Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Monday night meatloaf-On a Tuesday?

Last Tuesday, my somewhat regular tasting group dined at Crabtree's Kittle House. The theme was 1985...bring whatever you would like...except 1985 women (although the request was made on multiple occasions throughout the evening).

First things first...the Kittle House is now an amazing food destination. The chef, Bradford, is on point.

He worked hard in preparation of this meal, and it showed.

For openers, we started with 1985 DP vs 1985 Krug, while some hors d'oeuvres came around. Even if King Angry cancelled just a few days previous, we can still drink bubbles. There was no real consensus on the bubbles, although I thoroughly enjoyed the Krug. It was definitely on the sweeter side of Champagne but worked well with the food. Tiny bubbles made it a good food wine. I think the DP may have benefitted from some more I loved it for the sweetness, Laurent disliked it for the very same reasons. The DP did benefit from some time in the glass, but who had time, when 1985 White Burgs are coming...

Another popular joke of the night was how much younger 1985 White Burgs show, than 1995 white Burgs...I just learned of this thing called Premox from Robert Parker (kidding).

First course was a Maine Lobster tail...with ricotta gnocchi. If not for 5 more courses, I may have asked for seconds. The wines were Raveneau Chablis Butteaux, Leroy Meursault Genevrieres, and 1985 Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet. Initially, it was an unfair competition, the Leflaive by 50 lengths. The Raveneau was true to form. Flinty, a bit honeyed, and very sound. The Leroy did not show well originally. It appeared a bit flabby, and out of balance. Did not care for the nose either. Most people had passed on to the reds, but a few of us were hanging onto the whites an hour later. The Leroy blossomed into a great btl of Meursault. Who would have thought to decant that wine? The Leflaive remained solid in the next hour as well. Very impressive flight.

Next up...Cali Cabs...with Crisp Sweetbreads. THe portion size of the sweetbreads should have landed me in the ER. 1985 Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill vs BV Georges des Latour. A good example of provenance being important. I brought the BV, recent purchase. The DC was a purchase at time of release. BV was decent at first, then tailed off quickly. The Diamond Creek was delicious. If not for all of the Burg and BDX and Barolo to come, I might have stayed with this a while.

Red Burgs with a Squab and Fois Gras Terrine. Fascinating. Probably my least favorite food course, but just because everyone else was so damn good. The wines...Clos de Tart, Leroy Clos Vougeot, Leroy Charmes Chambertin, Jadot Bonnes Mares. Paul pointed out that this was the first vintage of Jadot BM using Clair Dau juice. I liked this flight...why wouldn't I, I love Burgs. The runaway winner for me was the Clos des Tart. The 1985 is no sham. Sensational stuff, and it improved in the glass. The BM was good initially, but faded in the glass, showing its age. The smell became a bit rubbery. Not disappointing, as it was good on the outset, but not a wine to age much longer. I did not care for the Charmes, but I did like the Leroy Clos Vougeot. This baby has a good life ahead of it, as it kept improving in all aspects. It never reached the Clos de Tart level, but it was good stuff. Jeff J, thanks for that Clos de Tart!

Our salute to Bordeaux featured a plethora of very average wines... with an 8 hour leg of lamb. 8 hours of cooking or living? I assume cooking. Haut Brion, La Mission HB, Leoville Las Cases, Pichon Lalande and Lynch Bages. The Leoville Las Cases had a richness and intensity that showed it as a world class wine. The Lynch Bages was also very tasty stuff. After that, some questionables for me...Haut Brion was well received by almost everyone. I was in the minority. This was the only wine that I could see improving with age. The LLC and Lynch will be good for a while as well, but the HB clearly needs time. The LMHB did nothing for me at all, and the Pichon Lalande did not seem to be a representative btl or the wine just stunk.

Piedmont up next, with an amazing food course...truffled tagliolini with a poached duck egg yolk, guanciale, and parmesan. My arteries are still clogged. Italian restaurants take note of this dish. We snuck in a btl of 1985 Emidio Pepe into this lineup, which appeared to have some VA issues. The Gaja Sori San Lorenzo was forgettable. Cedary and Herbacious, this wine was going nowhere fast. Scavino Bric del Fiasc was a very nice btl of Barolo. A good representation of Scavin0 and Barolo at 25 years old. THat wine would have done it, except Jeff J offered up something amazing once again...Giacosa Barbaresco San Stefan Riserva. 25 years old? age it 25 more, if you can resist it. An amazing btl, this was a clear fan favorite.

Dessert was brioche bread pudding, because we needed more starch in our diets. The wine was 1985 D'Yquem and it did not suck. Has any 25 year old Yquem ever been bad?

Special thanks to Peter J, who despesrately needs a kool nickname, for putting together another splendid evening!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dominus Vertical, with Mr. Dominus, himself!

When you get the opportunity to sit with Christian Mouiex and taste 8 vintages of Dominus (or anything for that matter), one does not turn it down. The Bordeaux icon has been producing outstanding wines at the old Inglenook Estate (Napanook) since 1983. Despite 1991 and 1994 considered classic wines, put me in the camp that believes the wines from this famous vineyard are only getting better.

So, about 15 restauranteurs, retailers and sommeliers gathered in Manhattan yesterday morning, for the "pre release" party of 2007 Dominus with Christian. In addition to the 2007 tasting, MMD put a number of older vintages on display. I was actually the first guest to arrive, so I got to chat with Christian for a few moments. We talked mostly about 2009 Bordeaux. He, of course, was very excited. I think he has even started spending the millions he will make off of the most hyped vintage ever, as he was sporting a new tie! One of the wines in the lineup was the 1996. I had just tasted an amazing bottle of this wine a few weeks ago. I told Mr. Petrus how excited I was to try it again.

Once we all sat, we got right down to business. 1996 vs 1999 Dominus was in the glass (Actually all of the wines were poured, but this is what we were starting with). The 1996 had a slightly oxidative nose, nevertheless, it was very earthy, and the aromas were very profound. Nevertheless, the wine (which was double decanted two hours earlier) appeared to have become oxidized. It is 82% Cabernet.

The 1999 Dominus had a slightly muted nose. Tight, gripping and tannic, this wine has just never evolved into a special Dominus. The fruit is just not there. It is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon. Christian did not care for the 1999 at all, and he made a joke that it is the only Dominus that James Laube ever gave a high score to, which garnered a chuckle from the room.

Christian asked the room which wine they preferred, after he asked me to speak about the great btl of 1996 that I had drank recently. In terms of yesterday's offerings, I voted for the 1999. I was the only one. I guess restaurant people like to drink oxidized wine.

Next we move into the great 2001 vs. 2002 debate. 2001 vs. 2002 is a hotly debated topic for Napa Cabernet. The 2001 had a great bouquet. It is very structured. I found the wine a bit youngish. Christian thought that the wine was a little oxidized as well. I did disagree. 81% Cabernet. Nevertheless, the 2001 was no match for the OUTSTANDING 2002. It had the richness and balance of a great Napa Cab. 85% Cabernet in this one. This was the first Dominus that I felt had a bit a alcohol in the flavor profile, but I still loved it!

The 2002 won the vote/ Christian condeded that, at "birth," he preferred the 2001 to the 2002, while Robert Parker preferred the 2002 always. He said Parker must know his wines better than himself.

Next up is a 2004-2007 finish. 2003 was the last vintage that used Merlot in the blend. Christian does not feel that Merlot is the right grape varietal for Napa. Not to say that there is not great Merlot being produced, but he feels that some of the Merlot may not really be Merlot. Good stuff!

The 2004 Dominus would appear to be the weak link. 85% Cab and 7% Petit Verdot. Christian commented that Dominus should never go above 5% on PV. He blamed himself for producing just an average Dominus. Pleasant to drink now, but not in it for the long haul.

The biggest surprise of the tasting, for me, was the awesome 2005 Dominus. 92% Cabernet and 100% delicious, this was a very youthful wine. Great intensity, good richness, this large production Dominus is proof that you do not have to sacrifice quantity for quality. Seemless was a good descriptor here.

This runaway vote had the 2005 the winner.

It just kept getting better...2006 Dominus (91% Cabernet) is destined to be a classic Napa Cab, according to Christian, and I must concur. Christian says hit reminds him of 1986 Mouton. I cannot vouch for that, but I can say, without reservation, that the 2006 Dominus is a stunning example of what this property can produce.

Up next, the first tastes of 2007 in New York. This had a very closed down nose. In addition, it lacked the grip of the 2006. The tannins were much softer, making it easier to drink. A very intriguing wine, what really got me going on this one, was the lingering finish of wonderful cocoa like flavors in my mouth. This is pretty difficult to avoid drinking now, but I am sure it will improve over time. I am looking forward to tasting 2006 vs. 2007 in the future, but for now, I think I have to call it a tie. 2007 for drinking now and 2006 for the long haul, but I reserve the right to change my mind!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

2007 Domaine de la Romanee Conti-The Tasting!

This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to sit with some of NY's "Elite" in the wine trade. Aubert de Villaine was on hand to discuss and sample the 2007 lineup of DRC wines. 30 people gathered in a conference room at the Carlysle Hotel, in what has become an annual tradition in these parts. As I look around, I always feel out of place. For starters, this year, I was the only male not wearing a jacket. Many are wine directors/sommeliers off to work after, so they get dressed for work before work. I gave up a suit when I left the legal world almost 10 years ago. Never looked back, although my closet is still filled with suits that get worn once per year, max.

Okay, enough background, onto the wines...

Aubert discussed the difficulties and confusion with the 2007 harvest. An abnormally hot April/May was just the beginning of a strange road that led to harvest at the beginning of September. Much of the fruit was rotted, and subsequently discarded. One thing I always enjoy about this tasting is that Aubert is a straight shooter. He may try to sugarcoat like any vigneron, but at the end of the day, you know how good the wines are before you taste them. Nevertheless, we still get to taste...

So, I went through and smelled all of the wines before tasting them. Then I tasted them through once and jotted notes. I then did a second round of tasting and the "notes" are a compilation...Just for the record, I am pro flavor!

1) 2007 Echezeaux: A slightly medicinal smell. Harsh in the mid palate. Decent finish, but not much fruit.

2) 2007 Grands Echezeaux: This is much richer. Nose shows a lot more berries. Still on the palate, a harsh taste. I think this wine has a great potential based upon the aromas, but, in the palate, it was just not there.

3) 2007 Romanee St. Vivant: A very bright color in my glass. The nose was muted. Very closed. Lots of structure in the wine. This appeared to be a favorite based on comments in the room. For me, it was one of the worst wines.

4) 2007 Richebourg: This had a very "DRC Richebourg" like aroma...earthy, mushrooms. Dense, "dark" color. I was into this nose. But the taste just did not follow. Decent wine, and maybe will get better.

5) 2007 La Tache: Very floral bouquet. Pretty wine. The most well rounded wine of the tasting. Needs time, but this clearly has the stuffing to be a great wine.

6) 2007 Romanee Conti: Initially, very muted nose. Then earthy, dirty nose. This is a very muscular, masculine wine. Very earthy, with a slight green streak, but very rich.

7) 2007 Montrachet: This wine is a baby. High acid and vastly different from what I remember in tasting 2004-2006 Montrachets. I suppose this is destined to be a classic, but I would not touch a btl for 10 years.

As a whole, this is the least impressive lineup of DRCs that I have tasted. Aubert said that the wines appear to be getting better, but he does not appear to high on these either. Nevertheless, what appears more depressing is how negatively he spoke of the 2008s, as the growing conditions were even worse in 2008 than they were in 2007. I am always honroed to get to attend these attendings. Unfortunately, I just cannot speak all that positively about these 2007s. These wines appear very young, and hopefully they will take on weight, fill out, and balance well, but I am not an expert with a crystal ball to say that that will happen.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tasting Notes from Dinner Last Night!

Went back to one of my local faves last night, Crabtree's Kittle House.

It was "bargain" night for all of us. So we searched the wine list for the best wine for not a lot of money.

Here is what we came up with...

1997 Ridge Monte Bello Chardonnay-Clearly showing its age on the nose and color, but I enjoyed this wine. Not a rich, show offy wine, but had some fruit still there. Fun to drink. $58 on the list.

1998 Domaine de Mordoree Lirac Cuvee Reines des Bois-Tired and over the hill, this was just a very simple, monolithic wine. Good example of how many critics tasting windows are just flat out absurd. This wine should have been drunk upon release and not much after that. I am sure it was great at one time. On this evening, pass. Interestingly enough, Robert Parker says to drink this one from 2001-2015 and even takes a step further with..."It is one of those rare Liracs that will age for 10-15 years." I don't think so! $33 on the wine list.

1999 Ch St Cosme Gigondas-I am biased. I love this producer. This wine was drinking beautifully last night. Spice, Black Pepper, deep dark fruits...what a lovely wine...great pairing for the Oxtail. $48 on the list!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Monday Night Meatloaf-Part ???

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a very special wine dinner featuring the winemakers and owners of some of the most prestigious estates in Burgundy. The dinner was at A Voce in the Time Warner Building (Columbus Circle for those non NYers reading).

First the food...With about 60 people in attendance, you could not ask for better food preparations. Whilst the water service was slow (did you note the use of 'whilst'?), everything else was great. 17 wines poured, a new glass for every wine, you do the math...Some highlights were the Funghi al Forno...these mushrooms were rockin. And the veal tenderloin to close out the meal was "tender" and then some. Great job in the kitchen!

Onto the alcohol, err, the wines...

First Course (served with Bay Scallops)
1) 2006 Christian Moreau Chablis Valmur: Our first btl was corked. Our second btl still had something wrong with it. I complained to Christian and he cried.
2) 2005 Ch de Chamirey Mercurey Blanc La Mission: This wine had a very strange nose and a very oily texture in the mouth. I am generally not a fan of Mercurey Blanc and this wine did nothing to convince me otherwise.
3) 2006 Ch Fuisse Pouilly Fuisse les Combettes: Wow, this wine was excellent. If anyone does not believe that the villages of Pouilly and Fuisse cannot make superb Chardonnay that can compete with the top villages, you need to drink more Ch Fuisse. Unfortunately, from a retailer standpoint, they are tough sells, but this wine was top notch.

Second Course (served with Fungi al Forno...Roasted trumpet royal mushrooms)
1) 2006 Ch Genot Boulanger Puligny Montrachet Les Mosroyes: This wine was hitting on all cylinders. A nice creamy texture. Showed very well.
2) 2006 Olivier Leflaive Chassgne Abbaye de Morgeot: This was nice. My notes say maybe too much oak, and a little obvious. By obvious, I meant "varietally correct." It was good, just did not wow me.
3) 2006 Ch de la Maltroye Chassagne Morgeot Vignes Blanches: I would love to try an older btl of this wine. The current releases are all excellent, but just too young. Painfully expensive as well

Third Course (Served with the largest piece of Pancetta I have ever seen on a plate)
1) Potel Aviron Moulin a Vent VV Cuvee Exceptionelle: Slightly maderized. Not my cup of tea...or wine!
2) 2006 Humbert Freres Gevrey Chambertin Poissenots: If memory serves, Geantet Pansiot is the only other producer of Poissenots these days. This is Humbert Freres finest wine. If you have never tried it, you need to. One of the stars of the night, this wine was a baby. Ripe, strawberry flavors with a great long finish. Well done!
3) 2005 Dominique Gallois Gevrey Chambertin Goulots: Gosh, I was hoping this was going to shine. For whatever reason, the wine came off as tired and very uninspired.

Fourth Course (served with Squab)
1) Ch de Chorey Beaune Teurons: Clearly out of the place in this flight, due to the style, this wine held its own. Funky, dirty and old school were some of my adjectives written down. I enjoyed this wine with the squab. Clearly a traditional producer (if you have never had anything from them) and quite good at it.
2) 2006 Jacques Prieur Corton Bressandes: In Burgundy circles, Prieur is known for its heavy dose of oak, and its heavy price...well this wine did not disappoint on either. A very masculine wine, this wine needs time, and then...who knows?
3) 2006 Alain Burguet Gevrey Chambertin Mes Favorites: Burguet takes his best parcels in Gevrey and produces this stuff each year. Before he sourced some Beze in 2004, this was the flagship wine, and to many, still is. The nose was very pretty, a nice flower bouquet. On the pallet, the wine was a little rough, however, based on my experience, I am not concerned about this wine. In a few years, this will be tasty, The stuffing was there.
4) 2006 Meo Camuzet Clos Vougeot: As usual, this wine was a beast. I am never sure where Meo's wines are headed, but I am always happy to sample them. This one will be quite 15 years.

Fifth Course (Veal Tenderloin)
1) 2006 Domaine des Perdrix NSG Aux Perdrix: Another one with pricing that could use adjusting, I found this wine to be a bit metallic.
2) 2006 Sylvain Cathiard NSG Murgers: I am really not sure that I have ever had a bad btl of wine from this producer. Big, rich and very "fleshy," this is an outstanding effort.
3) 2007 Lamarche Vosne Romanee Les Chaumes: Earlier in the day, I tasted about 6 Lamarche wines, and I thought the AC Vosne Romanee stood out. At dinner, this wine showed a bit too much sweetness for me. Nevertheless, this Domaine's quality is rising fast.
4) 2006 Rousseau Mazy Chambertin: Wowser! Just the right amount of sweetness, to go with the depth of fruit and tannins. Who knew this would show so well? I was happy to enjoy a second glass. Eric Rousseau announced that the Domaine purchased 0.40 hectares additionally in Chambertin for the 2009 vintage. Everyones allocation just doubled!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Good meals in Indianapolis!

So, off I went to Indy this past weekend, to take in the beautiful sunshine that this small town had to offer. In addition, I went to see the Jets blow a golden opportunity to get Namath off of their back, but, alas, that did not happen.

On Saturday evening, we went over to 14 West. St. Elmo's is the popular tourist place in town, but 14 West is where the Colts fans dined.

The food at 14 West was very good. Some items (Fried Oysters, Lamb, Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles) were simply outstanding. I even told my buddy, Matt, that the truffles, at $4 for 3 of them, was probably the best value dessert I have ever had at a restaurant.

The food was so good and the service so delightful, that we decided to get our pregame tailgate in on Sunday at the very same place. Boring? Possibly, but the Burger was pretty killer. American Cheese, Bacon, Mushrooms, Lettuce Tomato, Mayo...on a bun soaked in clarified butter...what's not to love about that Burger?

If you are in Indy, I highly recommend a meal there.

Onto the wines...the theme of the weekend was Syrah from around the Globe...

1) 1993 Chapoutier Ermitage le Pavillon...This was the "Wild Card." Despite Robert Parker's drinking window on this of 1996-2046, I had my doubts. And for good reason. The wine, which was in pristine condition, was flat, and uninteresting. We barely touched it.
2) 2004 Kurtz Lunar Block Shiraz...Back in August 2009, I tasted this wine for the first time, and instantly fell in love. Well, on this night, we said our vows for each other all over again. A total production of like 60 cases, this is extremely rare...and extremely good. The same Eucalyptus notes that I picked up back in August were even more prevolent on this night. There has to be some Cabernet in there somewhere. This is just great food pairing wine, and very atypical for a struggling wine region. KUDOS!
3) 2005 Charles Smith Syrah Heart...I just do not get these wines. This wine was basically Port. We decanted it for over 2 hours...and it was still Port. Pours like Syrup, looks like Syrup, tastes lie must be Syrup. Totally overwhelming for the food, until dessert. It was a good match for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles.

For lunch the next day, just one btl (had to save room for beer at the stadium)

4) 2007 Gramercy Cellars Syrah Walla Walla...These wines have been picking up buzz for over a year now...I bought them after some people I really trust told me to, so on blind faith, I put them on the shelves. Well, I decided to see what all of the fuss was about. This wine is OUTSTANDING! We popped and poured at lunch, and just sucked it down. I could have put a straw in my wine glass, this was so silky smooth! Is this stuff for real at this price? I am going to need some more...going to pop a Cabernet this weekend, and press my luck. Well done, Greg Harrington!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Monday Night Meatloaf-Spanish Style!

This past Monday, in what is becoming a regular thing...10 of us got together at Mas, in downtown Manhattan, to taste very old Spanish Wines. How old is very old? The oldest was 1935 and the "newest" was 1989...pretty old for crappy Spanish wines that do not age, right?

First, a few comments on Mas. This was my third (or fourth?) time visiting. The food has never disappointed. The service on this night was awesome. 24 wines to be poured for 10 people is no easy task. These guys were great. We started with some Canapes, which included some delicious oysters and tuna tartare and ended with some awesome shrimp. 5 courses followed...sardine tart was not something that I would ever order, but was very flavorful. Sweetbreads were the highlight of the night for me. The cheese selection was great as well.

So, with people like KA and JK present, you need to have a Champagne flight, I guess. We started with an over the hill 1947 Charles Hiedsieck. 1990 Gosset Celebris was next. It was very good, but possibly a touch too sweet for me? 1990 DP was very uninspiring. Our lone white still wine was 1968 Lopez de Heridia Rioja Tondonia Blanco Gran Riserva. Wow, what an effort. It smelled like gerkins and green olives (take your pick, there are no wrong answers). Very oily in texture and not showing 40 years of age. Impressive.

Flight #1 (4 wines)

1) 1938 Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva- I was not a fan of this one. In the end, it was flat and uninteresting.
2) 1942 Bodegas Riojanas Gran Reserva Rioja-Corked. Was not served.
3) Mystery #1-Slightly corked. A shame because it did not show its age. 1935 Riojanas Gran Reserva Rioja
4) Mystery #2-I mentioned Cabernet in the blend. Laurent mentioned that it was a lot of Cabernet. Based upon previous things I had read, I guessed 1950s Marques de Riscal. The wine was very lively, and sweet. Delicious stuff. 1945 Ch Cantemerle.

Flight #2 It can only get better...we hope
1) 1950 Cune Vina Real Gran Reserva-This was awesome. Very young nose with the hint of green olive again. Very youthful, my second favorite wine of the flight. 60 years old...very impressive
2) 1951 Cune Vina Real Gran Reserva-Maderized. Could not even taste it, as it smelled so bad to me. Others who did try it, said not to bother
3) 1952 Cune Vina Real Gran Reserva-Spicey and chocolatey. Pretty "dry" tannins. Reminded me of hot cocoa with marshmallows, served chilled. Good stuff.
4) 1954 Cune Imperial Gran Reserva-For me, this was a little closed up. Never really came out of its shell. Still a good wine. But I preferred the 1952.
5) 1962 Cune Vina Real Gran Reserva-WOTF...this was a GREAT wine. Rich and dense, this seems to have a lifetime ahead of it. I loved the 1950, but the 1962 was like the 1950 on steroids. Will it be like the 1950 in 12 years? It could be and that would be good, but it could be better!

Flight #3-Lopez de Heredia flight
How can you have an old Spanish wine tasting without a Lopez flight. Well, after the impressive Cune flight, we really got our hopes up...unfortunately for me.
1) 1961 Lopez de Heredia Bosconia Gran Reserva-A touch maderized on the nose, but that seemed like it was part of its charm. This was a pretty juicy wine, given its age. Excellent wine for food. It worked.
2) 1970 Lopez de Heredia Bosconia Gran Reserva-Lean and green would be my summarization. Not a fan.
3) 1976 Lopez de Heredia Bosconia Gran Reserva-DQ'ed...I cannot recall why, but it was not poured.
4) Mystery #3-Love tasting blind...this was again Cab based, in my opinion (Laurent and I fought over who said it first, so I punched him out...I win). This was a real wild card...I had no real guess for this, other than the fact that I was not a huge fan. Tasted old. 1952 Ch Cantemerle.

Flight #4-Unico flight
How can you have an old Spanish wine dinner without Unico?
1) 1960 Vega Sicilia Unico-One of the btls I brought. Interesting story, my last of a few great btls of this stuff. Purchased "to go" at a famous Baltimore restaurant on the cheap, about 6 years ago, after a btl I consumed there whooped up on 1982 Latour. This wine was awesome. Spice, was hard for me to embellish on this one, but everyone else loved it more than there you go...happy to share it with such a passionate group. Of course, KA joked that I took credit for the good btl from Grapes The Wine Company, while I let Yaacov out to dry with a bad 1970 Lopez. I had to explain that this Unico was actually from my "vast" collection. Just as a point of interest, after having this btl in Baltimore, I looked up Robert Parker's TN...he scored it a 78 and said how it was old, tired, and bad. I emailed him and urged him to skip Charleston for once and head over to the other place for this (at the time, they had cases). He said that he would...looks like that never happened...his loss.
2) 1968 Vega Sicilia Unico-I really wanted to like this. But in the end, this wine was sandwiched between my two favorite red wines of the evening. This may need more time. It just lacked the "oomph" of the other two wines. Too lean. But that is inthe context of what surrounded it. I may have liked it more on its own.
3) 1970 Vega Sicilia Unico-This was heavenly. Sweet, dense, cocoa. I was into this wine. I wish I had more of it to enjoy. I can see the fascination with this wine, in this vintage. Killer stuff.
4) 1981 Vega Sicilia Unico-This was just way too young. It never came out of its shell while it sat in the glass. I suppose it could turn out great, but on this night, following the 1970, it was mediocre.

Flight #5 The Flight that should have gone before the Unico, aka "The Letdown" flight...
1) 1989 Pesquera Rioja Gran Reserva. JJ commented that he had recently had a great btl of this. This was good stuff, but hardly inspiring.
2) 1982 Pesquers Rioja Gran Reserva-I did not like this at all. It had this "smokey" kind of smell.
3) 1978 La Rioja Alta Vina de Ardanza-Sweet pickles. This wine was pretty flat and a little over the hill.
4) Mystery #4-Really tough to put my finger on the pulse of this wine. After all of this Tempranillo, I found myself there again. Just not liking the wine. It was clearly over the hill. 1980 Cousino Macul Cabernet Sauvignon Antiguas Reserva from Chile. Fascinating.

Take my notes on the last flight for whatever they are worth...not much...Nothing inspired me there to pay close attention. I was sucking drops of 1970 Unico out of the btl!