The regular format was set aside in October in favor of dinner at Ali & Andy's. Our hosts are astonishing in their ability to select fine cheeses and charcuterie, which were all excellent matches with the Pinot Gris, and the reds were a good complement to the roasted pork.
The wines below were from David's cellar, and listed in the order poured.
Louis Roederer Non-Vintage Brut Premier Champagne. Aromas and flavors of white mushrooms, grapefruit, red berries, and a creaminess for texture. Very refined. Really zippy and lively this time, suggesting this bottle could have used a year in the cellar. About $45.
Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve 2010 (Alsace). Smells of peaches, white minerals, Bazooka bubble gum, and wax. Lots of fruit in the mouth, such as ripe pear, guava, and apples. David felt that "I don't love this wine on its own, but it's great with the cheese and paté". About $14.
Ridge Lytton Springs 2009 (Dry Creek Valley). Made from 71% Zinfandel, 23% Petite Sirah, and 6% Carignane. David thought that "this is really beautiful" and Ali noted that "it's got that great earth-spice" to it. Blueberry, violets, wet wood, and subtle smoke scents. Andy was reminded of "crayons". Tasted of blueberry and cola flavors with fantastic purity. David felt that "this is the type of wine that is so balanced that you can't pick out one thing in particular". Gorgeous, with a long finish. About $40.
Beringer Merlot Bancroft Ranch 1997 (Howell Mountain). Something medicinal on the nose, plus black olives, black cherries, leather, and licorice. Ali decided that "I kind of want to swim in this". Dusty and dark, with some peppery spice, this is mature, and has outstanding balance. About $75.