One of our favorites.
1995 Andrew Will Merlot, Washington State: Deep garnet in color, very youthful in appearance (would never guess this to be a 20-year old wine), clear and clean after decanting; the bouquet is a blend of ripe plum, currant, cola, sweet cream, light cocoa and spice; all this is echoed on the velvety palate, with good fruit, soft tannins, and a slight drying note in the lingering finish. Delicious with lamp crépinettes, roasted vegetables and a salad . . .
1999 Domaine de la Mordorée Lirac rouge, “Cuvée de la Reine des Bois,” (Rhône, France): Garnet-hued with slight bricking at the rim, clean and clear after decanting); the bouquet is classic Southern Rhône, with strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, lavender, light “sous bois” notes and more; on the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, silky and supple, very flavorful, and with a long, lingering finish. Beautiful with an array of soft-ripened cheeses, duck pâté with cherries and pistachios, Jamon Iberico, and more . . .
I might still have few bottles of the 2000 Mordoree lirac. It was good, and inexpensive at that French warehouse sale place (is it still around?).
What warehouse place?
Ah, I had to do some research. Long gone, it was called Made in France, a warehouse San Francisco and then in Brisbane. My source tells me they morphed into The Gourmet Corner, a retail shop in San Mateo and online at http://www.thegourmetcorner.com/ . They don’t list that Lirac now, though, but there are other Rhones in the $15 dollar range. I think I paid $10 for the Lirac you pictured.
The annual warehouse sales were a hoot, with lots of free samples (sausage, cheese) and language code-switching. Once, in line, after speaking to all the other customers in English, the clerk somehow decided that I spoke French and told me in that stern French way, “Vous payez a la caisse et vous returnez” (they followed the French practice of having the clerk ring you up and give you a receipt which you took over to the actual cashier who rang you up and took your money). It might have been the black beret I used to wear all the time.
I’ve been on a bit of a Cab Franc kick lately. I like to compare California bottles to French bottles.
I like the Chariot, too. It’s the best of the Central Coast red blends that TJs has, and one of the lowest priced.
Is it as recognizably Cab Franc as the Loire reds? I love Bourgueil, so different from Cab S.
I think so. Bright, slate, not too heavy but a lot of flavor. I would buy it again.
Tonight, with lamb chops and a simple salad of feta, cucumbers and tomato . . .
2001 Edmonds St. John Syrah, “Wylie-Femaughty,” El Dorado County, Calif.
Simply put, at 15 years of age, this is one of the finest California Syrahs I have ever tasted!
In honor of the seasons first BBQ…served this with tri-tip and it was delicious. Such a pretty deep purple, dark fruits, and a nice herbal finish.