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Napa - Bordeaux Slap-fest II

And so it goes, just another contentious night of Cali Cab guys mixing it up with Bordeaux guys. Nothing unusual BUT the outcome. I have no clue what was accomplished other than dinner with a bunch of loudmouths. (Well almost).

I laughed, I nearly cried, I could have/should have wrote more detailed notes, but I didn’t -–just too much happening for that.

I am going to approach this from a different angle; I am going to tell you what I did not like first. We tasted 11 red wines and hated the 2002 Merus (#10 on the night, Steve, please don't EVER LISTEN TO ME AGAIN! Bring what you want next time.), the 2004 Buccella (#9 on the night), and the 2002 Blankiet Merlot (#2). The first two were like candied framboise mixed with soda-pop and vanilla. The latter was just a funky & messy nightmare. There were a few Bordeaux I dumped ASAP, but that was based on style preference. The 2001 Cos D’Estournel and a 2000 Pontet-Canet. The 2000 Figeac had me nonplussed as well. I think it a well made wine, just not for me. The 2001 Montelena Estate has proven again that it is a style I am not a big fan of; I was told this needs some time, but can time fix my issues with it? I am not buying it. It was more in the style of the ‘old guard’ Cabs.

Whew, I feel better. I had to get that off my chest.

Now I will tell you what I had liked: I think the 2000 L’Evangile (#6 on the night) was pretty amazing. It was perfectly balanced with great red-black fruits of cherries, plum and raspberries. A near mesmerizing finish really made this memorable.

The 2001 Shafer Hillside (#3 on the night) was only opened about an hour. It evolved in the glass and became sweet black fruits with cassis, black cherry, cola and more. The 2003 Pavie needed some air-time but was outshined by the L’Evangile, but I still enjoyed it. The 2004 Caymus Special Selection was in my ‘group of four’ favorites. It had wonderful balance and mouth feel with some pretty floral notes and a solid cassis driven fruit profile with hints of cola, leather and cardamom.

I would be remiss if I did not tell you about one of the 3 whites a few attendees graciously brought as starters (thanks!).

1996 Rollin Corton-Charlemagne. Cripes! This was awesome. A lilt little number with hints of some fresh soft Meyer lemon, graphite, petroleum jelly and spring flowers. Perfectly balanced and precise, a light to medium weighted mouth feel, this just glides over the tongue. Very nice indeed.

A great time was had.