2003 M2 Vintners "Dos Arkies" Red Table Wine
Folsom and Elk Grove, California
M2 is a garagiste operation whose two owners--the two M's, who live in Elk Grove and Folsom respectively--were both born in Arkansas. I have no idea what's in this blend as the bottle doesn't say, but it's obviously some combination of whatever didn't make it into their single variety wines which are Zinfandel, Cabernet, Syrah and Petite Sirah. I liked the 02 quite a bit. The 03: not so much. On first pour, offputtingly bubble-gum grapey nose redolent with volatile acids. Couldn't even get close to the glass so we dumped it in a decanter and left it for the next day. The next day it was certainly better, the VA having blown off and more wine character showing in the nose, but at this moment in it's life the blend doesn't speak as loud as the obviously high alcohol.
2002 Benjamin de Vieux Chateau Gaubert
Graves, Bordeaux, France
A Robert Kacher import, 12.5% abv. A fairly serious, manly kind of white wine. The bottle doesn't describe the contents, but it tastes like it's at least 50% semillion: golden color, heavy perfume nose, saturated flavors, lots of iron-like minerality, assertive acidity. I checked the alcohol because I thought it might be higher. For all those reasons it's a wine that needs rich food or a platter of strong cheeses--not a sipper.
2000 Steytler (Kaapzicht Estate) Pinotage
Stellenbosch, South Africa
I loved this wine when I first tasted it years ago but I wasn't as fond of it now. The pinot half of the cross with cinsault, I believe it is, doesn't show at all now (nor does any other fruit) and it's totally given over to strong roasted flavors. And by that I don't mean good roasted (to me) like rare roast beef, I mean French Roast coffee beans, campfires, burnt toast, that kind of roasted. It would appeal to some, but not me.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov