark chocolate nose adding some herbs later on. Surprisingly balanced palate after what I expected on the nose. Some more char and good tannin. Drinks WAY WAY over it’s price point. I thought it was some sort of big name Cali cult style Cab. Apparently its some declassified fruit of mysterious unknown origins. Not my favorite style but for $10-15, who could argue? Terrific find.

Posted from CellarTracker

This is a serious lunch…Very nice, I’ve always wanted to have a nice big lunch with a bunch of wines… Other than the Champagne and the Leroy I have no experience with the other wines.

Congrats Charlie!!

Thanks for the notes Cris. I’ll work on some in a bit and jam them up.

Leah, if you ever find yourself in the scary OC we would make some room. Oh yeah, and we usually eat


Nice notes. Love that Saxum JBV, it gets better every time I have it.

By the way, the location of the restaurant wouldn’t be Lake Forest, would it?

We eat at my office in Brea. The Hat is across the street.

I wish I could have lunches like this at the office. You guys always do it up right!

Yeah, one of these days, the ballers will invite me to lunch at Hagen’s office…I drop obvious hints each time, bring them to my house for Offline events, create and operate a forum for them, but it STILL does not work!

Come on down Leah. Jason is always wanting to torture us with Burgundy.

Your offer of Butterscotch Schnapps was soundly rebuffed by the group. [berserker.gif]

Thanks Jason! I love The Hat, they have great pastrami sandwiches…

VLG - CLAYFU IN THE HOUSE - The Vineyard Lunch Gang (6/4/2009)

A very nice lunch. Thanks to everyone for sharing some fine stuff. My favorites were the Sebaste and the Copain which I enjoyed equally. But the big surprise and pleasure was the Saxum. Thanks Cris.

  • 1997 Maison Leroy Bourgogne Blanc - France, Burgundy, Bourgogne Blanc
    I have this as Maison Leroy in CT … I’ll check the bottle when I get home … as I never looked at it or maybe someone here knows if there was a Domain Bourgogne Blanc
    This was decent. Now where near the 99. I think its best years are behind it. I took some home and had another glass and it was losing complexity. Still it is nice to see how an 11 year old Bourgogne holds up. Actually the wine should hold up for a long time as the fruit is there but I just not sure it will be that interesting.
  • 1998 Sean Thackrey Orion - USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
    Bummer, this did not show like my last bottle, but the last time I had it, it was a pop and pour and this showed its best early on. The wine had already been open for 4 hours and the first glass I really enjoyed. It was just as I remembered it. By the end of our 2 hour lunch, there was lots of VA showing and the wine was out of balance. We had a glass with dinner too and it was probably getting worse. Not to say it was bad, but it had more things sticking out than with my previous bottle.
  • 1999 Mauro Sebaste Barolo Prapò - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    We did have some cork issues here. It was actually stuck to the side so we had to break it out. So there was a little cork in each glass. At first this was a little stinky but it quickly sorted out into nice dried flowers and dried red fruit. The palate was very nice. Very packed but the texture and acid gives it great balance. I really like it now but agree its best days are ahead if it.
  • 2005 Copain Syrah Hawks Butte Vineyard - USA, California, North Coast, Yorkville Highlands
    Yippie I still have a little bit of this at home to try tonight … Thanks Leslie. Pop and pour works with this because the fruit can cover up some of the structure. This smells like a beauty. Like young Cote Rotie. Very bright fruit along with what seems to be stems (Cris thought there was not much in here). I think the Hawks Butte is emerging as my favorite Copain Syrah. I focus on the Pinots but this is intriguing.
  • 2006 Saxum James Berry Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Maybe the first time I really enjoyed a Saxum. So many people that seem to have similar palates to me with regards to Cali Rhone love these but I am always shocked since the are so rich and think. And this was certainly a rich milkshake. That is really what it tastes like but this one really held it together with the fruit easily breaking through the oak wall. Lots of underlying structure and acid. It is very heavy on the palate. The other thing I enjoyed here was that it seemed uniquely Californian. Most nights of the week I would take the Prapo or the Hawks Butte but this one stuck with me and I am now making plans to buy my first Saxum. I would drink this now but I am very curious as to how it will age. Will it be a beauty or a blob.
  • 2005 Dayton Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve - USA, California, Napa Valley
    Are you kidding me. This was impressive and at the price point, close to unbelievable. Lots of oak and a very plush mouthfeel but it also had some very nice green notes. Cab qualities were ever present. Nice herbs and bell pepper worked with with the somewhat gobby fruit.



Lunch?!? Really? What the hell do you guys do that you can drink all this during lunch? I need to switch careers…

Hey … to be fair I think I have invited you … but that was before I met you [thank_you.gif] :smiley:

But now, would it really be appropriate for you to cavort with the likes of us … hmmm… I don’t want The Wall Street Journal calling me.


I get no respect.


Yeah the pastrami is a tough match … but we battle through [cheers.gif]


I took a stab at this as there was two very similar Leroy Borgogne Blancs from 97 in CT. let me know when you see it and I’ll move my note in CT appropriately.

Can I just say I am still in total shock that Dr/VP Dietz and WetRock like Saxum.


Not as shocked as I am that you admitted here in public that you do. :wink: Dems good juice. Finishing it off late last night was heavenly.

:smiley: Yeah … last year I admitted I enjoyed a Molly Dooker …now this.

Let’s not forget the Copain Madder Lake that Cris brought too… there was only a bit, and it had been opened for a day or so, but it was stellar. I was impressed with all the wines, but when I drink impressive CA Syrahs like the ones we tried, I feel very contented.

The Barolo was also very very nice, with great balance, though in a very different style obviously than the Syrahs. I have had very few Barolo’s, but if this is a hint of what they might be like, I can see the attraction.

My notes are pretty similar to Chris but I got a good chunk of stem in the Copain which I actually enjoyed. All in all a great lunch to cap off a long morning of bar review =). Thanks for the invite!