Its hard to believe a year has passed but its that time again - OTBN - Open That Bottle Night. With the inclusion of the next generation, our group grew from twelve to 28 resulting in an extraordinary collection and selection of wines that offered something for everyone. There were some new discoveries, a couple disappointments and some exceptional wines. Once again, OTBN - Open That Bottle Night provided great fun, food, friends and family, and of course, great wine in our OTBN 2013. Its hard to believe we surpassed the extravaganza of OTBN 2012. Also see our feature from OTBN 2011.
If you're new to OTBN, or to this blog, here's the story. Credit (or blame) for this annual wine bachanalia goes to Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher, wine columnists for the Wall Street Journal. OTBN - Open That Bottle Night, was conceived for those that have a special bottle of wine or champagne hidden away being saved for a special occasion that for whatever reason hasn't happened. Every year since 2000, on the last Saturday night in February, Open That Bottle Night (OTBN) has been celebrated - the time to uncork and enjoy that cherished but here-to-for elusive bottle. OTBN was conceived by Gaiter and Brecher to say, what the heck, go for it, Open That Bottle (to)Night. They realized they weren't alone - having that special bottle set aside for an occasion that just never happens. On this night, you don't need an excuse or a reason - just do it! Take advantage of OTBN to open that bottle and enjoy it! Enjoy it by yourself, or better yet, enjoy it with someone special, or even better, with a group of special friends. Have everyone bring such a bottle and let the story telling begin, because amazingly, every OTBN bottle has a story or some meaning, or not. What the heck, Open That Bottle (To) Night!. Let the fun begin.
The increased number of wines provided wine flights in their own right of Bordeaux, Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, and Australian Shiraz. There was also a selection of other Europeans and a medley from Central California.
Once again, Linda distinguished her hostess and hospitality skills by preparing a superb wine accompaniment dinner of beef tenderloin, pasta with grilled Italian Sausage, twice baked potatoes, green beans, corn casserole, and a dinner salad. Bev, Dan and Terry all brought a broad selection of cheeses, mixed nuts and berries. Gloria brough a 'flight' of chocolates of all cocoa percentage levels to pair with the various red wines. Ryan brought fresh shrimp cocktail, Cathy and Elise brought chocolate mousse, and I'm sure I regretably missed someone and their contribution.
But most notably, the evening was devoted to the fruits of the vine. Everyone outdid themselves with their wines selections - thanks for participating.
The friends.... the wines:
Some of the tasting highlights are posted.
Chateau Palmer 2006 and Lafon Rochet 1996.
The '08 Clinet was recommended by the Producer at the UGCB Tour recently and Ernie managed to obtain one, and then to share! Thanks Ernie.
Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve 1993
Bill's notes from earlier tasting. Medium garnet color, very restrained nose. Took about two hours for this to open up. Upon popping the cork, this showed signs of being well past prime. Seemed carmelized and thin although the color showed no bricking. Between 90 and 120 minutes, this opened to reveal anise, mocha and graphite and some remaining tannins.
WCC 88 points.
Canon-la-Gaffeliere 1983 and Grand Puy Ducasse 1984, and I pitched in a 1966 Suduiraut
Grand Cru Classe Sauternes.
Named for the address of the vineyard property purchased by this tandem of Hollywood entertainment industry executives, this small production hand crafted cabernet is a big bruiser fitting its oversize heavy almost magnum like bottle.
Nicely balanced and polished, dark purple color and full bodied with full forward black berry, black currant and spicy oak flavors with a layer of mocha, tea and hint of cassis on a lingering smooth moderate tannin finish.
RM 93 points.
Spottswoode Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
Served from Magnum. Lighter and more subdued than I expected - medium bodied, smooth and well balanced, hints of leather and tobacco on the nose, black berry and black cherry fruits, moderate, soft tannins on the finish. Holding its own for the age, perhaps due to the magnum, but not overly flavorful or structured. An expensive bottle for a grand occasion did live up to expectations, although was not flawed or diminished, just not impressive.
RM 88 points.
and a Banfi Brunello di Montalcino 2000.
Lyle had the runaway best wine story of the evening that took everyone by surprise, no one saw it coming!
Cabs from Paso Robles? - Undoubtedly the surprise discoveries of the evening!
This was the surprise discovery of the evening. Cabernet from Paso Robles? Here's one. The producer calls this "The Chocolate Vintage". Medium body, black berry and black cherry fruits with hints of chocolate, cassis and a vanilla on a moderate, smooth tannin finish. The 2009 was nice too but not as polished, full bodied or flavorful, but still respectable, exceeding expectations with a 88 score.
RM 90 points.
|Rare sighting, the four amigos, |
Eric, Rick, Bob & Dan.
Kracher Zwischen Den Seen Welschriesling Trockenbeereneauslese #6 1998
Dark orange caramel tea colored, full bodied, essence of thick chewy unctuous apricot nector, hint of honey and almond on the finish, nicely balance of acidity and sweetness adds to length. At fifteen years this is still in its prime.
RM 92 points.
Post Mortem - Unfortunate, bottles that were past their time, or unsuitable specimens:
- Dow Vintage Port 1977
- Chateau Canon-la-Gaffeliere 1983
- Chateau Grand Puy Ducasse 1984
Duckhorn Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2009Nice starting wine to set the pallete. An honest unadulterated wine that best reflects the fruit. Straw colored, medium bodied, clean crisp easy drinking with subtle flavors of citrus, melon, hints of lychee, pear and touch of peach turning to soft tones of grapefruit and lime notes on the finish.
RM 89 Points
Kaesler Old Bastard Barossa Valley Shiraz 2001
Picture Gallery -
Terry & Linda