Betsy announced dinner was "wine killer special" , with a very lemony pasta with spinach and mushrooms accompanied by Franey's asparagus vinaigrette. Aha, time to push the trusty "NZ SB" button. I had bought the
2004 Fauna Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough) partially based on name- I assume (with picture of bird) that the name is a little dig at the trend towards animal-named wines. A functional if unexciting SB- gooseberry fruit with just a hint of grapefruit and jalapeno. Maybe a tad short. Still, this was $8 before discount (looking at it another way, it was free as I used it as a case filler to get bigger discount on more expensive stuff), so probably worth the price. B-
Betsy made a nice if mild chili from the Fearrington House cookbook. There was a Zin on the counter, so we opened it. The 2004 Seghesio Zinfandel (Sonoma) was a pretty nicely balanced Zin- raspberry and blackberry fruit, some sweet oak vanilla milkshake (not a lot, an accent not a principal), nice finish. Nice Zin if not earthshattering. B
With coffee-rubbed steak (it ws amazingly warm for Nov today, we HAD to grill) and baked potatoes, a 375 of the1986 Ch. Meyney (St Estephe). I've always liked this wine, but was a little tentative re a 375. No need. Nice midweight wine, with clean blackcurrant fruit accented by cedar and ferric mineral notes. A little leather. There's a little bretty note of animal fur and manure that I haven't noticed in 750s, but not anything that bothers me. Nice wine, as always one of my favorite Meyneys (ties with '89). A-/B+
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.