Sunday, September 18, 2016

Pour Boys Cityscape Fall Classic Wine Dinner

Pour Boys Cityscape Fall Classic Wine Dinner

The fall gathering of the Pour Boys was hosted by Lyle and Terry on their West Loop cityscape deck on a picture perfect early autumn evening.

Big Reds were the order of day to compliment the dinner of ceasar salad, mushroom soup, grilled steaks, puffed potatoes, stripped zuchini, and cheese veggie ravioli.

The Antipasta course (shown below) featured a plate of mixed proscuittos, deviled eggs, assortment of olives and a selection of artisan cheeses, highlighted by Lyle's grilled sea scallops.

Red wine flight
The main course red wine flight (shown left) featured Sangiovese, Bordeaux blends, several Syrahs, a couple Zins and a vintage port.

John served a champagne and white wine flight with the starters of Salon and Veuve Cliquot, and a Domaine Christian Moreau Chablis Grand Cru.

There is always room for bubbly, and the whites were spectacular with the scallops, antipasta and cheese selection.

The cheeses included aged cheddars from Fair Oak Farms - 5 and 6 year olds and a Wisconsin;  a pair of aged Goudas from Wisconsin and a Dutch, Bellavitano and some others.

Cheese selection


The white flight -

Salon Blanc de Blanc Brut Champagne 2004

At a dozen years of age, this premium vintage label showed its class - straw colored, medium bodied, elegant, rich, crisp and clean, full bright flavors accented by a layer of zesty yeast, vibrant flavors of pear, apple, nut and hint of zesty citrus.

I wish my palate for Champagne was more discriminating to appreciate the nuances of this elegant polished, nicely balanced label.

RM 93 points


Veuve Cliquot NV Champagne

Domaine Christian Moreau Chablis Grand Cru en Clos 2009

As a follow on to our recent Vivere wine producer dinner, Ernie brought a Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino and Fluris, which he procured from the Italian Village wine cellar when the distributor/retailer couldn't fulfill our order for a shared case of the dessert wine. Following the pairing of this with the orange cake at the dinner, this was a priority to compliment Terry's classic orange cake dessert.

The Brunello Sangiovese was an ideal compliment to Terry's mushroom and celery root soup. She and Lyle had this on their recent river cruise on the Danube River to Budapest and Terry coerced the chef to give her the recipe. 

Lyle grilling the scallops.

The Red Flight -

 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese 2010

100% Estate grown Sangiovese.

Deep intense dark garnet colored, medium-full bodied, subdued black cherry fruits, tones of leather, tobacco, anise and hints of floral, spice and vanilla.

RM 90 points.

Eric and Cathy brought Flower Merlot from Yates Family Vineyards which they discovered and obtained at our our winery visit during our Mt Veeder Appellation wine experience 2011. This was a great transition wine from the white to red flight with its soft approachable easy sipping bright acidity and vibrant fruits, before moving to the Big Reds.

Yates Family Vineyards Flower Merlot 2005

While predominantly Merlot, this includes in the blend some Cabernet Sauvignon (4%) and Cabernet Franc (2%).

Dark garnet colored, medium bodied, bright vibrant black berry, black raspberry and black cherry fruits, lively acidity, dark spices on a long moderate tannin finish.

RM 92 points.

For the dinner course, we started with Bill's Chateau  Lascombs to align with the grilled strip steaks.

Château Lascombes Margaux Bordeaux 2000

Contrary to my earlier tasting experience with this wine, tonight this was surprisingly un-Bordeaux like ... while this was lacking the floral and earthy notes I associate with Margaux, it showed much brighter and more forward, vibrant tangy fruits, more like a Napa Cab, than a left bank claret.

Dark deep ruby colored, medium-bodied, bright forward blackberry, black currant, and black cherry fruits with a layer of tangy spice and tones of soft oak on the moderate tannin finish.

RM 91 points.

Continuing in the dinner course, I brought another 2000 vintage label as part of a mini vertical of Rosemount Balmoral Syrah, 1999-2000.

Rosemount Estate Balmoral McLaren Vale Syrah 1999-2000

We have about a half dozen contiguous vintages of this label. I think this '99 label is a bit bigger and more forward and fruit filled than the others which have more predominant non-fruit tones. 

This vineyard is one of the few in Australia with vines dating back a hundred years. The concentrated fruit is akin to the Chateau Tanunda with its legendary 100 year old vines. The story of  we Pour Boys discovering and then capturing the US allocation of this wine is written often in these pages. 

Dark inky purple garnet colored, medium-full bodied, forward  currant, plum, blackberry fruits turning to blueberry on the mid-palate, accented by a layer of anise, raisin and fig with hints of clove and spice.

RM 92 points. 

2000 Vintage - 

Consistent with previously reported tasting notes from 2010 and 2012. 

Dark inky purple/garnet colored, medium-full bodied. Aromatic, leather, slightly earthy aroma that gives way to complex flavorful blue fruit and ripe black raspberry fruits that turn to raisin, black cherry, cassis, tar, and tobacco turning to an aftertaste of smoke, currant and a hint of plum. Over the course of the evening, the wine seemed to age as the berry fruits gave way to the more fig raisin aged feel while the deep aromatics lingered.

RM 92 points.

The Syrah flight continued with John's classic Cayuse Shiraz from Washington State.

Cayuse Vineyards Cailloux Vineyard Walla Walla Valley Syrah 2012

John brought the 2007 vintage of this big hitter to our Cityscape wine of the deck dinner in 2013 when I wrote on this label and producer more extensively.

Like that earlier event, I saved this wine for the end of the meal to pivot to the dessert course as it is suited more for the dark chocolate desserts and more than even the grilled beef steaks. And, like before, it provided a perfect set up to the Vintage Port. Thanks again, John for offering up this classic Washington State Syrah, a real treat.

Not for the feint of heart ... no wimps here ... Dark inky garnet colored, full bodied, huge powerful concentrated, complex thick chewy black berry and black raspberry, bramble, bacon fat, game, tones of dark mocha and tobacco with hints of tar, black pepper and anise turning to vanilla on the tongue coating finish.

RM 93 points.

Orange cake with berries and whipped cream

Finally, the dessert course featuring Terry's orange cake with mixed berries and fresh whipped cream, and a selection of dark chocolates and dark chocolate covered berries, accompanied by Ernie's Floris and Lyle's Croft Port.

Castello Banfi Florus Late Harvest Moscadello 2011

Golden colored, medium bodied, bright vibrant bouquet and flavors of sweet apricot, honeysuckle, tones of raisins, almonds and honey on full lingering unctuous finish.

RM 91 points.

Croft Vintage Port 1994

From Lyle's collection of vintage ports, the 1994 vintage was a classic vintage, even for vintage declared Ports, as two were selected as Co-Wines of the Year for that vintage. 

Dark blackish garnet colored, full bodied, moderately sweet with an essence of cognac, gripping tannins are pervasive with thick tongue coating richness, yet the power is refined and polished rendering this big wine approachable for smooth sipping. One of the top performances for this label.

RM 92 points.

The Pour Boys Story-

UGC Bordeaux 2013 Release Tour Chicago 2016

Pour Boys Serve Grands Crus Classes of St Emilion 2015 Chicago Tasting