Between October and March, the sun sets south of the ridge line west of me and we get the most amazing sunsets. In three years we have not tired of, nor will we ever, grabbing a glass of wine to run outside and cuddle on the bear bench while watching the sun dip behind the Canadian Gulf Islands to the west and the rose afterglow on snowy, 11,000 ft. Mt. Baker to the east.
This usually requires white wine because the chill turns red wines hard and tannic. The 2003 Blue Mountain cream label chardonnay was last night's choice. Simply put, this is one of the best New World chardonnays I've ever had. For one, it's not a fruit bomb. The fruit is very light yellow, a lovely blend of red and green apple flavors with sunny Meyer lemon, and it's impeccably balanced with acidity and minerality. Typical of the cream label there's virtually no oak showing, and it's just ripe enough but not one iota overripe--a cheese flavor from overripeness plagues many of the Okanagan's chardonnays. This is what New World chardonnay can be and most people understand is possible--I should buy this wine by the case.
Once the show was over, we repaired inside and poured the 99 Clos du Marquis from Bordeaux's St. Julien commune. It had been decantered about an hour before, and I chose it because an herby cab-based red was needed to pair with blue cheese enchiladas in a white green chile/cilantro sauce. I probably would have chosen a Loire Cab Franc for the job first, but I was so miffed over the defection of the 99 Gloria over the weekend that I needed some assurance that my 99 Bordeauxs weren't all tanking. They're not. This wine is drinking perfectly right now and is probably within range of peak but not there and perhaps years away.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov