Marcy Carriker Smothers
9 barrel Arrowood Vineyards and Winery Bernkasteler Badstube Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages La Crema Look Out Ridge Schlossgut Diel

The Marcy Grapevine

It’s a sad day when you’re reviewing your holiday photos and realize you have more shots of wine bottles and food than you do of your children.
C’est La Marcy Vie!
I’ve had a wonderful season and feel incredibly fortunate to have experienced such a variety of exceptional wines:

The 1996 Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages. I remember the day well….
The Wine Spectator gave this vintage a 95 rating and declared it “Wine of the Year.”
I live in Kenwood just a few miles from the winery, so I went to the tasting room immediately. The value was incredible, only $28.00 a bottle, but a one bottle per customer limit was imposed. Among the many benefits of living in the wine country is that some of these extraordinary wines are available at local auctions. My buddy Gordon Holmes of Lookout Ridge snagged a case at a fundraiser for the Kenwood elementary school and shared the bounty with us on Christmas Eve.

Thanksgiving dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s two star Michelin restaurant in Manhattan. Our sommelier was spot on with this selection for our roasted langoustines and sauteed Maine diver scallops. I know the name Schlossgut may sound a tad unappetizing, but this German Riesling was the perfect pairing with our shellfish. The vintner is renown restaurant critic and wine writer Armin Diel.

There is something about girlfriends that makes me want to dig deep and stun them with a special meal. Pals Barbara Banke and Peggy Furth joined me for Ossobuco and tagliatelle with white truffle butter. Barbara shared her 2006 Nine Barrel Pinot Noir. Who stunned whom?
The La Crema wine making team tastes through every barrel to find the nine barrels which best characterize the distinctive personality of the Russian River Valley for each vintage. Only 2700 bottles produced. This truly is a special wine. And even better when sharing with friends.

2000 Lucente Toscana. This Super Tuscan is the brainchild of Robert Mondavi and Marchesi de Frescobaldi. The two families partnered to create this unique Italian wine. As far as I know, this vintage has been sold out for years. It was a stand out served with prime rib and Yorkshire pudding.

Winemaster Richard Arrowood is a dear friend. His Reserve Speciale is consistently one of the highest rated Sonoma County cabernets. My Remick Ridge Vineyards is the largest cabernet sauvignon supplier for his reserve program. In this 1990 vintage, we provided 57% of the cabernet grapes. This gorgeous blend also includes Merlot, Petite Verdot, Cab Franc and Malbec. Imagine my delight when served this rare magnum the other night. Nearly twenty years old and still magnificent.

You’ve heard of a truffle pig. How about a wine cellar pig? My BF who shall remain nameless to protect his identity, is famous for many things including being able to find the most precious wines in the darkest of cellars. It was no surprise when he pulled the 1973 Bernkasteler Badstube from a collector’s stash. This select late harvest German ice wine is a doozy, made even more special because the grapes had botrytis. A rare combination! Although this is a dessert wine, it’s low on alcohol, thus a perfect closer.

Back to reality for moi.

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