And the day wouldn’t
have been complete with another musical jam with my buddy Guido aka Dave
There were more than
130 attendees this year, and the Gang was there in force, of course.
Alan Kerr aka Canadian Zinfan and califusa really
outdid themselves at the grill and in the kitchen, with a very able
assist from Kirsten Van Dam. The Bored
Doughnuts were there, along with the rest of the previous
evening’s crew. And it
was especially nice to see Sharlan Douglas aka Chanteuse and
husband Ken Hebenstreit aka The Bookseller (left) in attendance.
It was also way cool
renewing acquaintances with members of the Toledo Gang (Larry and
Mary Meehan, Pam Patt and Jeff Gillikin, Matt
Cooper and wife Aimee, Mark Looker (below with geo t. and
MoCool server) and wife Rachelle
Jacques and Tim Thomas), although we never did find an
opportunity to do another Pool Chant.
And then there were our friends Deb Wentz, Gene and Katherine Shensky, Bob Henrick (below left), Manuel Camblor, Frank and Linda Baldwin, Frank Joyce and Mary Anne Barnett, Stuart Yaniger , Joe and Andrea Bonk, Mike Brenton and Deb Cole, Manuel Camblor, Alan and Maire Jarvis, Gary and Georgine Kahle, Steve Kirsch, Joe Moorehouse, Joe Pinto, Lew and Nancy Rodrick, Dennis Strzalkowski, and Chris Weber, all of whom we never get to spend as much time with as we’d wish.
As always, MoCool organizers Jay and Cindy Baldwin, Joel and Sally Goldberg, Dave Guimond, John and Jennifer Wolf are to be heartily commended for taking the considerable time and effort to make MoCool happen.
Some Special Treats from Down Under
By: Matthew Cooper
The two samples I brought were from a new winery called "Lashmar" on Kangaroo Island. Lashmar (derived from Colin's wife's maiden name) is owned and operated by Colin Cooter of Lengs & Cooter fame (L&C wines received some rave reviews by Parker in his last Australian issue). When I told him about MoCool and the theme this year, he thought it would be a great place to introduce his wines to the US. He was kind enough to send me some samples of his newly bottled Kangaroo Island Cabernet Sauvignon and his Three Valleys Shiraz. Neither one of these wines had been tasted in the US until a small group of WCWNers got together and sampled the goods last Friday night. I also brought them to the Saturday picnic for all to taste. Colin was also nice enough to send me some bottles of his 1998 Possum's Kent Park Cabernet Sauvignon ("Possum" is a play off of his uncle's nickname), which he has been making for his family and personal consumption for a few years.1999 Lashmar Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark ruby in color with a violet rim. The nose was complex and multidimensional, giving aromas of black currants, dried herbs, tobacco and clay. The acid in this wine was immediately noticeable, no doubt a symptom of the bottling. Despite this, the wine was mouth-coating and buttressed by a stiff, tannic backbone. The finish is promising, but cut short by the acid at this point. Needs time to come together before it can be fairly assessed.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that many thought Lashmar's Three Valleys Shiraz was the wine of the weekend (not a bad commentary given the hundreds of wines tasted!). It truly has a character all of its own and stands out when tasted up against other Aussie Shiraz. Only a precious 150 cases were produced. Colin decided to make this wine by blending three separate lots of Shiraz from three different locations in Australia: 58% Eden Valley (chosen for its great perfumed, peppery nose), 28% Clare Valley (thick, used to give the wine structure and backbone), and 14% McLaren Vale (very nice, chocolatey fruit, almost bottled separately). Fermented in new American oak barrels, the result was great, spicy, atypical (for Aus) Shiraz. This sample was showing much better than the Cabernet Sauvignon, perhaps because it was placed in the bottle in mid-March.
1999 Lashmar Three Valleys Shiraz
Dark ruby/purple color all the way to the rim. The nose explodes with the scent of freshly ground peppercorns, sweet red plums and dark chocolate. Sweet tannins and acidity add structure to this wine with the American oak showing itself towards the end of the 25+ second finish. I hope a lot of this finds its way to my cellar!
Lastly from Lashmar, the 1998 Possum's Magic Kent Park Cabernet Sauvignon. Although not technically a Lashmar wine, it was certainly the precursor. This was a very enjoyable wine! The fruit comes from Kent Park, a small block of vines located on Colin's father-in-law's property just off of Antichamber Bay on Kangaroo Island. The wine is the result of 10 year old vines.
1998 Possum's Magic Kent Park Kangaroo Island Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark ruby in color. Eucalyptus, kirsch and ripe cherries dominate the nose and palate. Not as complex or as full-bodied as the Lashmar offering, but the soft, round tannins make this wine a pleasure to drink. Too bad it is not for sale. If only I had more…
Another winemaker who sent me samples to offer the guests at MoCool was David Anderson at Wild Duck Creek Estates. The maker of the famous "Duck Muck" decided to produce a Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine in the same full-blown, over-the-top style. The result is simply amazing! The fruit for this wine was hand selected and hand picked at perfect ripeness from a small patch of vines. Yields came in at 2 tones/acre. Aged in 100% new French oak barrels and available in only tiny quantities, this wine needs to be tasted to be believed. It was my favorite wine of the weekend.
Wild Duck Creek Estates Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
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