Iron Horse 2002 Brut LD - 2 Pack

Shoot…I drove by this winery a few months ago when I was driving to the beach where they filmed some of the Goonies movie. Scene where they filmed the Goonies in Sebastopol I really wanted to stop by the winery and check it out, but it was getting dark and I wanted to see the place when there was light…like when it was filmed. We ended up getting burgers from a place that was featured on the Food Network’s show, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”

Cuss. Iron Horse bubblies are normally an automatic “buy”, but this one has me pausing.

One or two?

I still remember with fondness the 2005 Iron Horse cabernet franc offering from two-and-a-half years ago and have been dying for more Iron Horse ever since. Sadly, I have a backlog of champagne and the wallet is still sore from last week’s black tie offering, but if the logistics and the financing were in alignment, this would be a no-brainer.

I REALLY want this, but woot tricked me into the last black tie buy!

hmmmm… I’ll sleep on it!

That 2005 Iron Horse Cabernet Franc was the Cabernet Franc that got me into Cabernet Franc. I also have been on a terrible wine spending spree lately. Cabernet Franc. Maybe if I get drunk enough during softball tomorrow…
Cabernet Franc.

If you really enjoy champagne, then it may be. For me, the range is not not nearly as distinguishable as it is in say, our beloved red varietals. I don’t have a lot of experience though I have tried several champagnes considered exceptional and they were very nice though they certainly didn’t knock my socks off in the way stellar reds do. I suppose haven’t developed a pallet for bubbly yet. Though this does appear to be an opportunity to help the process along, seems like a good deal on some well made sparkling juice. The real question becomes can the budget handle the damage?

I can’t speak to this one, but I once had a glass of Dom Perignon. While definitely a unique taste, I didn’t think it worth the price (luckily it was a very generous gift I was happy to partake of). I live in No. California where there are many excellent choices at a much lower price point.

To which I add this [link][/link] to the conversation. It got high marks, but two other vintages at less than half price fared nearly as well. I’ll pass, although I’ve heard great things about Iron Horse. Work’s too slow for an impulse buy like this.

Howdy wooters,

If any of you haven’t been listening to the “vintner voice mails,” I recommend them. It’s nice to hear what the wine makers have to say about their labor(s) of love.

Joy makes a very cool biochemical reference when explaining the quality of their Brut LD, specifically regarding the bubbles. She’s spot on, the fatty acid chains do have surfactant-like properties and reduce their affinity for one another, making them smaller and more uniform in their dissociation/formation.

Here’s a fun, albeit fairly technical paper on the subject (it goes into more detail than most are likely to care for but might be fun for the scientifically inclined):

"Unraveling different chemical fingerprints between a champagne wine and its aerosols"

An excerpt from the ABSTRACT:

“As champagne or sparkling wine is poured into a glass, the myriad of ascending bubbles collapse and radiate a multitude of tiny droplets above the free surface into the form of very characteristic and refreshing aerosols… By drawing a parallel between the fizz of the ocean and the fizz in Champagne wines, our results closely link bursting bubbles and flavor release; thus, supporting the idea that rising and collapsing bubbles act as a continuous paternoster lift for aromas in every glass of champagne.”

Now that’s what I call research!

Same here. I get some of the key things like the fineness of the bubbles, the texture from the aging on the lees, and the bready aromas also from the yeast. Also, overly sweet flabby stuff is not good. I guess you can’t really get these nuances from the charmat method, but once you break the barrier into traditionally produced sparklers, I don’t get much more by spending more.

Then again, I did taste through Iron Horse’s lineup (as well as Gruet’s another time to similar effect) and the different cuvees do have different characteristics depending on the grape varieties and dosage used. If this was the BdB, maybe I’d be in!

I have been of the view that ‘DP’ is significantly overpriced for more than 40 years, and it is not my preferred style of Champagne. 30-odd years ago, Dom Ruinart was better at half the price (though they are now under the same ownership, and DR has slipped so as not to overshadow the flagship DP). I have always preferred Krug, nonvintage and vintage, and other houses with simiilar rich styles. For ‘LD’, the go to Champagne is Bollinger.

In California, as regulars here know, Iron Horse is one of my three sparkling picks. And for ‘LD’ – late disgorged – it is the pick in California. The Joy we had on tour was amazing (it was a 1996 disgorged a few months ago) and a magnum rests in my cellar.

I have to say that calling a 6 year on the yeasts ‘LD’ surprises me a bit. Once upon a time, ‘LD’ was always 10 years or more on the yeasts. Good Champagne and California sparklers used to spend 4 years on the yeast on average, though now 2-3 is common. There was a time (early 1970s) when Schramsberg’s Blanc de Noir spent 6 years on the yeast, though that is now down to 3-4, and that wine is correspondingly less complex.

Most people don’t drink sparkling wine/Champagne to savor the complexity, however. Rather, it accompanies a festive occasion where the focus is other than on the wine. I think this is rather a more serious wine than that.

If you want to understand how good sparkling wine can be, and how much more than a ‘happy quaff’ it is, this is an rpm ‘must buy’.

Im curious to know how the 2002 pairs against the other LD vintages. Im contemplating purchasing this using one as a wedding present and one for myself.

This LD was actually one of my favorites when I visited with the tour this past summer.

It is not overwhelmed by the autolyzed yeast flavors - which is something it turns out I can’t stand in Champagne… Unfortunately to me the Joy tasted too much of the other


Edit: Last wooter to woot: mother
(This stuff is REALLY good)

Edite2: BTW The soapy flavor is part of the style for fine very late disgorged champagne- I had just not had one prior to the Joy and it’s not for me.

I’m also curious on how long you can store these. I wouldn’t have any interest in drinking it before 10 years or so, but if it would last that long I’d definitely think about it.

This was the LD in the club shipment as I remember? Can someone confirm?

So hard to break a SIWBM, but I want.

Wish I knew what sparklers were coming in the next club shipment.

I have to say this is too rich for my blood (wallet). Our current bubbly favorite is Nicolas Feuillatte champagne. Lovely notes of violet backed by fruit and toasty overtones.

I still have all three bottles of that one. I suppose I should open one sometime soon. :slight_smile:
I just don’t really drink sparkly, and with the lack of funds & space, I really just can’t buy this one this time around. Maybe next year.

Joy, I loved your voicemail message for this offering. It was wonderful meeting you on the tour too, as it was one of the highlights of the trip. I’ll most likely be opening my last bottle of '05 Wedding Cuvee for NYE again this year. :slight_smile:

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It’s hard to say, but this is really well-made sparkling wine, and should last a while. I’ve posted this story before, but in case you missed it, I bought a bottle of 1991 Wedding Cuvée sometime in the mid-90’s, put it away in a closet in my apartment, and more or less forgot about it, went away for the summer a few times, leaving it in what were probably 90°+ temperatures for weeks at a time. In short, the wine was stored badly until I finally decided some time in early 2008, let’s open this and see if it’s drinkable. It was better than drinkable, it was sublime. My wife and I both loved it. Mind you, I’m not recommending that kid of abuse, but Joy makes wines that hold up.

So I knew that WD had something up his sleeve that would crack my EWOWBM in short order. Fortunately this isn’t about rack space but space in the chiller.

In for 2