Taking a pause from the usual tasting format, we got together this month to celebrate both Kristin's birthday and Ali & Andy's nine year anniversary. 

The first three bottles were from David's cellar, and the last was brought along by our guests to go with dessert.

Wines are listed in the order poured.

Heidsieck & Co. Monopole Brut Rosé Champagne Non-Vintage.  Iridescent platinum/copper color, with a floral nose (mostly roses), plus fresh bread dough.  Almost creamy in the mouth, very elegant, with nice tartness, supporting cranberry, honey, and butterscotch flavors.  With time, more cherry notes show up.  About $45.

Mer Soleil Silver Chardonnay 2011 (Santa Lucia Highlands).  Green hue.  Ripe honeydew, pears, caraway seed, and celery on the nose.  Nearly full-bodied, showing herbal and ripe citrus flavors, with great acidity.  There's some agave sweetness here, plus clove, then caramel, and dark spices.  Sees no oak aging.  About $25.

Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (Napa Valley).  Beringer's best Cabernet bottling once again delivers.  Focused nose of tar, cassis, smoke, lavender, and black cherry.  Really beautiful.  Ali noted that is "smells like Napa".  With air, dust, date, and cocoa powder notes emerge.  Full-boded, rich without being heavy, with very ripe tannins.   Ali felt that is was "like red hots meets violets".  Gorgeous long finish.  About $100.

Grahams Six Grapes Ruby Port.  Smells heavily of alcohol, but then lots of plum and blueberry flavors, moving to cherry and granite/slate.  Rich, but not too sweet or fatiguing, finishing with good length.  About $20.

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