Sunday, January 7, 2007

A Tale of Three Wines (and Three Australians)

Last night we went over to Ben's house to meet his parents who were visiting from Australia. That explains the three Australians (Ben's wife is from Washington).

Now for the more interesting part where I talk about the three wines we drank. First was a local find from their recent expedition to Leavenworth (a small town in Washington that decided one day that they would get more tourism revenue if they adopted a Bavarian theme). The Icicle Ridge wine that we drank was an interesting blend of Merlot, a grape I have never heard of, and Cab Franc. I am usually skeptical of tourist-town wineries (outside of the Napa ones, of course), but it was actually very good. A bit of mineral taste, but smooth and pleasant. Not sure what it was called -- my cell phone camera pic I took is too blurry to read. Their website is terrible and doesn't bother to have pictures of the labels, so that was no help either.

We moved on to the 2005 Balboa Cabernet that I brought. This was another Washington value wine. I picked up three bottles for $8 each. Still a little young, it needed a long time to open up: approx. 8 hours (!). But the tannins were mellow, the fruit was forward and I would recommend this wine to anyone who wants a decent cab to drink with any normal meal during the week.

Lastly Ben opened a 1999 Rosemount GSM for us on the theory that since his Mom and I were both over, it was only fitting. Now I know exactly how long one needs to sit on this wine for it to come into fullness: eight years. The wine was excellent, as always, but Ben's restraint in letting it mellow in his cellar this long made it the best GSM I have ever drank. Dark color, very smooth, no tannins at all to speak of, oaky, earthy, a hint of mineral from the rocky soil... a spectacular wine. Current vintages go for about $25 at Costco.

1 comment:

Ben said...

That GSM was well tasty. It is impressive that I held off drinking it for so long. I need to get myself to CostCo and buy more.

I was surprised at the Icicle - the Merlot content was high. But I think the missus made a wise choice with that one.