2010 Pahlmeyer Jayson Napa ValleyFlawed? Our bottle, opened yesterday around noon and resampled during the evening, though not consumed because it was not satisfying, showed initially taut, cranberryish and Campari-bitter. And though it relaxed some over the day and gained riper tree fruit, it never sufficiently lost that Campari note. Not TCAish at all, but after seeing glowing notes from others on CT, I have to wonder if it isn't that in some mild form. Anyway, disappointing. 2nd day: now it's all jammy red fruit. The bitter note remains but this development, for my palate, is about as annoying as the first day showing.
2010 Beringer Vineyards Quantum Reserve Napa
Rushed out to buy a few bottles for my own cellar after tasting a friend's bottle of this wine last weekend. More about elegance than power (the opposite of the more extracted Sterling cab it was paired with), it's an American Leoville Barton: a spicy, complex Bdx blend more oriented toward red fruit than black with perfectly balanced tannins and acidity. A real stunner and available right now at Costco for $46.
Separately, I've been trying wines for a tasting I'm hosting next Friday night. The theme is going to be old world vs. new world, one example of each from the same grape(s) paired with four courses of food. The lighter bodied red course will be sangiovese and the medium bodied red will be cab franc. It has proven harder than expected to settle on the wine choices, as I'm looking for typical and not wines slanted toward my own tastes (at least, on the NW side). Here are a few of the competitors we've tried so far:
2009 Mt Baker Vineyards Cab Franc, Washington
Easily identifiable as cab franc with black fruit notes, decent oak and a present but not unobtrusive background herbal note. Easily enjoyable and ready to go. Probably can't do better for $15, but I'm not ready to commit yet.
2011 Marc Bedrif Chinon, France, $20
Shows a tad lean on the palate right now but texturally (or was I fooled by the oak?), it seems to have the stuffing, the will, to do better. A few hours, however, was not enough to unfurl that potential, so it's a 'no' for next week.
2010 Domaine de Laroque, Citi de Carcassone Vin d'Pays
Oh my. 100% cab franc. Generously fruited but not overripe, this happy wine is instantly appealing and bursts with spicy, complex juicy-good cab franc flavor. No obvious oak. Even though most of the people I'm pouring for never drink European wine, I can't imagine anyone not liking this. So I run to check my receipt and about faint when I realize how little I paid for it, just $11. But they only had one more bottle and that wine guy is out of town, so yesterday I went to the other branch of this store behold the wine guy there (they each buy independently for each store) had a case in back and told me the other guy overpriced it, it should only be $8.99, and then he offered me a 15% discount on my entire purchase (this store does not have a discount policy). So $7.64. I bought six bottles and was a fool to not buy the whole case.
2010 San Felice Chianto Classico, Italy
An everyday style of Chianti, with spice, decent fruit, orange rind and a pretty red rose petal lift on the nose. Will buy for the tasting if I fail to find anything better.
2009 Ruffino Ducale Riserva, ItalyDelicious. Bob and I drank the entire bottle whole eating BBQ chicken wings and watching the Mecum car auctions. Too rustic for the tasting, but the Ducale is an old friend it was fun to reacquaint ourselves with. This wine's at peak.
2010 Gingko Forest Sangiovese, Washington
This wine is made at a small winery over near where the Columbia River makes some big lake in a barren expanse of Eastern Washington that looks like excellent dinosaur habitat. There's a petrified gingko forest there, and this winery is named for that. The local wine guy recommended it for it's excellent acidity, something most Washington sangioveses lack. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the fruit to offset the acidity, and it needs both to work. Poor.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov