Two big parties this weekend. Tomorrow's the more "serious" wines-prime rib and several people who are into wines quite a bit. Still...this was a nice selection, too. No wonder my trousers are barely buttonable right now.
Tonight's menu included a variety of finger foods not necessarily chosen for wine (taquitos, meat balls, bread and cheese, tamales, etc. ) Still, I wanted wine!
1999 Nichelini Cabernet Sauvignon (Chiles Valley, Napa):
The disappointment of the night. They are better at Petit Sirah. Still very tannic. Fruit forward, one party goer tasted a lot of oak. Really no finish. Just ordinary to me **.
1999 Beaulieu Georges de la Tour Private Reserve. Decanted for 2-3 hours.
As soon as I took a sniff of the decantere, I knew this would be a nice one. Simply beautiful. Very balanced, still a lot of luscious black fruit (1999 is a young wine), but some nice leather, earth and tobacco notes. On the finish, lovely savory notes. The finish was somewhat clipped, though. ****
2004 Orrin Swift The Prisoner.
One of my favorite comfortable quaffing "party wines." This is a Zin based blend from the Central Coast with a bit of a "kitchen sink" approach to the blend. One of my friends' neighbor knows the wine maker
A year or so in the bottle has really helped this wine. Quite complex, with layers of black fruit flavors and a claret-like savory finish. Definitely a buy again wine. ***1/2
Rosemount Barossa Valley Shiraz (McLaren vale). (Specific year and other details missing)
Brought by a friend. The distributer mispriced this $40+ top of the line Shiraz for $13, so Nugget Market sold the cases for $19. I don't mind drinking the friend's bargain at all, as this was a delicious, complex, interesting Aussie Shirz. I am really discovering Shiraz lately. Not a fruit bomb or confected in my taste. I'm going to get me some of this on Friday! ****
Cliff Lede North Coast Petit Sirah 2003
. Inky black in the glass, this wine was actually quite light and almost ELEGANT for a Petit Sirah. Not a monster at all. Nice savory Claret-like finish. Yum. Cliff Lede remains one of my favorite wineries. Their entry level cab that I drank this summer (2001) was beautifully polished and elegant. We'll see what the Poetry I stashed away becomes in five years. ***1/2
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach