Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Let's start with what was the stunning surprise of the evening, the order of preference of the three wines, chosen by the wine fans in the crowd.
The third choice was the 2003 Opus One from Napa Valley. Big, bold and fruity, and to my palate it was dried out. Throughout the evening it never bloomed. At $250 a bottle it should have been blooming and singing. Instead it was boring.
The second choice was a 2001 Chateau Lafite Rothschild. This wine was closed at the start but eventually began to open. Wonderful, restrained fruit and integrated tannin led to a somewhat dry and flat finish. It also seemed a little short in the acid department and that made it a poor choice for the prime rib. At $450 it too was disappointing.
The top wine was the Drew, Ridgeline, Mendocino Ridge Syrah from California. At ten years of age this wine was alive with fruit and acidity. Wonderful aromas of herbs and flowers poured from the glass. In the mouth this wine both felt and tasted like Cote Rotie used to taste before hugeness became the sought after quality in that region. The acid in the wine cut through the fat from the meat. At $40 a bottle it shone as bright as the star on top of the Christmas tree.