Thursday, December 2, 2010

2006 Tobin James Petite Verdot

Dinner tonight was one of my favorite meals. A little something I call "mixed grill" that consists of Italian sausage and whatever veggies I can slice up and throw on the grill. I ended up with squash, zucchini and eggplant tonight. When everything is done, I slice the sausage, pile everything on the plate and dress it with a bit of olive oil, a pinch of chili flakes and some fresh herbs. Naturally, the dish calls for a rustic wine.

The 2006 Tobin James James Gang Reserve Petite Verdot, Paso Robles fits the bill perfectly as a deeply-flavored, rustic wine that matches perfectly with the grilled sausages. Fantastic color with aromas and flavors of tart cranberry, intense licorice and American oak flavors. The American oak, thankfully, fades into the background the longer the wine is open. Massive tannins, of course, are an indication of why winemakers like to add a bit of this to Bordeaux-style blends that need a little more body. But my favorite thing about this wine is the texture. It's rich without being heavy and it has this fabulous chalkiness that just coats your entire mouth and sticks around seemingly forever. Worth every penny of $38.

Overall, I don't think Paso Robles is a great place to look for Bordeaux varietals. When I was there about 18 months ago, I fell in love with the Rhone varietals and Zinfandels. But in addition to the stunning Cabernets from Dunning and Adelaida, Tobin James has really hit a home run with this underrated grape. Bravo!

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