Saturday, January 21, 2012

2009 Turnbull "Old Bull"

Tonight's wine of choice with home made pizza was the 2009 Turnbull Wine Cellars Old Bull, Napa Valley. This blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Syrah, 22% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc has an amazingly dark purple color that one would expect from a top notch Cabernet/Syrah blend. The nose is a beautiful melange of blackberry, licorice, vanilla, smoky French oak and roasted coffee bean. Just scrumptious. Juicy blackberry and coffee dominate the hugely tannic palate that could probably benefit from a few years in the cellar or a few hours in a decanter. Long, tannic, bitter chocolate finish. The stated 14.1% alcohol is hardly noticeable. I'm really really digging this! A great value at $22.

The pizza offerings tonight were as follows:

Duck confit (from our farm-raised duck), caramelized shallots and truffle oil

Creamed spinach

Italian sausage with roasted yellow and orange bell peppers.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention a special connection I have to Turnbull Cellars. Back in the early 90s when I was just dating my future wife, I was invited to dinner at her father's house. That evening he made osso bucco and served this wine novice the 1986 Johnson Turnbull (as it was known then) Cabernet Sauvignon and 1986 Chateau Lynch Bages. An unbelievable cellar pull for a dinner guest who knew practically nothing about wine at the time. Although my memory of that wine has long faded, I'll never forget the bottle. And I'll always be indebted to my father-in-law for opening bottles like that for a kid who had previously thought Sutter Home White Zinfandel was "fine wine."


  1. Bill, another adage: it's nearly impossible to separate a wine from its context; nice journal-ling with wine and pairing.
    New Wave music:

    1. I'm kind of digging that Avicii. Never heard of him until now. Takes me back to the 80s when all of my favorite new wave acts released 12" singles and "dance versions" of their songs. Good stuff!