Thanks for Giving and tBoW Thanksgiving Day wine lineup!!

first-thanksgiving.jpg Along with great meals, close friends, good cheer and all of that…holidays at the end of the year should include giving to others. Many have their favorite charity and many do not. Please check out my good friend’s website www.givr.us and sign up to give something to someone you never knew existed but who you also know can use your help. The site is a networking center that connects those who want to give to those organizations that give to those in need.
Happy Turkey Day!! 386 years and counting of stuffing the bird and ourselves!
Here are a couple of recently tasted wines that probably will not make it to the celebratory dinner table. My list of wines that will are at the bottom.
danterivetti-97-label.jpg 1997 Dante Rivetti Bricco de Neueis Barbaresco: Not a U20 wine ever. However, it got into my cellar somehow (I am pretty sure it was a K&L purchase). Barbaresco is known for producing premium nebbiolo as in Barolo with the aging potential but without the brute muscularity of Barolo. jeffgarlin3.jpgBarbaresco is “feminine” in style. I always feel like Jeff Garlin when I write this. Feminine versus masculine? In wine? Silly? No…useful. Let’s bring up an important question every wine aficionado faces sooner or later. Do you prefer wine older or younger? Masculine or feminine? Luca_Brazzi_by_actionthisday.jpgLuca Brasi tells Marlon Brando “gawdfadda may your first child be a masculine child”. Wine goes well with imagery. You will enjoy it more if you embellish it (true for many things). If the development of a wine were plotted on a curve it would look like some kind of parabola. Some wine writers like to refer to a wine as being in some developmental stage like adolescence, young adult, octogenarian, and the like. Once you set a model in your own mind you can begin placing wines as you drink them on that curve or in that stage of life. You might find, as I did, that I prefer a wine in its young maturity, like a 35 to 45 year old person. Still vibrant without the youthful blush. Exceedingly thoughtful and definitely capable of surprise. wine-life.jpgMuscular or sinewy. Charming without being nostalgic. These are wines before the crest of the curve. They are not yet in the descending plateau of middle age (45-55). We could go on and on, conjuring images of people who we liken to our favorite wines. Send in your thoughts. I definitely do not find wines advancing in age to be very interesting. They require too much support. I would not say this about older people (like myself!) but it is true that aging can bring many more disappointments beyond rescue. So it is for me with wines beyond the crest of the curve. Parabolas, people, gangster movies, find a metaphor and work with it! This 10 year old Barbaresco was browning at the edges with age. Weight is fine. Fruit is good with the pressed roses and minerality. I thought about the 1996 Ruchottes Chambertin recently tasted and considered how similar are these two wines. Both past their prime yet still stitched together like a fine ladies purse from the 19th century. The Barbaresco even had some baked bread on the nose. Otherwise the nebbiolo was like they say, textbook, and Dotore’ picked it out right away. Barabrescos do age faster as a rule and they are not the same in depth as Barolos. This wine is more than ready to drink. I really should not wait too much longer…and I will not.
2003 Justin Cabernet Sauvignon ~$25: Bought this at the winery which justin-2003-cab.jpg
means we paid top dollar (>$25). Not my pick so that means you-know-who (she who cannot be resisted) had to have it. I did not find the wine interesting on site and I did not find it interesting with veal chops and mushrooms, lovingly prepared by you-know-who, which is a dinner this wine should complement perfectly. Justin is the premier cabernet grower and producer in Paso. I think Paso is not and never has been (e.g., HR Mountain Ranch) good cab country. Even though Justin does the best job of it (there are other collectible cab blend wines from Paso) and sells a lot of wine and has a very nice winery that should be on your tour…I just am not fond of their products. So bully for me. There are plenty of folks who love Justin wines, think my opinions suck, and I am glad for them. This wine had a tinny high acid flavor and not much of a nose. The fruit had a touch of veggie which is typical of Paso Robles cabernet (and Santa Barabara, too, as long as we are calling out regions where certain grapes just do not flourish). 14.5%
2005 Blaunfrankisch Burgenland $22: Not sure what to make of the producer as it appears to be a cooperative effort among Austrian producers. However, the wine is easy to appreciate. Blueberries, cool weather fruit. Some pepper but not sharp or tart. Nicely made wine. Easily the most fruit forward Austrian red I have tasted. Something like being the most flamboyant CPA. Blaufrankisch is a popular grape for Central Europe wine regions. Perhaps related to Gamay which we like mucho.
2002 Clendenen Family Vineyards Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido Petite Verdot $24: Bought this at the Wine Cask Santa Barbara Futures Tasting in 2004. Wife picked it out and she made a great choice. Fruity spicy nose. Red berries in flavor. Cranberry and raspberry. Some sharp acid. Robust. Has aged well and will continue to. An unusual bottle but then Jim Clendenen is not exactly shy about trying something different. Only 100 cases so this bottle would be difficult to locate.
Now here is the Best of Wines thanksgiving day wine lineup. I will be toting the following wines north to the home of Uncle Alan and Aunt Betsy in hopes these humble gifts will complement her home cooked turkey and Kirkland lasagna!!
REDS
2004 Cote de Tablas
1997 Dante Rivetti Barbaresco
2000 Parador
something I buy at Kermit Lynch and/or North Berkeley
WHITES
2005 Domaine de la Motte Chablis Premiere Cru Le Vigneau
1990 Prince Poniatowski Aigel Blanc Mouelleux Vouvray
2006 L’Uvaggio di Giacomo Vermentino
DESSERT
last minute decision drawing from a nice batch of California stickies

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