I regret to say that this bottle was not exactly what I was seeking. It was, stunningly, as fresh as grapes picked straight from the vine. Well, almost.
The nose was layered with some of that classic aged Bordeaux earthy plum, but there was almost no bricking going on, and in the mouth this wine was young. I thought we were going to enjoy a wine that might be just hanging on to its youth, and yet it was vibrantly rich and almost insouciant in personality.
In other words, awesome, and I almost feel guilty for not giving it more time in bottle. Are there really wine drinkers who don't dig aged wines from strong producers?
(And yes, if I've had a bad day at work, it's probably a good idea to invite yourself over for dinner).
This was a rough WWD for me... only because last weekend was filled with so many interesting and outright delicious wines. I was actually at the dinner where Evan's 1982 Pauillac was poured.
I also got to taste a stunningly rich-but-balanced cabernet sauvignon-based wine at Shinn Estate Vineyards on Saturday -- their not-yet-released 2007 Clarity -- that is 15.1% ABV, an unheard of number in these parts. It's almost deserving of WWD mention based purely on that number alone.
But no, the wine that won the WWD day for me was yet another wine that Evan brought down for the weekend -- this earthy, funky Loire Valley malbec. My first French malbec actually.
If you think you know malbec based on explorations of Argentina, you're wrong. (I fall into this camp, by the way)
This is probably a geek wine (okay, definitely a geek wine) but wow, I love the earthy, mushroomy, catcher's mitt funk to this wine that is joined by black pepper, sage herbal qualities and brambly fruit.
I think I liked this wine as much as others at the table disliked it. And it's a wine I'm definitely on the hunt for.
From Bryan Calandrelli: Jean Bousquet Malbec 2006
Just when I thought I'd had enough under-$12 Malbecs in my life, I was given a quick shot of motivation to try some more after last month's Taste Live Mendoza event.
In that tasting I found the organically grown Bousquet Malbec Reserve to be a sleeper bargain at just under $20. So when I saw the non-reserve for $12 at a local store I figured I'd give it a shot.
On the nose, I recognized some of the deep herbal notes I liked so
much with the reserve. In this case I picked up some sage and sweet basil along with the ripe blackberry and black currant fruit aromas. These Old World aromas were supported by a rustic mouth-feel and an explosive finish.
All in all an interesting wine for $12.
If you like some of those forest
floor or herb garden notes in your reds, than this one is worth trying. If you're like me and were getting bored with one-dimensional malbecs, then this one may change your mind.
I'm originally from the Pottsville, PA area, the home of Yuengling beer. I therefore have an in-born preference for amber lagers like Yuengling Lager (or, where I'm from, simply "Lager").
I tried this one on draft at my favorite townie haunt, Uncle Joe's Sports Bar in Ithaca, and I was really impressed.
It leads with a lot of malty sweetness, and flavorful hops singing backup. The full-bodied palate sort of reminds me of Samuel Adams Octoberfest, but is a bit more balanced in the hops/malt department.
It weighs in at 6.2% ABV and comes off a bit heavy, but it's a great first beer, especially as we roll into cooler Fall weather.
One of the first Finger Lakes reds that blew me away was this 2005 Ravines pinot noir.
I bought a few bottles back then and have opened
them periodically. What I found with this bottle, four and a half years
after its creation, was a wine in transition. Instead of bright cherry,
the fruit had given way to a deeper, earthier tone with just a trace of
leather. The cherry and raspberry flavors were there, but they were
toying with development in directions unknown.
I have no idea where this wine is going or whether it's already there, but I do know that it has changed considerably since I first tasted it several years ago.
It's a lot of fun to open a bottle with which you are already familiar only to experience a very different wine.