Friday, June 27, 2008

bloggers block

I know you can get writers block,I think I have bloggers block. I love wine and I love to talk about it so what's the prob? I think I'll just start out like this and see---Lambrusco, aha just looked up and saw the new Lini Lambrusco that we tried at Tues. tasting. Remember Lambrusco from years ago, well forget about that. It's been years before a reputable producer of this grape decided to export the real thing---ie dry. Lini has been making dry "Labrusca" since 1910 and it shows. They make a white, rose and red, all priced around $16.00 per and well worth a try. The red, my favorite, is bright fruit flavors with good acidity, low alcohol (11%) and a gentle sparkle that is just perfect with rich foods like tagliatelle alla bolognese or the regional Prosiutto di Parma. The Labrusco Bianco, my daughters favorite, is clean, fresh, racy, and an ideal aperitif. Recommended food--Prosciutto with cantalope.. Wow. The rose was sold out so I cannot give any info but if it were around I would buy and try. Funny thing about both red and white, they were very controversial. I would say about 1/3 did not like either but the other 2/3 loved them. Never seen such a strange phenomenum. Usually I find about a 80-20 split one way or the other on most wines. Getting to be a "sample" expert here with my cruvinet. When people try the wines it's always interesting to see reaction to different styles. No wine gets 100% approval, no matter how good but that is to be expected. Too dry, too acidic, too flat too full, too whatever, wines are a unique and personal sensation and God bless that. Do you like it? then it's good. Pure and simple. Long live all the different styles we can choose from to please and accentuate all of our eating, social and life's adventures.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Open anything

Last night we had a good group of 9 people to sample some extraordinary wines on our open anything night. We invite any and all to come and for a nominal fee of $20 we pool our resources and discuss which wines to buy and open. We had a nice kitty of $180 (including myself) and decided to open David Clarke's Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire from 05' and the irrepressible 04 Stags Leap Wine Cellars, SLV. First the Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire, a very seldom seen appellation in Burgundy near Clos Vougeot. Farmed organically David cuts his yield per hectare to a very low 30hl and neither filters or fines his wines. This wine was incredibly wound up and tight but with a potential to unleash a terrific product given time. Most tasters found it too acidic but with the intensity of fruit involved, I believe,this will bode well for the future. Big, but not heavy, this 100% Pinot will be a star in a few years. What doesn't need any time is the super smooth, velvety Stags Leap. Long, rich, elegant and refined, this cabernet is quintessintial Stags Leap District wine. An "iron fist in a velvet glove" as Warren Winiarski often opined, it truely lived up to its billing. Firm and complex with cedar, raspberry, spice with firm but soft tannins. It finish is beautifully long for which we were very grateful. This vineyard was the actual winner of the famous or infamous, depending "Judgement at Paris", tasting of 1976. You can see why in this bottle, a world class expression of farming and winemaking at its best.
We also opened a bottle of 1997 St. Laurent from Pretterebner in Austria to discuss and found it to be pretty interesting. Well matured, it was not yet over any hill but displayed good fruit, if a bit earthy,(not negatively) and balance with a good grip and intensity.
Just some of the wines we can and will open if we get some interest. The more the better. If we get enough we will open two of each. Every Thurs. at 6:30 except next Thurs. Next Thurs. we will be having a free tasting of some of Ca. and Italy's best. From 5:00-8:00. Special discounts apply. Ramey, Richie Vineyard, Ramey, Russian River Chard. Landmark, Chard., Chappellet Cab. and Gaja's Tuscan project, Ca' Marcanda. Try and come by and taste. Buy if you want or don't buy. We would just like you to enjoy.