He loves chewy and jammy!!

chewbacca.jpg Palates differ…kind of like opinions. WRONG. Differences of opinions are never beyond examination. And like opinions, palates change. One’s wine palate evolves over time as experience with wine broadens. maurice-sendak-max-roars.jpgOne of the great things about wine is that there are so many wines to choose from. So many regions to get to know. This is one reason why it is a shame to follow ratings. Better you find a reviewer whose taste is a good match for your own. This match will change over time but it beats picking the 94 pointer believing the bottle holds 94 points.
When I first met Joe a few years ago he was into the big trophy wines. Times have changed and he is now a strong follower of Paso wines. Me too! But our palates could not be further apart.
Joe is an avid supporter of anything he stands behind or loves. This makes him a great guy to have on your team…or to be on his team. However, in wine we learn to follow our own path.
Joe likes wines that are chewy and jammy and knockyersoxoff. Sounds like big cabs. I like femmy, middle to light weight with more delicacy or even a crude presentation long as it is well-meant (like the Charles Neal Bugey Gamay covered a while back). So when Joe started pulling corks I had to take it slow and easy. That is correct. I did not say no to any wine he poured.
Fortunately, I did bring a new aerator product called the Vinturi. This was test-the-device night. Very effective for taming some of the monsters that stalked Joe’s table.
2002 Alban Tithings ~$70: Grenache and Syrah blend from John Alban, one of the original Rhone Rangers. It is big, ripe, jammy, new world. There is chocolate and charcoal in the mid-palate and finish. Dense wine. Supposed to ape Chateauneuf? Alban makes “normal” Rhone blends. No tricks. We like that…with exceptions, of course. Normally I would link you to Alban’s vwebsite…except it is just one page with a generic Alban label!
Cafaro-97.jpg1997 Cafaro Cabernet Sauvignon $100+ today: This is a collectors label affordable to the masses. I guess that is good. The wine is nicely balanced. It is soft but not flabby. Very nice Napa cab. We aerated just to see. Shoe polish nose emerges. This is not bad for me. Much more dark fruit in smell and taste post-aeration. Now here is the funny part. In the company of some very big wines this was the lightweight!! I am posting the Cafaro label even though I do not for a moment believe there is a wine drinker out there who has not seen it or is not familiar with the distinctively simple and appealing label.
laventure.jpg2003 L’Aventure Estate Cuvee $85 sold out: A blend of 66% Cab Sauvignon, 28% Syrah and 6% Petite Verdot. Ohmigod. Smoky tannic. Dark dark dark flavors. Real dark. Aerated it. Kept thinking of the croc guy. Syrah nose and flavors emerge. Actually dominate the cab. Cocoa bar. 75% cacao bittersweet. Not dirty yet. The cab fruit is there. The Syrah supports it after awhile. Jammy and chewy like chocolate beef jerky dipped in BBQ sauce. I am no longer able to drink wines like this.
Here is a great article on L’Aventure from Grape Nutz which is a terrific wine blog I often consult.
I am now plotting wine payback for Joe. This summer I will get him over to the house with Dotor√© and Mouse where we will have our best shot at overpowering him with middle and light weight wines. We will make him drink some of Mouse’s white Rhones along with my 2005/2006 Beaujolais crus. We will do our best to tame the Joe, settle him down, give him time to think about the Magic Chef and Hallowed Ground. He will probably hate our wines. He can scour my cellar for big Cabs or inky Syrahs and he may find one or two. That’s when we hit him with the French peen-yoh nwarr. stu-%26-joe.jpgJoe does love Ros√©s so we will be able to bring him back from the brink of the unfamiliar because summer time is Ros√© time (along with Moscato d’Asti and BBQ). Beautiful. You see, with sincere wine folks there is always a happy medium (domestically speaking). [ed. Joe kindly agrees to pose with love-child of Sir Laurence Olivier and Shelley Winters on New Years Eve.]

1 Comment

  1. Wavatar
    Joseph Levy says:

    Cheers, I welcome the challenge.
    Don’t forget the Malibu Wine Festival April 5 from Noon to 5pm. Great group of Central Coast Winemakers serving their latest releases. Featured wineries include Brander, Ken Brown, L’Aventure, Linne Calodo and Saxum. Restaurants include Water Grill, JerNe, Allegria, Geoffrey’s, Casa Escobar, Michael’s and Il Grano.

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