WTN: St. Innocent, Rustenberg, Arcadian, Sociando-M, & port

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WTN: St. Innocent, Rustenberg, Arcadian, Sociando-M, & port

Postby Jenise » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:15 pm

Sketchy impressions from a dinner for friends last night:

Opened a 2005 St. Innocent Anden Vineyard chardonnay to go with a salad course, but it was history: golden and mildly oxidative. Was actually good with the onion soup that came next, but all wrong for a seafood salad so instead I poured a 2011 Rustenberg chardonnay from South Africa. Beautiful wine: very pale, an understated style yet not Burgundian with quietly powerful fruit and no tropicality, vanilla or toast. Excellent, and perfect for the course.

That was followed by a 2005 Arcadian Dierberg pinot noir, which was in a prime drinking place with good Santa Barbara style fruit (cherry, tomato and some thyme) and lots of interesting secondary development. If I had other bottles I would not hold them, it's perfect now. And it sent the birthday boy guest, whose favorite wine in the world is this region's pinot noirs, straight to heaven.

With the main course I served a 1996 Sociando Mallet. We decanted it to remove the sediment and served it an hour later, during which period it declined somewhat, losing fruit and showing more vegetative. Drink up.

Then after dinner, I served the last half of a 750 bottle of 1979 Borges port opened this past Tuesday for another function. It's a lighter style port (yet good), walnutty and mellow. We once had quite a few of these, and this was my last bottle. Amazingly, one of our guests said, "I have some of this" and ran home to get it. It was, in fact, a bottle that I had taken to his house seven years ago! The bottle didn't get finished then--there was about two inches left--so he stuck the cork back in and it has been in his garage refrigerator ever since. So how well does something like that hold up? Surprisingly well. It had lost color and was a pale pink compared to the other bottle's pale red, and it was less flavorful, but overall it was still very drinkable. Whoduv thunk it.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: St. Innocent, Rustenberg, Arcadian, Sociando-M, & port

Postby Matt Richman » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:28 pm

Your "drink up" on the Sociando surprises me. I would have thought that wine would go at least another 10 years. Last I had it was 2 years ago and that bottle was just entering maturity.
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Re: WTN: St. Innocent, Rustenberg, Arcadian, Sociando-M, & port

Postby Jenise » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:37 pm

Matt Richman wrote:Your "drink up" on the Sociando surprises me. I would have thought that wine would go at least another 10 years. Last I had it was 2 years ago and that bottle was just entering maturity.


I was surprised too. I've owned this bottle for about ten years, and previous bottles had not shown any sign of decay. But the bottom definitely dropped out on last night's bottle--fortunately, I tasted it immediately upon uncorking and so had that reference point for what I tasted later.
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Re: WTN: St. Innocent, Rustenberg, Arcadian, Sociando-M, & port

Postby David M. Bueker » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:54 pm

Interesting note on the Sociando. I pulled a couple of vintages from deep storage today.
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Re: WTN: St. Innocent, Rustenberg, Arcadian, Sociando-M, & port

Postby Dale Williams » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:19 pm

The Sociando doesn't sound right to me. I've had 3 times since 2011 (once with Matt), all seemed young. I'd guess off bottle.
Too bad re the St Innocent chard, liked that wine.
Thanks for notes re the Arcadian Dierberg, think I have one of those.
Amazing story re the port
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Re: WTN: St. Innocent, Rustenberg, Arcadian, Sociando-M, & port

Postby Jenise » Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:50 pm

Last night a friend whose wife was out of town spontaneously invited a few friends over for "a casual evening of wine around the fire pit" (at which he served wines like 94 Guigal La Mouline--dear god, this is casual?) and anyway, got to talking with another wine friend about recent disappointments. And to my delight he mentioned 96 Sociando Mallet--he loves the producers but recently (not sure how recent 'recent' is, could be a year ago) opened three bottles that drank just like mine above. He says he complained about it on Squires board, to which David Schildneckt responded no way, not that one, then went and opened one of his own and came back with "he's right, it's dead."

So I wake up this morning and there in my inbox, out of the blue from an East Coast friend completely unrelated to the friend above and who had no knowledge of my bad experience, is an email titled "1996 Sociando Mallet" which waxes poetic about the bottle he and his wife opened last night. Which made me go look at recent notes on Cellartracker. Of the first four, all by people I don't know in the three months or so, one filed a similar report to mine (vegetables and disappointment, though his score of 89 isn't all that bad) and three had good bottles. Anyway, apparently there's a lot of bottle variation on this one, and I just thought I'd mention that to any who may own this.
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Re: WTN: St. Innocent, Rustenberg, Arcadian, Sociando-M, & port

Postby David M. Bueker » Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:11 pm

I shall have to pull one from the glacial cellar.

And that poetic note from an east coaster is posted here, so you might as well say who it was.
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Re: WTN: St. Innocent, Rustenberg, Arcadian, Sociando-M, & port

Postby Jenise » Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:23 pm

Wow, a tasting note from Covert? Will have to look!
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Re: WTN: St. Innocent, Rustenberg, Arcadian, Sociando-M, & port

Postby David M. Bueker » Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:30 pm

More of a tasting story. :wink:

1996 Sociando-Mallet is not standing up in the wine cellar. Will open in a few days/weeks after the sediment settles.
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Re: WTN: St. Innocent, Rustenberg, Arcadian, Sociando-M, & port

Postby Jenise » Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:14 pm

And I must report that this morning after an exchange of emails with my friend of last night, that I misunderstood. His bad bottles were the 86, not the 96.
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Re: WTN: St. Innocent, Rustenberg, Arcadian, Sociando-M, & port

Postby David M. Bueker » Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:03 pm

Recent CellarTracker comments on the 1996 are somewhat variable, but nothing to indicate a premature demise.

The '86 was glorious several years ago, but I have not had it in a long time.
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Re: WTN: St. Innocent, Rustenberg, Arcadian, Sociando-M, & port

Postby Fredrik L » Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:50 pm

Just had the 96 SM with lunch: spicy, elegant, my kind of Bordeaux, beginning to open up but not yet in full bloom. 92P.

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Re: WTN: St. Innocent, Rustenberg, Arcadian, Sociando-M, & port

Postby Patrick Martin » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:28 pm

Fredrik L wrote:Just had the 96 SM with lunch: spicy, elegant, my kind of Bordeaux, beginning to open up but not yet in full bloom.


Based on bottles in 2010 and 2011, this quote is what I would expect for the 96 S-M: classic and still needing time.

That said, Sociando's style definitely isn't for everyone.
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Re: WTN: St. Innocent, Rustenberg, Arcadian, Sociando-M, & port

Postby Jenise » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:29 pm

Glad to hear this, Fredrik; odd that all three of my bottles were swampwater (bottling line issue?) but glad that others have what the wine should be.
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Re: WTN: St. Innocent, Rustenberg, Arcadian, Sociando-M, & port

Postby David M. Bueker » Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:35 pm

Maybe damaged at some stage in the supply chain?
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Re: WTN: St. Innocent, Rustenberg, Arcadian, Sociando-M, & port

Postby Bill Spohn » Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:17 pm

I'd have to move mountains (of cases) to find my 96 SM - not scheduled for drinking for awhile yet. The 86 continues to need time last time I tasted it. Here's hoping this is a shipping/storage issue and not a general problem with the 96 (not sure my back can take a mass deconstruction in the cellar right now).
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