Wines with dinner at Josie Restaurant

Twice-a-month, always blind, California-centric (but not exclusively so), wine group.

'97 Spottswoode Cabernet. Bland, uninspired. Varietally correct, just boring.

'02 Hourglass Cabernet. Lost its baby fat. Oak integrated. Firm backbone. Nice acidity. Very, very good. Best bottle I’ve tasted. I had my doubts about how this would age, but Uncle Bob was right. I quit buying Hourglass based on how this tasted when young. Will get better, which I don’t usually find with Robert Foley made wines at 9 years of age.

'99 Bryant Family Cabernet. Wonderfully expressive nose, the best of the Cabernets last night. Well balanced, nicely structured palate. Not at all like more recent vintages, which taste like blueberry syrup and have the density of motor oil. Probably not a Bryant-lovers favorite, but the best Bryant I’ve tasted in some time.

'99 Rudd Cabernet. Nice wine, but overshadowed by its flight-mate, Bryant.

'05 Herb Lamb Cabernet. Really liked this. Had all but decided to drop off the list, but will remain based on how well this showed last night. Medium weight, not over-oaked. Better than the last bottle of '05 Colgin Herb Lamb. Wouldn’t have guessed the vineyard; no dill pickle. Just a hair behind Hourglass and Bryant, but just a hair.

'05 Behrens & Hitchcock Fat Boy. The WORST wine I’ve tasted all year. More VA than a bottle of nail polish remover. [bleh.gif].

'85 Costello Banfi Poggio Alle Mura. Done, over, kaput. Poured in the dump bucket almost as fast as Fat Boy.

'02 Kongsgaard Syrah. I was very surprised when revealed. Tasted many times in the past with huge bottle variation. Some were filthy, last night’s was very clean and delicious. Espresso nose, which the others liked, but I did not, otherwise hard to find fault. Which was disappointing, as I think JK is an ass and I quit buying his wines as a result.

A couple of other Syrahs that were unremarkable; so much so that I forget what they were.

I ate a buffalo burger, with truffle fries, as usual. Very good (but not Comme Ca good).

I don’t like hearing that about the Spottswoode. I still have a maggie left.

On the other hand, I agree 100% with the Herb Lamb note.

'97 Spottswoode had the misfortune of being the first wine tasted, paired with Hourglass, which was very good. Don’t know how Spottswoode would fare on its own. It was served from .750; so I’d expect your magnum to have more life. Not sure how long I’d wait, based on last night’s results, though. I don’t recall previous examples, but I recollect tasting it before.

I’ve had it a couple of times from 750, but it has been several years. I am thinking that Flannery Fest III might be as good a time as any to open her up.

I had an '88 Spottswood recently and was very surprised at how good it was. No, not a blockbuster, but from a lesser vintage such as '88 it was medium-bodied, balanced, nice cherry fruit with secondary & tertiary notes of herbs and tobacco leaf with similar aromas. I’m looking forward to other mid-eighties Spottswoods I have.

Mark–Interesting comment on the B+H and the VA. Do you find that their wines tend to be like that on release, or is the VA issue something that moves to the foreground with age?


decant on the herb lamb?

I have had uneven luck with B&H. It seems that they seldom, at least in my experience, live up to the early promise (not that I’ve had a huge number of their wines). The XPensive Winos did a B&H night, which I missed, but the results weren’t pretty. They posted notes on eBob.

No decant. All wines were popped and poured.