Friday, June 13, 2014

What Happens in Vegas, Ends up in a Wine Blog (TM)

Oh wow, our first Vegas dinner ended up at Aureole, in Mandalay Bay; a restaurant that features 50,000 bottles of wine. That is not a typo. Where do they keep those bottles of wine? In a glass tower, of course.

How do they GET to those bottles?? Why, a hot girl in a trapeze, naturally.

I've always wanted to try a caesar salad served vertically.

Dinner was excellent; and if you noticed the bottle of wine on the table behind the salad tower, you may know where we are going with our first wine review of the evening.

Silver Oak 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($175 or so in Canada)

Dark purple in colour with luscious aromas of berries. Extremely fruitful on the mid-palate, finishing with cherries and berries and a hint of awesomeness. My wife described this as the best bottle of wine she had ever tasted, and with the possible exception of one bottle of ice wine, I would agree. The tannins are smooth and ripe, and this wine would only improve with careful cellaring, probably for another 10-15 years. It's tough to imagine it could improve much. 96.

The only problem with starting with this bottle was that nothing could compare; we had some other great wine, but nothing close to this one.

Zeitgeist 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($135 at restaurant)

Dark berries and some herbs on the nose. Very fruit forward, but exceptionally balanced. A nice Cab from a less-known Napa Valley producer. 90.

Paolo Scavino 1999 Bric Del Fiasc Barolo ($225 at restaurant)

Opened up nicely in the glass; was probably approaching full maturity. Fruit and earth combined beautifully in this sublime example of Italy's top grape. Tiny notes of spice and licorice on the finish. 93.

2010 Mer Soleil Chardonnay ($30 or so in Canada)

Rich and creamy without being overwhelming, with tasty notes of pineapple and coconut intermingling with citrus. For the money, a top notch California Chardonnay. 90.

2009 Penfolds Barossa Valley RWT Shiraz ($150 or so in Canada)

Deep purple in colour with dark fruits and a hint of oak on the nose. Blackberries and some spice on the palate. Velvety but could improve with some more time in the bottle. 89.

2012 Gobelsburger Kamptal Gruner Veltliner (about $18 in Canada)

Citrus and stone fruits on the nose, with great minerality and acidity on the palate and finish. I believe this is my first wine from Austria, and it was very pleasant. 85.

2012 Irony Small Lot Reserve Pinot Noir ($20ish in Canada)

Dark cherries and plums on the nose and palate. Some cocoa and violets as well. Started out very pleasant, but interestingly, became less so as it sat in the glass. 84.

2011 Gianni Doglia Moscato d'Asti ($20ish in Canada)

A bubbly Muscat that screams "drink me with dessert"!!! So we did. Low in alcohol (5%) but high in enjoyment. 89.

2006 Louis Latour Beaune Pinot Noir ($200 in restaurant)

Light and fruity, notes of cherries and dark fruit. While it paired well with my grilled salmon, it would have improved with more time in the bottle. Tannins were a bit sharp. 87.

2006 Torre Muga Rioja Tempranillo ($175 in restaurant)

Purple ink in colour with aromas of berries and tobacco. Spice and earth meet with the fruit on the palate. Possibly it's still a bit young as the tannins were not as smooth as you might expect on a wine of this age. 87.

2012 Daou Cabernet Sauvignon ($89 in restaurant)

Black currants and plums on the nose. Full bodied with a long, lingering finish. A lovely example of a reasonably priced California Cab Sauv. 88.

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