Finding a balance

siegel at bar 2009.jpgJust because the economy is in the tank does not mean we cannot enjoy fine wine. Huddling with pals amidst the economic collapse can prove a good tonic. You just have to know how to balance the U20s with the O50s. Here is our plan for finding a way to balance U20 selections with O50 [ed. over $50] indulgences. dotore and piano 2009.jpgPurge your cellar and scour the sales bins at local high end retailers for the O50s. Hit the Kirkland bins for the U20s. Pressure your wine pal into playing the piano (no please OK). Now you can create some spice and verve for a special event like Valentines Day at the home of a dear pals. We had our own little V Day massacre with IGTY’s [ed. igottatellya] Williams Selyem collection showing how it all gets done.
Presto NV Prosecco Brut $10: Nothing special here however a sparkler is a good place to begin an evening. This is dry, not fruity like I would expect from Prosecco. If you were buying a sparkler for a party of 100 this would be a great selection. Picked up at Whole Foods. 11%
jadot MV 2007.jpg2007 Louis Jadot Macon Villages $12: I liked this wine. Another bargain U20. Stone fruit (as they say) meaning the fruit is not way ripe. Reminds me of fruit pits in your jugo. In a good way. Dry. Easy quaffer. Quick finisher. What’s not to like?
roots SB 2007.jpgRoot:1 Sauvignon Blanc $8: A Kirkland Nation wine presented in a brown bag. Yup. We tasted it blind which was fun. Picked it out as Sauv Blanc immediately. That was easy. Grassy style. Of course that also threw us to California which we amended to New World [ed. cheaters]. It is the Chilean juice from ungrafted vinifera root stock that is all over Costco. The Cab is all the rage and this was pretty good too. This wine has stuffing meaning it is a bit weighty in viscosity. Bitter in the mid palate like a wheat grass drink you get at the spa. Lemon grass too. Another great buy and I guess we can all say tough times demand smart U20 buying! I prefer the Ugni-Colombard reviewed elsewhere but this works also for 75% the cost.
Rochioli chard est 2001.jpg2001 Rochioli Estate Chardonnay~ $70: Rich rich rich. Closed at first. Continued to open for more than an hour. Toasty and buttery on the nose and in the mouth. Technicolor flavors and lush. Dotor√© detects a note of tropical fruit and claims it is papaya. Yes. This is the Estate bottle not one of the vineyard designated wines. Like its brother Estate Pinot Noir it is a consistently well-made wine that you can always count on…if you are willing to pay. Of course, next to the vineyard wines these are cheap. Wine of the evening. 14.2%
linne calodo contrarian 2005.jpg2005 Linne Calado Contrarian $40: 64% Rousanne and 36% Viognier. Smoky, dry. I can taste the Viognier and I do not like Viognier. This was a better wine for me a few years ago but now I am displeased. I also wonder – and here is my beef with Linne Calodo and others – if this is a common blend in the Rhone or SW France? I think not. Tell me I am wrong. Matt Trevanian, who is a winemaker of well deserved and considerable reputation, likes to blend Zinfandel with Cabernet and Syrah and other grapes that are non-traditional and IMHO do not work very well together. Chalk it up to my problem but I was disappointed. I expected more having fond memories of at least two earlier bottles.
WS Son Coast 06.jpg2006 Williams Selyem Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir $70: Yummy. Onto the Williams Selyem wines. I would hope the next time this winery sells it goes to Sees Candies. They are that yummy. This has some smoke. Color is kind of dark although each of the next three wines from WS are actually kind of light for California wines. Of course, that is not precautionary for WS Pinot Noir. It is a good sign. This wine is…delicious. Showing forward fruit and softness than the other two which have their own charms.
WS Son County 06.jpg2006 Williams Selyem Sonoma County Pinot Noir $70: A bigger. More full in flavors and pronounced nose. Also forward and kind of simple. These are the entry level WS wines meant for early consumption.
WS Cen Cst 06.jpg2006 Williams Selyem Central Coast Pinot Noir $70: The most distinctive of the set. Pronounced cola and sasparilla flavors. A bit more acidic but not volatile in the least. tBoW’s personal fave in the set. What a great host, eh?!?!
BV syrah 2001 v3.jpg2001 Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Valley Syrah Signet Collection $15: As happens at most tastings somebody has to tap the host to pour something for which he feigns reluctance. Call it the old “I can’t open that it was gift” ploy. That was this bottle. Sooprise sooprise!! The wine was quite tasty. 2001 was a terrific vintage and this was a decent bottle of wine. Warm, soft, rich, bit of mint chocolate. After a little time it shows some Napa valley floor, redwood flavors. Good luck trying to figure what vineyard(s) where. 13.5%
Best finish of the evening was Dotore’ showing off his new chops on the keyboard. Nice.

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