A note on a few bottles that came before the end of last year. You always have a few drinks with good catch-up friends, and sometimes, the wines are so good, they shouldn't be forgotten:
Led in by a non-intrusive, pleasant 2007 Sileni 'Cellar Seln.' Pinot Gris, we had a wonderfully luscious 2007 Framingham Select Riesling which had that perfect German balance and just a hint of toast. Yummy stuff. Followed by a 2006 Sacred Hill 'Wine Thief' Syrah, a really drinkable archetype expression of the grape. A nice evening with the ski fiends (oops, friends).
The next night with the ski fiends again saw a rich 2008 Montana 'B' Brancott Sauvignon, sensational 2007 Craggy Range '7 Poplars' Chardonnay, elegant and tobacco-y developing 2004 Redmetal 'Mt Erin' Merlot/Franc followed by something different: a 1978 Ch La Lagune Haut-Medoc. Still fresh, a little acidic and coolish, showing how the vintage was saved by the miracle Indian Summer. Now three decades later, its true, less than great character shows. But, no brett, and nice secondary and tertiary flavours. It will hold another decade easily, at this modest expression level.
The next day and night, in order of style, there was also a well-weighted, varietal, sufficiently ripe 2008 Framingham Viognier, decent-bodied 2008 Redmetal Rose, a modern, juicy and fine 2006 Cazes Cotes du Rousillon Villages 'Hospices Catalans', made from Grenache and Syrah, a superb 2007 Redmetal 'Resolution' Merlot that just grew in the glass, and a 2003 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir that also grew in the glass. Tight and a bit funky at first, this filled up the glasses with its complexities - a sign of how good 2003 was in Martinborough. Our guests, the Doctor Duo, were impressed.
This was the lull before the storm.