December 29, 2010

Face-off at Classified

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The last MNSC dinner on Monday confirmed Pineapple's position at the top of the MNSC league this year, but also left us with a tie for last place - between the Ox and myself.  As this has never happened before in the last 7 years during which we've been scoring our blind tastings, Lord Rayas - last year's loser and the current convenor - proposed a taste-off.  The boys got all excited and wanted to get it done before the end of the year, and we agreed to meet up at Classified in Exchange Square today.

OK, so this ain't exactly the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, but I walked into Classified tonight feeling like a prize fighter in a title fight.  The Ox, of course, is an avid boxer and was totally feeling it.  The gang even gathered a small audience to witness the face-off between us.

We would blind taste 2 bottles, which would have a theme per usual MNSC rules.  We were each given a reasonable pour of both wines.

Wine "A" - smoky, savory, very ripe nose, a bit cooked and minty.  Smooth on the palate but I could definitely feel the tannins.  Color was very dark.  94 points.  Given my experience 2 nights ago with the 1950 vintage - where I thought the wines were much younger - I thought the boys would continue the theme and choose 2 bottles from the same vintage.  I submitted 1950 Cheval Blanc as my guess.  Amazingly, the Ox also thought it was Cheval Blanc but from the 1985 vintage.  Turns out the wine was 1985 Solaia...  Neither of us were anywhere close in terms of the identity of the wine, although the Ox got the vintage correct.    Two points for the Ox, zip for me.

Wine "B" - this was very funky from the start, with herbs, exotic spices, smoke, black olives and green peppers in the nose.  Pretty tannic.  95 points.  I knew it wasn't French, and the herbs and spices kept bringing me back to Spain.  I submitted 1950 Vega Silicia Unico as my guess, remembering how young all those Unicos tasted 2 years ago.  The Ox guessed it was 1985 L'Evangile.  Again, neither of us were anywhere close... as the wine was actually 1985 Joseph Phelps Insignia.  Two points for the Ox, none for me.

I didn't exactly get knocked-out by the Ox, but he still delivered a one-two punch that scored points to win by judges' decision.  While it was clear tonight that we both sucked, I just happened to suck a little more...  So the job of next year's convenor will now fall on me.

As a consolation for sticking around, I got to taste the 1978 Bouchard Montrachet that someone brought over.  Very toasty and smoky, like smoked lardon/pancetta, with notes of rye bread.  Kinda acidic on the finish.

I ran off to dinner with my tail tucked between my legs...

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