Posts belonging to Category New Zealand

The BEST of Mouse In March and Screw Top Science

Watching the college hoops tournament this year is like waiting to see how a rain-soaked vintage year turns out. Disasters everywhere but who knows what will be the outcome long as the weather and vines dry out for a few weeks prior to harvest. Could¬†be incredible. In fact it is looking that way…for the brackets anyway. This week field correspondent Mouse (aka Field Mouse) offers two U20 tasting reviews along with his always helpful musings on regions and producers. tBoW team leader Dotor√© offers some screw top science worth your time. There is no science for picking March Madness. (more…)

WTF??? BEST 2009 Beaujolais Needs More Time!!

Words rarely uttered among the wine cogniscenti passed the lips of the tBoW team. This Beaujolais is not ready. A Beaujolais not ready to be consumed right now? The phraseology version of an oxymoron is…? Don’t know. We do know that snow will fall in Santa Monica, Lady Gaga will wear ballerina flats, and the Tea Party will certify our President is 100% American before we hear “this Beauj ain’t ready stuff” again.

Jerry Lewis made a film in 1960 “Visit To a Small Planet” where one of the actors kept repeating “there ain’t no sech animal”. He was referring to aliens. Jerry played the nebbishy harmless nice guy alien. I wouldn’t look for it. “Divorce American Style” or “How to Murder Your Wife” – those are worth looking for on NetFlix.

If you can find among the following wines the ones we favor you will have completed a successful and rewarding hunt.

2009 Clos de la Roilette Vielles Vignes $23: After finding the last 3 bottles in LA Dotor√© found the last case in the country in Connecticut during the Great Winter Storm of 2010. The producer is notorious for putting his beloved race horse on the label after the appellation committee in Beaujolais ruled his property was outside the Cru region of Fleurie. His response was kiss my grits. He makes one of the most sought after non-Cru wines in the Beaujolais and certainly the best in or near Fleurie. Dotor√© reasoned if the rest of the vintage was so darn good, and Dubouef could make better than good wines in 2009 then the top producers should be phenomenal. On the hunt like Sherlock Holmes, tBow himself filling the role of Watson, Dotor√© tracked all domestic shipments finding the last one not sold out on the Least Coast. We have tasted. New tBoW tasting team member Peewee declared what was in her shapely goblet was swamp water. A mineral dagger stuck in her chest. Dotor√© brought over his bottle, open 24 hours, poured her another dose. Much better. Somehow tBoW received a “bad bottle”. Peewee nailed it. Without contemplating the provenance of “bad bottles” suffice it to say this wine is gorgeous, sumptious, full bodies (for Beaujolais) and fulfills its promise. It can easily go a couple years and more. It will never get that far. 13%

2006 South Pinot Noir $15: “It’s from Tasmania. I think you’ll like it”. That’s all tBoW needs to hear from preferred wine vendor Steve Goldun of Palate Wine Merchant. Strong Pinot flavors. Black cherry. Balanced. Very nice wine. The bottle IGTY has been looking for all his life. Gotta love the price. 13.5%

2002 Paul Lato Duende Gold Coast Vineyard Pinot Noir $30:¬† We crowned this wine the best in Santa Rita Hills only three years ago. Today the wine remains attractive and exotic showing strawberries and marzipan. It’s good but not great. Santa Rita fruit is just too ripe and alcohol levels tend to overwhelm the fruit. Can’t find this wine. Not even Paul has it. 14.3%

2009 Domaine Cheysson Chiroubles $15: Terrific Gamay fruit. Rich; not Pinot Noir. Gold medal somewhere. Solid drink with chicken and mac cheese. We is stone. Immaculate. “Are you kiddin’ me?” says Dick Vitale. If Cheysson had a basketball team it would easily be a 4 seed in the tourney. Another hUge winner from the 2009 vintage. Grab it if you see it. 12.5%

It was 72 degrees in LA yesterday. Summer is just around the corner. Spring is here. Try something new in your RnR catalog. Anthony Gomes…lot of country and even more rock n roll.

Marching towards the Bird (but not a BCS Bowl)

dux1.jpgBeing an SC football fan is a lot like loving Barolo and Burgundy. You hope every year will bring a championship banner but it just cannot be. Just like with Burgundy, we never really understand why every bottle labeled Chambertin is not championship quality. And, like USC football, there is always a year that just does not measure up to the highest expectations of the only team in this cow town that has a chance of realizing high expectations. Like 1995 in the Cotes de Beaune and Piemonte…nnhhh. Those Toe-jams just about broke Mrs. tBoW’s Cardinal & Gold spirit!
Thank goodness there is always The Bird. Thanksgiving approaches and we have to start thinking about wines to serve. Let’s be honest. I’m talkin’ Dotor√© honest. The tension is between serving the lumpen good wine while simultaneously matching a wine to the demands of an over-the-top meal. It’s like wine calculus! This day of celebration demands some great wines. We have the time to enjoy but we cannot throw pearls before turkeys. Or can we? [ed. how ’bout Ducks or Huskies]. It is the season of giving. Pour a decent Pinot Noir – Willamette or Cotes de Nuits – then follow it with an older Barolo. (more…)