Last Thursday evening, while the rain blew in sheets across the lawn, we mingled and sipped wine inside the home of Mr. and Mrs. Paul and Maria Fotopoulos, kicking off the 2010 Cotes du Coeur season. This was the Big Bottle Party, hosted by Dr. Pedro Nosnik.
When I arrived, a valet carrying a huge umbrella helped me side-step puddles on the way to the front door. I spied a foyer table full of flutes filled with Iron Horse Sparkling Brut, and I grabbed a glass.
Many large-format bottles of wine, all donated, were displayed around the house, along with small tent cards indicating who had contributed each one. As waiters passed around silver trays with canapés of quiche and smoked chicken gorditas, I overheard Hunter Bywaters (of Ernst and Young) say that he thinks Cotes du Coeur is the most fun and exciting event in Dallas all year.
Jennifer Davis, Corporate Marketing Director for the American Heart Association, was busy looking after the many guests, including Mike Glazer of Glazer’s Distributing, who donated the wines served that evening– an Iron Horse Sparkling, the Nickel & Nickel 2006 Oakville Merlot, and the 2007 Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc..
Glazer admitted he was a bit anxious about selecting the evening’s wines, given that the so many guests were wine aficionados. He said he and a panel of experts at Glazer’s tried to pick unique wines that they hoped guests had not tasted but that were generally available.
Later, Master Sommeliers Drew Hendricks and Barbara Werley of Pappas Bros. announced the prizes, and Hendricks took the floor. He reminded guests that at the Gala and auction, there would be many advanced sommeliers on hand to “help you spend your money.” He explained how he and Barbara had chosen their awards from a lengthy list of possibilities, “drooling” as they considered the selections.
Here were the winners:
Biggest & Rarest Large Format Bottle–Dr. and Mrs. Wyatt Webb, 1999 Melchor (18L) Chateau Cos d’Estournel
Highest Grossing Bottle (at last year’s auction)–Rita and Roger Carlile, 1997 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon, value $1,700, sold for $2,300
The Cellar Any Sommelier Would Like to Get Lost In–Mr. Ed Domitrovich; Dr. and Mrs. Robert Hillert
Most Exciting Small Production Wine–Mr. Timothy Harrelson, Double magnum of Lauterbach Cellars Syrah, signed 2004
Highest Robert Parker Scoring Large Format Bottle—Rita and Roger Carlile, 1997 Jeroboam (5L) Chateaua Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (98 points)
Sommelier Favorite–Dr. Huntley Chapman, magnum of 1979 Chateau Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de LaLande; Mr. and Mrs. Byron Dunn, magnum of Cristal 2002; Mr. and Mrs. Biggs Porter, 3 magnums of 2002 Dominus; Betty Vondracek and Gini and John Marston, 3L 2006 Torii Mor Pinot Noir
Best Etched Bottle–Dr. and Mrs. Pedro Nosnik, 1997 double magnum of Robert Pecota Merlot
Most Unusual Bottle –Dr. Pedro Nosnik, 6L 1984 Dominus
Most Beautiful Bottle–Amanda and Daniel Lawson, 3L 1988 Schramsberg
After the awards were presented, I asked Dr. Nosnik, the evening’s host, what Cotes du Coeur meant to him.
“I’ve been involved with Cotes du Coeur for many years,” he said, “It represents the generosity of people who use a nice product as a vehicle to fight heart disease. This year, we are fortunate to work closely with Pappas Bros. and have the support of Barbara and Drew for our endeavors.”
Rebecca Marmaduke is Cotes du Coeur Editor for EscapeHatchDallas