Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Brief notes from a weekend of wine

A couple of friends came by last weekend and we opened a number of nice and not-so-nice bottles. I didn't take any specific notes on the wines, but here are a few brief impressions of a couple of them:

1999 Pride Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley - I've been lucky to have had a couple of 96-97-98 of this wine but I always had them in their youth. This was the first time I'd had one of these with any age on it. What an odd bottle this was. No fruit. No chocolaty, over-the-top oak that I usually associate with this winery. Just some weird sun-dried tomato flavors and acidity that was really out of balance. Tried it again on day two and the additional time on air didn't help.

2006 Eaglepoint Ranch Grenache, Mendocino - Probably my favorite wine of the weekend. All of the raspberry fruit, herb and spice of a good Cotes-du-Rhone but with that extra kick of California fruit. This wine never fails to impress. Sadly, I'm down to my last two bottles.

2007 Flock Old Vine Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley - Call me crazy, but I really enjoyed this inexpensive, value-priced Zinfandel from Sebastiani. Lots of blackberry and black pepper; just how I like my Zinfandel.

2007 Dunning Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles - Oh, mercy, the tannins! What a brute! Really hard to even evaluate this wine's potential as the tannins and acidity are completely overpowering the fruit at this point. Two more in the cellar and I won't be opening either one any time soon. Check back with me in about 10 years.

2006 Trenza Tinto, San Luis Obispo - Another perennial favorite around here. Waves of black olive, new leather, dark fruits. Good structure, but certainly ready to drink now. A rare Tempranillo-based blend from California's Central Coast.

2006 Ambullneo Howling Syrah, Santa Maria Valley - Sadly, corked. I'm pretty sensitive to TCA and I was the only one who found the wine approaching undrinkability. Everyone else felt it was an "off" bottle, but managed to drink it anyway. The wintergreen and white pepper harkens back to a bottle of this I enjoyed a few months ago. But the TCA taint was just too much for me to be able to enjoy this particular bottle.

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