Monday, May 26, 2008

2002 Moulin-St. Georges

No need for me to type a full review again, but I am just going to say that it has been very consistent from bottle to bottle.

And here is a picture.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

2003 Fairview JakkalsFontein Shiraz

As a Shiraz purist and having lived in close proximity to a fellow from down under, I get twitchy when people outside of Australia call their wine shiraz. Furthermore, my general preferences for wine regions have always been California and Washington, France and Italy, and Australia. However, like all oenophiles, I am always searching for a good deal on a spectacular wine. Or even a notable wine. Well, at least a drinkable wine.

I do not remember actually ordering this wine, but I did because I have the e-mail to prove it. It must have been an impulse buy. It was $20 from Garagiste.

This wine was hot, running at 15% by volume. Sara and I were quite sloppy after drinking it. We paired it with Mac and Cheese, which does not really soak up any alcohol. We both enjoyed the taste, and as you can see from the photo above, had a good time. And neither of us had head-aches the next day.

The wine itself was not like an Aussie shiraz. At least not the ones I typically buy. The wine was lighter, more medium bodied, and a sort of ruby color. There was no sediment to speak of. It was all bright fruit and supple tannins. Despite being 15%, it did not burn or have a bad finish. It seems like if I had to put it on a spectrum it would be right between your older, brighter Aussie shirazes and some of the California style zinfandels (the peppery ones, not the velvety ones).

If this is a good example of South African terroir, I think we are all going to have to take them very seriously. I highly recommend this one.

Friday, May 16, 2008

2005 Justin Justification

Sara's parents came to visit us in Palo Alto. Sara made a cassoulet the first night they were here (which was excellent) and I wanted to open a nicer bottle to go along with it. You can see for yourself in the picture below that we enjoyed the wine.

The wine is a great blend of 64% Cabernet Franc and 36% Merlot. The wine was still young, with the some pretty recognizable vanilla flavors in it that will fade over time. The tannins were tame and it wasn't acidic at all; the wine was smooth and complex with a fairly short finish. It is a good drinking wine that goes great with home cooking. Now I can not decide if I like it or Isosceles better.

If that is the only difficult decision I have to make, I guess things are going pretty well.

Monday, May 12, 2008

1989 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

My sister graduated from college on Saturday (congrats Jen!) so I flew back to St. Louis for the ceremony and the party. While I was there I had to stop by Meshuggah Coffee to get the best cup in town. Besides the incredible coffee, the most interesting people in town hang out there too. I ran into Blake Ashby. He was on his way to Riddles wine bar for dinner. I decided to tag along and inspect the wine list. I grew up in St. Louis, but I had never been to Riddles since I was not 21. And I would not have appreciated it anyway.

The great thing about wandering into a Wine Bar in the Midwest is you never know what you are going to find. The wine list here was impeccable. Not a bad wine on the list. No cheapies, but a really good spread in the price. The '89 Jordan Cab was $85. I am pretty sure on release these days it's around $50, so we are already doing pretty good on the price. Standard restaurant markup on a wine like this is 100% on the West Coast, $20 in Missouri. But this one was 18 years old. Old enough to vote and lovingly cared for. A quick search on-line and I could not find an '89 for less than $100. I would expect it to be about $200 in San Francisco. But it is, as my friend Clif said, all about what the market can bear.

I ordered the wine and a second waiter came to verify that I was actually serious. He brought the bottle out. He looked a bit nervous opening it, and for good reason--he broke the cork. But he decanted and filtered it and the wine came out tasting great. I have not had any other Jordan cabs so I do not have anything to compare it to, but this was a very well integrated wine. The tannins were soft--perfect for a medium bodied, understated wine like this. Flavors of light berry, a hint of some various spices. Baking spices, not pepper. This was a well made wine.

I enjoyed it completely, then had to wander around the loop for a few hours until I could be sure I was okay to drive home.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

2005 Union des Vignerons de Saint-Pourcain Domaine de la Croix d'Or

Sheesh, with a name like that, you just know it is going to be good, right?

This wine was tasty. For $12 is was just as good as many $30 frenchy wines I have had. It is a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay. It is a lighter bodied wine, with interesting mineral and earthy tastes. It would be good with poultry or fish.

A little secret: the French know how to make wines out of Pinot Noir. Americans, with the exception of a few places in Oregon, don't seem to quite get it yet.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

penfold's releases luxury wines

Good news everyone! The new round of current releases from Penfold's high-end are available as of May 1st.

I do not think I can afford to continue to build my vertical of Grange. Instead, I'm going to sink all that cash into Bin 707, which I rather enjoy drinking. Probably more so than the Grange vintages I have tasted.

Monday, May 5, 2008

2003 Fox Creek JSM

They blended Shiraz and Cabernet Franc. BRILLIANT!

This wine cost $10. I should have bought a whole case. I should have bought two cases. This wine was great. Australia wins. The wine is big, jammy, fruity, Aussie Shiraz. Great wine to go with whatever you're having for dinner.

It did need 24 hours in the fridge after I opened it to come into its fullness, so if you are going to drink it, leave time to let it breathe. Generally you do not need to decant value wines, but this one really needed some time.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

2005 SlipStream Fastback Shiraz

Another previously-reviewed wine that I broke into again because I just couldn't resist.

Good stuff.