Tuesday, March 13, 2012


 New York - (March 22) Total Sell Out for 2012 and we helped raise a record amount of money for a good cause City of Hope. http://www.cityofhope.org/
And it was great to see our Industry friends and of we didn't have a bad wine all night.
At my table (#1) we brought back the winning wine label from last year to face a new challenger.

Chad Brown surveys the wine

Table #36 (hosted by BT)

Champagne Toast - Salute!
1)  Veuve Clicquot Brut Rose' 

"Chardonnay Challenge"
2)  2009 Lewis Cellars Chardonnay Russian River 95 pts.WS #23/Top 100. (Winner from '11)
3)  2009 Pahlmeyer 95 pts Robert Parker. One of the top Chards in California.
These two wines were too close to call, I could hardly tell the difference.

"Please Mr. Pinot"
4) 2007 Chasseur Sonoma Coast 96 pts Only 284 cases made. Last years' winner.
5) 2007 Seasmoke Foxen Sta Rita Hills. 92 pts Only 470 cases made.
 Lots of interest in the Chasseur, think it benefitted from being served 1st, because it hits you with big flavor up front, while the Seasmoke was big and smooth start to finish.

10 years of 2000's Cali Cabs
We served the next wines in groups of two.

Napa Cabernet's from the 2000 decade.
6) 2009 Caymus Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon 93 pts
7) 2008 Groth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 96 pts
Both amazing wines, too close to call, Caymus was a little more fruit forward.

8) 2007 Chateau Montelana 94 pts
9) 2006 Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 96 pts biggest one of the 2000's
This was not test - Mondavi killed the Montelana. And was one of the top wines of the night.

Marc Chase & Rich Meyer still alive after 6 wines

10) 2005 Jarvis "Lake William" 95pts Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend.(39% CS, 34% CF/24% MR, 3% PV).
11) 2004 Diamond Creek Red Rock Terrace 92 pts. 2011 winner.
Jarvis was a sleeper and if you liked Cabernet Franc, you really liked this wine, it made the Diamond Creek seem thin.

12) 2003 Joseph Phelps Insignia 96 pts. Cab. Sauv 84%/Petit Verdot 10%/Merlot & Malbec 3%.
13) 2002 Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 91 pts
Who can win vs. Insignia? On its own the Whitehall would have been a standout. Insignia one of the top wines of night.
14) 2001 Flora Spring Hillside Reserve 92 pts
15) 2000 Harlan - The Maiden 92 pts special contribution from Jim Ryan who can't attend this year.
After tasting the Insignia, the Maiden didn't measure up. Again on any other night we'd been raving about any of these wines, but in this company the big wines were Chasseur, Mondavi and Insignia.

Alissa Pollack and crew
"Table #28 "Mediabase & Premier People"
"White Wedding" 
1) 2010 Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay Napa Valley 90 pts
2) 2009 Kistler Chardonnay Sonoma Mountain 94 pts
Kistler was amazing, but the Mediabase people seem to like the Cakebread.

"Power to the Pinot"
3) 2009 Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. 89 pts
4) 2009 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. 91 pts
Patz & Hall was well liked.

“California Dreaming”
Bennett Lane Cabernet Vertical featured at Wine Spectator's Grand Tour of 90+ pt wines. http://www.bennettlane.com/
5) 2006 Bennett Lane Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 92 pts
6) 2005 Bennett Lane Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 91 pts

"Heritage of Meritage"
4 year vertical of “Trilogy” An award winning Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend originally started out by using only 3 of the 5 noble Bordeaux grapes.
7) 2007 Flora Springs Trilogy 93 pts Robert Parker (Cab Sauv/Merlot/Petit Verdot)
8) 2006 Flora Springs Trilogy (Cab Sauv/Merlot/Cab Franc & Petit Verdot)
9) 2005 Flora Springs Trilogy (Cab Sauv/Merlot/Cab Franc & Malbec)
10) 2004 Flora Springs Trilogy (Cab Sauv/Merlot/Cab Franc & Petit Verdot)
The '04 was really nice!

"French Kiss"
11) 2005 Chateau Rollan de By-Medoc 90 pts. Wine Spectator #96. (CS/CF/PV/MR)
Very interesting wine and affordable.

thanks to Josh & Stu for helping get all the wine upstairs!

Table #3!

"Welcome Whites" 
1) 2009 Shafer Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch 93 pts.WS #65/Top 100.
2) 2009 Bernard Moreau et Fils Chassagen-Montrachet 1st Cru. 90 pts
3) 2006 DuMol Chardonnay Isobel 92 pts.

The DuMol may have been the best Chardonnay I tasted all night.

“Rhone Rangers...France vs. California”
5) 2004 E. Guigal CHATEAU-du-Pape. 92 pts.
4) 2009 Tablas Creek Vineyard "Cotes de Tablas" 93 pts WS #37/Top 100.

Wines at table #3
Rhone blend from the makers of Cheateau Beaucastel consisting of Grenache 43%, Syrah 24%, Counoise 18% and Mourvedre 13%.
E. Guigal was very nice

“Spain vs. Sonoma”
5) 2004 Daphne Glorian - Priorat Clos Erasmus. WS 94 pts Spanish style Pinot Noir.
6) 2003 Macphail Pinot Noir - Sonoma Coast Sangiacomo Vineyard - 93 pts. James Macphail was the wine maker at Merry Edwards.
Both of the above were amazing - Erasmus is very interesting wine and too bad we didn't have the Macphail to battle Chasseur back at table #1, it was really special.

“California Cab Vertical”
Bennett Lane Cabernet Vertical as featured for 3 years in a row at Wine Spectator's Grand Tour Event highlighting 90+ point wines. http://www.bennettlane.com/
7) 2006 Bennett Lane Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 92 pts
8) 2005 Bennett Lane Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 91 pts
9) 2004 Bennett Lane Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 91 pts
All of these were drinking very nice.

"Napa vs. Bordeaux"
Meritage is California's name for their Bordeaux Blends..
10) 2005 Jarvis "Lake William" Napa Valley Meritage 95pts. (39% CS, 34% CF/24% MR, 3% PV).
11) 2005 Chateau Rollan de By-Medoc 90 pts. Wine Spectator #96. (CS/CF/PV/MR)
Lots of excitement on the Jarvis at this table too, it is a very big wine.

And the big finale!
12) 2003 Turley Napa Valley - Petite Syrah Hayne Vineyard. 95 pts Robert Parker: "Displays the telltale squid ink-like color with some purple hues, and a stupendous nose of pure, black fruits intermixed with minerals, licorice, and incense".

This wine aged very well and was a nice finishing wine for the folks at Table #3

It was an amazing night and we didn't have any bad wines - and teasing 2013 we'll do Italy vs. Cali!