Rare Breeds – May 9th, 2014

Tasting and blog post by: Eric Southward

I was scared. People dropped a lot of money to come to our sold-out tasting last night, and I just wanted the wines to show well. It doesn’t matter how well you present from up front, when people spend their hard-earned dollars to taste expensive wines, then the wines better deliver.

And last night, the wines performed. Thank God… what a night!
Our “Rare Breeds” events are really just an exercise in decadence. If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of these tastings at the Kensington Wine Market, our only real goal for the evening is for you to sway and swoon in organoleptic delight. The wines stole the show.

Thank. The. Lord.

THE LINEUP:

NV Armand de Brignac Champagne Brut Rose: Let’s be honest, “value” was a word that had absolutely no place at this tasting. “Value” wasn’t the point. Armand de Brignac is a producer that doesn’t want to challenge you – they don’t want to complicate your experience. What do they want? They want to be a part of your special night without “F-in” it up. Mission accomplished. This was rich, delicious Champagne that can hold its own at any table, anywhere. Yum! Move on…

2008 Bond Cabernet Sauvignon “Quella”: raised the bar at the beginning of an impressive Cabernet Sauvignon flight. Intense, yet complex aromas of spring flowers, cassis, sage and mocha without a hint of heat. Tannins are youthful, yet impressively soft, and enjoyable. Flavours of milk chocolate suggest a little too much new oak, yet everything seems in balance. Really well done.

2009 Kapcsandy Cabernet Sauvignon “State Lane Vineyard”: much richer than the previous Napa Cab. Just pure, sunny Napa fruit. The group loved the honest black and blue fruit character that this wine offered, without any apparent oak. A touch of heat showed this wine’s youthfulness, but this wine was pure Napa. “Somebody get me a T-Bone!”

2010 Chateau Haut-Bailly: tragic. The wine that failed to show its best. This was closed down. It was the shy, pimply 11-year old at the tasting. It lacked any sort of confidence. It’s going to be an amazing adult, but it was just a terribly awkward adolescent. Come back to it in 2025.

2005 Greenock Creek Cabernet Sauvignon “Roennfeldt Road”: woooooooooowwwwwww, what a wine! I can’t express to you how explosive this wine was aromatically! 48 cases of this magical black currant nectar was produced, and it was my wine of the night. One of the best wines I’ve ever tasted. Period. End of story. This wine will be indestructible. It will last as long as you. An explosive black-hole of a wine. I’m still trying to understand what this wine means to me… what does that mean?!

2006 Bussola Amarone della Valpolicella Classico “Vigneto Alto TB”: the group’s bronze medal winner. Flavours of date and caramel that failed to bring the magic, in my opinion. Very, very good, but not fantastic. But, what the heck do I know…

2007 Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes: this wine is made by magical elves, right?! I mean… come on! I’ve had Yquem multiple, and it’s always been great. I mean that in the truest sense of the word: Yquem is “great.” The group voted Yquem the wine of the evening, and it wasn’t even close. It’s hard to argue. Honey, ginger, and baked apricot flavours grab a hold of your olfactory senses, and don’t let go for minutes.

Thank you to everyone who made this night possible – it was special, and I felt blessed to be a part of it. In all sincerity: thank you.

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