Sunday, September 16, 2007

2004 Gaja Ca'Marcanda Magari

For Ben's birthday, we went to Tonsoni's and I brought the 2004 Gaja Ca'Marcanda Magari. A blend of Cabernet Sauvingon and Sangiovese, this Super Tuscan didn't thrill me as much as it's younger brother Promis did. And it was nearly twice the price at $57.

The wine had a really nice inky purple color and when the waiter was decanting it across the table, I could smell the wine from about 5 feet away. It was shaping up to be an amazing wine and I was really excited. Then I tasted it and I was disappointed. It's not a very approachable wine. It's very subtle. Nabil recommended one hour in the decanter, but that didn't seem to do much for it. There wasn't a lot of fruit, or anything else for that matter.

You could tell it was a classy, well-made wine... I dunno. Maybe it needed more time in the bottle. Maybe, like the Wilson Gunn, it needs two days to open up. I'm still in love with Gaja, but I'll be putting my money into the 2005 Promis that was just released.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Charles Krug Winery (current releases)

Charles Krug is a Napa Valley winery located in St. Helena and owned by Peter Mondavi (Robert Mondavi's brother). Their website, which is built using Cold Fusion, is down right now, so I can't do much investigation other than what I remember.

So here is what I remember (all wines refer to the current release):

The Sauvignon Blanc was excellent. It had a really low price point; on the order of $10. It wasn't extremely dry, nor was it sweet or sticky. It was a nice, refreshing white with good crisp fruit. Their Chardonnay was also enjoyable. It had hints of butter and oak, but nothing overpowering.

Their Pinot Noir was surprisingly good. I almost never like them, but this one was quite nice. The color was exactly the light purple you expect from a Pinot, but it was more opaque than most. It was a bit sweet and tasted like grapes. A pleasant experience.

Their Merlot I did not like at all. It wasn't the over-tannic crap most wineries seem to churn out, nor was it too watery. It was muted and thin... not much body. It might go well with the right food. It was only 91% Merlot, with cab, cab franc and others mixed in. This would seem to indicate a sketchy year for Merlot.

The Zinfandel I didn't like either. It wasn't a big zin... it was a muted and thin zin. None of the pepper and mineral taste you get in the big zins. Again, this wine might be stellar with the right food.

Their Cabernet Sauvignon was very good, and had a price point of about $20. It was a bit hot, good body, good taste. But not enough that I wanted to buy it. This could be a good drinker or a safe restaurant order though.

The last wine I tasted was their Bordeaux-style blend. It was okay. It was mostly cab with some Merlot and then about five other varietals blended in, resulting in something that really didn't thrill me. The guy said it was elegant, but to me it just seemed flat.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

2004 turley juvenile zinfandel

The week of my wedding started off with dinner at Wild Ginger for my father's birthday. It was quite a night. The ten of us polished off two bottles of the 2004 Turley Juvenile Zinfandel with dinner. There are not a lot of reds that stand up to Thai / Chinese food... usually I would have a white wine (last time we went we had a Sauv Blanc). Turley never disappoints, and it was the best value on the wine list (and they have an extensive wine list). I think we might have cleaned out their supply, but if they have any left and you find yourself there, get it.

Also get the Seven Flavor Beef.

an explanation

I haven't posted in an inexcusably long time. You know it isn't because I wasn't drinking any wine. Far from it. I got married. And that takes lots of planning and all of one's free time. However, it's all done with and my life is getting back to normal. Do not fret though; I have a quite a backlog of wines from the past few weeks that I will be posting about.