With dinner Friday night of pasta with Bolognese sauce, the 2001 Felsina Chianti Classico from 375. Black cherry fruit with a hint of dried cherries, light floral aromas backed by a mild earthiness. Filled out with air. Nice medium-bodied Sangiovese with lively acidity, clean finish. Very good value (I paid $8.xx for the half-bottle). B+
Betsy had asked for a cup of dry white for the recipe, I had opened yet another bottle of the 2004 Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet. Still one of the great $9 wines available, I'm running out (but no panic, as I like the 2005 too). Crisp, mineral, hints of the seashore. Does anyone need another note on this? B+ (solid A for value)
Saturday the remnants of Ernesto were coming through, it was very cool (for Labor Day weekend), rainy, and windy. Betsy decided on an autumny dish of lamb shanks. This was a clipped recipe (NYT I think ) for "Vermont Lamb Shanks", recipe included cider and Armagnac. Keeping with my Tuscan weekend theme I opened the 2001 Montevertine. As much as I liked the Felsina, this just absolutely rocked. Rich velvety texture yet with a firm acidity, deep rich cherry fruit with hints of fig, cigarbox, and earth. Spicy and smooth, very appealing. After dinner we watched a DVD, finishing just as we were plunged into darkness. I had another glass by candlelight, about 3 hours of air had made it even better. Lovely. A-
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.