Quality & Value trumps the Old Razzle Dazzle!!

As the Presidential campaign comes to a crushing close we are asked to focus our remaining attention muscles on voting. tBoW urges every reader to follow the same principles in voting that we advocate in selecting wines. People who “buy the label” will vote for the candidate with most seductive TV ads. They will be as disappointed in their candidate as they will in their wines, forced to utter platitudes and faith-based claims that they made a great choice. Folks who read a little will buy a wine for which they have a pretty good idea what will come out of the bottle. They will vote with what’s left in their wallets for a balance between quality and value to the consumer. Trust and value and an informed position. Not the “razzle dazzle” Chris Matthews has tattooed on the McCain campaign. [ed. cantcha see Sarah P in this? yoobethca!]
Here are some “blochbustah” wines tBoW has been tasting on the campaign trail.
rusackrose07.gif2007 Rusack Santa Barbara County Rosé $12 (at the winery): Raspberry and peach color. Soft watermelon gummi bear flavors. Made from Syrah and Grenache but you would never know the wine is so delicate and soft. Nice effort. 13.1%
Koehlersyrah05.PNG2005 Koehler Syrah Estate $32 (at the winery): Big thick “man’s wine”. Syrupy and spicy. Hot on the first taste (high alcohol). Blends in with the powerful, brooding fruit. Think Ludwig Von. This has the best and the worst of Santa Rita Hills wines. Blow you away fruit with bowl you over alcohol. 15.1%
2004 Domain de la Chapelle Les Gallieres Chinon $15: Perhaps it was a mistake opening this after the Koehler. The wine could not stand up next to the dark and forebearing Syrah. This is Cabernet Franc however it is harvested not very ripe, somewhat lightweight. Not very much fruit flavors. 13%
Saumur04.jpg2004 Chateau Gaillard Saumur $15: Dirty, flat, uninspired. Because this bottle was purchased from the same wine shop and said wine shop recently lost the clerk who had a sense of what tBoW liked and personally had tasted many of the wines in his shop…it reinforces an important principle of wine shopping. If the Prime Directive is find a shop that carries a nice array of interesting wines, the the Prime Prime Directive is find a sales person in that shop whose palate matches yours. If both conditions can be met then the likelihood of buying two dog wines like these at the same time from the same shop is greatly reduced. 12.5%
OjaiSyrahVglzng02.jpg2002 Ojai Vogelzang Syrah $33: Unusual nose of garlic salt. Briny and earthy. The Vogelzang planting is in the southeastern corner of the Santa Ynez Valley where it is hot hot hot. The flavors are berry berry full of berry. Smoky, skunky, funky. The wine is well made but not too appealing at this point. Have had this more than a year ago and liked it better. 14.5%
CdPChaptr96#2.jpg1996 Chapoutier Chateauneuf du Pape Barbe Rac $112 (online today): The ringer, big ticket. A birthday gift to ubiquitous tBoW tasting team leader Dotor√© (thank you). A “luxury” cuvee. Classic white pepper all over the nose. Idiosyncratic to some. Elegant to all. Liquer richness and intensity. Seems to be perfectly aged right now. Does not fade quickly. Holds up throughout the meal. Excellent French Syrah. 13.8%

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