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CLONYC #3 - Small Production Gems (8/3/2006)

Thanks everyone for a great night. The company was fantastic. Some new friends were made, some great wines were consumed, and wonderful food was served by smiling professionals. The wine director at Zoe, Scott oversaw the whole shebang with tireless enthusiasm.

My notes are not really notes, but more like a synopsis. It was great to taste some interesting wines that normally would not have crossed my path. Thanks all.

Here goes.................

2002 Cobb Pinot Noir. I was concerned about having one pinot around monsterous wines. I exchanged pms with Kevin, and he had no problem with leaving it. Nor did I. I am glad we did. It was an amazing wine that improved for the hour I left it in my glass. A bit disjointed at first, but then it started to remind me of some great Gevreys I have had form Magnien. Great full bodied red fruit, ultra smooth tannins, and a middle of style and soil. (Magnien is one of the very few producers in that region that I buy, not being such a big Pinot guy). Kevin mentioned that it was his last bottle and I know it was a sacrafice for him to bring. 92

1994 M Coz. This opened with a subdued nose of dried fruits, a deep garnet color and fine intergrated tannins. A little heat at the end. I kind of liked this wine, I am not sure its worth what Cheryl paid though. When compared to the next blend (Facets) its actually 2x the price. 87

2003 Gemstone Facets. This had a wonderful deep dark color. the palate revealed a super finessful wine of breed. I really enjoyed this. I thought the rest of the nights selections would have to work hard to measure up. 93

1996 Sherwin. This seemed a bit vegetal, It had great balance, but seemed a bit off. Also seemed a bit rustic to me. 86

1997 Phelps Backus. This is one I was really looking foward to. Just coming off the Insignia vertical 6 weeks ago I stll had memories of the standouts that night. This had great dark fruit, nice intergrated tannins and alot of class. I liked this better than the '97 Insignia (which I sold after the vertical). The similarity of winemakers was there, the source of the fruit differs, but it was hard to tell. 91

1998 Livingston Gemstone. Out of the two 'off' vintages in tonights line up, and I have rarely had a '98 that I have loved.. this showed well though. Some decent structure and style, but the vintage kept coming through with a certain manufacturedness. I am on the fence with this one. Interesting to get the Gemstone fruit. I give it an 89. It has a good beat and you can dance to it.

2000 Carter Cellars Beckstoffer. This seemed like a processed wine to me. I have had many 2000s and most have the same quality. Even the Insignia. I guess as a winemaker you can only work with what you get from Mother Nature. The further away we get from 2000, the better we all are. n/r

2003 Schrader Beckstoffer. I did not understand how this became WOTN. It was a great wine with lots of sweet dark chewy tannined fruit. a decent finish, but I still had memories of the Gemstones breeding, trying to forget the Merlot % in the Gemstone, I tried to be fair. A sleeper.

2003 Harris Estate Jakes Vnyd. Closed for business (even much with decanting). Deep dark fruit on the nose and palate, wonderful balance shown through only with lots of coaxing. This had more stuffing than my moms Thanksgiving Turkey, but much time is needed (cellar and decanter). I have had this twice before. It is a perennial favorite that I will watch closely. 90

2004 Realm Farella. This is the wine I anticipated most. I was worried when Ben mentioned it was still in the shipping system as of the morning of the tasting. No bottle shock present. It opened with an explosive dose of deep dark fruit, on the palate there is a certain bramble quality that I like. A wildness that if I close my eyes I can swear I am in the vineyard on a warm breezy day and every once in a while I sense honeysuckle coming up at me and when the breeze changes I turn to recapture it. Do you think I liked this? I do. I had this at the Realm open house a few weeks back and loved it immediately. If this is representaive of the 2004 vintage, please please bring 'em on. (Walt, If I knew your glass was half full as mine sat half empty, I would have alleviated you of it) 94

2004 Scholium Project Syrah Scythia. I am with Ben on this one. A party in a bottle. The nose alone is worth the price of admission. This guy Abe is either a genius or a madman. (or both?) 90

2004 Scholium Project Petite Sirah Babylon. Even with 9 days of double triple decanting. This wine was still closed. Anticipated maturity 3025-3090 n/r