Saturday, August 26, 2023

Pour Boys End of Summer ('23) Wine Dinner

Pour Boys End of Summer ('23) Wine Dinner Extravaganza

Our Pour Boys wine group gathered in Northwest Indiana for our end of summer / early fall wine dinner hosted by Dr Dan and Linda. As always, the group brought a spectacular wine flight to accompany the extensive dinner offering. Dan and Linda prepared smoked beef brisket BBQ which set the tone for robust hearty full fruit forward wines. 

As usual, Dan set out an extensive selection of charcuturie, meats and sausages, and artisan cheeses, three types of grilled shrimp and mushrooms. 

For dinner, Dan and Linda prepared bratwursts, grilled chicken breasts, smoked beef brisket and pulled pork, followed by an extensive medley of sides and salads. 


The Pour Boys collectively brought an extensive wine flight worthy of a feast, and a serious wine tasting.

As has become his custom, 'Champagne John' brought two bottle of vintage Champagne:

Bollinger Extra Brut Champagne RD 2007 (De'gorge 10 Juillette 2020)
Charles Heidsieck Rose' 2008 

Bollinger Extra Brut Champagne RD 2007 (De'gorge 10 Juillette 2020)

 The blend of this 2007 vintage is composed of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. It features 91% Grands Crus and 9% Premiers Crus. A total of 14 crus can be find in the blending. The fermentation is entirely in oak barrels.

Bollinger R.D. is sold just a few months after being disgorged, with a very low dosage known as “extra brut”, at just 3 grams per litre. The recent disgorgement guarantees the remarkable freshness of the wine.

The 2007 vintage marks a return to the roots of the R.D. cuvée and its historic label with the original material and legendary font of the 1952 vintage, once again showing the date of disgorging. 

Charles Heidsieck Champagne Brut Millésimé Rosé 2008

Another special bottling, a blend of 63% Pinot Noir (including 9% of red wine) and 37% Chardonnay, this rosé from Charles Heidsieck is sourced from 11 grands and premiers crus sourced from Les Riceys in the far south of Champagne.

 It was awarded 98 points by James Suckling, 96 points by Decanter, and 95 points by Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator.

Beautiful rose colored, superbly balanced and tasty, toasted nutty character, perfect acidity with hints of apple, dried cherry and raspberry red fruits.


Eric did the honors of opening the Champagne with Dan's 'champagne sword' ... 

Dan followed the Champagne flight with an ultra premium vintage Chardonnay:

Sea Smoke Sta Rita Hills Estate Chardonnay 2014

We've had many vintages of this label over the years and I believe this vintage, at this age, tonight, was the best ever - in its sweet spot, at the apex of its drinking window! 

It was rated 93 points by Wine Enthusiast and 91 points by Wine Spectator.

Straw colored, medium bodied, concentrated white peach flavors predominate with notes of pear on a full smooth elegant finish. 

Followed by another Sea Smoke label from Dan's cellar, club allocation, pivoting to the reds ...

Sea Smoke Botella Sta Rita Hills California Grand Cru Pinot Noir 2009

This limited release label is from Dan's cellar and wine club allocation. 

It was rated 92 points by Wine Advocate. 

Garnet colored, medium bodied, dark fruit with accents of smoke, licorice and leather with a smooth polished lingering finish.

And the red flight continued; as I've written often in these pages, the order of tasting is based on a intricate studious mating dance we go through at the beginning of each event, establishing the tasting order based on previous experiences, sweetness, age, depth, weight and boldness and body. 

Much of the fun of the evening is determining in retrospect how accurate we were in determining the best or optimal tasting sequence. Invariably we're very close to being right on, or within a very few, very minor variations or adjustments, swapping a couple bottles' order, for the ultimate tasting experience!

Here is the tasting order of the evening, which as usual, was spot on, and required little of no modification as the evening went on. Of course, such changes are the basis of fun, animated and lively discussion for the wholehearted wine geeks!

Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto 2008

Dan offered this ultra-premium Sangiovese blend from his cellar. It received 94 points from James Suckling and Wine Advocate.

Full bodied, dark intense concentrated  black fruits with notes of mocha, spice and hints of tar on a chewy tannin laced long finish.

Ernie followed with his customary ultra-premium Bordeaux blends ... two spectacular releases ! 

Peter Michael Les Pavots 2005
Lynch Bages Pauillac Bordeaux 2010
Peter Michael "Les Pavots" Knights Valley Bordeaux Blend 2005

This is a Bordeaux 'right bank style blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc, 12% Merlot & 2% Petit Verdot, akin to a St.-Emilion or Pomerol. 

It was rated 95 points Int'l Wine Review and Wine Advocate, 93 points by Vinous, and 92 points and "Top 100 Wines of 2008" by Wine Spectator.

Delicious! We drank this wine from the Reserve Winelist at our Pour Boys dinner at the Del Ray Beach Wine Room back in 2021.  Tonight was consistent with that tasting when I gave it 94 points.

Ernie brought this label to our Pour Boys OTBN night in 2014. 

Deep ruby colored, full-bodied, complex and multi-dimensional yet impeccably balanced, elegant and harmonious; dark currant and black raspberry fruits with spices, tobacco, leather, chocolate and cassis notes with a smooth silky finish.

For me, while the Les Pavot was elegant and complex, the more expressive and forward Lynch Bages, along with the Del Dotto Syrah were the WOTN - Wines of the Night (due to the smoked BBQ pairing), along with the Sea Smoke Chardonnay! With a grilled beefsteak, the Les Pavots and Lynch Bages would've been a wonderful duel!

Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac Bordeaux 2010

This is a spectacular wine, it was rated 98 points by Jeb Dunnuck and James Suckling, 97 points by Wine Advocate, and 96 points by Wine Spectator (also Cellar Selection), Wine Enthusiast and Decanter.

Dark garnet colored, full-bodied, layered, complex and multi-dimensional yet smooth, elegant and polished;  classic Pauillac dark berry and currant fruits accented by notes of cassis, cigar tobacco, and lead pencil graphite, with hints of oak and clove spice turning to firm, powdery tannins and lively acids on a long silky finish.

Then on to the Big Reds ... to accompany the BBQ ...

Bill brought this rare Carlisle Napa Valley Hayne Vineyard Zinfandel 2012

Followed by Lyle's, Seghesio Cortina Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2015

Then on to the Syrahs/Shiraz's ... 

I brought from our cellar this aged vintage classic label of which we've had great fun over the years, of which there are several stories across the group ... this was amazingly resilient and still going strong at 28 years.

D'Arenberg McLaren Vale "Dead Arm" Shiraz 1995

Consistent with earlier tastings, I first published a note on this wine in pre-blog days back in 2005, which I chose and opened from our cellar for my birthday dinner.

Eric brought this classic Chateau Tanunda "Chateau" 100 Year Old Vines Barossa Shiraz which we all discovered and of which we captured our unfair share of the extremely limited US/Midwest allocation through a special arrangement during the Grand Tour Chicago - Wine Tasting Extravaganza back in 2011. Lyle loved it and gave it WOTN while Bill thought it might be reaching end of its prime drinking window. 

Pour Boys at that 2011 Wine Spectator Grand Tour

Tanunda 100 Year Vine Shiraz 2008

John brought this classic, highly allocated rare Washington State Shiraz which he also brought from the 2012 vintage to our Pour Boys OTBN 2020 ~ Open That Bottle Night.  I wrote about the label  and producer extensively in my post of that event.

Cayuse Bionic Frog Walla Walla Valley Shiraz 2013

Bill brought this rare ultra-premium label from a well known favorite producer - I've never seen this label from a producer we thought we knew well.

Killikanoon Attunga "1865" Clare Valley Shiraz 2004

Another spectacular wine - an embarrassment of riches throughout this tasting. We love the Killikanoon "Oracle" label and never knew about this ultra-premium label from them. This special limited release label is released only in years of exceptional quality.

This Attunga "1865" single vineyard, Clare Valley Shiraz is named due to its source, from some of Australia's oldest living vines - 900 individual Shiraz vines, planted in 1865. According to winemaker Kevin Mitchell, it is the oldest commercially active vineyard still producing in the Clare Valley. 

This was rated  98 points by Wine Advocate and 97 points by Wine Advocate. 

It appears very little of this very limited release makes it to America. Cellartracker, which we use to track our wines, and the marketplace, has over 10 million reviewer tasting notes and has no listing for this label.

Deep purple-colored, full round, rich, concentrated yet elegant and polished, black and blue fruits with notes of floral, creosote and crushed rocks.


We closed the red wine flight with this label we tasted during our tour and tasting at the producer's estate Del Dotto Napa Valley Cave Tour Barrel Tasting, and acquired during our Del Dotto Piazza DELICACIES Food and Wine Experience culinary tasting at the producer's other property estate, Piazza Del Dotto, back in 2018. 

Tonight's tasting was consistent with my last bottle tasted earlier back in 2019

Del Dotto Cinghiale For Ross Seaview Sonoma County Vineyard Syrah 2014

To close, Lyle brought what has become somewhat custom, a vintage port dessert wine for the final course (s). Terry brought her decadent, spectacular orange cake, which Dan and Linda served alongside gourmet chocolates, chocolate cake and a selection of ice creams including sea salt caramel, and others.

Dow Vintage Port 1997

A classic vintage port from a spectacular vintage. This was awarded 95 points by Wine Spectator and 94 points by Wine Enthusiast, and 92 points by Int'l Wine Cellar.

Ruby colored, medium-full bodied, black currant fruits with bittersweet cocao, notes of dark mocha, expresso, sweet fig and herbs with a long smooth balanced finish. 

Unlike Attunga above with no Cellartracker listing, this classic label is four digit 2186 out of the hundreds of thousands of labels registered. 

Notice, Two-fisted Dan directing the orchestrated proceedings ... 

Thanks all for another spectacular wine and dine evening.

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