Sunday night we had risotto with peas and porcini and the 2007 La Lecciaia Brunello di Montalcino. Medium bodied, red fruits, low acids for Sangiovese, a bit disappointing but hey $23 Brunello should temper expectations. B-/C+
Betsy left Monday and I had leftovers (and leftover wines), the BdM held up ok but certainly didn’t improve.
Christmas is usually a big wine time for most, but on Christmas Eve I was leading a group into city after a late service at a local church, so abstained (and made a “clean out the fridge” stirfy for dinner - most boring Chriistmas Eve dinner in 20 years). But good night on the streets with the homeless.. 2 hours sleep, then up to empty vans before Dave and I took a car service to JFK. Flight to Atlanta (Betsy had flown ahead Monday to join her mom visiting my parents) . My brother picked us up, and we had a big family dinner . Turkey, ham, dressing, lasagna (because they thawed thinking it was dressing), green beans, corn, Brussels sprouts, more. I tasted 3 wines:
2007 Kistler “Hyde” Chardonnay
Man, this is oaky, but that said there is interesting slatey mineral notes, and good crisp fruit, not flabby or buttery. B
2007 Silver Oak Cabernet (Alexander Valley)
Oak was general over this wine, but again the basic components underneath were solid, and I liked this more than I expected (I thought all post85 SO was Silver Joke). . B/B-
1997 Edmunds St. John “Fenaughty” Syrah
Dry cork, and unfortunately initial opening was done with a old fashioned wing corkscrew without an open helix. I had just gotten a Durand, but it was too late. We filtered through a coffee filter. OK, when we finally taste I love. Red fruits, pot and oregano, some peppery spice. Others like less than I do. A-/B+
Thursday and Friday were leftovers, with leftover wine and the 2010 Ch. Ste. Michelle Pinot Gris. Floral, decent acids, but some light caramel notes on nose and palate make me question how long this has been at room temp in my dad’s kitchen. NR
Saturday we took over kitchen, I roasted a beef tenderloin and baked potatoes, \while Betsy did the broccoli and salad. Wine was the 2011 Produttori del Barbaresco Nebbiolo (Langhe). In Georgia this costs more than I pay for the PdB Barbaresco in NY, but by local standards this is a deal. Cherry and cranberry, tar, dirt, violets. Good acids, surprising tannins. Very good. B+/B
After a bumpy flight we got back to NY and our hound, Betsy threw together a quick “green puttanesca” pasta (olives, spinach, anchovy, capers). Wine was the 2011 Bruna “U Baccan” Pigato. Very full, lemony, long, very good wine,but I really think for my tastes the more basic Bruna Pigatos for half the money do just as well. . 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.