First, a 2007 Bernardus Marinus from the Monterey Coast area of California. Not decanted. A very traditional style with all five Bordeaux grapes, the nose was fairly ripe at first but never sweet, and just before the ripeness went into uh-oh-strawberry-jam territory other good things showed up, all savory and earthly and plummy, to give some balance. On the palate, mostly red fruit with iron, dust and interesting herbs. Finish is good and overall, the wine's dry, savory and complete. I think to myself, Otto would like this. It's a wine I've admired in the past for being so disarmingly elegant and traditional at it's usual price of around $40ish (because it's Monterey Coast vs. one of the tonier zip codes), and it's a downright steal at the firesale $18 price I paid. Bob loves it and almost faints with happiness when I tell him I bought a case.
To follow that, because the Giants hadn't won yet, another New World wine of the same blend, a 2005 Meerlust Rubicon from South Africa. Bob immediately picks up on the initial similarities while finding it hard to process the juicy, mouth-bursting huckleberry-laden black fruit and stronger, bandaid-y Bordeauxish back notes with a wine that he's told is both *not* Bordeaux and not even European. IOW, he completely forgot about South Africa. The Meerlust is showing well right now and is as confounding a conundrum of old vs. new as I've ever encountered. Good but almost too cocktail-fruity right now, especially vs. the other conundrum, a wine that's so obviously ripe and yet so restrained.
We both agreed: the Marinus won.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov