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February 1999
A Mid-Winter

Wine Tasting
Cabs and Champagne

 

Bollinger's Special Cuvee WS 91
Moet & Chandon White Star (unplanned addition)

Joseph Phelps - 1995 Insignia - Cabernet Sauvignon WS 93
Spring Mountain - 1994 Miravalle-Alba-Chevalier - Cabernet Sauvignon WS 90
Talus - 1995 - Cabernet Sauvignon WS 80 (unplanned addition)

Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey - 1990 - Sauternes - WS 90

We began the evening with Bollinger's Special Cuvee.  $35

Wine Spectator described it as "A satisfying, rich and flavorful brut in a nicely balanced package. It combines bright, fresh fruit flavors with mellow toast and vanilla accents from aging, is smooth in texture, vibrant in balance and long on the finish" 

Donna thought it was a little long on the "toast" but it was a nice beginning to our evening.  The party was sort of spur of the moment, and planned for in what we knew would be a hectic weekend, so we just invited 2 other couples.  8 rather than 6 would have been right if we could have handled it.  We'd only planned on the one bottle of champagne because we thought we'd go right to the reds but we'd forgotten that Nina is allergic to red wine so she decided to stick with champagne (Finias Rule number 362 - Never entertain without chilled champagne at the ready)-luckily we had two other bottles chilled.

We had Champagne with our salad.  The Moet was a good compliment to the apples in the salad, but Donna thinks Champagne goes with everything.

We poured the two "good" bottles of Cab prior to serving dinner so we could be sure of their taste, and then decided at the last second to open a cheap bottle for comparison.  To make a long story short the Spring Mountain was barely drinkable.  Raj and Donna loved the Insignia but John thought it was remarkably short on tannin -- which he still likes in his Cabs.  The Talus was drinkable as always thought Donna always expressed the opinion that this particular vintage tasted more like a Merlot than a Cab (primarily because of it's lack of tannin)