I stumbled upon some tasting notes from previous events. I have a great bunch of avid wine collector friends in Austin, TX. This is from a tasting event last December, and yes I was hurting big time the next day!
Austin Insanity December, 2008
I try to visit Austin as often as I can. I always go to Austin for a pre-Christmas trip to catch up with old friends. When I lived in Austin, I used to help run a wine tasting group which was rather appropriately named “The SOBs”. This is short for The Sons of Bacchus, although many people we encountered suggested that the more traditional interpretation of the acronym was more apropos. Nonetheless, the SOBs had numerous, insane fine wine tasting events. Some of our past tastings have included the following: 82 First Growth Bordeauxs, 90 Grand Cru Burgundies, 63 Vintage Ports, and wines that rated 100pts from either Parker or Wine Spectator. As you have probably inferred, we like over the top tastings. Our philosophy in a nutshell, the more great wines the better, and too many great wines is never enough. Like I said before, insane! J
This trip to Austin was no different; there were lots of great wine tastings and dinners. Many a night did I revel in great company and great wines, and many a morning did I wake up swearing off alcohol for good! I have given up alcohol so many times that I am getting quite good at it. J Let’s start with the first of such tastings on this trip to Austin.
One of my great friends in Austin is a very successful, highly intelligent, and completely generous sort of fellow. Oh, did I also mention that he is absolutely nuts! By nuts, I mean in an eccentric professor type of way not the Charles Manson kind. Let’s call my friend Dr. Sunshine for now.
Dr. Sunshine has been an avid wine collector for many, many years. He has amazing wines from every region of the world. When I lived in Austin, Athena (my ex) and I used to have an annual Champagne Holiday party. Now that I have moved away from my beloved Austin, my fellow SOBs have taken up the hosting duties so that the Champagne Holiday party tradition continues. This year, Dr. Sunshine volunteered (perhaps there was some gentle coercion here, I’ll never tell) to host the event.
Dr. Sunshine needed some assistance reorganizing his cellar prior to the Champagne party. He offered to open up a 1990 Latour for those willing to come a couple hours early and help with the cellar. Yes, I showed up early, and the rumors that I just stood around drinking the Latour while others labored are totally false. I helped, honest I did. But the 90 Latour was fantastic! This is the epitome of great wine; it has great complexity, perfect balance, and length. The wine had beautiful earthy, slightly meaty notes which were interlaced with black currant and bell pepper. The texture on the palate was silky, and the finish lingered for several minutes. In short, the wine was decadent and perfect. This wine will easily hold for another 10-15 years, so there is no rush to drink it but I would understand if you did.
As is tradition at the Champagne party, each person brings a bottle of Champagne and, optionally, a red wine to be served blind later. I’m a big fan of blind tastings but this year we dispensed with serving the red wines blind. Below is a complete list of the wines consumed. The Champagnes that stood out for me were the 89 Krug, 87 Pommery Cuvee Louise, 74 Deutz Vinoteque, the 93 Bollinger, and the Heidsieck Rose Non-Vintage. Almost all of the red wines were pillaged from Dr. Sunshine’s cellar. He gave his fellow SOBs carte blanche in his cellar, I did say he was completely generous. Here is the carnage (quite the list indeed!):
NV Besserat de Bellefon Blanc des Blancs
2002 Henri Billiot
2000 Henri Goutorbe
NV Nicolas Feuillatte Rose
1988 Schramsberg Late Disgorged, Blanc des Noirs (Magnum)
1970 Dom Perignon
1995 Perrier Jouet Fleur de Champagne
1986 Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs
1998 Launois, Les Mesnil
1999 Perrier Jouet Blanc de Blancs
2002 Roederer Cristal
1987 Pommery, “Louise Pommery”
1995 Moet et Chandon
2002 Roederer Blanc de Blancs
1996 Pierre Gimonet Blanc de Blancs
1974 Deutz Vinoteque
1989 Woodward Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon
2007 Paco and Lola, Albarino
1995 Dal Forno Amarone
1989 Haut Brion
1986 Gruaud Larose
2006 Cayuse Cailloux Vineyard
1990 Chateau Tertre Roteboeuf
1999 Araujo Syrah
2005 Chateau Lascombes (Magnum)
1991 Philip Togni
2004 Donnafugata Ben Rye, Sagrantina
2006 Saxum Syrah, James Berry Vineyard – An over the top style of Syrah. Plenty of ripe fruit
2002 DuMol Syrah, Eddie’s Patch – Flawed bottle, tons of ethyl acetate. I couldn’t believe that people were drinking this and liking it, yikes!
1989 Chateau Belair
2007 Rasa QED
1995 Tili Gaudium
1995 Tirucul La Gradiers Cuvee Madame
1992 Ridge Late Harvest Zinfandel
I know, I know, this tasting was way over the top. But true to SOB form, thanks Dr. Sunshine!