In a stirring show of patriotism,
Wolf (right) held his 3rd annual “Meatfest” on
Harbor Day (or night, as the case may be), December 7th,
2002. First reported
in these pages 2 years ago, Meatfest is a vegetarian’s nightmare,
and a carnivore’s delight. The menu featured a variety of smoked and grilled goodies,
including salmon, ribs, beef tenderloin, a 10 pound leg of lamb and haunch
of venison, not to mention a delectable version of Michigan moose turd
pie. (It was GOOD, though!) Mr. Wolf’s only directive to prospective
guests was to “bring red wine.” And
that they did. I was barely
in the door before I had a glass in hand and a swig in my mouth. I didn’t come close to trying everything that was opened, but
here’s a rundown on what did make it into my glass. I actually began with a bit of something white.
Jacquesson Rully 1st Cru “La Purcelle:” A medium straw that’s all stones and pears on the
nose, this gains some detergent on the palate, with decent acidity and a
nice finish. This will surely
benefit from some cellar time.
Kistler McCrea Chardonnay: The oak is well integrated in this medium straw
masterpiece, with rich flavors and aromas of nutty stones over ripe pears,
all kept moving along very nicely with excellent acidity.
A long finish tops off the marvelous package, making for one
delicious glass of wine that’s anything but the usual cookie-cutter
Carlisle Two Acres: A concoction of Mourvedre, Petite Sirah, Valdepenas,
Refosco and Alicante Bouschet, this ruby dark garnet is rumored to have
been blended in Mike Officer’s kitchen sink.
With its sweet oak, subtle smoke, red berry and plum nose, it takes
on a somewhat deeper, darker character on the palate, being medium full to
full bodied and having some tannins still to shed.
Kahle remarked that this certainly “shows its Russian
River Valley terroir,” and Joel
Goldberg opined that it is “a little light, typical of the
vintage.” Good stuff if you
du Pégau Châteauneuf du Pape:
Always a Gang
favorite, this slightly cloudy dark garnet shows typical earthy smoke
and leather over plum and prune, making for a classic Pegau profile.
We sucked our last one of these down a year or more ago, but it’s
still in no danger of fading any time soon.
Finca Catena Zapata Angelica Zapata Malbec: Another
slightly cloudy dark garnet, this was a big hit with the crowd, and for
$120 a bottle, it should have been! With
a big sweet oak, red berry and red currant nose, it turns a little earthy
on the palate, but despite its generous opulence, it’s at least 5 years
away from optimum drinking. Very
Poured from a 3 litre bottle, this murky dark garnet Super Tuscan is all
about funk, earth, leather and sour and black cherries.
Smooth and dry, this is drinking well, though perhaps not quite
living up to its exalted pedigree.
Gaia Estate Angiorgitiko: This deep crimson libation is a product of Nemea,
Greece, and features sweet oak and black fruit on a big
full bodied frame; good tannins and acidity here, making for one nice
glass of wine. Alan
Jarvis says it goes for 11 quid, whatever the hell that
Ridge Howell Mountain Zinfandel: A slightly rusty ruby dark garnet, this is rather
funky, and not in an altogether pleasant way.
It has a stewed, almost cooked character that overpowers some
decent berry flavors underneath, causing
Bonk (below left, with wife Andrea,
John's friend Pat and the Wolfman
himself) to put it aside “to open up;” he swears that
another bottle of the same that was sampled a few months ago was showing
beautifully, and I have no reason to doubt his word.
However, with the wealth of riches being opened and poured, I never
did get back to this to see if indeed it ever came around.
1994 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf du Pape
1997 Finca Catena Zapata Angelica Zapata Malbec
1998 Gaia Estate Angiorgitiko
1989 Ridge Howell Mountain Zinfandel
2000 Charles Melton 9 Popes
1999 Bramere Mendoza Malbec
1989 Summit Lake Howell Mountain Zinfandel
1999 Domaine Sarda-Malet Côte du Roussillon
1993 Ridge Geyserville
1990 Paul Jaboulet Aine Crozes Hermitage Domaine du Thalabert
1994 Bois de Boursan Châteauneuf du Pape
2000 Schrader Napa Cabernet Sauvignon “Original Tokalon Vineyard”
1995 Chateau de Lancyre Coteaux du Languedoc Pic St. Loup Grand Cuvee
1992 Ridge Lytton Springs
1988 Vieux Telegraphe Châteauneuf du Pape
Accolades for Gang of Pour site
Bramere Mendoza Malbec: Made by Paul Hobbs, this ruby dark garnet shows
sweet toasty oak and woody cassis and black currant; rich, intense and
fairly tannic, this particular bottle was also slightly corked, but not so
that you couldn’t get a good read on it.
Some with a higher tolerance to TCA than Joel Goldberg and this
taster found it to be perfectly acceptable, and who am I to blow against
Domaine Sarda-Malet Côte du Roussillon: This wine is deep, dark and
mysterious, showing dense black currant and black berry flavors with
earthy, twiggy undertones, owing to “a lot of Mourvedre,” according to
Joe Moorehouse (right, wearing blue
plaid, along side Kurt Laukner). It’s
a very nice wine, but in obvious need of some cellaring; I’d like to try
it again, some years down the road.
Geyserville: This is still showing most of that pretty fruit that
it’s offered since day 1; the “Draper perfume” is in somewhat more
subdued proportions than it once was, but it’s still drinking quite
well, with its raspberry and cinnamon character.
Not quite the equal of the bottle tasted last May at califusa’s
“Meeting of the Geezers” event, but still quite tasty.
Jaboulet Aine Crozes Hermitage Domaine du Thalabert: There’s still
not much rust to this dark garnet, just plenty of everything that we love
about Thalabert, with its big plum and blackberry essence shaded with
earth and leather. This is
almost fruit forward for an old Crozes, and I could have sat and gotten to
know it much better, but alas, there were other things to move on to.
1994 Bois de
Boursan Châteauneuf du Pape:
Here is proof once again that this producer is making what has to be one
of the most consistently delicious and at the same time value oriented Châteauneufs on the market. This particular model is almost floral in nature, with its
earthy, leathery prune and plum flavors and aromas.
There are still some tannins to shed, so there’s no rush to drink
this up if you have any; a fine example of the Bois de Boursan experience.
1995 Chateau de
Lancyre Coteaux du Languedoc Pic St. Loup Grand Cuvee: The big brother
(sister?) of a wine we got to know
and love last year, this deep dark garnet is showing big dark earthy
plum and black currant flavors and aromas.
Despite the fact that it’s still rather tannic, Gary Kahle (from
whose cellar it came) feels that it’s at its peak, but I have to wonder
if in fact it might not benefit from a few more years in the bottle.
Lytton Springs: Still showing no bricking as of yet, this lovely
features big overripe blackberry, black raspberry and plum flavors and
aromas prettied up with “all that Draper perfume,” and an earthy
quality to boot. Almost sun baked, it reminds me of one of Ridge’s Paso
Robles models. A real treat,
as we drank up what we had of these years ago.
Telegraphe Châteauneuf du Pape:
The last entry in my little Spider-man notebook reads “A lovely CdP, but
my note taking is kaput! All
I can say is yumm!!!”
It was a great evening of food and
wine, with a group of fine folks that we’ve gotten to know and gain great affection for through our MoCool adventures.
Alan Kerr, AKA
Canadian Zinfan, who has manned the grills during past Meatfests,
was missed, due to a mean schedule that prevented his attendance. Nevertheless, glasses were raised in a toast to him, and it
is hoped that he can once again join us during next year’s renewal of