Saturday, February 23, 2013

OTBN 2013

OTBN - Open That Bottle Night 2013

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.  


Ernie brought four Bordeaux - Chateaus Clinet 2008, Haut Gravet 2000,
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.

  
Château Clinet Pomerol Bordeaux 2008

Ruby color, medium-full bodied, smooth, balanced, floral, blackberry and black raspberry fruits with hints of cassis and mocha, earthy leather, tea, and touch of spice on a polished moderate finish. 

RM 92 points. 

Chateau Palmer Margaux Bordeaux 2006

From the center of the Margaux appellation, this is the first of the great 'super second' producers, in this case, second only to the classic first growth Chateau Margaux. These classic wines have the potential to age for at least two decades in an average vintage and up to five in a great vintage, hence its easy to drink these wines too young but a great treat to watch them age by tasting a vintage over the years. 

The '06 was somewhat closed upon opening through two hours after decanting, showing medium to full body and a subtle floral nose with dark fruits of black cherries and blackberries with tones of subdued dark chocolate, tobacco, spice and sweet oak on a nicely polished and balanced moderate tannin finish; this very young wine needs at least another decade before it begins to display the full range of its true character and potential. Cabernet Sauvignon: 56%, Merlot: 44%

RM 91 points. 

 
Bill shared a heartfelt story about the year 1993 and brought three twenty years olNapa Cabernet Sauvignons to commemorate the year - Chateau Montelena, Grace Family Vineyard 29, Robert Mondavi Private Reserve and a Justin Isosceles 2000. The Grace may have been my top choice of the evening - certainly was short list favorite.

Grace Vineyards 29 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1993 

Inky purple color, medium-full bodied, smooth polished, complex black berry, black cherry fruits accented by layer of mocha with hints of tea, spice, oak, flint and smoke on a silky smooth tannin lingering finish. Surprising life in this 25 year old showing now signs of diminishing. 

RM 93 points. 


http://www.vineyard29.com/wines_29_cab_1993.html

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. 

https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=97829
 

Ryan following in footsteps brought two aged Bordeaux from the early eighties,
Canon-la-Gaffeliere 1983 and Grand Puy Ducasse 1984, and I pitched in a 1966 Suduiraut
Grand Cru Classe Sauternes
.

Following our recent gala tasting of these wines at the UGCB Tour of the 2010 vintage release, Ryan procured the Chateau Canon-la-Gaffeliere St Emiilon 1983 to commemorate Michelle's birthyear and the occasion of them expecting their first child! For a near vintage comparison test, he brought the Chateau Grand Puy Ducasse Pauillac 1984, a challenging vintage, certainly not ageworthy like the '83. Regretably these bottles were beyond suitable drinking with their fruits having given way to leather and wood elements. Initial funk on opening did give way but the fruit never revealed itself over the ensuing days.

 Eric brought a collection of top flight bottles, Kaesler Old Bastard Shiraz, Dom Perignon and Hollywood & Vine Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
mazingly svelte in its balance of varietal depth with restrained power and super finely integrated extract, it is light on its feet and majestic once in focus. Overriding harmony meets an anarchical expression of Australian classic syrah. Lifted florals dance with rich meats, coffee, cola, chocolate, pan forte, turkish delight, graphite, bitumen, cigar tobacco, black cardamom, good quality soy sauce and crushed rocks. It is dense, yet creamy smooth. - See more at: http://www.clarendonhills.com.au/Wines/Syrah/Astralis.aspx#sthash.Vc4fLh1r.dpuf
mazingly svelte in its balance of varietal depth with restrained power and super finely integrated extract, it is light on its feet and majestic once in focus. Overriding harmony meets an anarchical expression of Australian classic syrah. Lifted florals dance with rich meats, coffee, cola, chocolate, pan forte, turkish delight, graphite, bitumen, cigar tobacco, black cardamom, good quality soy sauce and crushed rocks. It is dense, yet creamy smooth. - See more at: http://www.clarendonhills.com.au/Wines/Syrah/Astralis.aspx#sthash.Vc4fLh1r.dpuf
Amazingly svelte in its balance of varietal depth with restrained power and super finely integrated extract, it is light on its feet and majestic once in focus. Overriding harmony meets an anarchical expression of Australian classic syrah. Lifted florals dance with rich meats, coffee, cola, chocolate, pan forte, turkish delight, graphite, bitumen, cigar tobacco, black cardamom, good quality soy sauce and crushed rocks. It is dense, yet creamy smooth. - See more at: http://www.clarendonhills.com.au/Wines/Syrah/Astralis.aspx#sthash.Vc4fLh1r.dpuf
Amazingly svelte in its balance of varietal depth with restrained power and super finely integrated extract, it is light on its feet and majestic once in focus. Overriding harmony meets an anarchical expression of Australian classic syrah. Lifted florals dance with rich meats, coffee, cola, chocolate, pan forte, turkish delight, graphite, bitumen, cigar tobacco, black cardamom, good quality soy sauce and crushed rocks. It is dense, yet creamy smooth. - See more at: http://www.clarendonhills.com.au/Wines/Syrah/Astralis.aspx#sthash.Vc4fLh1r.dpuf

Amazingly svelte in its balance of varietal depth with restrained power and super finely integrated extract, it is light on its feet and majestic once in focus. Overriding harmony meets an anarchical expression of Australian classic syrah. Lifted florals dance with rich meats, coffee, cola, chocolate, pan forte, turkish delight, graphite, bitumen, cigar tobacco, black cardamom, good quality soy sauce and crushed rocks. It is dense, yet creamy smooth. - See more at: http://www.clarendonhills.com.au/Wines/Syrah/Astralis.aspx#sthash.Vc4fLh1r.dpuf
Hollywood & Vine Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

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. 

https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=159041

http://www.hollywoodandvinewine.com/

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.

https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=25904


Lyle brought a aged Dow Vintage Port 1977
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!  
 
Mark C brought two Eden Valley Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignons 2005, 2009.
Cabs from Paso Robles? - Undoubtedly the surprise discoveries of the evening!


Eden Canyon Paso Robles “Estate” Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

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.



 Justin brought a double magnum of James Tobin Paso Robles Rock--Roll Syrah 2007 signed by the winemaker. We had just announced that 'size counts' before Jared arrived late - did he have a mole?

Dan brought Sea Smoke Gratis Chardonnay, Valduero Gran Reserva and Clarendon Hills Astralis 

Rare sighting, the four amigos,
Eric, Rick, Bob & Dan.

Bob brought a duo of Napa Cabernets from Frog's Leap and Silver Oak and The Prisoner


Sara brought two Aussie Shiraz's, Shotfire and Hope.
'The house / (host)' served a pair of magnums from Napa Valley, Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 and Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc, a vintage 1966 Suduiraut Grand Cru Classe Sauternes Bordeaux, a Kracher TBA '6' 1998 and a pair of Italian sparklers.

Chateau Suduiraut Grand Cru Classe Sauternes Bordeaux 1966

Still life in this 45 year old but notably past its prime and reaching the last chapter of its drinking window. Decent cork and acceptable fill level - further indications of the suitability of our cellar for long term aging. A blend of Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc.Dark caramel or weak tea in colour. Still flavorful but lacking that apricot nectar sweetness, rather, more weak tea and moderate almond nut flavor with very subdued honey and hints of citrus.

RM 87
https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=159298

http://www.suduiraut.com/  

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.


https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=27074

http://www.kracher.at/en/ 

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
The wines by flight - 
Flight Sparklers

Flight White Varietals

Duckhorn Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2009

Nice 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

https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=878604

http://www.duckhorn.com/Accolades/Sauvignon-Blanc/2009-Napa-Valley-Sauvignon-Blanc


 Flight Paso Robles

Flight Southern European Reds

Flight Bordeaux Rouge

 Flight Northern California (Napa/Sonoma) Cabernets

Flight Australian Shiraz

What a great opportunity to compare the flagship wines of these two premiere Australian producers, Kaesler and Clarendon Hills. I wonder if a better comparison might be the Old Bastard against Clarendon Hill's Piggott Range which is one of the biggest Syrahs I've ever experienced. Kaesler says it needs fifteen years of cellaring and can be held for fifty. By their own admission, Clarendon Hills refer to Astralis as being more 'svelte' in its balance and 'restrained power with super finely integrated extract, light on its feet and majestic once in focus." When compared against the extraordinary 2001, its easy to see Astralis being over powered by the bigger bolder Old Bastard, perhaps by design. 


Kaesler Old Bastard Barossa Valley Shiraz 2001 

The 2001 growing season in the south central Australian Barossa Valley was the hottest since 1904 resulting in immense full forward flavors and 15% alcohol content in this brooding monster. Dark inky purple colored and full bodied. Thick chewy tongue coating blackberry, black raspberry, plum, blueberry, with mocha and spice complexity. Aromas of vanilla, coffee and charred oak offer added complexity. 

RM 95 points. 



Amazingly svelte in its balance of varietal depth with restrained power and super finely integrated extract, it is light on its feet and majestic once in focus. Overriding harmony meets an anarchical expression of Australian classic syrah. Lifted florals dance with rich meats, coffee, cola, chocolate, pan forte, turkish delight, graphite, bitumen, cigar tobacco, black cardamom, good quality soy sauce and crushed rocks. It is dense, yet creamy smooth. - See more at: http://www.clarendonhills.com.au/Wines/Syrah/Astralis.aspx#sthash.Vc4fLh1r.dpuf
Clarendeon Hills Astralis Shiraz 2004

The Astralis was medium to full bodied but more subdued than the big brooding Old Bastard. Dark purple colored it presented forward spicy blackberry and black raspberry ruits highlighted by a layer of cassis and hints of mocha and touch of vanilla. 

RM 92 points.


 Flight Desserts
 

 Picture Gallery - 
Lyle holding court - the story..
 
The Kracher TBA
Terry & Linda

How do you like that aged Sauternes?
Erin & Johnny and Jared,
Val and Ann
Elyse, Cathy, Ann, Erin

Johnny, Jared

Bill, Ryan, Mark.
Bill and Grace Vineyard 29

 Erin, Terry.

 The Forts
 Sean working the kitchen


1 comment:

  1. Great to see #paso Love! What will you be opening tomorrow?!

    ReplyDelete