New era? New wines!

newera.jpgOscar update: I told ya so. Slumdog sweeps. The Academy that chose True Grit over Midnight Cowboy lavished awards on the conventionally “edgy” movie of the season (omigod they show warterboarding!!!). The wine comparison is more obvious than ever. Slumdog is the Chilean wine of films for 2009. While I am not one of those who would say the entire year was less memorable than others have asserted, tBoW did contend that Slumdog was the least interesting of the choices and that Button was the next best thing (Titanic meets Forest Gump; I’m ready for my pitch meeting). The best movie was The Wrestler [ed. think Camille Giroud Savigny?]. I would post a link to the earlier post but it is all so ordinary, isn’t it?
If you would like to read an hauteur’s intelligent discussion of this year’s Oscar films visit the lovely Marianne’s blog Unstuck at 40 and read her Feb 20 entry. Can you tell she’s a film writer? She can be so RAW it hurts!!!
In the meantime as the Obama economic plan plays to hoots and howls [ed. even the Nation is Barack-unfriendly still I don’t think anyone is missing our last Prez] we also await the retooling of retail pricing schemes. There are two strong candidates for the end-of-year U20 best of class list.
And one more thing…check out the Jan-Feb 2009 Wine Speculator cover. Shanken & Co. have finally caught on that VALUE is the story. They even identify 1,000 wines scoring 88 points or more that are U20s!! How pissed are you if your wine was rated 87?!?!
You should not be concerned because you have been onto this VALUE thing for a year or longer. Because you follow!! Where wine is not some fancy freaking collectible. We drink the shit. And we expect to only drink…uh…the best of wines…at any price but we really like the U20s. Read on my freng and you will find below two winners, one pretender and a very good wine that just costs too much for what you get. Especially compared to the 2005 Mas Belles Eaux Les Coteaux at half the price.
2007 Sinister Hand Columbia Valley $24: Forward, soft, warm fruit. Blend of 62% Grenache, 21% Syrah, 17% Mourvedre. The Columbia Valley wine region is mostly in Washington with a small section in Oregon. Highly variable weather makes growing vinifera extra tricky. The grapes are from vineyards in the Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, and Horse Heaven Hills which are in SE Washington near or on the Columbia River. Here is a useful link to a map of Washington’s wine regions. This is a friendly wine that is ready to drink. Not quite a U20 but wait a couple months. And what’s with the severed hand? It’s historical. “The Sinister Hand label is a family crest – a depiction of a severed left hand that tells the story of a rowing competition among O’Neills and O’Reillys (Owen Roe was an O’Neill). Whoever touched land first after rowing across the lake was rewarded with the land he touched. Lagging behind, one of the kinsfolk grabs his sword and cleaves his hand and pitches it ashore to touch land first. He won the land and eventually ruled over it as king.” Okay. 14.1%
BV Coastal Cab 2006.jpg2006 BV Coastal Estates Cabernet Sauvignon California $7: Too bad for this wine. Did not like it when first opened and failed to impress several days later. First impression was of a dry mark eraser board. Imagine licking one. Not sure what that flavor/aroma is but it’s probably hard to get out of a carpet. When you consider that BV probably made as many cases as an Argentine winery (half million?) and that there are so many very nice Malbec wines from Mendoza available at the same or close enough price point… 13.5%
tariquet ugni 2007.jpg2007 Domaine Tariquet Ugni-Blanc Colombard $11: Finally a WINNAH from the local WIne Cask!! Tart and sharp when first opened. Not unpleasant, just kind of short in the finish. After nearly a week with the screw cap on tight the melon and peach qualities emerged. 70% Ugni Blanc and 30% Colombard from Gascony. A bit longer in the finish though not much. Judging from the Internet prices tBoW overpaid! Still a huge U20 deal! Imported by Robert Kacher. 10.5%
les coteaux 2005v2.jpg2005 Coteaux du Languedoc, Mas Belles Eaux Les Coteaux $18: There are a few wine shops around town that should check out the wine selection & sales team at K&L. These guys rarely miss. This classic Languedoc (Corbieres) blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre is another winner. Absolutely delicious right now. I read one online review when it was released comparing it to paint thinner. OK. I respect that. Maybe it was a bit raw on release. Perhaps feral. That’s old news today becuz it is just perfect right now which means drink it up all summer long. The only thing that would make it slightly better is if it was slightly cheaper. Best online price is $15 but when you add shipping… Roasted meats, smoky fruit. Purple red. Interesting facts from another website talk a bissel pedigree: This wine from the owners of Quinta do Noval and Chateau Pichon-Baron has taken the wine world by storm and with good reason–even the venerable Robert Parker gives it 91/100. We have never tasted a wine this good from the Languedoc, it is in a word delicious and very good value for a very fine wine. 14%
Next up…March Madness and the inevitable comparison of wines to college teams (like the Bruins and most California Chardonnays).

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