Bracketology for Vinifera

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March Madness officially starts next week
but at tBoW we are already in high gear. Sixty-five teams will be seeded based on the subjective assessment of a panel of experts who weigh a bucketful of factors never disclosed that determine whether a team plays in the season’s biggest tournament or not. Something like judging wines at a State Fair. Or reading the Wine Advocate.
This week tBoW reviews a number of bottles “on the bubble” [ed. as opposed to bubbly wines] and a few top seeds. There are always upsets (go Trojans) but this year there are few clear cut favorites. The public has its preferences but the field, in wine, has been leveled by the e-c-o-n-o-m-y. Our cellar dwellers are no losers by a long shot (check out the 2 Baroli).
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2006 Laboure-Roi Vallon d’Or Pouilly Fuisse
$15: The public loves Kirkland Nation selections and because it is available at Costco this wine is a favorite and shoe-in for making it to the “big dance”. bruins09.jpgOak on the nose, stony fruit al√† Chablis. Nice, ripe enough but not too much. Ultimately, kind of boring without much personality and over-rated. Kind of like UCLA basketball. Should be ecstatic to make it to the Sweet Sixteen. 13%
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1993 Clerico Pajana Barolo
$50: Marc de Grazia Selection. Been around awhile. Has the tar and roses. Medicinal even a bit of cough syrup. Soft, tannins have receded. Dry and velvety on the tongue. Quite delicious.wake pic2.jpg The tar keeps emerging over 20 minutes. A venerable workhorse wine from a working man’s vintage. Think Wake Forest in this year’s tournament. Maybe Final Four. 14%
1996 Silvio Grasso Ciabot Manzoni Barolo
$60: A fabulous Barolo. Richer, more dense than the 1993. A wine like could make tBoW fall in love with Barolo all over again. Not preferentially to Burgs thanks to the February 2009 Palate dinner. Has the tar [ed. as in heels?] tyler 1.jpgbut not the roses. Bittersweet chocolate, dusty cocoa powder. Plenty of depth and enough surprises to go with a solid low post like North Carolina in 2009. Still a young wine (like Tyler Hansbrough). Look for them in the title game. 14%
brunet 1989.gif1989 Domaine Georges Brunet Vouvray Demi Sec $40: Hardly an everyday wine but certainly one for a special occasion or when your only pal who actually finds wine intriguing pays a visit [ed. the Bruin-lovin’ Trojan-hatin’ Dotor√©]. 20 year old Chenin Blanc. Nutmeg nose joined by cinnamon flavors in the mouth. pitt.jpgSlightly oxidized which is how these wines are supposed to be presented and enjoyed. Makes it a little strange for the uninitiated. Exotic like a a beautiful zaftig woman or Panther DeJuan Blair!! You ain’t never had a wine or seen a baller like this. My Pittsburgh Panther wine for the tourney. Dream crushers and Final Four for sure. Full of surprises. 13.5%

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