South Coast Wine Bibbers

Official Unofficial Wine Club of The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, California

Saturday, September 30, 2006

02 High end Cabs and Blends

I enjoyed this event very much. All of my ratings fell between 87 and 94 showing the consistency of this vintage. Hartwell would not have been my choice from the wines being served but this shows the importance of blind tasting. I picked it number 1 with the Phelps as number 2.

Grgich Wine Tasting

As a devotee of Grgich wines, I was gratified that we had such a good tasting last night. We tasted 14 consecutive vintages of the 20 wines released by the winery plus a ringer. The vintages were 1985 - 1999 minus the 1996. The ringer was 1994 BV George Latour Reserve cab. I believe all of our objectives in learning about Grgich cabs were achieved, not to mention the suspense and fun we had. Like all blind tastings there were surprises, but the following facts emerged.
  1. The Grgich cab is a remarkably consistent and well-made wine.
  2. It has the ability to age long and gracefully. The older wines - 1885 thru 1989 still tasted young, and none exhibited the browning and loss of fruit that onten comes with age. Many of us had difficulty in descerning the older wines.
  3. The style of the wine is such that it can easily be consumed with food since it does not possess heavy oak or excessive fruit.
  4. The quality and appeal of the wine is such that our group rated seven of the Grgich vintages above the ringer, a famous wine from an excellent vintage costing at least twice the price.
  5. The best vintages did indeed rate at the top of the 15 wines tasted,i.e. 1997 - 2nd, 1994 - 3rd, 1987 5th among the higher ranked wines.
  6. Our group's tastes seem to run to the younger, more tannic wines, i.e., 1st place,1999, 2nd place,1997, 3rd place 1994, all in or near the "young" wines category.
  7. While we did not announce our scores, almost all of mine were in the low nineties, and I gave the BV Latour a 90 score.
I want to thank all in our group for their participation in this unique and unusual tasting. I believe this tasting verifies what many of us suspected previously - that Mike Grgich makes an excellent wine that is deserving of an even greater reputation than it currently enjoys. Sid.

Friday, September 29, 2006

'02 High-End CA Cabs/Blends - Sept. 28, 2006

Nine members brought 8 wines on theme and one off theme. By order of finish by vote

'02 Hartwell, Stag's Leap District
'02 Joseph Phelps, Insignia (tied by pts for 1st, but edged out by no. of 1st place votes.)
'02 Revana
'02 Andrus, Reserve (Pine Ridge)
'02 Whitehall Lane Reserve
'02 Sbragia, Andolsen Vyd.
'03 Jayson (Pahlmeyer)
'02 Ch. Montelena
'02 Dunn, Howell Mountain

The '02 Ch. Montelena was given 72 pts. by James Laube. It was by no means a 72 pt. wine! Two people thought it was slightly corked, but there was no consensus on that idea. None of the wines were bad. Pix from the event.

South Coast Wine BIBBERS

The South Coast Wine Bibbers, or just Bibbers, have been the official unofficial wine tasting group of the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, California since 1984. We meet monthly and everyone brings a bottle of wine that conforms to the theme for the month. Membership is by invitation only and the monthly gathering is limited to 10 attendees. I was maintaining a website for us (South Coast Wine Bibbers) but a blog would be much more efficient for what we do. It also allows the members to provide comments and tasting notes on our wines.