Considering we had more people than the maximum reservations at our last meetup with great reviews, and the holiday party season is upon us, I thought an evening of fine red wine and chocolate in a private setting (my apartment on the park in Astoria) would be fun and different.
Fred Scherrer produces some of the finest wines I have had the pleasure of tasting from his boutique vineyard in Sebastopole, Califorinia (Sonoma County, Russian River Valley). I have secured the following wines:
2001 Scherrer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, $57
This is a unique and exotic expression of Alexander Valley benchland Cabernet Sauvignon. It was aged in small French oak cooperage for about thirty months, with infrequent racking. Bottled without fining or filtration to respect the expression of the site, this 100% varietal wine enjoys both a youthful suppleness and the structure necessary for lengthy storage. It has the structure and density of fruit to age a very long time and the complexity to tickle your imagination as well as satisfy one’s hedonistic urges. Unmistakable, classic Cabernet Sauvignon with friendly texture to make it reasonably approachable in its youth.
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate Rated 90 “Brilliant”
Wine Enthusiast Rated 93 “Big, Soft, Layered, Complex”
2006 Old & Mature Vines Zinfandel, $30
The 2006 OMV Zinfandel has exceeded my expectations. I am quite pleased with the choices made at harvest, which allowed the wine to settle into its vintage-determined balance, rather than some numerical stereotype. With its typical mixture of blue, red and black fruits, it has uncommon depth and texture that should satisfy die-hard Zin lovers. But it has a mysterious side too, and a mild earthiness and structure that promises long life in the cellar. It also offers great satisfaction for Pinot Noir enthusiasts, due in part to its balance and flexibility with food.
2007 Russian River Valley Syrah, $30
I am happy to offer this nice expression of Russian River Valley Syrah. Bottled in late summer, it really shows its stuff several hours after decanting. Pretty, not-over-the-top Syrah character, blue fruits, black pepper, mild earthiness and mouth-watering succulence make it a wonderful wine for fall and winter cuisine. One of the things I love about cool-climate Syrah is the perfume it has as well as some mild similarities to large-framed Pinot Noir.
2007 Russian River Pinot Noir, $40
An initially reticent nose opens up to dark fruits, purple plum, cookie dough, a hint of cardamom and comfortable earth. Surprisingly, tart pie cherry appears in the mouth and the supporting structure drives the wine deep into food-friendly salivary territory. There is a rather dense kernel of flavor there that reminds me of ‘Miracle Max’ in the movie ‘The Princess Bride’ when he plugs his ears and chants ‘I’m not listening’ in response to his wife’s urging him to tell the truth to their visitors. There’s a lot of ‘there’ there, but it is not quite ready to show all of its tricks. I think another 18 months in the bottle will make this an irresistible smooth ride - like when the little knobs wear off of that set of new tires and they are just broken in. Your mileage may vary [sorry, could not resist] 700 cases produced.
I'm also secretly hoping to Skype with with Fred during our tasting to discuss his wines, to discuss his winemaking style and to learn about his experiences running the vineyard. He is super cool and we would have the ability to ask all the questions that we desire.
Additionally, matching wine with chocolate would be a great way to bring out the flavors. And then I thought that it would be even more fun if everyone brought along their favorite chocolate to share (chocolate, fudge, fondue what ever you think would be great to match)!
I will supply instructions on how to get to my apartment by train, car and bus in early December. Don't mind the wait list. I will likely open this up to more people as there are no restrictions.
So, I hope that you can join us for a night of fun with good people, good wine, good music and chocolate!