The March 2012 tasting was a chance to open some fine wines from David's cellar, and share them among some great friends.  Some were new acquisitions, while others have been lying down in the cellar for over a decade.  While the sparkling wine and the port were known to the tasting group, the middle three reds were tasted blind.

Below are the notes, tasted in the order they were poured.  Thanks to Ali and Andy for hosting, and providing their usual selection of fine cheeses, as well as expertly grilled meat.

Domaine Carneros by Tattinger Brut 2006.  Fine bubbles, with a clean, crisp profile. Good blend of butter and citrus notes, especially pink grapefruit.  Gilles described it as being "very low in my mouth", while Joyce felt that it "tastes green", like "vinho verde".  Joyce found "old sock and dairy" on the nose, while Kristin found butterscotch on the finish. David felt that it was a little too youthful, perhaps having come from magnum has slowed its maturity.  Gets better as it warms.  About $50.

Ceretto Bricco Rocche Brunate Barolo 2000.  Tasters found scents of tobacco, roses, eucalyptus, and acetone initially, then tea, dust, caramel, and leather as it sat in the glass.  Gilles was reminded of "a rose garden", while Andy felt there was "almost a tawny thing to it", and noted it was "light for the smell", with "a whole book of smells".  In the mouth, there were notes of leather, soil, tar, and pepper.  Kristin found "something meaty", and Joyce noted "there's fruit, but dark fruit".  Most tasters thought this was French, with both Ali and Gilles guessing that it was a Chateauneuf du Pape.  About $75.

Clos St. Jean Chateauneuf du Pape 2009.  Offered complex scents of prune, dust, minerals, plastic, cherries, cinnamon, celery, caramel, smoke, creme brulee, and pepper.  Andy noted "salt water taffy" and "a little bit of hot".  Ali found "candied cherry" scents, but Gilles was reminded of "gym locker room".  Joyce decided it was "definitely newer".  Very youthful and very ripe on the palate, with a juicy, candy quality.  Medium-bodied and exuberant.  Andy felt that it was "ridiculous" and "over the top".  David was impressed with the purity and focus, and Gilles said that it "tickles my glands".  Joyce correctly identified this as Grenache, with Ali guessing "Carmenere, but probably Grenache".  Gilles said, "I feel like this is a new world wine".  About $50.

Jones Family Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 (Napa Valley).  Dark, with espresso, green pepper, Windex, lavender, bitter chocolate, old sneakers, underbrush, wet wood, honey, smoking ember, red licorice, cinnamon and rosewood scents. Joyce felt that it was "tightly weaved".  Full-bodied and intense, with flavors of caramel, vanilla, cassis, blackberry, iron, blueberry, and black olive.  Kristin noted "Christmas tree", and Gilles thought it was "more pink than red".  Ali found "bread dough on the finish".  Joyce, Andy, Kristin, and Ali correctly guessed it was a Cabernet, but Gilles said "not like a cab".  About $85.

Warre Vintage Port 1994.  David immediately said "uh, yeah" after smelling this.  Strongly alcoholic, with aromas of caramel, butterscotch, plums, smoke, and freshly brewed coffee.  Bold and powerful, with intense blueberry, blackberry, and caramel flavors.  Joyce noted that it was "stunningly appealing", and David was surprised about how youthful it was.  About $80.

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