Dinner with Friends

We had a very nice evening with two couples over a salmon dinner a few weeks back.  It was a great time to share some nice wines and catch up from what had turned into a busy summer.

We started the evening with two refreshing summer wines, a 2012 Round Pond Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley and a 2012 Miraval Rose from Provence, France.  The Sauvignon Blanc was a nice light and crisp wine with decent fruit (86pts.).

I was curious to try the Miraval Rose – I kept hearing about it, but admit to being a little skeptical.  The wine is being produced from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s property in Provence and this was their first release.  I wouldn’t generally think about buying a wine that some celebrity endorsed, but in this case the wine was made in partnership with the Perrin family, who are good long time producers in the southern Rhone region.  The wine was nice and dry and had a good body of fruit and acid (88pts.)

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Now on to the reds.  Our friends Jeanne & Will brought a nice aged bottle of 2003 Woodward Canyon Merlot.  The wine had some great mature fruit and was drinking very well, with a lot of secondary nuances(spices) coming through on the long smooth finish (94pts.).  Woodward Canyon’s wines will age very well over a decade or even two for the cabs.

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Next up from Brian and Laurie, was the first release of the 2010 Hand of God red wine from Mendoza, Argentina.  This wine was a blend of 55% Malbec, 35% Syrah and 10% Petit Verdot.  The winemaker is Santiago Achaval, who also produces the wines for the award winning Achaval Ferrer winery in Mendoza, Argentina.  The 2010 Hand of God is a nice wine with good dark red fruit, good structure and a medium-long finish (92pts.).

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Next, I pulled a bottle of 1996 Leonetti Cellar Reserve Seven Hills Cabernet, from Walla Walla, Washington.  I have not had this particular wine in a long time, but I bought this wine on release and this was my last bottle of it.  The wine was a very dark red color and surprisingly youthful.  The fruit was really singing, but it also still had some decent structure and good acidity.  The fruit with a little bit of spice and chocolate followed through to a nice long finish.  Blind, I would have never guessed the wine was 17 years old, it tasted more like 5-7.  This wine could have aged another decade or more without trying and possibly still improve.  But what the heck?  Why wait?  It’s drinking beautifully now (95pts.).

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Everyone was have such a great time catching up, so we needed one more bottle to taste.  I pulled a bottle of 2001 Cadence – Tapteil Vineyard red wine from Red Mountain, Washington.  The wine was a deep red color and drinking very well.  The dark red/black fruit combined with subtle baking spices really came through on the medium-long smooth finish.  This wine is still youthful with another 10 years ahead of it (93pts.)

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We are grateful to our friends for sharing our love of wine – and sharing their great wines with us!

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