My Friends are Insaner than Your Friends
First of all... SORRY MARIA, as I said, this was a play-it-by-ear thing, but it did happen! Next time, I swear...!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)
I just got back from a friend's house. It will take me a while to collect my thoughts, but here are my preliminary ideas:
1995 Bollinger RD: Decent, not great. 3rd time having it; first time was a 91 pt wine, second time was 94, this is back to 91.
1995 Salon: Awesome wine. Best of the night. Not as good as the '95 Taittinger Comtes (comparing '95 BdB) but more complete and ready to drink. 94.5
2006 Beringer Sbragia Chardonnay: Candied coconut. Completely masks the 15.3% (labeled, so 16%) alcohol. Impressive CA Chard. 92
2005 Cristia Renaissance CdP: The twin of the '05 Telegraphe. Thick, rich syrupy, and in need of time to see what happens. Very "New World." Very Rivers-Marie Pinot. But this isn't labeled CA Pinot. 92
2005 Usseglio Mon Aieul CdP: Showing more potential than any still wine of the night. This is a baby, and the most in need of age of any '05 CdP I've tried. 92(+++)
2005 Mordoree CdP: For drinking right now, the best of the CdPs, but this doesn't have the potential of the Usseglio, nor the current hedonism of the Cristia. 92.5(+?)
I've had several complete '05 Pinots already, none of these lived up to that. I wonder if the vintage is beginning to go to sleep or if this is just the luck of the draw?
2004 Chasing Hares Cabernet: Beautiful bottle. Wish the wine were as good. Simultaneously stewed, dark fruit and yet too thin. and astringent Not a bad wine, but not worth the asking price nor the wonderful bottle. Got better through the night -- more so than I would have imagned. 90
1998 Shafer HSS: One of the best '98s I've had, but still a bit shut down. Dark Purple fruits and deffintie Stag's Leap earth. I would not have guessed HSS, though, and this did not have the red currant complexity that I generally find in these wines. Still a treat and perhaps still getting better. 91
Sadly, what would have been my still wine of the night ('04 Beaucastel Blanc) was never opened.
3lb, 40 aged prime Brian Flannery rib cap grilled medium rare and accompanying potatoes roasted in rosemary, bacon, and duck fat = 98+!!!! :-)
By the way, there were 4 of us. :o
The steak was amazing. Almost a pound per person. Grilled over a piece of a Futo Family barrel!
"i would say you win, but i've spent the last two nights with wiml. 'nuff said? ;-)"
LOL! I don't think I've ever met wiml. Been to a tasting with him once, maybe, but for some reason we never met. For that matter, I don't think you and I have ever met, either!
Though, I don't know, the DRAB/Orlando tag team is pretty impressive...
Maria, I just meant the level of hedonism enjoyed on a Tuesday re: insane. If i hadn't needed to catch a train I'm pretty certain DRC would have been opened. There were deffinite chants of "D! R! C!" coming from one of the guests (not me). I was also thinking about how painfully young those CdPs were. As I said, I've had a few awesome '05 CdPs that were not shut down but these, especially the Usseglio, were very.
Here are some more coherent thoughts on the wines...
The Bollinger had some stone fruits and a good attack, but then it just died. Like drinking sparkling water almost. I think the 91 I gave it last night was too high. Thinking back, this would be lucky if it got to a 90. I commented then that I would genuinely take a NV Charles Heidsiek over this.
The Salon was as good as the '90 that I had last year, overall. The nose was not as sherried or complex, but the mouthfeel was richer and the finish longer. I wonder if '95 was better for Chardonnay than for Pinot overall. As I've said, the '95 Comtes is one of the best Champagnes I've ever had (and I've had it 3 times with equal results).
The Mordoree was the Rene du Bois and I will reierate that of the CdPs, this was the most complete and best for drinking right now. It benefitted from decanting over a couple of hours.
The Usseglio had a LOT of alcohol on the nose, and it increased as the night wore on, so I'm betting it is seriously shutting down. Still, there was just so much there! You could tell in 7-10 years this is going to be rocking,but I would just bury this deep in the cellar.
My friend says he had the Cristia last month and it was better than it showed last night. So maybe '05, as a whole, is shutting down for CdP.
It will be interesting to see what Andy Erickson (winemaker for Chasing Hares, Favia Erickson, and now Screagle) does with Screagle. I think I met him once, briefly, and he was a nice guy. '04 was, I think, a tough year for Napa Cab, but I've never loved any of his wines... but as I said, the bottle was very pretty.
Again, my friends are saying that the '98 HSS was better last month. Well, it isn't shutting down, but maybe on nights when the first wine you try is a Salon, unless you then move on to great Grand Cru Burgundies, your palate just doesn't love anything else quite so much that night!
It isn't letting me edit, but obviously the statement: "I've had several complete '05 Pinots already, none of these lived up to that." should read: "I've had several complete '05 CdPs already, none of these lived up to those."
(If people are curious, the Mas de Boislauzon Cuvee du Quet, the Chapoutier Barbe Rac and the Chapoutier Croix du Bois are the three '05 CdPs that I have felt have been truly amazing right out of the gate; seamless and completely in balance, though the Barbe Rac will probably get much better with ime. Currently, the '05 Cuvee du Quet is an amazing wine and at under $60, worth a mighty search to find.)