Two nights at LOS, including a killer 1973 Napa sticky

Otto Dobre was nice enough to bring 2000, 2004 and 2005 Shafer Hillside Select, but cabernet sauvignon ain’t my grape, so I’m punting on those notes.

  • 1988 Weingut Baumann Oppenheimer Sackträger Riesling Auslese - Germany, Rheinhessen (2/12/2010)
    A good wine but I was disappointed. I have a 1976 Weingut Baumann Niersteiner Pettenthal Auslese that’s a blend of silvaner and riesling that has wonderful complexity. Perhaps it’s the blend of grapes that does it. This was pretty simple. It’s still sweet for a wine whose grapes were picked in West Germany. Maybe it needs more time to age out. I get more boytritis in the 2006 Von Hövel Scharzhofberger Riesling Kabinett. Diesel and white fruits on the nose. More apple on the palate. Average finish. Maybe it just needs to age to improve.

  • 1989 Château Rieussec - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes (2/12/2010)
    Pretty tasty. Honey, apricot, peaches. Just a little bit of meaty flavors as well. Good balance between the acid and sweetness, although there was a little flare of alcohol in the finish. It didn’t ruin the experience, though, and the finish was still good. Saturnes is the only area of Bordeaux I like.

  • 1998 Henry of Pelham Riesling Special Select Late Harvest Botrytis-Affected - Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Niagara Peninsula VQA (2/12/2010)
    Quite tasty. Lots of different fruits on the nose and the palate, but mainly citrus and white fruits. Some gewurz-like lychee. Excellent balance between the sweetness and the acid. Long finish. I’d like to see how this kind of stuff develops.

  • 2005 Dönnhoff Schloßböckelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Spätlese - Germany, Nahe (2/12/2010)
    Tropical and citrus on the nose. Not a lot of diesel. On the palate, some lime and more apple. Good balance. The sweetness is balanced by the acidity. Light for a spatlese. Good finish. Still young. I think this will improve for several years. I have two bottles of the 2004 and this makes me optimistic about them.

  • 1973 Freemark Abbey Johannisberg Riesling Edelwein - USA, California, Napa Valley (2/12/2010)
    Clearly the most interesting wine of the weekend. It looks a lot like cognac. In many ways it reminds me of Madeira. On the nose there’s a lot of citrus and caramelized sugar. Nuttiness on the nose. Lots of nice, deep aromas. The label says 10 percent residual sugar, but the wine is dry. I’m guessing it’s a combination of aging and the high acid in the wine. The flavors were similar to the aromas except maybe with the addition of toffee. We talk about depth to wine and it’s maybe a little overused but this wine has tremendous depth. Nicely integrated, too. The story is that Freemark Abbey wasn’t selling as much Johannisberg Riesling in the early 1970s so it was leaving the grapes unpicked. A German winemaker came and saw all the boytritis on the grapes left to rot on the vine, did a cartoon doubletake and told them to make a sweet wine.

  • 1998 Nigl Riesling Senftenberger Hochäcker - Austria, Niederösterreich, Kremstal (2/12/2010)
    This is an interesting contrast to the 1999 version, which I’vealso had. Citrus on the nose and minerally. Not a lot of diesel. Unusually pure and focused on the palate. The 1999 reminded me of a professional ballet dancer with a combination of finesse and power. The 1998 has that, too. But my problem with the 1998 is my problem with most Austrian wines. It’s just too dry and the acid is unpleasant. The 1999 has enough fruit that, on my taste buds, it is wonderful to drink. So I think most wine drinkers would like the focus and elegance of the 1998 but it’s too dry for me.

  • 2006 Sine Qua Non The Hoodoo Man - USA, California (2/13/2010)
    On the nose, an oaky fart. Much swirling didn’t open it up. The palate didn’t match. There is some oak but there’s also tropical fruit and some apple. A little bit of honey. Nice finish. Balanced but a huge wine. This was sent by overnight delivery from Pittsburg to Las Vegas and that may have exaggerated the flaws. If travel shock wasn’t an issue, I’d say hold on to this wine to see if the oak resolves.

  • 2003 Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva Alban Estate Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Edna Valley (2/12/2010)
    Big, ripe wine. Mostly balanced. Thick, viscous wine. Bacon fat on the nose and dark fruits on the nose and the palate.White pepper on the palate. Some olive flavors. I feel myself wanting to ape Parker to describe this wine. I like it but it’s also very intense.

  • 1999 Albert Boxler Riesling Sommerberg L31 - France, Alsace, Katzenthal, Alsace Grand Cru AOC (2/11/2010)
    This didn’t show well and it may have been my fault for tring to pair it with Thia food. J got almost none of the elegance that I had in a previous bottle. Some diesel and citrus on the nose. On the palate, some minerality But it didn’t hit any of the flavors of the previous bottle. Rather simple. A Robert Chadderdon Selections import.

  • 2004 Wieninger Alte Reben Gemischter Satz Nußberg - Austria, Wien (2/11/2010)
    Complex nose. Flowers and apples. Some sweetness to the palate, but I think it’s from the fruitiness of the flavors, including honey, and not residual sugar.Some pleasant green, herbal flavors. Also some spice. Good finish. Backroad Bob said it reminds him of some Jura whites.

  • 2001 Weingut Karlsmühle Kaseler Nies’chen Riesling Spätlese - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer (2/11/2010)
    Still pretty young and hard to get a handle on it. A nice, pure, focused riesling. Clearly from a high acid vintage. Just a little bit of petrol on the nose. Some earthiness. Less fruit on the palate. Maybe it’s shutdown. Some apple on the palate and also some spices. The sweetness is kept in check by the acid. Good finish.

  • 1999 Wwe. Dr. H. Thanisch (Erben-Thanisch) Bernkasteler Doctor Riesling Spätlese - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer (2/11/2010)
    Bob noted the strong diesel on the nose. I liked it. Lots of minerals on the nose, too. White fruits and maybe some cinnamon on the nose. The sweetness is more than balanced by zingy acidity. Good finish.

  • 2003 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (2/11/2010)
    I had this several years ago an dit’s evolved quite a bit. The first time I had it the roussanne was dominant and showed itself with a nose of tropical fruits and some honey. The nose is much more complex now with other white fruits and some spice along with quite a bit of nuttiness. And the grenache blanc is stronger on the palate. The spice really shows through now. Good finish. This was from a 375ml so I’m guessing a regular bottle has years left.

  • 2005 Stadlmann Zierfandler Mandel-Höh - Austria, Niederösterreich, Thermenregion (2/12/2010)
    Again, a delicious mix of aromas and flavors. On the nose, green melon and smoke. Also some tropical fruits. The palate is, uh, bone-dry sweetness. There’s a clear, sharp acidic spine but also some honeyed sweetness, more towards the finish. Some white fruits on the palate and nice minerality. Nice finish. This hasn’t evolved a lot since my last one a year ago. It seems like it will hold awhile but I’m not sure it will improve. A Bill Mayer Selections import.

  • 1989 Bollig-Lehnert Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer (2/12/2010)
    Second one that’s been corked. NR (flawed)

Forgot one:
2003 Bert Simon Serriger Würtzberg Riesling Beerenauslese - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer (2/16/2010)
This was quite tasty. The flavors were pretty intense. The nose didn’t stand out like some of the other stickies we had that night. I’m not sure how much of that was due to the age or the hot vintage. And it didn’t seem those low in acid. Plenthy of acid to balance the sweetness. There was honey and nuttiness on the palate. Maybe some white flowers, too. Long finish.

Great notes as usual Steve. I always enjoy the wines you bring too. The long drive was so worth it. I feel fortunate to have participated, wine and foodwise. Great folks too.

Don’t let me down at Berserkerfest. I’ll be swimming upstream too. Probably with older Chateauneufs or maybe I’ll compromise with 90’s Revas.

I’m taking a 1977 Lytton Springs to Beserkerfest, which you already tried at the In and Out offline. Also a 1998 Marcoux special bottling and another 1989 Bollig Lehnert. Hopefully this one won’t be corked.

Thanks for posting these notes, Steve. It was a fun two dinners, and nice seeing you again, as well as meeting everyone else.

I’ll comment on the Shafers:
Otto brought 3 bottles and bagged them. He had told me one was an 04, and that the others were vintages I may or may not have had.
#1: Upon opening was initially muted. Had some nice fruit with a little bit of time, not much complexity or personality. Good, but not great. I initially thought it was the 99. However, after air for an hour or so, it really blossomed into a nice wine. I didn’t recgonize the mixture of fruits and chocolate, so I guess this was one I hadn’t had yet- the 2005. It was clearly not old enough to be pre-1995, which are wines I have not yet had. 96 points
#2: A decent classic HSS profile, but not much else. average body, average nose, not incredibly aromatic. I quickly guessed the 2000. 88 points
#3 winderful from the get-go. Tons of fruit, complexity, inky. Some red fruit there that should have told me it was not a wine that I have had before. But, it was so damn good, I guessed 2004. 98 points.

Well, #1 was the 2004
#2 was the 2000
#3 was the 2005

While I was embarrassed, I excuse myself based on the fact that on the notes I have posted on the 2004, I have said everytime that it takes 60-90 minutes to start showing well. After having the 04 and 05 unblinded, they are both great wines, but a different style. Now tht I know that the red fruit is in the 05, I think I could tell the difference blinded now. Regardless, both wines are excellent, and most HSS lovers will likely want both in the cellar.

Awesome notes, gentlemen. Great way to celebrate some Lotus time.

It was great meeting everyone. Thanks to Steve for posting the notes. I have to agree with Bob H on the HSS while the '04 was nice the '05 is absolutely fantastic right now, Thanks to Otto. The Henry of Pelham was just as advertised and a great wine, something I will try and seek out. Bob S. is the man for bringing that Freemark Abbey, I can still taste it 5 days later. The '03 Reva that has been excellent in the past for me really was disappointing this time around, I took the rest of the bottle home and poured a glass the next night and it had become very pruney and port like. As for the food what can I say it was excellent as always.

Look who’s following me on Twitter now:

I make no bones about this winery being the best desser wine maker in North America. I felt that this wine showed the best it ever has that night. I should also add that 1998 is, IMHO, the best vintage for Ontario since I started following the region in the mid-90’s. This bottle was also from the winemakers personal collection. I begged him to sell me 4. I checked in my cellar and I have but one left. So sad.

For the most part joe, very little makes it to retail. Usually, you have to go to the winery to buy it.

I don’t remember all the dishes. Bob will have to fill you in on them.
The ones I recognize are the tom ka gai soup top center (chicken coconut), the noodle dish top bottom left, the spicy crispy rice dish at the center of the bottom row on the top picture, the bacon-wrapped deep fried shrimp to its right, and the beef jerky in the top left of the bottom picture.