YOUR wine loves MY palate


This weekend June 13 & 14 consider doing the Topanga Canyon Artists’ Studio Tour. It is tBoW’s favorite summer event. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Topanga home you would never see except for this tour pictured below.
hillside home.jpg
As we roll into summer you may enjoy a runup in invites to dine al fresco with friends and acquaintance. tBoW encourages using such occasions to raid the hosts’ wine cellar. Why be just polite when you can also be rapacious? [ed. Mungo Jerry signals the official arrival of another LA SUMMER]
The scene is a Memorial Day last minute dinner at the home of good friends. The offer is to pull anything you like from the cellar. We came up with a Bordeaux and a Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir. Not bad!
latourHB02.jpg2002 La Tour Haut Brion $50 online: A holiday gift from someone in the same business as our host. Meant to impress. At 7 years old it is still young and showing tannins with plenty of Cabernet Franc fruit. The wine is very nice and since we rarely drink Bordeaux wines this is certainly a treat. Goes perfectly with the grilled steaks. It is impossible to write about Bordeaux wines without giving some background. The region is almost universally the introductory wine experience for wine snob novitiates. Bordeaux wines have the right features for newbies: “unquestioned” pedigree, comparatively few labels, prestige pricing, and decent wine. In some cases snobs-in-training start with California. What is interesting is how many wine-os never move past Cabernet Sauvignon thereby becoming faux snobs. For the record, LA Tour Haut Brion is the “second” label for La Mission Haut Brion. This means the wine is made from young vines (figure under 10 and probably closer to 5 years) and is not permitted in the premium batch. For an absolutely classic and haughty article on the Haut Brion wine scene click here.
aramentaWV05.jpeg2006 Aramenta Reserve Pinot Noir $43: Aramenta is the adjoining property and neighbor to Ayres, lauded in the recent Oregon Pinot Noir reviews. tBoW has had Aramenta in the past and enjoyed even though he found it too sweet to purchase it was not so sweet he would turn it down. This is from the ripe 2006 vintage. It is dark red but still not so dark to be mistaken for something other than Pinot Noir or Gamay. Sweet, burnt brown sugar. Kinda big. Would like to try this again in a year’s time.
hlogo.jpg2006 H Pinot Noir $20: We did not get to pick this wine. It was offered as an example of the expanding ocean of “high end” wines now reduced and hitting the consumer market like bugs on the Interstate. Formerly $50 he picked up this H Pinot Noir for $20. The story is “right” with 198 cases and “hand-harvested” Sonoma fruit. Of course, good value requires two components: price and quality. The alcohol is way too high for this Sonoma wine produced and bottled in Paso Robles. The fruit that is there cannot fight its way past the ethanol curtain. Not to be confused with Oregon’s Hamacher H wine from Willamette Valley. Or Macy’s bedding line with the same logo. 15.55%
pierrechermette fleurie.jpg2007 Domaine du Vissoux Pierre-Marie Chermette Fleurie Ponci√© $20: This is the first Cru Beaujolais tasted from this vintage. tBoW flipped over the village Beaujolias from the same producer in the tBoW review last August. The contrast is striking. The cru wine is more intense overwhelming any of he other components such as alcohol and tannins. It is big and fruity. Word to Dotor√©: While this Beuaj is very nice now tBoW looks forward to trying it again in a year. Reminds me of the 2006 Jean Paul Th√©venet Morgon “Vieilles Vignes” that showed so much better one year later. $13%
The host made up for the BBQ-lighter Pinot Noir with a Canadian sweetie available at BevMo.
vidalicewine.jpg2006 Jackson-Triggs Proprietors Reserve Vidal Icewine $16: Out comes a specially packaged tube of Canadian late harvest something. Shows bright acid with ripe apricot and mango flavors. Very nice and refreshing. The region is Niagra and the grape is a 1930 hybird known as Vidal Blanc, named after the bio-engineer who crossed Ugni Blanc with Rayon d’Or to get a cold weather high sugar varietal. The bottle at 187.5 ml is the tiniest ever seen outside an airplane. A very good U20 dessert wine. 10.5%

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