Monday we went to a July 3rd celebration in Sleepy Hollow. A non-geeky group, but there were a few wines as well as burgers, franks, fish, and salads:
2005 Clos Roche Blanche Pineau d'Aunis (Touraine)
Much darker than the 2004 version. Rich strawberry fruit and a little wild grass/herb note. Fun yet capable of holding serious interest, a real winner of a rosé. B+
2004 RH Phillips Chardonnay (California)
I had thought this a decent $7 Chard in the past, but this seemed dilute and overly sweet. Not a good QPR at any price. C+
Sorrentino Lacryma Christi red (I didn't see a vintage noted)
Short finish, a little fecal, VA. Leaves me reaching for the Chardonnay. C/C-
On the 4th we went to another party, bearing baby back ribs. The host provided burgers and franks, and other guests brought a variety of salads (at least these were different from night before). The wines:
2004 Rancho Zabaco "Dancing Bull" Sauvignon Blanc
This wasn't great, but it was better than I expected (and it was really cold, which helped in July heat!). Some grapefruit and kiwi fruit, a little jalapeno. Crisp, if with maybe a slight impression of sweetness. This isn't a great SB, a bit boring, but it was typical and drinkable. B
2001 Edmunds St. John Syrah ( California)
This was far more than drinkable. Smoky notes on top of rich blackberry and raspberry fruit. Good acidity, mild ripe tannins, long finish. A serious winner in $20~ish Syrah. A-/B+
A pleasant enough wine for $7, round red fruit, a hint of pepper, smooth if short finish. B
2005 Muga rosado I liked this in past vintages, but it doesn't have the verve of the CRB Pineau, the Chivite rosado, or the Il Mimo in 2005. Acceptable but not worth looking for. B/B-
Fun party, complete with a reading of the Declaration of Independence. Funny how much we found to identify with in the colonists' anger at "George." Great document. Then we went to some other friend's lawn to watch the fireworks on the Hudson.
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.