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Storyline: Larry Meehan

he month of February in the Midwest can be very cold...what better than friends, fun, and of course fine wine (list at bottom of page) to warm our souls and chase away the winter blues?

Mary and Larry MeehanFor the second year running, the lovely Mary and I (right) pointed our car west and headed for the "Glass City" -- Toledo, to join with friends from places like Cincinnati, Day-twah, Indy, Chicagoland, Milwaukee and Cleveland...not to mention travelers from far off Boston and Utah. Still, I must admit that even amongst all my cluttered thoughts as to whether I had packed enough cutting boards, knives, utensils, etc., I had some lingering doubts -- "Could this event possibly be as good as last year?"

Sam and Jean LeoneIn less than thirty minutes after our arrival my fears had all but vanished...I was sitting in the somewhat palatial party suite of Chairman and Ms. Moe (Chris and Cathy Gross) sipping a bit of Viognier. After a few phone calls and multiple knocks at the door we were joined by Bill and Norma Paumen, Andy and Linda Keillor, Scott Thiede, Sam and Jean Leone (left), and others...smiles, flying corks and the occasional wail of Bob Marley on the CD player filled those small spots not occupied by fast arriving friends.

We adjourned to the hotel lounge (which the hotel staff graciously allowed us to "occupy" for the bulk of the weekend) where we began to arrange the night's featured libations -- a complete run of Flowers pinots (94-8) with a few chards and zins thrown in for good measure.

Between pulling corks and arranging bottles, it was nice to see Jim and Kristen Shimeck, Pam Patt and Jeff Gillikin, and Jeff Faunce and Amy McClellan as they made their arrivals. We commenced to sip through the Flowers wines with some mixed results -- some found them "too much", while others "not quite enough". For me, it was indeed a mixed bag as the early models seemed to have some problems...the 96's were drinking beautifully...the 97's and 98's seemed to be in need of time, but have a good sense of balance. That night we supped on East of Chicago pizza, mesculan salad, a myriad of fine cheeses and an impressive array of spreads and dips prepared by the Canadian Zinfan (Alan Kerr).

Saturday morning saw our "wino motorcade" of 7 loaded vehicles rolling over the highways and byways of Toledo. With Chairman Moe in the lead, we managed to get the entire group to Anderson's -- a true "superstore" where one could purchase anything from fine wine, to lumber, to Tony Packo's famous hot dogs.  Just about everyone found a few bottles to their liking (Tim Thomas purchased some NZ Sauv Blanc and Solengo, Jeff Witzel and Sara Misun (right with Linda Keillor) found some Essencia, and Dennis and Diane Jordan unearthed a mag of 90 Sauternes) and after carrying out 3 or 4 cases of wine, the group piled back into the vehicles, making a quick stop at the Libbey glass outlet and soon arrived back at the Courtyard.

Mike LawtonWe decided it was time for our "Ridge afternoon." Once the corks were pulled, the Draper creations did not disappoint. Smiles were abundant as we sipped Ridge and listened to geo t. "get his mojo workin' " on guitar and harp. Some tasters traded their stems for trunks and sloshed about in the inviting pool. Mike (right, looking a little jetlagged) and Carla Lawton were a fixture at the euchre table, proving it is not just a game for Midwesterners. Mark Horvatich (though calling in sick on Friday) thankfully gathered up the strength to join us as well.

Flowers Vineyard 

  • 1997 Flowers Porter Bass Chardonnay
  • 1998 Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
  • 1994 Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Pinot Noir
  • 1995 Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Pinot Noir
  • 1995 Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Pinot Noir Moon Select
  • 1996 Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Pinot Noir
  • 1996 Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Pinot Noir Moon Select
  • 1997 Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Pinot Noir
  • 1997 Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Pinot Noir Moon Select
  • 1997 Flowers Hirsch Pinot Noir
  • 1997 Flowers Carneros Pinot Noir
  • 1998 Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Pinot Noir
  • 1998 Flowers Pisoni Pinot Noir
  • 1998 Flowers Van der Kamp Pinot Noir
  • 1998 Flowers Talmage Bench Zinfandel

Ridge Vineyard

  • 1997 Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay
  • 1986 Ridge York Creek Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1993 Ridge Evangelo Mataro ATP
  • 1992 Ridge Pagani Zinfandel ATP
  • 1993 Ridge Lytton Springs
  • 1992 Ridge Jimsomare Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1995 Ridge Geyserville
  • 1995 Ridge Pagani Zinfandel
  • 1996 Ridge Pagani Zinfandel
  • 1999 Ridge Dusi Zinfandel ATP

Odd Year Cabernets

  • 1977 Beringer Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve
  • 1995 Castello Banfi Excelsus
  • 1993 Ornellaia
  • 1993 Pahlmeyer (Cabernet Sauvignon?)
  • 1993 Cornerstone Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain Beatty Ranch
  • 1991 Diamond Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Red Rock Terrace
  • 1989 Etude Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1993 Kenwood Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Artist Series
  • 1995 Araujo Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard
  • 1995 Leonetti Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1993 Caymus Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1995 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1989 Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon Martha's Vineyard
  • 1997 Schweiger Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1997 Jones Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1997 Vigil Meritage
  • 1991 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Knight's Valley
  • 1995 Neyers Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1995 Chateau Pontet Canet Pauillac
  • 1993 Seven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1995 Venge Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
  • 1995 Saddleback Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1995 L'Ecole No. 41 Cabernet Sauvignon Apogee
  • 1997 Etude Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1995 Chateau de la Genaiserie Les Simonnelles Coteaux du Layon Saint-Aubin "SGN"

Intro, Page Two

Flowers Tasting Notes

Ridge Tasting Notes

Odd Year Cab Tasting Notes

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© Gang of Pour February, 2001