Had a dinner invite from DarrellCorti and we tried these wines:
1. Cruess fiano RRV (13.2%) 2017: Pale color; rather fragrant Fiano/floral/carnations bit stony/mineral quite attractive nose; lightly tart rather quiet floral/Fiano/carnations/white flowers bit stony/mineral flavor; long lightly floral/white flowers bit stony/chalky/mineral finish; quite a pretty/quiet expression of Fiano but hasn't the intensity or rusticity of Fiano from SouthernItaly. $28.00
2. HarborWnry Chard NapaVlly (12%) 1975: Deep gold color; some nutty/old Chard some smokey/toasty/oak/cedary bir melony/Chard very complex nose; lightly tart beautiful old Chard/nutty/creme brulee some toasty/cedary/oak/smokey slight old sherry-like smooth/graceful very complex flavor; very long some cedary/pencilly/smokey/oak some nutty/old Chard/bit sherry-like very complex finish; one of the best old Calif Chards I can recall; no real signs of oxidation except in a good way; incredible Card that words cannot do justice to; amazing stuff that's not going to fall apart anytime soon.
3. Ch.Latour 1970: Very dark color; very strong blackcurranty/Cab rather cedary/pencilly/oak bit herbal/dusty/forest floor/coffee quite complex youthful nose; rather tart/tangy/bit angular/metallic some blackcurranty/Cab/herbal fairly cedary/pencilly/oak rather complex flavor w/ some hard tannins; very long/lingering some blackcurranty/Cab/herbal/dusty some cedary/pencilly/oak finish w/ ample hard tannins; a fantastic old Bdx nose but doesn't quite deliver on the palate and seems a bit hard/angular/gritty; hard to tell of additional age will soften this wine up.
4. HarborWnry CabernetSauvignon SpringLaneVnyd/NapaVlly (13.5%; U/U) 1982: Beautiful cedary/pencilly/oak bit blackcurranty/Cab slight plummy quite complex nose; slightly tart some cedary/pencilly/smokey/oak some blackcurranty/Cab/plummy bit herbal/dusty rather youthful wonderfully complex rather old-timey flavor w/ modest smooth/gentle tannins; very long/lingering smooth/balanced light blackcurranty/Cab/plummy slight herbal/dusty fairly cedary/pencilly/smokey/oak very complex finish w/ light smooth tannins that goes on & on; quite youthful for a 37 y.o. NapaCab; a beautiful example of a fully mature old-timey Calif Cab w/ no signs of an imminent demise; haven't had an old Cab this good in many a yr.
A wee BloodyPulpit:
1. Cruess is a new producer for me. I thought the name sounded a bit familiar. The great-uncle of AlissaCruess was one William V. Cruess. He was a professor at UC/Berkeley and largely responsible for returning Calif wines to greatness after the fall of Prohibition. He then went on to found the School of Enology/Vit at UC/Davis.
2. Some of my most pleasant experiences in Calif have been at table with DarrellCorti. He always chooses an interesting group of people and the discussions are always wide-ranging and spirited. Darrell is the consummate educator and you never leave his table w/o learning something on a vast array of topics. His knowledge is encyclopaedic. If often commented that if he'd chosen to be a physicist rather than a grocer...he'd have won a Nobel Prize.
Joining John/Darrell/myself was Margo Jameson, a long-time friend of Darrell's from Portland who was down for a long weekend to have some of Darrell's comfort food. She has a son, Kyle, who is a professional mountain biker from Bend/OR. Look at some of his YouTube videos to see what a real athlete looks like. He's incredible.
3. Harbor: CharlieMeyers was a SacCityCollege English professor who got interested in wine and became a home winemaker. He started making Zin in the early '60's from a vnyd in AmadorCnty of KenDeaver (Sr.); a craggy/raw-boned/rangy farmer of some very old Zin vines. He showed one of those early Zins to Darrell, who was mightly impressed. When BobTrinchero was looking for an alternative (read cheap) Zin source, Darrell suggested he try the Deaver grapes. That was the famed SutterHome Amador Zin '68. And the rest is history.
Charlie founded the HarborWnry label in the early '70's in a (cheap) warehouse in the industrial bottoms of WestSac on HarborBlvd, right behind Wingo & Sons Upholstery shop. Harbor was one of those wineries that flew below everyone's radar; cranking out solid/old-timey wines for yrs. I was, of course, introduced to them by Darrell and would buy nearly every one..even the (pfffttt!) Merlot.
Charlie was a lovable/crusty curmudgeon and would often join us at Darrell's table. I took a huge liking to him & was greatly saddened when he died several yrs ago. His daughter, Margaret, was supposed to join us but a mixup prevented that happening.
These two Harbors were mightly impressive. Both fully mature but amazingly youthful. Words cannot even bgin to describe them. They were the kind of wines you kept going back for another glass and would find something new every time. Charlie was an incredible winemaker, and person, who never received the fame & fortune he truly deserved. And that was, no doubt, just fine with Charlie.

Edited by TomHill (09-13-2019 16:53:32)