Summer evenings. Warm bodies. Temp controlled wines.

jelroyamertabloid2.jpgLA the city as brasserie. Flames fan the hills. Corks get pulled. Once for Dotor√©’s 60th. LACnfdntl.jpgAgain for RB’s departure. Friends mix, barely familiar. Zins and Cabs here. Pinot Noirs there. Fruity whites cross all snob lines. Wine greases the wheels. Everyone loosens up. Even the tighties. Almost everyone. Birthday boy pulls the cork on two Melville bad boys. tBoW pops a double mag and a 26 year old port. Different fet√©s. Same classic soul mix with 60’s thrash. Dotor√© and tBoW the only fans.
So what got poured…it’s all right here.
camorei.jpg1997 Ca’ Moreis Sandro Fey $50 (jeroboam): Poor man’s Barolo from the region’s best producer. Middle weight Nebbiolo from the Italian Alps. Not meant to age so no wonder the color is brown and red brick. Coffee nose, herbal flavors. Soft, lean. Balanced, spicy. A perfect night to pull this cork. 13%
criostorrontes09.jpg2009 Crios Torrontes $12: Susan Bilbo’s classic white from Argentina. Drink it now. Fresh cantaloupe in a glass. Cousin Gar asks if it is Viognier crossed with Riesling. Nice instincts. Every new winemaker should start with Torrontes – the wine you can’t screw up. 12%
The guests will eventually dictate the wine lineup so you know in advance what you’ll be tasting. At the birthday this meant a descent into big fruit Napa wines…and a couple of bad boys from the Central Coast.
2004 Vincent Arroyo Entrada Napa Wine $65: Mostly Syrah (62%) with a solid Cabernet paunch 23% and a 15% Petite Syrah kick. The only big California grape left out is…that’s right…Zinfandel. Carob flavors, i.e., dark chocolate. Thick, heavy weight. Reaching for the Silver Oak style. Not much tannin. Heavy wines should have tannins or they come off mushy. Are you ready for the sex girls? 14.3%
2005 Quintessa $55: Big ticket Napa Bordeaux blend. Lots of Merlot in the mouth. Soft delicious fruit. Balanced. And mushy. 14%
melvillesbadboys.jpg2002 Melville Carrie’s Pinot Noir $60 (at winery on release): The LEGEND. The wine Dotor√© had to have or be hounded by fever dreams. This isn’t wine. It’s MMA in a bottle. Seven years ago it was brutal, nasty, ready to take off your head. Now it is somewhat weedy. The fruit has yielded to the alcohol. All that’s left is vanilla from what must have been a thorough oaking. Deliciously stupid. 16.1%
2002 Melville Carrie’s Syrah $55: A wine only an investor could love.williamssis1.jpg I like to imagine this is the wine that drove the family apart. Like it’s sister the Pinot It is just huge. Together these bottles are the Williams sisters of wine. 16.1%
As though the fires in the hills extinguished and a strong ocean wined blew all the smoke somewhere over the desert…there was one more entry.
stvnsnbarriePN06.jpg2006 Stevenson-Barrie Willamette Valley Pinot Noir $32: Cuzzin Gar slipped this one in honoring the Pinot lovin’ Dotor√©. After having our palates carpet bombed this excellent Oregon wine helped tBoW re-calibrate. Coming from the fruity ripe 2006 vintage the wine actually fit in well. Creamy oak, smells and tastes like PN. 14%
What do you do when the “revenue river” decides he should redirect his course to the Middle East? Same thing we do every weekend. With a bit more subdued crowd, selfishly selected to suit tBoW’s taste. The wine choices were more familiar. We skip the whites report except to say there were two goodies: a 2005 Macon Village from Kermit Lynch, matched with a 2005 Dirler Pinot Gris from Alsace. Both were quite pleasing, a cut above and U20s.
WS westside 06.jpg2006 Williams Selyem Westside Road Neighbors $100: The first time tBoW has tasted this blend of Russian River premium Pinot Noir. Tannic, exotic, viscous, Plums and blueberries. This was an exciting bottle. The most notable WS tasted in quite a while. 14.2%
Rochioli3corners96.jpg1996 Rochioli Three Corners Vineyard $475 (?!?): The wine held form like we would expect from California’s most collectible Pinot Noir. Sweet flavors, slight volatile acidity. Focused and balanced. Coffee and toffee flavors. 14.2%
smithwoodhouseport83.jpg
1983 Smith Woodhouse Oporto
$35 in split ($9 sticker!): Wow. Port in a split makes such sense. It is so hard to finish a 750 ml bottle at the end of a meal featuring great wines. You have to have 8 solid citizens to make a dent. But, a split is just perfect. This wine was smooth, soft, with stuffing. Dark red, sweet but focused. Each pour was drained . Threw sediment in the split! A perfect port. xx%

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