What Wine Did You Drink Today #1?

(Robin) #161

Wine and cheesy toast for dinner (it was that kind of day). This was tatally drinkable but not exciting and seemed to miss that depth or spice a better cab would have.

(Robin) #162

This was a delicious inexpensive drinker.

(Robin) #163

Saturday night we enjoyed this with some roasted chicken and cauliflower. First had this wine last year at a restaurant in SLO. A few months later I found this sole bottle in a crate of random bottles at a little wine shop in Carmel.

(Dave) #164

With a rib-eye on the grill.

(Jason Brandt Lewis) #165

WHAT “with a rib-eye on the grill”?

(Jason Brandt Lewis) #166

With roast beef, baked potatoes, and an arugula salad . . .

. . . my last bottle of 1975 Cos d’Estournel, 2me Cru, Saint-Éstephe.

At 40 years of age, and purchased when first released, this wine was stellar! A bit musty when first opened, and served (approx.) 30 minutes after decanting, the bouquet was a seductive mix of black and red currants, pencil lead, sealing wax, spice, earth, and more; medium-bodied on the palate, supple and silky smooth, the wine was flavorful and complex, with lots of layering, and a lingering finish. Fully mature, yet showing no signs of falling apart, this wine continued to open and evolve throughout the meal. Fantastic!

When is a 750ml bottle NOT a 750ml bottle?

How did you decide to decant it? Lots of very old wines start to fade soon after opening, so isn’t it a gamble?

(Jason Brandt Lewis) #168

No, not really . . . unless we’re talking about something like the 1869 Château Montrose we opened in 1976 . . .

Old wines¹ are often a bit “musty” when first opened, and need a bit of air to “blow off” that and to show their best. (You’d be musty, too, if you were trapped for all those years in a bottle!) :wink:

In my mind, there are two reasons to decant wines: 1) decant a young wine because it’s young, needs bottle age, but you are opening it now; and 2) decant an old wine to get it off the sediment and allow it to “open.”

¹ Of course “old” is a relative term. A Cru de Beaujolais, for example, may be considered old at 10-15 years of age, while that would still be young for a Bordeaux or a Vintage Porto. The principle remains the same, however.


DH was on quite a binge for awhile ordering from Willakenzie. Tonight was their 2005 Terres Basses Pinot Noir. It did not disappoint.

(Jason Brandt Lewis) #170

Last night, with tapas of lemon-stuffed olives, white anchovies, sun-dried tomato, and piparras . . .

2013 Bartolo Fiano, Santa Clara Valley AVA, California – light, delicate, floral, with crisp acidity and a lingering finish.

With a variety of cheeses and a chicken liver mousse,

1992 Ahlgren Vineyard Merlot, “Bates Ranch,” Santa Cruz Mtns. AVA, California
1992 Ahlgren Vineyard Cabernet Franc, “Bates Ranch,” Santa Cruz Mtns. AVA, California

At 23 years of age, these two were a very pleasant surprise indeed! Although the Merlot had seen better days, and was a bit nondescript on the nose, the flavors were quite good. The Cab Franc, OTOH, was very impressive – fragrant notes of red fruits, sous bois, spice and moderate oak, with hints of tobacco but no green tea; on the palate, the generously flavored wine was satiny soft, layered with complexity, and a long, lingering finish. (P.S.: note the “low” alcohol levels.)

With a Cheeseboard pizza (crushed tomato, fennel, mozzrella and aged Belgioioso Asiago cheese, garlic olive oil, fried garlic chips, parsley and oregano) . . .

2006 Finca Sandoval, Manchuela, Spain – Nice years of age and this wine is just coming into its own. A blend of 75 percent Syrah, 13 percent Mourvedre, and 12 percent Bobal, this wine combines New World fruit with Old World elegance and subtlety. In other words, although it has ripe fruit, it’s neither jammy nor over-the-top; although it has finesse and complexity, it isn’t terroir-forward. But its fruit, light spice, and supple texture was a perfect compliment to the pizza . . .

(Chris) #171

Another good white from the Sainsbury’s range. I’ve had it before with seafood so should pair well with the prawn and smoked mussel spaghetti tonight.


Jonata Sangre (Shiraz) 2010. 97 point Parker; drinking beautifully now but has miles to go!


Matt Dees also makes The Paring. Give that one a whirl too.


NThat’s serendipitous! Drinking a glass of the Paring Red as I type this!! Great wine for the price.

(Robin) #175

Pinot and poofs for happy hour.

(Dave) #176

Final attempt to post image of Ahlgren 2007 Cab, Bates Ranch with a Rib-eye.

(Dave) #177

It appears the gods of the Intergnats has decided to finally accept the image referred to as “with a rib-eye”.



(Jason Brandt Lewis) #178

In Napa for the Annual Cassoulet Dinner, 30 January 2016:

With a variety of hors d’oeuvres, served before we sat down to dinner, five white wines . . . .

2012 Thomas-Labaille Chavignol (Sancerre) “Les Monts Damnés,” non-filtré, Cuvée Buster, Loire, France – not the best Cuvée Buster I have ever had, but a very nice Sauvignon Blanc.

2013 Cowherd Marsanne/Roussanne, Applegate Valley AVA, Oregon – a 50-50 blend of Marsanne and Roussanne, very aromatic, supple, and flavorful.

2007 Weingut Franz Hirtzberger Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Spitzer Honivogl, Wachau, Austria – surprisingly rich, full, and very flavorful, with a long, lingering finish.

2004 Albert Boxler Riesling, Grand ru “Sommerberg,” Alsace, France – beautifully rich and aromatic on the nose, with a lush, full, flavor and mouthfeel, with a rich, lingering finish.


With the Cassoulet . . .

2000 Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône, France – at 15 years of age, this wine is drinking beautifully but still very youthful . . .


With a cheese course featuring Roaring 40’s blue cheese and a 3-year old aged Provolone . . .

1985 Taylor, Fladgate Vintage Port, Douro, Portugal – at 30 years of age, this magnificent Porto is still full of primary fruit, soft tannins, and a long finish. This could easily go for another 15-20 years.

1988 Château Suduiraut, Sauternes, France – rich, opulent, honeyed nose; broad, sweet but still with good acidity, and a lingering (but not cloying) finish. Beautiful!

(Jason Brandt Lewis) #179

Catching up on last week . . .

With a chipotle-rubbed small (mini?) skirt steak,

2010 Descendientes de J. Palacios “Pétalos,” Bierzo D.O., Spain – lush, velvety smooth, with ripe fruit, nice acidity, and a long, lingering finish. Yum!

With a vegetarian lasagne,

2010 Churchill’s Estates Vinho Tinto, Douro D.O., Portugal – a classic Douro red, with beautiful aromatics, rich flavors, and a lingering finish; its firm backbone of finely grained tannins and good acidity bode well for additional aging, but it is positively delicious now.

With a chicken ballotine from The Fifth Quarter (and purchased at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market),

2014 Mâcon-Villages, Les Héritiers du Comte Lafon, Burgundy, France – a pretty terrific Chardonnay, very Burgundian in character, and definitely playing above its weight class!

(Jason Brandt Lewis) #180

Sunday night, a few friends came over for a dinner of Spanish-styled tapas . . .

2014 Uriondo Bizkaiko Txakolina DO – a blend of 70% Hondarribi Zuri, 20% Mune Ma- hatsa, and 10% Tori Mahatma, this is the first time I can recall having a wine from the Bizkaiko Txakolina appellation, rather than a Getariako Txakolina (from Getaria). This was quite good, although I found it to be a bit softer, a little rounder on the palate, and with less natural “spritz” than your typical Txakoli from Getaria (which, to be honest, I prefer).

. . . and then, with the osso buco,

2005 Oddero Barolo, Villero, Piedmonte, Italy – at 10 years of age, this Barolo (decanted approx. 2 hours before service) is just hitting its stride. Beautifully aromatic with cherries, violets, tar, and anise, the flavor combines some primary fruits with the depth and character that can only come from bottle age; medium-bodied, with a long finish.