Craig’s turn to host SOBER, rather than drag us to Brooklyn he
arranged to host at Franco’s loft in Chelsea. Mark, Paige, and I were
on the same train, and decided to share a cab. Next time I’ll pay
attention- as we were zooming down Park South cabdriver turned,
deciding the smart thing at rush hour was to try and go south on 7th
past Penn. Still, we were reasonably on time. We went up to apartment,
where we go to meet the twins (5-6 months now?), and had a fun time.

I’m fighting the worst cold I’ve had in years, so notes are even more
suspect than normal.

NV Cremant de Mumm Champagne: Just a quick taste. Creamy, subdued
mousse, broad. Apparently this was probably disgorged about 1990, I
should have paid more attention.

2008 R. Haart Goldtropchen Trocken: again, didn’t pay enough
attention. I thought some distinct sweetness, surprised today told it
was trocken. Good length.

A word of explanation. Dan had some fun sometime back with using names
(the King, The Queen, and the Jack) to “number” the decanters in our
blind flights. Craig found a labelmaker, and decided to choose names
that ranged from the strange to the utterly bizarre. It did lead to
some interesting comments.

First red flight (Giraffe, Hippo, and Llama)
Everyone quickly in Burgundy, there was a guess of 1997 and then I got
2000. Dan got Gevrey for the Giraffe and Llama quickly. The other Dan
accidently mixed the Giraffe and Hippo, apparently like the Hipaffe
more than either. I think everyone found the Llama their least fave.

Giraffe: Cool red fruit, round, ripe, earth, spice. I think everyone
but me liked the Bonnes Mares more. I really got little on nose all
night due to cold, maybe that’s why. 2000 Domaine Bart Chambertin Clos
de Beze. A-/B+

Hippo: Ripe low acid but with backbone, less expressive, but nice
Burg. 2000 Domaine Bart Bonnes Mares. B

Llama: Short,a bit of VA, wood with a green tannic edge, not my style.
2000 F. Magnien Chambertin Clos de Beze C+/C

White Flight (Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin)

OK, the names did lead to a humor (“hey, I really like Hitler, I think
Stalin is a bit too soft.”). No guesses for me on this flight, I had
furnished a wine and knew what flight was. Some guesses of Germany for
latter 2. When Alsace was confirmed ZH and Weinbach suggested for the
sweeter wines. Opinions varied as to how much people liked flight, but
I don’t think anyone rushed to Winesearcher for the CSHs. Craig made a
delicious starter of Momofuko style rice balls in a spicy sauce, might
have helped the CSHs show better, but by time they came I only had a
repour of the CFE, a bit dry for the dish.

Hitler: fairly dry, fresher and livelier than others, a little petrol,
sweet pit fruits, long. Maybe a little softer than other bottles of
this I had. 1989 Trimbach Cuvee Frederic Emile Riesling Vendanges
Tardives A-/B+

Mussolini: this tasted older than flightmates. Soft, some sweetness,
big flavors, but a little flat. 1989 Trimbach Clos Ste. Hune Riesling
Vendanges Tardives. B/B-

Stalin: Sweetest, big, softer than I expected, 1989 Trimbach Clos Ste.
Hune “Hors Choix” Riesling Vendanges Tardives B

Second Red Flight (Franco, Gideon, Milo, and Rebecca)

Using the host family’s names, tough criticizing those cute little
twins (and Rebecca). Craig got tricky with 2 decanters here.

Franco: big, stern, mushrooms and earth, John’s Medoc guess seemed
right, surprised when Right Bank. This got better in glass, a bit more
giving. 1974 Trotanoy (first half of a mag, decanted for a few hours)
B

Gideon: minty, red fruited, decent length, 1974 Ridge York Creek. B

Milo: despite less air, showed older than “Franco” 1974 Trotanoy
(second half of a mag, just stoppered in bottle) B-

Rebecca: I (and most) thought corked, though one person held out for
“other flaw”. 1975 Ridge York Creek.

Main course was an absolutely delicious bo ssam meal, 12 lbs of
quality pork slow roasted for 7 hours. Good with the red wines on it’s
own, when I loaded up with hot sauce, kimchi, dried shrimp etc it was
good for my cold.

Third Red Flight (Tom and Eli)

The flight of the night, Dan and John both called N. Rhone /Cote Rotie
quite fast. John maintained the Gentaz wasn’t correct.

Eli: Dark berries, meat, black olives, even I wrote down Rhone-y
immediately. Just a beautiful example of Northern Rhone Syrah. 1989
Jean-Paul et Jean-Luc Jamet Cote-Rotie. A-

Tom: medium-bodied, violets, not bad but overshadowed by flightmate.
1989 Gentaz-Dervieux “Cote Brune- Cuvee Reservee” Cote-Rotie. B

Fourth Red Flight (reusing decanters)
John called older Cali Cab immediately on first wine:

Franco : lots of eucalyptus, coffee, dark fruit. Fresh and good
length. NV Spring Mountain “Lot H 68.69.LN” Cabernet Sauvignon (Craig
says combination of 1968 and 1969, Heitz fruit sold off to help cash
flow, with the LN standing for Limousin/Nevers). A-

Milo :seemed a nice wine underneath, but corked

Gideon- replacement bottle for Milo, this was corked WAY worse than
the first. Both Beauna Vista Haraszthy Cellars “Cask 110 “Cabernet
Sauvignon

As we were leaving I had a tiny pour of a nonblind Maderia, the 1977
D'Oliveiras Terrantez. Offdry, long, nutty, I liked.

Really fun night, thanks Craig!
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent
wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't
drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no
promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.