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Thread: A Discombobulated Custerfluck! (Exhaustingly long)

  1. #1
    The Champagne Socialist Guest

    Default A Discombobulated Custerfluck! (Exhaustingly long)

    Scotland's favourite son, Rabbie Burns, wrote in 1785 to a "wee, sleekit,
    cow'rin, tim'rous beastie" that oft misquoted line "the best-laid schemes
    o' mice an' men, gang aft agley"



    I have no idea if was the effect of over 7,000 earthquakes / aftershocks
    800km to the south in Christchurch (are you still planning a sojourn in NZ
    next year Professor Lipton?)



    Or maybe it was winter solstice gremlins.



    But our monthly dinner of the Rangitoto Beefsteak & Burgundy club was far
    from the orderly affair. Our group, comprises the "glitterati" of the
    Auckland wine scene - winemakers, wine scribes, marketers and hanger-onners
    (your truly is the token country member - yes, we remember!)



    Usually, we visit an accommodating restaurant who designs a menu to support
    wines from the club's cellar - this time, the cellar master was clearing out
    a few bin ends from 2000-01.



    As usual, all wines were served blind - with discussion encouraged at
    various stages during the meal.



    The aperitif totally baffled everyone - is this Riesling; maybe Pinot Gris -
    not chardonnay - is that a hint of Gewürz spice?



    Yes - and no! Marlborough winemaker John Forrest writes "In my winemaking
    experience, I have found the whole is often greater than the sum of the
    parts and "The White" is my expression of this belief. To achieve this, I
    have chosen from my vineyards only those varieties which have won acclaim in
    that region. From the warm, stony Gimblett Gravels in Hawkes Bay - Viognier;
    from the limestone soils of North Otago - Pinot Gris; from Central Otago -
    Pinot Gris and Riesling; and from Marlborough's patchwork of riverbed
    soils - Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and
    Gewürztraminer."



    Odd ball - definitely, but this rather bizarre wine had great fruit
    concentration and finesse. Apart from its novelty value, not something of
    which I would be inclined to spend $50.



    Nine reds had been selected and decanted (to be served in three flights of
    3), and to assist us in our deliberations, we were provided with a list,
    obviously in a random order.



    First flight of three. #1 - I have never been the greatest fan of Daniel
    Schuster (North Canterbury, NZ) but he does have a reputation from producing
    decent Pinot Noir. Fruity, maybe a little herbal but a bit "simple" for my
    liking.



    #2 was no mystery to me (although, surprisingly others struggled) - 2000 Ch
    Lynch Bages - beautiful nose; Pauillac perfection.



    #3 was when the rot set in. To author and judge Michael Cooper and I this
    one had all the elements of classic Rioja - and a very good one at that!



    But no! We were told Australian Nebbiolo. (about now, we suspect that this
    is not going to an ordinary night)



    Next flight! #4 Another NZ Pinot Noir - complex; fine texture; ripe
    tannins; wild cherry and spice - Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2001 (at 10 years,
    drinking beautifully)



    #5 - Oops - hold on! #3 was not Nebbiolo - it was CVNE Imperial Reserva
    Rioja 2001 (Of course it was!) And what's more, #5 is not Nebbiolo either.
    Identified as a 1998 Penfolds Bin 389 - the wine was definitely Australian -
    but not on the list!



    Sorry guys, one of the bottles of Dom. Jean-Louis Chaves Hermitage 2001 is
    corked, so we had to include a substitute.



    #6 - another Bordeaux? No says mine host - a Chateau Neuf du Pape.



    (Reader, please imagine John McEnroe styled exclamation "You can't be
    f*****g serious!!!)



    From this point, while the food served was quite excellent, there was no
    point whatsoever relying on the cellar master/presenter to get anything
    right. Decanters were shuffled and mis-numbered.



    In no particular order, we also partook of Ch. Marguax Pavillon Rouge 2000;
    Frescobaldi CastelGiocondo Res. 2000; Primo Estate "Joseph" Nebbiolo 2002;
    and a Cuvee du Vatican CNP 2001.



    Did I say that only one bottle of the Hermitage was spoiled? Well, yes - and
    the other was left forgotten until many had left - and it was really quite
    superb (my WOTN closely followed by CastelGiocondo and the Lynch-Bages.)



    So, what happened? Brain explosion? Who knows.



    We are quite sure that we eventually correctly identified all the wines -
    or did we?



    I blame the aperitif - such a wine was bound to cause mayhem!



    --



    The Champagne Socialist

    (Former peer, self-defrocked!)


  2. #2
    Mark Lipton Guest

    Default Re: A Discombobulated Custerfluck! (Exhaustingly long)

    The Champagne Socialist wrote:

    > I have no idea if was the effect of over 7,000 earthquakes / aftershocks
    > 800km to the south in Christchurch (are you still planning a sojourn in
    > NZ next year Professor Lipton?)


    The plan is still under discussion, mi-comrade (??). We're sorting out
    the issues of prolonged international travel (car rental, etc.) but I'd
    still place the odds at better than 50/50.


    <SNIP horrific story>

    Wow! No great fan of blind tastings am I, but surely this comedy of
    errors takes it to a whole new level. Good wines in that tasting,
    though. Glad to see that you're still enjoying the good life and hope
    to throw back a bottle or two with you in in '12.

    Mark Lipton

  3. #3
    The Champagne Socialist Guest

    Default Re: A Discombobulated Custerfluck! (Exhaustingly long)


    "Mark Lipton" wrote .............
    >
    >> I have no idea if was the effect of over 7,000 earthquakes / aftershocks
    >> 800km to the south in Christchurch (are you still planning a sojourn in
    >> NZ next year Professor Lipton?)

    >
    > The plan is still under discussion, mi-comrade (??). We're sorting out
    > the issues of prolonged international travel (car rental, etc.) but I'd
    > still place the odds at better than 50/50.
    >


    Mark, by co-incidence, a couple weeks ago, I received an email from our dear
    friends, mine hosts at La Souvigne, advising that they are proposing a
    return visit to these shores in Jan/Feb 2012.

    If all goes well, a reunion could be on the cards, where more than a bottle
    or two could well be in order.

    AB


  4. #4
    Bi!! Guest

    Default Re: A Discombobulated Custerfluck! (Exhaustingly long)

    On Jul 3, 1:58*am, "The Champagne Socialist"
    <alphabet...@NOSPAMhotmail.com> wrote:
    > "Mark Lipton" wrote .............
    >
    >
    >
    > >> I have no idea if was the effect of over 7,000 earthquakes / aftershocks
    > >> 800km to the south in Christchurch (are you still planning a sojourn in
    > >> NZ next year Professor Lipton?)

    >
    > > The plan is still under discussion, mi-comrade (??). *We're sorting out
    > > the issues of prolonged international travel (car rental, etc.) but I'd
    > > still place the odds at better than 50/50.

    >
    > Mark, by co-incidence, a couple weeks ago, I received an email from our dear
    > friends, mine hosts at La Souvigne, advising that they are proposing a
    > return visit to these shores in Jan/Feb 2012.
    >
    > If all goes well, a reunion could be on the cards, where more than a bottle
    > or two could well be in order.
    >
    > AB


    How is Ian?

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