Back in the Highlife
(October 19, 2009) Many
wine folk I know have trimmed back their buying, but we've still got
stuff squirreled away that wants drinking. A recent weeknight
get-together gave us reason enough to open:
**1995 Jean Gros Vosne Romanee Clos des Reas. You
don't need a pukka palate to nail this as Burgundy in a blind
tasting. It's got grace and layers of flavor, initial earthiness
giving way to raspberries and minerals. Drink now if you got it and
Pinot Noir Blue Slide also announces itself loud and clear, and I'm
loving every syllable. When the fruit struts onstage, you gasp, you grin
-- you wonder if its too gosh-darned beautiful to have any talent --
then, tada! It ties on its tap shoes and dances its way into your
sense-centers, demanding more devotion with each eager sip. Call me
crass for picking this over the Burg, but I defies ya to taste both and
do any different.
Not a Curveball
5, 2009) With a name like **Meander,
you might expect this 2004 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon to be sinuous or
curvy or kinky. Not so. It's manly, clean as a whistle, straight down the
middle Napa Cab and I like it like that. Very black cherry with a trace of
licorice. Talks a good game on the attack, follows it up in the middle,
comes to a convincing conclusion and holds up admirably in the glass. Maybe
a tad too much char on the oak for my personal taste, but if you like
Beringer Reserve Cabs, you'll be one happy imbiber.
up (September 30, 2009) Maybe *Fisticuffs Cabernet
Sauvignon 2007 Napa Valley just needs another six months to take
off the gloves. Fruit is plentiful, finish is good, but tannins are out in
force right now. Swish it around in your mouth, make those wine geek
sucking sounds and you'll find exotic flavors
─ pomegranate, allspice and other stuff that keeps you hoping
it'll come out and clobber you like the label promises. For now, it's
frustrating. To be revisited.
I never much liked Ayn Rand's books, but...
(September 16, 2009) This Fountainhead is a different
deal. With only 501 cases made, **-2006 Fountainhead Cabernet
Sauvignon Morisoli Borges Vineyard won't be easy to find, but if you
find it, fork over the forty-some bucks and pull a cork. It's fragrant
as all get-out and even more so the following day. Think cassis with a
dash of kirsch. With a touch of grit on the palate as befits a
Rutherford Cab, it fills the mouth nicely and finishes well. Fresh,
juicy and just delicious for drinking now.
When a wine
critic says “this profound stuff...
(September 16, 2009) "Should age effortlessly for 20 years”… ever wonder how the heck
he arrives at that guess? I don’t have a clue. But I do have a trick
for figuring out if a wine should be cellared at all.
Drink half the bottle,
ram the cork back in and stick it in the fridge. Then come back to it in a
couple of days and see if it’s still worth drinking. If it actually tastes
better, you’ve got a winner. If it’s worse, well, poor you.
things happened to me yesterday. Out of the icebox I drew:
-1997 Etude Cabernet
Sauvignon Napa Valley. Once a firm-framed, three-star seductress,
this wine had softened up quite a bit when I tasted it a couple of years
ago. Now it’s fading at an alarming pace, after only
two days in the fridge. Ashy notes prevent much pleasure until it
airs for half an hour. Then a core of fruit shines forth — but not
enough for my liking. Drink up.
*++2005 CrauforD Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
“Tattoo” I really think this one is a bit better three days
later. Blackberry, a hint of licorice and a smidge of cranberry jam —
just the same as it was on opening, only louder. Nice texture. Fills up
the mid-palate pleasingly. If the finish were fuller, this discovery would
merit two stars, maybe more. Anyhow, at under 25 bucks, it’s
still buy for Napa
Cab addicts like me.
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