I met Debi and Jerry Greenfield at the California Wine Experience in Las Vegas in 2002. The Greenfields have been attending the Wine Experience every year since 2000. Each year, we renew our acquaintance and share stories of wines we have enjoyed, wineries and regions visited and people in the industry we know in common.
The Greenfields live in Ft. Myers, Fla. I usually spend the Christmas holidays with my parents, who winter not far from Ft. Myers. Jerry and Debi are always inviting me to visit and enjoy a few good bottles. During the holidays, I took them up on their invitation.
I arrived early enough for Jerry and I to visit the local Total Wine retail store in his neighborhood. It’s a huge store, with an ample selection of wines from around the world. Jerry was interested in some good Burgundy that wouldn’t break the bank. We found a few bottles, but the small selection was full of more commercial labels, or growers I didn’t know and didn’t feel comfortable recommending.
We returned to their house and Debi set about grilling lamb chops while Jerry put the finishing touches on a potato salad he made earlier. We enjoyed a glass of Louis Latour Puligny-Montrachet Les Champgains 2006, a rich, honey-flavored Chardonnay.
Jerry and Debi were true to their word and very generous with their cellar. We started with a Didier Dagueneau Pouilly-Fumé Silex 2005. It was packed with gooseberry, melon and mineral flavors. The oak had receded into the background and it revealed a creamy texture (94 points, non-blind). It was a fitting tribute to the iconoclastic winemaker, who died last year in a flying accident.
We followed that with a Château Latour Pauillac 1995. Deep and powerful, it still showed some primary fruit at 13 years of age, but was also beginning to turn the corner into more secondary flavors of cedar, tobacco and mineral. It had terrific length and complexity and should only get better over time (96 points, non-blind).
Shifting gears, Jerry pulled the cork on the Midnight Oil California 2001 from Sine Qua Non. Dark and intense, the Syrah blend saturated the palate with high-pitched red and black fruits like pomegranate, boysenberry, cassis and violet notes. Though almost 15 percent alcohol, it had acidity that kept it balanced and bright. The finish was long and spicy (94 points, non-blind).
Debi adjourned to the cellar and returned with a half-bottle of Château d’Yquem 2001, a wine she fell in love with at Pierre Lurton’s vertical tasting and seminar at the 2005 New York Wine Experience. The golden liquid was amazing. Multidimensional aromas of pineapple, apricot, lemon curd, flowers and vanilla signaled a lush yet harmonious mouthful of fruit and vanilla cream, followed by an intensely long aftertaste. Was it 100 points? I made a mental note at 98, but I would add two points for the ambience, friendship and conversation.
After all, that’s what wine is all about. Debi and Jerry Greenfield are part of a greater wine community and enjoy sharing their wines with friends. I will see them next month in Miami and look forward to seeing them later this year at the New York Wine Experience. This year, we will have a shared experience to reminisce.
David A Zajac — January 13, 2009 3:52pm ET
Mark C Espy Jr — Asheville, NC — March 1, 2009 11:09am ET
Jerold Greenfield — Fort Myers, Florida — April 6, 2009 11:20am ET
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