Monday, September 28, 2009

Domini Douro

Jose Maria da Fonseca Vinhos
Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz
Azeitao, Portugal
$10.99 -- COSTCO, Austin, TX

Color: Medium to dark garnet (unfiltered)
Nose: Blackberry, pie crust, cigar
Body: Full
Front: Blackberry
Middle: Tobacco
Back: Gravelly tannins, rosemary
Burns clean?: Yes
Cap: Cork

It's a bargain. Mature, structured, but rich, Domini made my evening. It packs a wallop, without being hot. It's tannic, for sure, but the fruit makes for an intriguing balance. Check this post for a fantastic food pairing which I only wish I'd been able to experience tonight. This evening, this wine was paired with reading contracts; it's almost impossible to pair a wine with contract-reading.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

J. Bookwalter Foreshadow Cabernet

J. Bookwalter
Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Syrah
Columbia Valley
Richland, Washington, USA
$23.89 -- COSTCO, Austin, TX

Color: Medium to dark garnet
Nose: Burned fruit pie
Body: Full
Front: French fruit soup, espresso
Middle: Vanilla, soft tannins, mesquite
Back: Cinnamon, thyme
Burns clean?: Yes, mostly
Cap: Cork

A lush wine, for a lush evening, with bats flying around and a steak on the grill; avocadoes and tomatoes resting lazily on romaine and walnut oil and aged balsamic. I've been picky about the Washington wines I've been drinking, and it's paying off bigtime.

This is a whopper of a wine in all ways, with so many flavor things happening that I can't quite figure it out (as is no doubt evident from the lame-ass descriptions above). It doesn't have a clear structure, but like some good Australian shirazes with that trait, it doesn't suffer from it much. Warning: if you have something else to focus on tonight, don't start into this Realist novel of a wine!

Speaking of caveats, this wine usually goes for closer to $40, so I've tagged it accordingly. Long live CostCo.

Château Brun St.-Émilion

Château Brun
Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon
Bordeaux, France2005
$15.00 -- Vino 100, Lakeway, TX

Color: Medium to dark raspberry
Nose: Leather, tobacco
Body: Medium
Front: Raspberry
Middle: Cream, oak
Back: Graphitic tannins, hint of tobacco
Burns clean?: Yes
Cap: Cork

Another 2005 Bordeaux that I'm plowing through in quest of the extraordinary ones everybody keeps talking about. This one was a delightful gift from Gloria at Vino 100 in Lakeway, so the price I sort of guessed on. It made a good accompaniment to some barbecued chicken and corn last night. It's not a huge wine, so don't make it take on seriously fatty meats. Pairs well with Kat Edmonson, musically, with the mixture of her canny voice and the mellow, fat sounds of her band on the album Take to the Sky.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sage Veedercrest

Sage Vineyards
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Napa Valley
Calistoga, California, USA2005
$22.99 -- COSTCO, Austin, TX

Color: Dark red with a purple tinge
Nose: Ripe blackberry, smoked salmon, wet mulch
Body: Medium to full
Front: Cherry
Middle: Pomegranate, hints of mocha, some tannins
Back: Cilantro, wood, soft tannins
Burns clean?:
Cap: Cork

This is a simple, dense bordeaux-style blend (Cab-heavy) from the Mt. Veeder area. At the Costco price, it's a damn good deal. I shouldn't be saying this on the web; I can't imagine that, given this vineyard has only 21 acres, there are bajillions of cases of this out there. It was good with a manchego and garlic crackers appetizer, and just as good with steak and grilled zucchini.

A word on Mt. Veeder area wines, particularly Cabernets: they aren't really for everybody. I find them delightfully briary; that is, blackberry tasty combined with challenging green flavors, sometimes spiny, sometimes herb-o-licious. So, if you like classic Spanish Riojas, you might enjoy Mt. Veeder-derived wines. But if you like Australian colossal fruit, or bright Zins, this would not be the first Cabernet-based fine wine I'd try. It might save you some tongue-shaving.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Finca Resalso

Bodegas Emilio Moro
Finca Resalso
TempranilloRibera del Duero
Valladolid, Spain
$9.99 -- COSTCO, Austin, TX

Color: Dark red
Nose: Ripe cherry flambee, graham cracker
Body: Medium to full
Front: Cherries
Middle: Cream, cilantro
Back: Animal crackers, soft tannins
Burns clean?:
Cap: Cork

This is another good deal from Spain. Interesting, multilayered, and bright. This will pair well with a range of foods, I think; it's got a solid body. No music tonight, and no food: it's labor day, which for me seems to have meant laboring all day. But as a midnight snack, with only the sound of the wind as accompaniment, it's delightful.