Party time and the mother of all <$20 wines

Simon%2B%26%2BMarianne.jpgJuly 4th is a big holiday and this year the 4th is a Wednesday which means no working Thurs and Friday! You want to get your rose’ wines and your Moscatos on chill and ready for sipping ’round the pool, spa or bath. If you have never had a sip of Moscato d’Asti please think about it before plunging over the falls. This is a white Italian wine from Piemonte with a slight spritz. The good ones are mind-bendingly easy to swallow…like soda pop. With alcohol around 7% and flavors of peach, honey, lime and mo mo mo you will drink the entire bottle in 30 minutes.
By the way, before we get to the wines, get thee to the North Berkeley website. It is outstanding. I write alot about Kermit Lynch’s taste and selections and how terrific is his palate and offerings. However, his website is strictly flapjacks. Not that he needs to be any more fanciful. I just know he could show more about what he likes and does – read his book “Adventures on the Wine Route” and you will get my point. And sign up for the NB email list.
2005 Trenel Chiroubles $15 (Robt. Chadderdon selection): This is the wine that got us started on restricting wine purchases to under $20. The 2005 vintage in Beaujolais was highly touted and has turned out to be pretty darn goot. DokkerM and I have purchased ’05s from multiple sources (Kermit, NB, Whole Foods, Woodland Hills Wine Co –WHW, K&L H’wood) and they never disappoint. Sometimes they delight. This is the wine touted to us by Steve at WHW a year ago. It is still great. Medium to light weight. Still showing some tannin. Black cherries, perfectly balanced. A Williams Selyem of Beaujolias. How can you not love it? Need to get more if Paul Smith still has some. Never saw it anywhere else. Also bought the Morgon but have not opened it.
1996 Elio Altare Barolo (from the cellar): Took it to a (Provencal) restaurant. Altare is one of the top producers in Barolo. Another example if you have never tried a Barolo… The 1996 vintage was spectacular. The 1997 got more press which goes to show you should always try to get more info than what is available thru the wine industry. The flavor/nose combo for Barolo is “tar and roses”. Great Baroli have that. This did not and it was still great. I have tasted Baroli that do. It did have red cherry flavors, medium weight, great depth of flavor that dawdled on my palate like my wife getting ready to go out. The 1996 vintage is fruity, although less so IMO than the 1997. 1996 has more stuffing. I am sitting on another case or so of mixed labels. Had the 1996 Alessandria a month ago (also wonderful) that let me know the vintage is ready for consumptive intentions. So, you might ask the obvious question…how does it stack up to those ’05 Beuajolais? I will defer to you.
2005 Garnacha de Fuego old vines $8: A Jose Ordonez selections wine with cool packaging, fire licking up the label like the intro to a Latin movie about “the romancia”. Ordonez is a hot importer. Column forthcoming on hot-shot importers. Unfortunately, this time we had a dud. Cloudy in the glass (not tossed around it’s been on my bar for weeks) and jukki in the mouth. Spit it out asparagus and week old pancake mix. I had several bottles this past winter and enjoyed each one. Nothing spectacular but I wouldn’t throw it out of my cellar either. For $8 (of bottles stored well) you could do a wedding up right. Bad lot? Most likely. Open one before you buy a case.
2005 St Supery Napa Cabernet $25?: This was the other dinner wine that had to stand up to the Altare Barolo, hardly a fair fight. I had the waiter ice it down and it came out cool. Fruity, cab flavors, without wood and cedar flavors or nose. Tasted very nice. St. Supery is the kind of Napa winery I like to visit but I would never buy wine on premises. They are too widely distributed. I like to visit because their tasting charge is not $40 and their wines are well made. How many cabs are in my cellar? McKenzie-Mueller new releases, and a couple older bottles by Togni.
I gotta go find some Moscatos…

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