It took an extra few weeks to find a Sunday during which Suburban’s staff could gather in its entirety to celebrate the end of the holiday rush. Finally, on February 21st, we settled in once again at Peter Pratt’s Inn for a devilish feast. The food, as always, was incredible (dishes emerged with names like Foie Gras Brulee, Pork Belly Stuffed Clams, Pepper-Charred Bison Carpaccio, Jamaican Jerked Duck Breast and Grilled Colorado Lamb T-Bones). But because of our relationship to the juice, the focus was there. Quite a line-up of wines was presented, and much was left behind for the Pratt’s accommodating staff to enjoy. Here’s what we drank, with a concise note on each:
Champagne Pierre Gimonnet ‘96
Vintage matters! So does patience. A rich and thrilling bubbly from a favorite grower.
Champagne Roederer Cristal Rosé ‘02
Way too young to consume but showing promise through beautiful acidity and graceful texture.
Domaine de Courcel Pommard 1er Clos des Epenots ‘97
To some, the wine of the night. Delicate, mature and simply beautiful premier cru.
Domaine Dujac Morey St Denis ’96 (magnum)
Maturing nicely as well. Elegant and understated flavors have Morey written all over them.
Arcadian Pinot Noir Francesca ‘00
Highly-anticipated, but somewhat disappointing. Central Coast Pinot with much oak.
Gruaud Larose St-Julien ‘95
In a very good place. Tobacco notes galore. Tannins are glorious. Exceptional with lamb.
Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf du Pape ‘98
Stylistically surprising. Aromas of rugged earth and pepper. Wonderfully “out there”.
Cuvee du Vatican Chateauneuf du Pape ‘05
Young and tightly wound. Showing some soy and herb notes. Its best days are ahead.
Le Terrazze Rosso Conero Sassi Neri ‘96
We’ve revisited this wine numerous times, and it never seems to age. Sexy, timeless juice.
Torre Muga Rioja ’03 (magnum)
Every bit a Torre Muga, but in a warm vintage. Tempranillo with the volume turned way up.
Snowden Cabernet Sauvignon The Ranch ‘07
Very large-scaled Napa Cab. Big ripe fruit, tons of oak. Let’s try this one again in 10 years.
Robert Biale Zinfandel Black Chicken ‘06
Classic Chicken. Biale’s finest Zin never disappoints. Ferocious brambly fruit. A pleasure.
Carlisle Syrah ‘01
Still very much alive. Sweet and alcoholic, but true-to-form warm-climate Syrah.
Saxum GSM James Berry Vineyard ‘07
We’re talkin’ dark and sweet. Dare I call this Central Coast blend slutty? Parker 100 points!
Kalleske Shiraz Johann Georg ‘03
Barossa Shiraz at its finest. Powerful but in balance. Spicy, complete and very giving.
Selbach-Oster Riesling Beerenauslese Zeltinger Sonnenuhr ’01 (375ml)
Truly the wine of the night. Precision, complexity, length, sweetness and acid. Perfection!
Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes ‘91
Even an imperfect vintage of d’Yquem is impressive. Crème Brulee in a bottle.