American Beauty 2019

In Vorbereitung - Die American Beauty 2019. Hier schon mal mit meinen englischen Instagram Kurznotizen:

Here is the first Flight of last weekends sensational American Beauty, our legendary annual California Best Bottle.

1987 Opus One was a very elegant, leathery, a bit rustic wine, completely different than today and more Bordeaux than Napa - WT94. The very minty 1987 Heitz Martha‘ s Vineyard was a great wine, but plagued by those bad barrel aromas of that period - WT93. Both the 1990 (WT97) and the denser 1991 (WT99) Caymus Special Selection were so young and fresh with this superb, animating, sexy fruit. 1991 Dominus was a great, powerful, minty Pauillac from California, still with long time potential - WT97.

More to come in the next days, so please stay tuned.

Here is the second flight of five from that crazy American Beauty tasting.

The minty, fresh 1992 Harlan with still good acidity and tannins was very Bordeaux in style and proportions - WT94. 1994 Abreu Madrona with gorgeous, but precise sweet fruit is still showing enormous potential - WT96+. 1997 Dominus, a real powerhouse with great structure was a bit closed from this bottle, but should be long lived and should show a great comeback in a few years - WT95+. The fabulous 1994 Ridge Monte Bello with wonderful cassis fruit, tobacco and some dark chocolate had great structure and grip, still enormous potential and should be long lived- WT97. And a wine for decades to come is this so young, grippy 1996 Dunn Howell Mountain with its intense minerality - WT96+.

The third flight of American Beauty was four vintages of Colgin‘s prestigious Herb Lamb Vineyard, a single vineyard Cabernet named after winegrowers Herb and Jennifer Lamb from the lower slopes of Howell Mountain.

The 2002 was fresh, smoky with wonderful, somewhat polished fruit - WT95. The spicy 2005 showed more grip and minerality - WT96. The 2006 seemed a bit riper than 2005, but so balanced with generous cassis fruit - WT97. The lush, hedonist 2007 was very accessible and pure joy to drink - WT99. In our group rating for the tasting 2005 finished first, just a notch above 2007.

All four wines came from excellent storage.

Highs and Lows in the fourth American Beauty Flight. 2005 Colgin Carriad showed both raisiny fruit and ripeness and on the other hand lots of power with strong tannins. From better stored bottles far more than WT94 should be possible. Superb the 2004 Shafer Hillside Select, so fresh with wonderful minty fruit, shows a lot of potential - WT97. Polished, sexy easy drinking at a high level the 2005 Phelps Insignia - WT95. „Kaputt“ the 2004 Bond St. Eden, a bad bottle of a wine that normally should be a high scorer. No rating. Hedonist mountain fruit at its very best the sweet, but also very balanced the 2005 Lokoya Mount Veeder with good minerality - WT97.

The fifth and final flight of American Beauty 2019 started with a breathtaking 2001 Araujo Eisele, that had needed those 18 years to finally unfold. What a sexy beast - WT98. So balanced, elegant with great fruit, minerality and ripe tannins the 2001 Les Pavots from Peter Michael - WT96. With decadent sweet fruit the powerful and still so young, superb 2002 Phelps Insignia made every glass too small - WT97. An excellent Bordeaux from California the 2002 Foley Claret with cassis, leather, tobacco and graphite minerality - WT96. And last not least an amazing 1999 Diamond Creek Red Rock Terrasse, so powerful, gripping and with intense minerality - WT97.

We were in red wine heaven, looking forward to the next American Beauty.