It has now been a year since our wine group began, and the purpose of this evening was to retaste all of the winners from our thematic tastings head to head. While the scoring was more subjective this evening (it was meant to be fun!), most of our tasters agreed that the Spanish wines were the big winners.
1999 San Vicente Crianza (Rioja, Tempranillo)
1999 Hacienda Monasterio Crianza (Ribera del Duero, Tempranillo blend)
There was some debate regarding the San Vicente vs. Hacienda Monasterio, but I believe we are splitting hairs with such fine wines.
From our conversations that night, it appears that the 2002 Castello Banfi 'Colvecchio' (Tuscany, Shiraz) came in third place.
The 1999 Delas Freres Crozes-Hermitage (France, Syrah) seemed quite backward at first, but ratings improved as the wine opened up much later. There was also a lot of interest in the 1999 Stanley Bros. 'Thoroughbred' (Aussie, Cabernet Sauvignon). A tie?
Despite the strong showing of the 1999 Louis Jadot Santenay 'Clos de Malte' (France, Pinot Noir) at our tasting earlier this year, this was the least preferred of the evening. Perhaps an elegant Pinot is overwhelmed in the company of such powerful wines? Perhaps the bottle was slightly off? Who knows – there are no bottles available anywhere for a retaste.