It's always enlightening to compare, and this was a nice little linear comparison: Cabernet Franc from its sweet spot in France and Cabernet Franc from one of the strongest Finger Lakes producers in a very good vintage.
Unfortunately, the Bourguiel suffered from some storage issues (we assume) and was prematurely tired. But the Red Newt showed beautifully, with our guests showing genuine surprise when it was finally revealed as a Finger Lakes red. I wouldn't say it's highly indicative of place, but not many Cab Francs from the Finger Lakes are showing a regional character. That will come with more time. This is simply a modern style red with impressive texture and length. It was one of the wines of the night at our dinner party.
We'll revisit the Loire Valley on another occasion soon. That's never a bad idea.Bryan Calandrelli: Movia Sauvignon 2007
When I saw this bottle behind the bar at Just Vino in Buffalo I immediately knew my long drive into the city was warranted. I didn¹t see it on their list of over 80 wines by the glass but luckily I¹d recognize that label from a distance.
Intense golden color with aromas of pine resin, apricot, citrus, lavender and honey. It¹s crisp on the palate yet still full, smooth and seamless. The oxidative quality that comes with this wine is totally in balance and seems to work in its favor.
It¹s amazing how much I think I dislike oaked whites, oxidative wines or whites with prolonged skin contact until I taste wines like this. When it¹s done well they can be transformative to the wine drinker.
David Flaherty: "The Carabinieri" cocktail (Palo Cortado Sherry, Reposado Tequila, Cynar, Galiano, Bitters)
Sherry is one of the greatest beverages on the planet. And when it comes together with great spirits, it can be mind-bogglingly good.
This weekend, my wife and I popped into Clover Club in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. As usual, I insisted we sit at the bar so I could watch the mixologists at work and get a look at their "gear" - they've got an array of bitters, juices and liqueurs all lined up in tiny glass bottles like battle-ready ninjas. (In all honesty, I'm very annoying to sit with in times like these because every time a cocktail is being made, my attention wanes and I become like a kid at the zoo transfixed by the Monkey House).
For the Carabinieri, I was amazed by the integration of such diverse ingredients. I mean, Sherry and Tequila? Cynar (a bitter, artichoke-based liqueur)? Wow, what a line-up and the fact that they found harmony was beautiful. The aroma was hypnotic: a blend of nuttiness and sea air with a rich, plummy center that hit me square in the kisser. On the palate, it was a virtual receiving line as each ingredient had its fair shake. Starting with the rich, oxidized notes of the Palo Cortado, it melded into the citrusy Agave notes of the Reposado and finished with a bitter zip from the Cynar that left my mouth stunned at what had transpired.
As Americans, we often shy away from bitter drinks, but the Italians have it right. Bitterness is a beautiful thing when embraced. There is a whole world of sensations and spirits awaiting those who venture into its domain.