Spent a week in the Atlanta area playing golf, toasting old friends and getting to know new kin. Spent just enough time to pick up some new phrases, a new daughter-in-law and a family or two in the bargain. My son’s new wife is so pretty she could make a hound dog smile. I posted her picture so you can see if I’m lying I’m dying. Might even write a song about her. Also got to taste some fine wines and had a helluva good time. Started thinking it would be fun to apply some new phraseology to the business of the moment – tasting wines. So let’s start getting in step with a part of the country I will definitely visit again…a place where sushi is still called bait.
Here are some the phrases we picked up and shall be putting to work. You can quickly see why it is preferable to speak with gentility and humor than to be blunt and, well, rude.
“Bless his heart” means he’s not so bright.
“God love him” means someone is distasteful.
“Sweating like a whore in church” means somewhat anxious or nervous.
“Got issues” means something ain’t right.
2010 Uvaggio Primitivo Lodi $13 – Another slam dunk winner from Jim Moore Sellers [ed. NOT his label; I am kidding the hardest working man in Napa making non-Napa wines]. Old World style. Think Crianza – recent vintage Spanish wine meant for early drinking. Jim takes a hot zone grape and renders it immediately approachable. More exciting than snuff and not near as dusty. Forward, balanced, medium weight. Have it with pizza or cheddar cheese. Here is a great and very recent post on Jim and his approach to winemaking. Jim is the master of fresh, fleshy, lovely food friendly wines. Super U20 value. 13.1%
2005 MacKenzie Mueller Cabernet Franc Estate bottled Unfiltered $35: Bob Mueller left the Mondavi empire and took the road to Carneros to become a local vigneron. Today he’s happier than a dead hog in the sunshine. Got some vineyard in the quiet part of the bay where he grows under-the-radar fruit. It seems every bottle is very good to great…given sufficient time in the cellar. I once read his wines were “dirty.” Well whoever wrote that, bless his heart, may not have had many MacKenzie Mueller wines at ten years plus. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Pinot Noir – he makes them all. They need to age. At least five years preferably longer. tBoW says use the aerator under 12 years! This one is young and it shows in the first pour. Feral, deep dark color. The fog from the bay brings cool temps which suits Bob’s temperament perfectly. If this was vintage rock n roll Jim Moore would be hard charging like Joe Walsh or Stevie Ray Vaughan. Bob is a sculptor. His wines are chiseled. You have to wait for the vision to emerge. Here’s an idea. How ’bout Jim makes some wines from Bob Mueller’s grapes? Classical meets non-traditional without the fanfare.
2010 Cardwell Hill Willamette Valley Estate Bottled Rosé from Pinot Noir $10: Yummy. Bright nose with lots of strawberries. Cranberry acidity. Big and fruity but with the acid to keep it from going all catawampus. Pink wines are not usually from first selection grapes so we are expecting something extra from the red Pinot! U20 deal. See it? Grab it. 12.5%
2008 Cardwell Hill Cellars Estate Bottled Willamette Valley Pinot Noir $24: Had this in the cellar. So after running through the Rosé it seemed logical to open the Pinot Noir. This wine has got some issues. Is that Clamato? We did have a bite of cheese but this wine is more cheesy than the brie. Kind of thin on the palate. Narrow profile. So narrow it has to stand up twice to throw a shadow. 2008 is supposed to be the bigger and more lush vintage. Just goes to show if you want to buy Pinot in Willamette with some kind of reassurance buy Ribbon Ridge and Carlton. Just an opinion. 13.2%
2009 Topanga Vineyards Celadon Grenache Blanc Arroyo Seco Beeswax Vineyard $20: Impulse buy because I thought it might be a wine from the ‘Bu I had not yet tried made from a grape we tend to favor these days. Kept it on the bar at least 6 weeks sweating like a whore in church wondering what would come out once we turned the screw top. Turns out it ain’t from the ‘Bu at all. But it is delicious. Good body, meejum weight, understated fruit, no oak detected. Central coast is a very good region for Rhone styles as we know. Would buy another if we could. 14.9%
2007 Row Eleven Santa Maria Pinot Noir $30: From a friend of a friend. When looking for something to fill a glass on Lake Oconee a bottle of California Central Coast Pinot Noir is worth grabbing. Did not disappoint. Not quite as good as tits on grits but…not too shabby either. Telltale smoky Santa Maria nose. Cocoa, cola, not too ripe and a bit brawny. The New World showing off. Between me and my host that bottle did not go far. BevMo big ticket. Good value for very good quality. 14.7%
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