Monday, March 21, 2011

What I Am Drinking - March 19th.

While visiting my daughter’s family in New York, I was fortunate enough to be invited to a wonderful wine tasting at their friend’s house.   This was not just another wine tasting; the purpose of the evening was to present the 2009 version of a boutique Napa winery’s all time best production, whose 2008 version had just gotten a 98 from Robert Parker!!

And on top of that, the wine was named for the host of the party.  Sounded like an invitation that could not be passed up.

Bevan Cellars is a small winery in Santa Rosa California.  A couple of years ago, Eric Epstein visited it and fell in love with their wines.  He hosted a party for them at his East Coast home to introduce the wines to his friends, who bought up a goodly part of the total production.  These sales enabled the winery to grow and, in his honor, Russell Bevan named his new cuvee of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc after Eric:  Double E   Proprietary Blend.  Michel Rolland tasted it and recommended Robert Parker try it.   Parker gave it a 98!!  For a winemaker, that evaluation is on par with winning the Olympics or being crowned Miss Universe.

Some 60 guests tasted this and other offerings from Bevan Cellars Saturday at the Epstein party and the wines were very impressive.  The production is limited so there was not a lot to go around but the double E was truly delicious, with the 2009 version being even better than the 2008 evaluated by Parker.   Additionally, another new wine, hesitatingly named after Eric’s wife Julia, which is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, was equally superb.

These two wines are very long in the finish with a silky smoothness typical of Bordeaux.
The grapes are rich and the French Oak helps round off a very enjoyable experience.  The tonalities of blueberries and flowers come through with a flourish.  Terrific!!

As wonderful as the Bevan wines were, Eric chose to open up his wine cellar of many jewels and generously poured some very special wines.  The first was a Sassicaia 2006 which was simply marvelous.   This is perhaps Italy’s finest wine and my favorite has always been Angelo Gaja’s wines.  This wine is quite complex, with rivers of many grapes forming an orgasmic finish of bliss.  This wine was served without any time to breathe,  and yet it was simply amazing.  I noticed that Parker gives this wine a 97!!   Yet he calls it one of the best Italian vintages of all times, so go figure.

Next, Eric opened a Clos Apalta 2003, arguably the best wine ever produced from Chile.  Selected by Wine Spectator as the wine of the year a couple of years ago, Clos Apalta is truly superb.  The only stellar wine of the night that varied from the Cabernet base, Apalta is known as the Bordeaux region of Chile, where the best Carmenere is produced.
Very distinct from the other fabulous wines, this Apalta has lots of minerals to compliment the wonderful grapes and the aromas of violets that dominate.  And the price is a third of the other wines, if that!!