Friday, December 30, 2016


Christmas Eve concluded with a not so wee dram of Talisker from the Isle of Skye.  In this case it was the Distiller's Edition. After it's original maturation in oak casks it was transferred to Amorosa sherry casks.  That gave it more color and depth.  Still it was sharp and pungent with smoky aromas and nice touch of sweetness at the very end.  It's more refined than the regular bottling.  It was also delicious. About $75.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas Eve

If nothing else it was an expensive Christmas Eve. Our usual group gathered and it seems that the stars converged to suggest everyone bring an older wine.  The meal was the usual standing rib roast of beef cooked in three sections so that the well done, medium and rare crowds all had their choice cut.

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.

Saturday, December 24, 2016