Summer wines start to flow…

Tension builds as we await hot summer nights in Los Angeles that go so well with BBQs, lounging outside, dinner with friends and all kinds of wines. You can tell folks are getting restless when Memorial Day arrives with a full dinner party calendar. We attended two and, what a surprise, wine was the theme. One was a little more structured featuring Argentina wines and wine glasses with the tBoW URL!!!and our host’s names in larger script – go figure. The second was more informal meandering through a cellar that needs purging. tBoW was careful to take notes for your information.
bartenura 07.jpg2007 Bartenura Moscato d’Asti $9: Summertime is for drinking Moscato d’Asti, the slightly sprtizy Itlaian wine that tastes like peaches and feels like 7-Up! This was bought at Costco. Another testament to the wine buyer there. I can only recall dreaming of the day any Moscato d’Asti might be in a Costco bin. Pinch me. It was so worth the $9 tag. Prices for these wines have crawled higher in recent years so this is quite the bargain. Forget the tasting terms dictionary and the wine wheel. This is purr-fekt for that hot evening outdoors. Brilliant blue bottle. Oy! It’s kosher too. In case you did not already know..the alcohol on these wines are traditionally “lower”…like 5.5%!! We are not missing the “1”.
montes rose.jpg2007 Montes Cherub Ros√© of Syrah $12: Chilean “double gold winner” at San Francisco wine competition. One of those wines people buy because they like the label with the plump cherub. Imagine posting a bacchinalian chubby image as your symbol. Lovely ruby red. Syrahs tend to produce darker tones in pinkies. I prefer Syrah ros√© and this is good enough but not my favorite. A bit grassy on the nose. Strawberry flavors. Would like more acid and more fruit. Applaud the screw top! 13.6%
Aphillantes Rose.jpg
2006 Les Aphillanthes Cotes du Rhone
$10: Lacking in fruit, good acid, short finish. This wine tasted better with the cheese plate. I preferred it to the Montes. Nice enough but I am confident we can do better. Purchased at Hi Time. 13%
carinae.jpg2004 Carinae Malbec Reserva $14: Purchased at The Wine Country. Briny, meaty nose. Not like many of the fruity and forward Malbec wines. Vanilla, baking soda, pumpkin bread. More mature in style. Maipu juice.
altocedfro2004-front.jpg2004 Altocedro La Consulta Reserva $13: Costco purchase. From Valle de Uco, La Consula vineyard at 5,000 feet. High toned, creamy, tannic. Mocha powder (it’s the tannins). Muted nose. Dark berry fruit. Taste the alcohol. Opened up nicely over an hour. Impressed the missus. Cannot beat the value. Will keep a couple years. Testimony to the palate of the new Costco wine buyer. 14.6%
alenza.jpg1996 Condado de Haza Alenza $60 online: In the cellar since release close to a decade. Premium picked Tempranillo from Alejandro Fernandez’s best Ribera del Duero estate. 2,000 cases aged 30 months in new American oak. We exoected it to be the best wine this evening. Shoe polish nose signals bretanomyces. Red brick color. Clear. Deep, mature, very nice. Balanced, gentle. Red berry fruit. Excellent. Somewhat surprising that 30 minutes later the fruit is gone. Drink up and be quick about it. 13%
1996 Justin Cabernet Franc $150 from the winery: When have you seen this wine? Fuggidaboudid. If you see it you have to open it…with some trepidation. The owner said he received it recently in a library release through Justin’s wine club. Lively nose. Fresh fruit although somewhat muted. Flavors are very good. Blueberries. Soft and balanced. Tannin-free. The wine shows its age but it is holding up nicely. 30 minutes it remains drinkable. Justin makes the best cab in Paso which is a bit like Sid Vicious singing Sinatra. Or building the best boats in Death Valley. Mangled metaphors aside, this wine was pretty nice…and damned surprising. 14.1%
Hey!! Here’s Sid now!!!

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