Sis Jan and Bill visiting from Socal and niece Jenna in from SFO, we gathered for a mini family birth year vintage 1981 Cos d' Estournel magnum as the wine highlight.
reunion with Great Grandparents and kids and grandkids - Ryan and Michelle, Erin & Johnnie and the g-kids. For the occasion, we pulled this Ladera Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
During our Napa Valley Wine Experience 2008 visit to Ladera winery up on Howell Mountain where we tasted and acquired this wine, (right) we learned from the owners that their favorite wine and inspiration was Cos. Hence we also pulled a Ladera Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for the occasion, which was fitting since Jan and Bill were with us during that visit.
Prior to dinner, Ryan brought and opened a Veuve Cliquot Champagne. There's always room for bubbly, especially in the summertime.
For dinner, Linda prepared a surf and turf dinner with grilled steak and Copper River Sockeye Salmon. With the grilled Salmon we paired with a unique white which provided a mystery blind tasting. I served a Sunset Lake Vineyard dry white Seyval that I discovered and picked up at the winery during my recent visit there just last week.
Sunset Lake Vineyards and Winery "Golden Days" Sunset Lake Vineyard Illinois Seyval Blanc NV
Straw colored and light medium bodied, this showed balance and crisp acidity. Winemaker Mary Hoffman said that this wine typically shows bright green apple fruit flavors but this year this was overtaken by a am amazing brilliant forward peach flavor with tones of mineral and hints of citrus and apricot with very modest acidity and a slightly muddled but pleasant lingering finish.
Ryan likened this to an Italian Proseco which isn't far off the mark.
RM 87 points.
Château Cos d'Estournel St Estephe Bordeaux 1981 Magnum
From my most recent tasting notes for this label from Nov, 2015: "Medium bodied, bright ruby colored, earthy leathery dark cherry and firm blackberry with hints of creosote on the tannic berry finish. Amazing life yet in this cellar selection. Recent tastings showing lot's of life left in the remaining 81's, were from large format."
RM 89 points.
Ladera Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
This exceeded my expectations with it bright forward bold fruits, although comparing it next to the thirty-five year old vintage Cos certainly accentuated its firm structure and the big concentrated bright forward fruits.
Dark blackish purple colored, full bodied, rich concentrated chewy forward black berry and black currant fruits with a firm backbone structure accented by notes of cedar and hints of graphite and subtle oak with a tangy nicely balanced lingering finish.
RM 91 points.