Digging into the Cellar Party II

By John ~ December 10th, 2010.

Last week, the Wine Peeps team hosted our second Digging into the Cellar Party for about a dozen of our closest wine loving friends. Last month, the theme was Rhone-style wines. This month the theme was Red Blends, and we bookended a blind tasting of twelve 2005 and 2006 Red Blends from Washington State with a couple of French Bordeaux wines, the 2000 Chateau Moulin Riche Saint-Julien and the 2000 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac First Growth. The 2005 and 2006 vintages were excellent in Washington wine country, and we wanted to see how these wines were doing, and see which ones we thought still had a lot of life left.

What we found was that almost all the wines were drinking very well, the 2006’s we tasted were better overall than the 2005’s, and we estimated that many of them could easily go another 7 to 10 years. Although this was not a serious, take copious tasting notes, event, each attendee was asked to turn in the sack numbers of their three favorites so that we could get a composite favorites list.

After unveiling the sacked bottles, the consensus favorite of the group, as well as both Kori’s and my favorite, turned out to be the 2006 Grand Rêve Collaboration Series I, a red wine made for Grand Rêve by Ben Smith of Cadence Cellars entirely from Ciel du Cheval Red Mountain fruit. Other group favorites were the 2005 Tasawik Reserve and the 2006 Sheridan Mystique. Other favorites of Kori and mine were the 2006 Saviah Une Vallee, the 2005 Quilceda Creek Red Wine, and the 2005 Cave B Cuvée du Soleil.

Without a doubt, the overall favorite wine of the night was the 2000 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, and well it should have been with its high praise from critics and its price tag. While it was an outstanding wine, it did not “wow” me as much as I had hoped. With a recent auction in Asia that garnered a price of over $70,000 for one case of this wine, maybe my expectations were set too high.

All in all it was a super party with great friends and spectacular wine. We’re looking forward to doing it again in the New Year.


Filed under: American Wine, French Wine, Red Wine, Washington State Wine, Wine Activities/Events

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