Three great wines from last weekend:
2005 Cedarberg Chenin Blanc, South Africa
I was surprised at how much terroir prevailed over grape in that it tasted more like South African sauvignon blanc than it did Loire chenin. It had none of the yellow color or lemony beeswax, lanolin and nectarine notes of the latter. Instead: pale, almost water color, nose of lime peel and chalk with apple and white grapefruit on the palate. Bob said it reminded him of a margarita-from-scratch without the tequila or the ice, a good comparison. Good acidity keeps it firm and makes it a total thirst quencher. I'm buying more for summer.
2003 Passing Cloud Shiraz, Bendigo, Australia My friend John Gorman at Southern Starz Imports sent me home with this gift bottle, insisting that it would appeal to my traditionalized, not-so-enamored-with-syrah palate. He was right! Concentrated rich cassis and boysenberry fruit with minerals, fennel and black pepper. Something at the background hints of earth etc to come with a little age, and there's both good structure and lively acidity. The wine sports a ripe sweetness without being overdone in any way, and I couldn't have been more impressed. We drank the wine with steak tacos wherein skirt steak was marinated in olive oil and copious amounts of aleppo pepper, sugar and garlic salt, barbecued, and served with a cabbage and cilantro salad wrapped in iron skillet-crisped corn tortillas. The peppery sweetness in both created one of those all too rare, totally sensational wine and food matches that temporrily blocks out all other inputs--while you're enjoying them together, you can't imagine any other food with the wine or any other wine with that food. I'm going to order more of this for summer, too.
2003 August West Rosella's Vineyard pinot noir, Santa Lucia Highlands
When I first tasted this wine a year ago October, I swooned. It had one of the best pinot noses I've smelled anywhere, and I commented in a TN that it was so perfect at being THAT grape in THAT place, that someone should put it on a poster. With a memory like that, I was nervous that this wine would disappoint a year and a half later. It usually does work out that way when one is THAT impressed, but for once I worried in vain. This wine is as beautiful now as it was then, and indeed nary a hair has changed. Nor did it change, except to intensify, in the glass over the three-four hours it took us to finish it. Cherry/raspberry fruit with green tea, woody spices, and tomato leaf. Soft on the palate with velvety acidity and a nose so huge you expect the neighbors to show up panting. One of my favorite California pinots of all time, and apparently this wine has all the time in the world. But alas, my last bottle: if anyone knows where I can get more, DO speak up.
Last edited by Jenise
on Tue Apr 25, 2006 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov