My apologies for my little blog hiatus but I am back in the Big D, in my wine zone at Graileys and am in full swing! After an insane week in Philadelphia for the Court of Master Sommeliers Advanced Exam I took an extended weekend to decompress and visit friends and family in North Carolina. Upon my return I held a smoking dinner with Chef Tre Wilcox that definitely made up for any time lost while I was away pouring some of the rarest bottles in the ultra-luxury line of fine wine.
My guests started with a bottle of 2004 Dom Perignon Brut Rose Champagne and a bottle of 2012 Futo 5500 Cabernet Sauvignon for their reception. Ever since the Tete de Cuvee Champagne Blind Tasting Ryan did at Graileys, I cannot get ‘04 Dom P Rose Champagne out of my mind! The 04 Rose is a stunning attack to the palate with brilliant minerals, juicy tart red fruits, precision and power. This is a Rose Champagne you will want to get your hands on.
Speaking of power… I poured a strong flight of Cabernets that would rock any Cali Cabernet fanatic’s world. We showcased some of the rarest and most coveted Cabernets from the perfect 2012 and one from 2011. From 2012 Futo 5500, we jumped into Lokoya’s 100 and 99 pointers: Mt. Veeder and Howell Mountain, respectively; with 2011 Tusk and 2012 Scarecrow to finish the dinner. We then sealed the deal with a bottle of the 1994 Colgin Herb Lamb Cabernet Sauvignon that was breathtaking. It was difficult to choose a favorite amongst these glorious beasts but as you could imagine, they were all utterly extraordinary.
2012 Futo 5500– We have always loved everything that comes from Futo, but the Futo 5500 will blow your mind. From their newly acquired vineyard in a hidden pocket of Stags Leap District, the 5500 offers generous dark fruit with crushing minerals, charcoal and deep herbs. This full bodied wine is beautifully balanced with brighter acidity, incredible expansive mid leading into an equally seductive finish.
2012 Lokoya Mt. Veeder– 100 points Robert Parker- The Mt. Veeder was on par with the 2012 Scarecrow in terms of richness, weight and style. Black fruits throughout with brooding layers of baking spice, rich vanilla and dark cocoa- this is one to keep in the cellar for decades.
2012 Lokoya Howell Mountain– 99 points Robert Parker- The Howell Mountain was more giving than the Mt. Veeder with flashy ripe fruit and beautifully integrated oak, also can sleep in the cellar for decades, but the Howell’s notes are a pinch brighter when tasted side by side to Mt. Veeder.
2011 Tusk– 100 points GK- We don’t always drink 2011; but when we do, we drink Tusk. You know Tusk is badass when the 2011 Tusk was one of the winners of the night alongside 100 pointers, ’94 Colgin and ’12 Scarecrow. There are not many Napa Cab ‘11’s I would happily open and pour, but the 2011 Tusk is the one Cab I would rather have than most Napa Cabs from 2012. Tusk is one of my favorite boutique Cabernets and one to snag if you ever come across it. The 2011 Tusk is seductive, from the allure of the bottle to the final breath on the finish. Once you try this bottle, you will be haunted to the end of days.
2012 Scarecrow– 98 points Robert Parker- The 2012 Scarecrow is hedonistic to the core and was the star of the night. This Napa unicorn was a bomb of Cabernet glory. As if Scarecrow’s rarity and elite status was not enough, the 2012 vintage launched Scarecrow into overdrive at the Napa Wine Auction this year with a raised paddle for over $4,000 a bottle!
1994 Colgin Herb Lamb Vineyard– After a flight of powerhouse, youthful Cabernets, my guests still had room for just one more. I couldn’t think of another bottle to open for my guests other than a bottle of 1994 Colgin Herb Lamb to end with a bang. This is one of my favorite bottles of wine that I have ever tasted. I can still taste it like it was Tuesday, and before that, I could still taste it like it was the day after our epic Colgin event. Wildly profound, expansive to the 10th power, multi-dimensional flavors of perfect fruit, rounded spice, rich earth, worn leather, powdered cocoa, dried red and purple flowers and dried vanilla. If you want to experience the word awesome via wine, this bottle is it.
1936 Chateau Sisqueille Rivesaltes– Lastly, I poured a bottle of wine from 1936 to pair with Chef Tre Wilcox’s chocolate cardamom panna cotta with toasted pumpkin seeds, coffee infused honey and ripe blackberries. This dessert wine offered gorgeous notes that are akin to vintage tawny port, its flavors and light texture paralleled the dessert course wonderfully. Spiced figs and sweet plums, caramelized brown sugar, vanilla and ginger filled the palate with hints of honey and candied pear.
**Disclaimer: Aside from the 2012 Scarecrow and the 1994 Colgin, these Cabernets were opened and decanted for a solid 4-5 hours before the tasting. They are mere babies and should be approached with caution. The sheer power and ripeness alone can knock out an MMA fighter with a single glass of wine ecstasy.**