WTN: Reds at Red

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WTN: Reds at Red

Postby Jay Labrador » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:10 am

Jojo, back again from Vancouver, called for a dinner at Red to try out two top Syrah’s side by side: Torbreck’s RunRig and Guigal’s Ex-Voto. Of course everyone else brought a bottle as well so we had a good selection of reds. Unfortunately, the coordination of who would bring what didn’t go too well so no white wines were brought. I did make sure to bring bubbly and dessert, though.
As soon as a good number of us were present we opened the champagne to get us in the mood. Although I prefer some age on my champagne, this time I brought a youngish Laurent Perrier Brut Millesime 2004. I believe this is the current release. I wanted to try this to find out if I should get more. This was a fairly rich, fleshy style, and quite forward. Friendly and already drinking well, it shows white chocolate and lemon rind on the finish. Very good now but no doubt has the stuffing to age. Definitely worth buying more of this.
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Laurent Perrier Brut Millesime 2004 by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
While waiting for the menus, Greg’s magnum of burgundy, Louis Lequin Santenay 1er Cru Clos Rousseau was served. This had a somewhat Rhonish, dried herb character on the nose. This was mixed in with a bit of toffee. This has good, sweet fruit but is already very soft. It also seems a bit hollow. Either that or it’s just really light. This doesn’t seem like an ager and is probably at peak now.
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Louis Lequin Santenay 1er Cru Clos Rousseau 2006 by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
The remaining reds were then arranged into two flights by Daniel Blais, Red’s sommelier. The first flight was for Rhone/Syrah/Shiraz and the second Bordeaux/Napa.
First among the Syrah/Rhone flight was the Guigal Hermitage Ex Voto 2001 – This was the inaugural vintage of this wine. Cocoa powder and earth, sweet fruit and sweet spices as well. Quite soft. I don’t feel this has reached peak yet as the fruit is still dominant but I think it’s pretty close. Soft tannins make this a pretty enjoyable wine to drink now, though.
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Guigal Ex Voto Hermitage 2001 by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
Next up was the Torbreck RunRig 1999. We rarely drink Barossa anymore, let alone mature Barossa so this was eagerly anticipated by all. The RunRig is actually a Cote Rotie copy as it has some Viognier. In this case, this is 95% Shiraz and 5% Viognier, with the Viognier vinified separately and added to the Shiraz just before bottling. This is in contrast to its younger sibling, The Descendant, where the Viognier is co-fermented with Shiraz. The RunRig was still quite dark and youthful, with a nose of blueberry jam. The wine is quite sweet and the 100% new French oak certainly makes a statement with a bit of vanilla coming through. Black fruits dominate on the palate and the tannins are already very soft. Another excellent wine but this is probably as good as it gets.
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Torbreck RunRig 1999 by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
Last in this set was the Telegramme 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape , the second wine produced by the famous estate of Vieux Telegraphe. Mostly Grenache and made from grapes sourced from vines of about 25 years old, this certainly lacked the heft to stand up to the two previous wines. This was quite light in color and body, soft, juicy and showed more of a strawberry/raspberry character. This is a wine for easy drinking.
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Telegramme 2010 by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
We proceeded to the Bordeaux/Napa set straightaway with the Le Petit Cheval (second wine of Cheval Banc) 2002 leading the way. Still pretty dark for its age. I found this very dry and slightly acidic. Daniel informed us that 2002 isn’t generally considered a good year for Bordeaux and it seems the Right Bank fared slightly worse than the left so that might explain the rather lean structure.
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Le Petit Cheval 2002 by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
In contrast the Chateau Pape Clement 2005 was much fuller and fleshed-out. Big-boned and polished, this was rich and spicy. Despite its youth, it is quite good to drink now. This was my favorite in this flight.
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Chateau pape Clement 2005 by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
Lastly we had the Joseph Phelps Insignia 1998. The Insignia is important as it was the first Bordeaux blend produced in California, although Cabernet Sauvignon dominates. The wine was sweet and very soft. My impression is that it’s already starting to decline although it still makes a pretty good drink.
Although the focus was clearly on the wines, I thought the quality of the food was pretty good. We just ordered from the menu and I chose to start with a Marinated Portobello mushroom with eggplant fritter, lentils de Puy and smoky tomato foam. This was very good and a fine choice if you are having red wines. My main was a 300g US Angus Sirloin with peppercorn sauce. This was cooked properly to my specifications (medium rare).
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Marinated Portobello with eggplant fritter, lentils de Puy and smoky tomato foam by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
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US Angus Sirloin by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
We decided to skip dessert and instead had some cheese to go with the Chateau Suduiraut 2005. Gorgeous, classic Sauternes nose. The mouthfeel of this wine is so plush and silky, not at all aggressive or heavy. Beautifully balanced with flavors of honey, candied orange and pineapple, this isn’t as sweet as some other Sauternes out there but this is a style I prefer. This is just put together so well that it’s quite easy to drink a lot of it; and you’ll want to drink a lot of it. Outstanding stuff.
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Chateau Suduiraut 2005 by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
As many in the group will be off for summer, we decided to get together again at the end of the month for another wine dinner. For added fun, it will probably be a blind tasting contest by two teams. We haven’t done this in a while but it’s always great fun so I’m definitely looking forward to this.
Jay Labrador
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Re: WTN: Reds at Red

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:28 am

Lovely report Jay!
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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David M. Bueker
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Re: WTN: Reds at Red

Postby Jay Labrador » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:53 am

Thanks, David. Glad you enjoyed.
Jay Labrador
J-Lab's in da house!
 
Posts: 1043
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 11:34 am
Location: Manila, Philippines


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