Gang of Pour.com
* Photo courtesy of Sam and Jean Leone
Afternoon at the Parfitís
day after the Montelena tasting,
Matt and Alicia Parfit (left) opened their beautiful home
on the south side of Petaluma (you know, where all the jazz and
blues guys hang out) to any of the previous dayís participants
who cared to show up, and more than a few did just that.
There was Sam and Jean Leone, Jon Cook (who
helped out with organizing) and Kira Maximovich, Rob
and Ilene Adler (who HADNíT been to Montelena), Larry
and Mary Meehan, David and Glenda King, David
Wright and Pamela Mallett, Richard Leland, John Jenness, Bree, Kim
and you-know-who. Kim and I had never met Matt and Alicia
before, and found them to be delightful folks; I was even more
impressed when he let slip that he is a Jazz Ďbone player and
she mentioned that there was a stash of H. Upmann Islanders
in the cellar.
got started with a tasty flute of Roederer
Estate Non-Vintage Brut Anderson Valley, all rich,
toasty green apple/pear with a decent bead. It was a
perfect match for a batch of fresh oysters that David Wright
brought along, cracking and serving them out in the back yard.
After that, it was a grab bag with everyone tasting whatever
they liked from the assembled mass of bottles on the kitchen
counter. I started with white Burgundy.
Domaine dí Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet Mersault Premier Cru
Les Poruzots, 13.5 alc.: Pale gold with a toasty oak/
butterscotch/pear bouquet that follows through on the palate
where it gains a note of anise. Just enough acidity and a
long finish round out a very attractive package.
Martinelli Russian River Valley Gewurztraminer Martinelli
Vineyard, 14.5 alc.: Medium straw, oily, low acid
with rich, intense honeysuckle/peach flavors and aromas and a
slightly bitter finish. The closest thing to Alsace Iíve
ever tasted in a Left Coast Gewurz. Yumm!
Dehlinger Russian River Valley Syrah, 13.5 alc.:
There was some controversy regarding this dark garnet; Bree
swore it was corked, and a couple of people agreed with him.
Others swore that there was no TCA, but there was plenty of
rich, lush earthy plum/blackberry character with hints of
leather and mostly resolved tannins.
Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Crau,
14% alc.: Dark garnet with a purple tinge, this is a fruit bomb
by CdP standards with plum/prune/toast/ berry/leather flavors and
aromas and a soft texture and tannins. Rob Adler (left
with Ilene and geo t.) pointed out correctly that it has ďplenty of structure,Ē
however. Some of us stood enjoying this while practicing
our synchronized swirlatude in the event that it becomes a
demonstration event in the next Olympics.
Ken Wright Willamette Valley Pinot Noir McCrone Vineyard,
12 % alc. (and it shows it): Smoky ruby garnet with effusive
aromatics and smoky black cherry character, this is medium
bodied, with silky tannins that can use some time, but it peters
out on the finish.
Pride Sonoma Cabernet Franc: Dark garnet with huge
sweet oak/red currant/ multi-berry/big maple syrup flavors and
aromas; very smooth with no tannins to speak of, and good
acidity. I donít want to like this wine, but I really
Milagro Napa Syrah: The oak isnít as pronounced as
in the Pride, but itís still quite prominent; medium full body
with red currant/ raspberry character thatís not as dense as
your average Syrah. Surprisingly, this was overwhelmed by
the grilled sausages and sauces.
There was also some great grilled salmon and steak that were well appreciated, as was the friendship and the hospitality of our host and hostess. Just before we departed, Alicia appeared with two of the aforementioned Upmann Habanas for Doggie and me, and a big Cohiba for herself. We took a spot a little away from the rest of the crowd on the back deck, not wanting our smoke to intrude on their noses. The Upmanns were full bodied cigars, with big meaty tobacco flavors that were the perfect ending to a wonderful afternoonís gathering. Many thanks to Matt and Alicia Parfit, Jon Cook, and all those who attended.