Simply a chance to get together with great friends, celebrate Ali's birthday, eat amazing cheeses, and sample some wines from the cellar.  Highlights included the always reliable St. Supéry Sauvignon Blanc (a wine that we couldn't find a bad pairing for) and a very well-made Bordeaux.  At the low end was an unimpressive Shiraz from a usually great producer.

Wines are listed in the order poured.  No scoring.

Woop Woop The Chook Sparkling Shiraz Non-Vintage (South Eastern Australia).  Rich, with notes of milk chocolate, plums, cherry, and spices on the finish.  About $20.

St. Supéry Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (Napa Valley).  Bright, zesty, and really pleasurable.  Grapefruit, gooseberry, limes, soap, honeydew, green bell pepper, and salt water.  Begs for another taste.  Andy commented that "it’s not so much a conversation stopper, but a wine that wants a conversation with you".  Goes with everything.  About $20.

Clarendon Hills Syrah Liandra Vineyard 2002 (Clarendon). A twelve year old wine, showing aromas of damp old book, ground dark spices, black licorice, pine, and seaweed.  Very medicinal in the mouth, with eucalyptus and coffee flavors.  Seems past its prime and awkward.  Ali says that there’s some coziness to it, with "a few fairies flying around with it".  David called it "disappointing".  About $50.

Chateau Godeau 2009 (Saint-Emilion).  Nose suggesting cherries, charcoal, smoking embers, and espresso.  Solid.  Joyce says that "it’s at a nice place to drink".  Great structure and focus.  About $40.

Catena Malbec Alamos 2013 (Mendoza).  Smoky nose that also includes gasoline, new tire, wild berry, and alcohol.  Burnt espresso, under-ripe strawberry, and cocoa powder flavors.  About $10.

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