All Over the Wine Map…6 Good Hours on a Saturday Night

What we like about summertime is dining al fresco when the temps are in the 70s, the grill is hot, cobs are roasting and sausages are cooking…and the corks are getting pulled.

You never know what will turn up on the table. It is just a great time to match something fresh with something familiar. Here is a run down of some recent wines tasted in the tBoW laboratory.


2005 Addamo Vineyards Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir
$17: Touted at the local Whole Foods as one of those closeout wines that used to sell for double. The presence of another wine getting “blown out” is now a weekly if not daily event. Just to digress a moment, we recently received a pitch for Pahlmeyer “on sale” for $90. Wouldn’t buy it for a third of that price. As a winemaker pal put it, hopefully the current industry shakeout will mark the end of these dinosaurs. Tough talk to be sure but we are more than a little tired of big ticket Napa trophy wines. This Addamo is typical smoky, rich and fruity Santa Barbara Pinot Noir. It is simple and if you like this style it is a good U20 buy. I prefer Dewey Kelly which, for a couple bucks more, brings a lot more style. 14.1%

2005 Jean Foillard Morgon “Cote du Py” $30 in magnum: This is a bargain from Kermit Lynch. Purchased at the Berkeley store a few years ago. We have had it in 750s and figured a debut summer dinner was a good spot to bring it out. Fruity, complex Gamay juice. Compact and refined. Strong red blue color. Refined with plenty of terroir. Cannot wait to try the 2009 Beaujolais wines. Beaujolais – still the best wine value going. 13%

2007 Domaine Saladin Loi $1: A Becky Wasserman Selection that split the tasters. As a U20 it is at the low price end of Wasserman’s catalogue. The tasting team was split. Some found it palatable; others easily passed over. It is a Rhone wine blended across vintages. We found it to be simple and soft. Light weight. Anything but a muscular Syrah-Grenache blend. The Boy George of Rhone? 13%

1994 Martinez Quinta do Eira Velha $33 (on release): This is the wine that makes an evening. Hands down winner at this dinner. A single vineyard from the last great Port vintage [ed. as in 1963, 1977 and 1994). At 16 years it is perfectly ready for consumption. The Martinez Port – not this quinta – was tasted in 2004; tannic, big, rough. We might wait another couple years on this wine as it will round out even more and present as a very seductive glass. Rich, candied walnuts. Smooth drink, no tannic grit. A wine in its late adolescence just beginning to mature. The good news? You can start drinking the 1994 ports. 20%

2 Comments

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    steve g says:

    Hey, who’s the chef?

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