Friday, December 4, 2009

1984 Caymus Cabernet

12/2/09-The Wednesday knitters were hosted by Gary Rose and Laura Laskowski and dinner consisted of Clam Dip and Chips, Roasted Beef Tenderloin, Macaroni and Cheese and Knitters Salad. The brown bag wine was the 1984 Caymus cabernet and was extremely fruity and youthful. Most did not guess it to be an older wine. The knitters exchanged Christmas gifts.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner

11/27/09-Thanksgiving dinner was hosted by Keith and Helen Faust, featuring a tasty turkey cooked in their smoker. Pinot Noir was abundant as well as a fruity 2004 Pahlmeyer Merlot. The attendees were Tim & Jane Curtis, Carl & Kathy Hennige, the Faust’s 3 boys John & Trina, Gary and Raymond, and were entertained by 2/3’s of the Wino Band.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

1980 Acacia Pinot Noir Lee Vineyard

11/23/09-The second boat owner’s dinner meeting was hosted by Carl and Kathy Hennige. The main entre was a delicious lamb Sheppard’s Pie and went well with several pinot noir wines, including the outstanding 1980 Acacia Lee Vineyard. The Acacia wine was still quite youthful with good cherry fruit and little browning.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

1984 Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel

11/11/09-The knitters were hosted by Tim and Jane Curtis and enjoyed a magnificent example of a very well made 1984 zinfandel. Ridge winemaker Paul Draper really nailed this wine. The zinfandel showed only slight signs of browning and most participants agreed that except for the color, it was perceived as a fairly young wine. Most members had second helpings and some chose the wine over 6 younger wines for their dinner wine.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Glenlivet Scotch Tasting

10/16/09-The Friday night wine group that meets at Sam’s Lakeside Beverages regrouped at the home of Carl and Kathy Hennige for dinner and an interesting scotch tasting. The beverages consisted of a standard Cutty Sark, and 12, 18 and 28 year old Glenlivet’s. Needless to say the results were quite predicable and the 28 year old scotch blew away the others by a significant margin.

1979 & 1981 Z/D Pinot Noir

10/14/09-The Wednesday knitters were hosted by Ross and Donna McGuire and were pleasantly surprised by the quality of a 1981 Z/D pinot noir. The wine showed little sign of ageing, was extremely fruity and was greatly enjoyed by all. This wine has many years of life left in it. A 1979 Z/D pinot noir did not survive as well and was undrinkable, probably due to a deteriorating cork.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

9/5/09-Tim and Jane Curtis hosted their 4th annual “Burgers and Bordeaux” party. 20 participants enjoyed numerous Bordeaux wines, mostly of the 2005 vintage. The overall quality was outstanding, with no wines rated as “just O.K.”. The group also enjoyed a magnum of 2005 Pavie rated at 100 points by the Wine Spectator and 98+ by Robert Parker.

9/23/09-Keith and Helen Faust hosted the first Wednesday night Boat Owners meeting and the group enjoyed a 2005 Altus Cabernet. Although the Altus has yet to be reviewed by any of the major publications, check out what Mark Herold pulled off in the 2005 vintage with some of his other projects: Merus WA96+ , Kamen WA95, Hestan WA94, and Kobalt WA94! A classic California red comprised of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 3% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot, this lush, full-bodied wine attains similar levels of perfection as its stable mates.

7/31/09-Four couples of the Folsom Wine Group have purchased a 27 foot SeaRay yacht, with twin Chevy V6 engines. The yacht is being serviced and will soon be moored at Miller Park, ready for her maiden voyage.

7/4/09-Carl and Kathy Hennige hosted the 5th annual 4th of July party at their summer cabin in South Lake Tahoe. Approximately 20 participants enjoyed numerous outstanding wines, including a 4 bottle vertical of Dunn cabernet (83 and 84 Napa, 79 and 84 Howell Mountain) a 5 bottle vertical of Ch. St. Jean Cinq Cepages cabernets provided by the Faust’s, a 7 bottle vertical of BV George Latour cabernets provided by the Danby’s who also brought a 9 liter Salmanazar 1986 Sterling Reserve cabernet (twelve times the volume of a standard bottle). As always Magic Ken Marich, with assistance from Barbara, provided an entertaining magic show. The group also spent a day on the lake in two pontoon boats. The party began with early arrival participants enjoying a 2002 Harlan Estate cabernet with an Italian dinner. The wine was everything Robert Parker had to say (100 Points, “this wine is at once rich and full bodied yet exquisitely elegant”.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

1981 Napa Sun Pinot Noir

6/3/09-Dave and Ann Vik hosted the knitters and we tasted a brown bag pinot noir from a winery that has disappeared. The wine has aged reasonably well with flavors of red currant and cherry.

1979 Pichon Lalande

5/27/09-Gary Rose and Laura Laskowske hosted the knitters and we all enjoyed the 1979 Pichon Lalande. This wine was one of the consistent winners in the Northern California Wine Society’s tastings in the 1980’s. Very mouthfilling with a slight vege note, it had lost some of the incredible fruit that made it so enjoyable and approachable in the 80’s. The wine had very little sediment and no residual tannin, which probably accounted for its popularity when young.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

1978 Conn Creek Zinfandel, 1982 Clos Du Bois Merlot, 1985 Stanford/Haywood Cabernet

5/6/09-The Wednesday knitters were hosted by Carl and Kathy Hennige, and the group enjoyed another brown bagged, well made and aged 1978 Conn Creek zinfandel. Mouth filling flavors of red currants and nuts, some cherry and vanilla, and a very, very long finish.

5/13/09-The Wednesday knitters were hosted by Dave and Ann Vik and tasted an incredible brown bagged 1982 Clos Du Bois merlot. The wine was truly enjoyable with good fruit and little aged flavors. The wine was finished by the group long before any of the other younger wines. Ann Vik selected it for her dinner wine and was reluctant to share it with others.

5/20/09-The Wednesday knitters were hosted by Keith and Helen Faust and tasted a brown bagged, aged 1985 cabernet made by Haywood Winery for the Stanford alumni association. Many of the group guessed the wine to be a Bordeaux.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

1978 Leoville Las Cases, 1974 Louis M. Martini Zinfandel, 1979 Wente Petite Sirah

4/8/09-The knitters hosted by Ross & Donna McGuire enjoyed an elegant aged 1978 Leoville Las Cases bordeaux-boysenberry, nutty, coffee, with little tannin.

4/22/09-The knitters hosted by Gary Rose and Laura Laskowske enjoyed another amazing wine from Louis Martini winery. The well made wine was quite youthful (as was the 69 cabernet previously reported on) and as with the older zinfandels tasted earlier, had flavors more reminiscent of an aged cabernet (red currant and coffee/tobacco versus jammy blackberry).

4/29/09-The knitters hosted by Tim & Jane Curtis enjoyed a well preserved 1979 Wente petite sirah. Our experience with this varietal is that it doesn't change much after many years of ageing, and this wine was no exception. Sweet plums, fruity, little browning and paired nicely with cheese (as reported by Helen Faust).

Saturday, March 28, 2009

1980 St. Clement Cabernet

3/25/09-The Wednesday Knitters were hosted by Dave and Ann Vik, and enjoyed an amazing example of a well made, aged California cabernet. The 1980 St. Clement showed negligible signs of ageing other than a minimal amount of tannin producing a soft, fruity, elegant cab. Flavors of cassis, coffee and a hint of pepper that led some reviewers to guess zinfandel. Congratulations to the winemaker for this excellent and enjoyable cabernet.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Judgment of Folsom (as opposed to Paris)

3/18/09-You will recall the historic blind wine judging conducted in Paris where California chardonnay and cabernet wines won first place against the best of the French white burgundies (chardonnays) and red Bordeaux. The event was made into a movie “Bottle Shock”. Well, the Knitters conducted a similar blind tasting pitting a Robert Parker 91 point red burgundy against two California pinot noir’s. The wines were:

Wine #1-2005 Albert Morot Beaune les Bressandes Burgundy-Robert Parker 91 Points, $50
Wine #2-2006 Laetitia Pinot Noir Arroyo Grande-$38
Wine #3-2005 Donum Carneros Est. Pinot Noir-Robert Parker 91 Points, $64

The tasting did not result in the California wines coming in as clear winners, as in the 1976 Paris tasting; however, the pinot noir from Laetitia did hold it’s own against a 91 point burgundy selling for 30% more. The Donum was disappointing to most everyone primarily due to the smoky, earthy, barnyard nose and some sulfur that eventually blew off.

Wine #1 received 6 first place votes.
Wine #2 received 5 first place votes.
Wine #3 received 1 first place vote.

An unbagged 2000 Lemelson Pinot Noir, Stermer Vineyard, (Oregon Willamette Region) was also tasted and many felt would have placed ahead of them all.

The knitters also tasted a 25 year old Duff Gordon sherry wine imported by Corti Brothers. Some liked, some did not.

1973 Inglenook Cabernet, Cask C8

3/4/09-The knitters were hosted by Gary Rose and Laura Laskowski, and enjoyed another well aged cabernet. The 73 Inglenook was surprisingly healthy and enjoyable, attesting to the excellent winemaking skills of many of the winemakers of the era.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

1984 Ravenswood Zinfandel

2/25/09-The Wednesday knitters hosted by Ross and Donna McGuire enjoyed another example of a well made zinfandel. The 84 Ravenswood, Old Hill Vineyard, showed incredible sediment that resulted in a soft, mellow, fruity wine with little or no tannin and a flavor of red currants.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

1984 Dominus Meritage

2/18/09-Keith and Helen Faust hosted the knitters who enjoyed a very interesting brown bag 1984 California wine. This second vintage wine, made by the Frenchman Christian Moueix, who fell in love with the valley and its wines while studying at U.C. Davis in 1968 and 1969. This was the birth of Dominus, and its first vintage was harvested in 1983. Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines wrote in 2004 “Could be 80 points. Could be 90 points. Yes, we do not usually give split scores to wine, and perhaps we should simply let the lower score stand, but there is fruit and richness aplenty here. And, if you have another two decades to wait and a fair bit of optimism, you might want to take the chance that this wine's virtues will someday outshine both its ridiculously abrasive tannins and the earthy, old leathery tones that have been in control over its first two decades”. After our tasting this wine in 2009 we vote for 90 points (Robert Parker has it at 92). The tannins have subsided and the fruit has come to the forefront. Gary Rose, a volunteer at the California State Fair wine judging, guessed either an older cabernet or a younger Bordeaux. The wine had little sediment, mild tannins and a long fruity finish.

1983 Buehler Zinfandel

2/11/09-Dave Vik hosted the knitters solo (his spouse Ann is baby sitting their newborn grandson Ethan Zachary Vik in Boston). The 83 zinfandel was another example of a well made wine that was structured for cellaring. Extremely enjoyable but resembling a cabernet more than a zinfandel, as usual for an older zin.

1980 Silver Oak Cabernet-Napa, 1984 Summit Lake Zinfandel-Howell, NV La Fiole Chat-de-Pape

2/4/09-The knitters hosted by Carl and Kathy Hennige all enjoyed three older brown bag wines. The 80 Silver Oak cabernet had been resting in a Sacramento front room for 30 years and reflected the variable temperature storage, showing a loss of fruit and a note of vinegar. The 1984 Summit Lake zinfandel provided by Gary Rose and Laura Laskowski was guessed to be an older cabernet by some. The Ch. De Pape provided by Keith and Helen Faust was an unusual oddly shaped, dirty looking bottle; however, the wine was young, fruity and very typical of a good Rhone wine. The Wine Spectator writes: “Pére Anselme created in the 1950’s, in collaboration with glass craftsmen and ceramists, this original bottle which shape reminds one of the Rhône Valley vine plants. This wine is non vintaged because it is a blend of the best "cuvées" from different vintages. Therefore the constant high quality from one year to another explains its worldwide success: it is one of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape bottles the most sold in the World-92 points."

1974 Robert Mondavi Cabernet, 1994 Benziger Petite Sirah

1/21/09-The knitters enjoyed another example of a well made California cabernet from the exceptional 1974 vintage. The 1994 petite sirah, provided by Gary Rose and Laura Laskowski, I suspect tasted much as it did 15 years ago, big and fruity.

1972 Domaine Gerin Cote Rotie

1/14/09-The Wednesday knitters hosted by Keith and Helen Faust enjoyed an excellent example of an aged 1972 Domaine Gerin Cote Rotie. The wine was still quite fruity and enjoyable.

Friday, January 9, 2009

1969 Louis M. Martini Cabernet

1/8/09-The Thursday “Lunch Bunch” enjoyed a surprise treat with a 1969 Louis M. Martini Cabernet (12.5% alcohol) donated by Les Lederer, retired Senior Vice-President at Morgan Stanley. The wine had a much deteriorated cork and literally no sediment; however, to our surprise, it was extremely healthy and enjoyable, presenting flavors of coffee, licorice and plum, with very little tannin. Should a wine last this long with such a low alcohol level and no sediment? Apparently it should.

1980 Martin Ray Cabernet

1/7/09-The Wednesday Knitters were pleasantly surprised to find the brown bag 1980 Martin Ray Cabernet in good health. The wine had intense fruit showing few signs of old age. Flavors of cherry and boysenberry were noted and the bottle was soon empty. The Martin Ray Winery went out of business shortly after this vintage, and was resurrected in 1990 by Courtney Benham who purchased the rights to the Martin Ray label from the Ray family and acquired the Martini and Prati winery in July 2003 to make the current Martin Ray wines.