2011 was a great year and what better way to begin to top it than by ringing in 2012 with awesome food and insanely amazing wines?! My amazing fiance slaved for a few good hours and created a menu to die for: Sea Bass and caviar, arugula salad with cranberries and basil vinaigrette, dungeness crab cakes, roasted turnips and caramelized carrots. WOW!! Does it get any better? Not likely…. But it does when you bust out the wine! We had a 1976 Chateau La Mission Haut Brion Graves. A Cabernet and Merlot based blend with a touch of Cabernet Franc. This wine was truly amazing; smooth tannins, well structured still, slightly brick/brown in color but so earthy and delightful with the sea bass, the color did not even matter. I have not had a wine that aged before and it was really a great experience to taste something like that.
Aside from this amazing wine, we opened a long list of gems definitely worth mentioning: Starting the night off (a little backwards I suppose since you are really supposed to pop the bubbles at the stroke of midnight) with bubbly from one of my local favorites, Windsor Vineyards. The light and fruity Brut was the perfect accompaniment with the delicious truffle cheese Sherri (@SLHousman) and Dennis (@MrHousman) brought over.
Siduri 2004 Pinot Noir was fruit forward, had great weight on the palate and was a perfect sipping wine. The Sonoman 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon was as delightful as I remember when I first tried it at a Sonoma Meetup last fall. We opened this and let it hang out before drinking it, as it benefited greatly from the oxygen. Next up on the list was a 1998 Williams Selyem Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. OMG. This wine left me speechless. It could have gone either way, depending on how it was stored and thankfully Tim has a climate controlled cellar because this wine was perfect. Sherri was not a huge fan, though really enjoyed the chance to taste it. I on the other hand, thought it was spectacular. The light forest fruit on the front of the palate lead up to the smooth earthy mushroom, leather and coriander spices on the mid and back palate. The wine touched the mid palate, then moved to both sides and lingered in the back like velvet. This goes down on my list of greatest wines, for sure.
One other wine worth mentioning is the Stags Leaps 2002 Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon. Everything you can imagine a 2020 Napa Cabernet would be. It was still quite heavy and very firm tannin structure, lots of great dark fruit and well rounded; great with Tim’s (@UncleTimmy24) Cabernet chocolate cookies with the “Uncle Timmy’s spice rub”.
My version of ringing in 2012 was exactly what I had hoped it to be. I hope everyone had a great New Years celebration and I wish everyone a wonderful 2012!