|The scene was set...|
The purpose of the evening was to drink some of D's 1968 Californian cabernet sauvignons, but we started off with a variety of fizzes brought by the others including some 2000 Krug which was very generous as I for one don't get to drink that every day. I also had to restrain myself from eating too much of D's amazing venison liver pate.
Before we made a start on the reds, we had this bottle of Hanzell Sonoma Valley chardonnay 1967. This was a golden colour and was big oaky, buttery and rich, still going very strong. It was remarkable that it was still alive as apparently Hanzell weren't a particularly prestigious operation.
With dinner we moved on to the reds...
|D's impressive collection of wine glasses... and as for the contents...|
This was the Beaulieu Vineyard 1968 Private Reserve which was 12.5% alcohol. I found it impressive with a great finish and it seemed to improve with time. For many of the assembled company it was their favourite wine of the evening.
The Freemark Abbey came in at 12.0% and was very smooth, with resolved tannins, and notes of blackcurrant. It was elegant and more subdued but perhaps lacking something compared to the competition.
This was the standard Inglenook which was very smooth and maybe a bit lighter, something of a fruit bomb.
The Inglenook Cask H12 was very clearly a step up from the previous wine and had a good structure. It was my second favourite of the evening.
My favourite, however, was this Ivancie Cellars "American Cabernet Sauvignon" which was made in Colorado from Californian grapes. It had a lovely ripe sweetness which I found very enjoyable.
Finally there was this Robert Mondavi which was noticeably different from the others, with some darker notes. It was less fruity. Mondavi was established in 1965 so this was one of their first wines.
We finished off with some Grahams 1970 which was classic, integrated and drinking nicely now.
And finally this extraordinary item - Paul Masson Rare Souzao Port. This was very dense and reminiscent of prune juice, but surprisingly good!
Many thanks to D for hosting such a fascinating tasting - it was remarkable that these wines have lasted so well and a real privilege to get to taste them side by side like this. And that concludes my write-up of our trip to the Finger Lakes. It was a memorable trip and very enjoyable all round.
Happy new year and here's to more exciting adventures in 2018...