Tuesday, July 31, 2007

2002 Penfolds Bin 707

When I decided to stop buying random wine and just stock my celler with the things I really enjoy, Bin 707 had a prominate place on that list. In fact, as soon as I finish posting this I have to add it to my "favorite wines" sidebar.

This past Saturday, we had our housewarming party, finally. This is exactly the sort of special occasion I had been saving this wine for.

One could argue it's too soon to open the 2002, but that's silly. The wine is ready to drink with only a few minutes of decanting. It is quite amazing.

As wine lovers, we often read reviews that throw around flavors off the Davis tasting wheel and then we try the wine and taste none of it. Seems everything from France has pepper and everything from Australia has minerals and soil and such. I love it when I find a wine that really expresses the flavors in an obvious way. It's the ugly American in me. Plumpjack Merlot had the Vanilla; Portteus Zinfandel has the spice and limestone; and this 2002 Penfold's Bin 707 had licorice and anise in a major way. The wine was silky and earthy and made me feel like I'd won. I can't sing the praises of Bin 707 enough.

For those who don't know, its Penfold's upper-eschelon (read: expensive) Cabernet Sauvignon. They don't make it every year and, to quote Ben, "it's rare as rockinghorse poop." So, buy it where and when you can, ~$80.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

making wine in clay jugs

Luxist, whom I have never heard of previously, has a blurb on a winemaker who is using 300 year old clay jars to make wine. Kind of interesting...


Saturday, July 21, 2007

three wines

2005 Patrice Colin Coteaux du Vendomois - The grape is Pineau, and it is nothing like Pinot Noir. It's a light-bodied wine that was quite smooth and just slightly peppery. I wouldn't go so far as to call it velvety, but it had a nice texture. It was a very dramatic wine, starting out smelling and tasting of nothing but minerals and sort of metallic. However, it evolved quite a lot over the evening and settled down in to a nice, drinkable food wine. ~$15.

2005 Estezargues Domaine Gres St. Vincent Cote-de-Rhone Villages - A silky Syrah that had some intense floral and fruit flavors. It was almost too much for me. Almost. Sara and I did manage to finish the bottle. It's a great wine with a really long name. ~$15

2004 Bellevue la Foret Cotes du Frontonnais Ce Vin - This one is made from another odd Frenchy grape: Negrette. This is 100% varietal, and it was a smooth, tannin-free experience. It reminded me of Bordeaux's that I've had for much larger sums of money. This one is medium bodied and it had the pepper and berry/fruit mixture taste I like so much in French wines. A cheap wine from France, without the heartbreak and disappointment. ~$10.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

1998 Beausejour

I picked up a half case of the 1998 Beausejour from Garagiste. This was a good move on my part. I began seriously collecting wine in 2002, so my oldest bottles are from 1999 and 2000. Well, I have a '97 Grange but I recently got that to fill out my vertical. Anyway, back the Bordeaux.

The Beausejour is a Pomerol, which means it's going to be a Merlot-based blend. The more time I spend drinking Shiraz, the more I am wary of Merlot, but this wine did not disappoint. It is a medium bodied wine and had nice, structured fruit in front and a very long finish. Parker said it had "remarkable symmetry." Which I agree with.

For me this is a food wine. On it's own it is drinkable, but seems a bit thing. With the right meats and cheeses this wine could be an exceptional experience.

Friday, July 6, 2007

2004 Stella’s Garden Lost Highway Shiraz

So, Ben beat me to it. But I agree mainly with everything he said. The 2004 Stella's Garden Lost Highway Shiraz was The Awesome. Not a lot of wines will stand up to habenaro covered beef tenderloin. It's a big, fruity wine. The color was the darkest, inky-est wine I have ever really had. There was enough sediment in the bottom to build a condo on. It was a wine to make a Frenchman cry.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Fourth of July

We spent the Fourth in Edmonds with Sara's family. We had two great red wines.

The first is one I brought, the 2003 Worthy Sophie's Cuvee. This is a Bordeaux-style blend from Napa. This is a well-made blend in the California tradition. The wine had plenty of body and good tasting fruit. It wasn't a huge wine, but it wasn't without it's complexities either. You could smell the wine from a good six feet away after opening the bottle and it was quite nice in the glass. This was a $40 wine that got marked down to $20 which is when I bought it from Garagiste. Apparently it got a few bad reviews... but I don't see why. From the texture to the smell, this is everything you could want in a new-world style wine.

The second wine was the 2003 Cayuse Camaspelo, which is another Cabernet Sauvignon blend. It's just a great wine. Good bits of Oak and the distinct taste of Washington soil. It was a medium bodied wine with nice dark color. This is the lowest scoring of the Cayuse wines, but if I could find enough bottles I would drink it every night.