This page contains
Winings from the 4th
Quarter of the year 2010.
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December 26, 2010
I trust that your Christmas celebrations were full of food,
family, friends and fine wine. Three out of four ainít bad. Fine wine wasnít
in the budget but an interesting comparison was stumbled upon unexpectedly. It
started Friday when I made a quick stop into Shop Rite Liquors for a small
bottle of Polish Vodka. My Christmas Eve celebration now has me sipping a
chilled shooter of vodka to wash down my herring. OK, there is no written
document as to the significance of vodka at a traditional Polish Wigilia. (Note
to self: Rewrite family tradition notebook reflecting the change.) After
grabbing a bottle of Luksusowa vodka, I saw a bottle of 2003 Austin Hope syrah.
Hey, Austin Hope, I like his grenache and his Troublemaker so why not trust his
syrah? I know, you are thinking..., "red wine and Wigilia, what up wit dat?" I
sipped the vodka until we started the fish courses. The main fish was a red
wine and ginger-soaked tuna steak. Yes it was my responsibility to grill the
main fish course so I marinated it in the red wine and ginger. However, the
2003 Austin Hope syrah was over the hill. It was fine for bathing the
tuna. Unfortunately, it was disappointing in the glass. Not to worry, I
managed to enjoy the pinnacle of the night, our yankee swap gift exchange, with
a crisp, chilled tumbler of the Luksusowa. Na Zdrowie, to your health.
As I rolled into Christmas Day, the main dish, besides me,
is a dry seasoned filet mignon. As for the main course wine, I grabbed a bottle
of 2003 Chateau de Campuget Le Sommelier. Frank-Lin, or Wino Opie as we
love to call him, was the guest of honor. Actually his juice was. And I will
give this round to the French, the Le Sommelier held up well when compared to
the Paso Robles syrah. OK, Big Bob, I am giving you the win. Itís a nice wine,
not massive, but it's fruit still held my interest.
I was a bit willy-nilly this year. Not a big wine crowd
for these two days of celebration so I donít go crazy. I do tip my hat to the
I know it was an unscientific test but it turned out that
both syrahs were 2003, one from Rhone and one from California. I am willing to
do a much larger test so if Austin Hope and Chateau de Campuget would like to
submit a larger sampling, I am open.
One of the many great gifts this year. Now win, G-men.
December 21, 2010
I guess the older you get, the longer it takes to recover.
When I was younger, the fog would clear more quickly and the dull throb of a
headache would not slow me one bit. This one still leaves residual shakes. No,
not fest'ing. I can handle that with a large dosing of H2O and some Tylenol.
This hangover is from the Giants. Dudes, I donít have a strong enough heart any
longer to meet with the disappointment. To think, the stage was set. We had
just enjoyed a fest of massive red meat and a wine array fit for the upper two
per cent of the tax-paying community. Since a picture is worth a thousand
words, I will let the bottle display on the home page speak for itself. Go
ahead, say your thousand things because I didnít write down the names of all the
wines. Let it be said that we partied like it was 1999, at least for me, when
in 1999 I had money for nice wine. Proudly, there was an array of offerings.
Even Wino Rocker made it past the register and picked up two nice bottles of
wine. The mix even had a 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape. You all remember
that this was the vintage for which Mr. Parker had to invent new words of praise
after bottling as he out-praised the barrel samplings leaving him searching the
thesaurus. We had a Bordeaux and a Barolo and a Quintessa and a
Mastery and a whole lot of fun. Truth be told, it did take me three
quarters of Saturday to shake off the fog.
Not to worry because Wino John and I, great friends but
bitter football fan rivals, were poised to continue the party at the game of the
season. His team, quarterbacked by a dog murderer and coached by the father of
the year, was playing my All American- quarterbacked, regimentally-coached
Giants in the new Meadowlands stadium. The stage was set. A chill was in the
air and the threat of snow hinted play-off football as the teams battled for
sole possession of first place in the NFC east. Needing to ensure our blood
stayed ice free, we polished off a bottle of zinfandel and a charbono prior to
the National Anthem. For three plus quarters, the Summers Charbono kept me warm
enough to taunt WJ with a 21 point lead and a team that looked like they
deserved a trip to Dallas in February.
Not so fast. From that point forward, the collapse was on
and my team turned into Big Blew. Twenty-eight points brought the 32-year cycle
front and center. The Giants vs Eagles disaster in the Meadowlands Part Deux.
Game-ending heroics from the birds took away my Christmas gift and deposited
that dull aching hangover of a football fanatic.
It was a wine soaked weekend with little to enjoy after
Sundayís event. As of Friday nightís event, I thinking I have become a Fest
Fanatic and I am giving up rooting for any professional team.
With that, I hope your Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza or
Winter Solstice celebration is filled with family, friends and wines. Remember,
wine was invented to handle the family and friends, so drink something good.
Editor's Note: Now, you see, I have a totally
different perspective on this glorious weekend. After a night of good
wine, good food and good friends at the annual Holiday Fest, WinoBob and I
decided to attend a classic American sporting event. Before the
kickoff, we enjoyed some traditional tailgating fare while enduring the
antics of a huge throng of Giants jersey-wearing reprobates.
Once inside the stadium, we watched attentively as the brave warriors from
Philadelphia fought heroically in hostile Giant territory. For three
quarters, our brave soldiers endured the bitter cold, the abysmal
officiating, and the obnoxious taunts of tens of thousands of screaming
idiots Giants fans. But our heroes never gave up. They
persevered, demonstrating true courage in the face of adversity, ultimately
defeating the evil Blue enemy to the joy of millions of fans throughout the
world. It was truly a great day in American sports history. Once
again, good prevailed over evil and we can all breathe a sigh of relief.
That's how I saw it...
December 11, 2010
First nothing, then orange... Confusing to you,
too? Thatís what I have been trying to figure out. In less than one week, I
have been in the company of wine and the proverbial Madame Marie. I have been
told, fueled by wine, the first being Epiphany, that one of the people can read
auras. So naturally I did my best Ted Kennedy and said, or, ah what? I thought
it was multiple choice. The Epiphany was I had no aura, no energy. It might
have been, in my humble opinion, blocking my energy. I choose to think I have
so much energy that it collapses on itself and the light canít leave its force.
Yes, I am the black hole of auras. Now if this was ten years ago, I would use
that line as a segue into the Barbara Walterís People of the Year Special.
However, this is a different time and that joke will remain in my head for some
time. So the Epiphany wine yields no aura.
Take two, different day, different wine, different
soothsayer. Last night we had a holiday meetup at the Tree tavern and I had the
privilege to pour the wines at one table. It turned out to be the table with
the 2005 Terlato Cardinalís Peak. This homage to Margaux was the hit of
the night. Nice fruit, long finish and it will last on a rack for the next
several years. More importantly, it brought everyone to my table. One of those
everyones turned out to be a self-proclaimed clairvoyant. That personís
specialtyÖauras! So here I am, less then seven days later, and another auraist,
auraite, auraean was standing before me reading my energy. I claim it to be the
glow of a well-satiated wino, they claimed it was my life force. As it turns
out this time, I was aglow. In fact, the sampling of Terlato Rutherford
cabernet sauvignon, Casa Silva carmenere reserva, Sonoma Cutrer chardonnay, and
a touch of Rodney Strong had my energy solar flaring from my being. Again, it
turns out, at least last night, I am orange. I prefer the deep garnet of a
syrah but no, I was declared orange. OK, I can play a party game. I quickly
took out my blackberry and Googled the aura color chart. I give you my energy
AURA COLOR: Relates to reproductive organs and emotions. The color of
vitality, vigor, good health and excitement. Lots of energy and stamina,
creative, productive, adventurous, courageous, outgoing social nature;
currently experiencing stress related to appetites and addictions.
I think that says it all. Sometimes I let my reproductive
organs glow and sometimes I have so much relating to my reproductive organs and
emotions that it becomes anti matter.
It was a fun night and of the crowd that remained during
the Madame Marie segment, I was the only orange. Just a big, throbbing,
irradiating ball of orange.
The disappointment was that the crimson checked Wino Rocker
left the building by then. I would have been interested in knowing what that
boy glows. By that time of the night, everyone I looked at had a bloodshot red
aura to him or her, but thatís just from my perspective.
December 3, 2010
Last night at the Essex County Wine Society tasting, it was
a wine near and dear to my heart. Actually, it is near and dear to my olfactory
sense. We tasted wines from the region that truly brought me into a place where
I wanted to learn more. It was Chateauneuf du Pape night. And not just any CdP
but the highly praised 2007. Remembering last year when we tasted the 2006, the
surprise wine turned out to be the Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel. So I
wondered, would there be a non-CdP this year? If so, would it be preferred to
the frog juice? Man, am I overthinking this or what?
The tasting was blind (the bottles, not us). We were told
there were two ďringersĒ, one in each flight. We were also told that Robert
Parker declared the 2007 vintage above and beyond the greatest of great. From
barrel tasting to bottling he had to find more bombast than he first wrote about
this vintage. So stop talking and let us at this Bacchus pee. (I mean that in
the good sense in deriving directly from the God of wine himself, not in the
bodily function way)
The first flight of five wines sparked our table into a
heated discussion. We had a great mix of newbies and professionals. Wait; when
I refer to "pros", I was not referring to myself. One of my tablemates went
through a sommelier training, which far surpasses my home schooling.
I found my number three wineís bouquet a bit off-putting
and so uniquely different that I declared it the outlier. I found the number
one, four and five wines delightful and the number five wine the best of the
flight. I use the word "declare" boldly now but it was more suggestive or timid
last night. It turns out that the wines for the first flight were as follows.
Coudoulet de Beaucastel -
at $25.00 I enjoyed this one but it was the ringer
Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe
Le Vieux Donjon -
Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reservee
- elegant and powerful.
The party game continued and after voting, the ringer was
kept until the end of the night to not influence the final vote.
Flight two was deeper and richer in style and finish. The
game was back on for flight two. Right off the top, the bouquet of wine ten was
sweet and smelled of mashed bananas. Then I tasted. Number six had an acerbic
harshness on the finish that bothered my throat. Could this be the ringer?
That sensation might have bolstered the silkiness of the finish in wine seven.
Whatever it was, seven was heaven. Eight had a mocha finish. Nine was mighty
fine and ten, well ten was sweet and out of character with the rest. So for me
I went with nine as my favorite and ten as the ringer. So, how did Kreskin do
this time you ask?
Clos Saint Jean Vieilles Vignes
- sorry I will pass on this one
Clos des Papes - at 155.00
I drank the entire glass
Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils
Cuvee de mon Aieul - interesting
Chateau de Beaucastel - my
wine of the flight and night
Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel
So, I did better this time. For me, the take away was that
the 2006 Chateauneuf paled to the 2006 Tablas Creek but not so for the 2007s.
Not being clear minded at the end of the night, I think the Tablas only received
three votes this year. The crown went back to the rightful owner, Chateau de
It got me to thinking about the first bottle of Beaucastel
I tried on the recommendation of Richie at JR Tobacco ten years ago. Could it
have been that momentary firing of a synapse that pushed me to voting for the
Beaucastel last night or was I just blind drunk and thatís where my head hit the
table? Great night, fun table and the honor of drinking some classy wines. How
did I get so lucky?
November 27, 2010
Well the season has officially begun. No, not the shopping
/ black Friday thing for me. Iím more the ďhereís ten bucks in an envelop,
donít open it until you get homeĒ shopper. Itís the official start to the Grape
of the Year research. Itís official, I am ruling out the grape I had last
night. I just donít think Wino John will bring himself to participate. I
enjoyed the 2007 Kanonkop Pinotage for
reasons other than GOTY consideration. This pinotage fit well into my tasting
wheelhouse but there just isnít a big selection in my area to have me name it.
The wine has blackberry, raspberry and plum fruits with an occasional hint of
banana on the nose. Full body in style and a medium finish, I like this
Stellenbosch regional product. So, unless I hear an outpouring of support for
this grape, it will remain in the files but will not be seeing the Golden Grape
statuette in 2011. Yes, I said í11! Itís one louder!!!!
November 26, 2010
If you are like me, you are sitting in your underwear this
morning with a belly bloat fitting a Biafran. Only mine is full of residual food
and his, letís just say, isnít. National gorge yourself day is over officially
beginning the over commercializing of the birth of baby Jesus. There is a radio
station in NYC a week into all holiday music all the time. There are homes in
the neighborhood sporting lights and blow up Santas. People, we have gone too
far. I think we rush this to the point of dilution. I am just wondering if
anyone out there puts up a Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. I saw that concept
in a black and white movie once, oh and from my grand parents. That is until
they went big and purchased the aluminum tree with rotating colored spotlight.
Now that was a Christmas event to look forward to. Unfortunately, it replaced
the bubble light candles that generated enough heat to bubble the liquid in the
candle. Just perfect for a dead drying tree in an apartment.
With yesterday the snow, damp cold Thanksgiving, I decided
reds were necessary to warm the cockles. Yes, I said cockle, being the wrinkles
and puckers on my heart. Not to be confused with cuckold. That one you can
look up for yourself. I went a bit off template and served the
2005 BV Beauzeaux. For scrabble players that
are a find since it is pronounced bozo. This wine comes from their maestro
collection and is a blend, which changes from year to year. The í05 consists of
zinfandel, syrah, charbono, petite sirah, lagrein, valdiguie, grenache, and
tempranillo. Howís that for a combo to match the diverse Thanksgiving Day
meal. This isnít a sophisticated wine, just a nice blend of spice, nutmeg, dark
cherry, raspberry, blueberry and a dash of vanilla. The wine is painfully
inexpensive yet attractively enjoyable. I know it doesnít fit the bill for the
norm, but hey, howís saying what is normal? I know I wonít win over a great deal
of people with this wine, but it is a good value and in these tough times, we
need more like this.
November 10, 2010
Who woulda thunk it? It seems that the old time rocker /
newbie wino has dove head first into the winemaking business. Maybe more like
the recreational wine making process. The boy got serious real quick and
decided to document the inaugural release of Wino Rocker Red.
Here we see the mix of grapes that WR will soon off his
Harley boots and get in and stomp. Looking forward to the bouquet of that.
Ok at least he decided to de-stem before he hopped into the
barrel to crush.
Pressing the juice, run baby run!
Dude, thatís grape juice
Time to make the wine, whereís my yeast, letís get this
So, in nine months, we will be birthing the first of the
Wino Rocker bottlings. I am looking forward to the success; it will save me a
trip to the wine store. I canít wait to see the label for this witchís brew.
November 8, 2010
If you're looking for an example of why grenache/garnacha
makes a nice blending grape, I strongly suggest the
2008 Evodia Garnacha. For ten dollars, you can smell and taste
the grape characteristics. However, donít expect this one to be a solid stand
alone wine. In fact, I might buy another bottle of this wine and a bottle of
syrah and drink from both glasses, swish the wine around in my mouth and create
a sum better than the parts. In fact, I recommend you do the same. See what
this grape has to offer in support of a syrah, become creative. There is just
not enough in this one to make you drink it and truly enjoy it.
As a follow up to my last posting and as proof of my brush
with fame, I offer the 1000 words below.
Wino Bob and Enzo from Big Brother talking
November 7, 2010
Unlike the Salahiís of the Real Housewives of DC, I did not
sneak into the exclusive party. I had a printed invitation. It allowed me to
circumvent the crowds and pass through security with minimal issue. OK, there
was the first gate check that I was detained a bit, but it all worked out. Once
passed the velvet ropes and ear-pieced muscle-heads, I was in. And who did I
have the pleasure of meeting? None other than the pride of Bayonne. (No,
Murphree Eger Vaughan (1898 - 1962) who was an American chemist, best
known for his co-invention of the process of fluid catalytic cracking.)
This pride of every
Bayonnean, Bayonnite, Bayonner
is the energetic, humorist and mastermind of the infamous Brigade, Enzo Palumbo
of Big Brother Season 12. I knew it was an important evening when host, Wino
Paul (aka T-Rex) actually had more than one bottle of the same wine. Unlike his
humidor that boasts a plethora of cigars gifted to him, the beverage cart was
flowing with recently purchased product.
I got to see first hand what fame is all about. The small,
intimate crowd fired Big Brother questions in rapid succession as Enzo
graciously answered everyone, even WPís query if Hayden is a really neat guy?
But it was Winette Alice who beamed and giggled like a schoolgirl every time
Enzo spoke. I sensed a starry-glint in her gaze. The most telling part of the
evening showed in Enzoís patience as Wino Paul repeatedly asked to have his
picture taken with him. I believe that his Christmas cards this year will be
decked with pictures of himself and Enzo in place of WA.
I ducked out early after consuming several glasses of
2007 337 Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine
brought black cherry, blackberry and coffee flavors making it an easy drinking
I have to thank the hosts for including me in this limited
access event and allowing me the opportunity to see what itís like to be up
close and personnel with a reality show TV star. One strongly believes that is
a whole new career path awaiting Enzo because of his sense of humor and outgoing
November 5, 2010
Kevin Zraly said, ďWhen it comes to zinfandel, stick with
the RísĒ. I mostly subscribed to that. I enjoyed the dinner with Ken Rosenblum,
I am a big fan of Rombauer and Ravenswood. Last night at the ECWS, we hit the
Ridge. The nightís presenter warmed us up a vertical of Ridge Geyserville 1992,
2002, 2005 and 2008. The discussion at our table was how enjoyably interesting
the 1992 was and how bright and young the 2008 is. The 2005 garnered agreement
that it was closed, offered little. The í92 and í02 churned out black fruits
and blueberry with a cedar and hint of mint. Conversely, the í08 was bright red
fruit of cherry and raspberry with a simple nose.
The second flight consisted of 2007 zins from around
California. The presenter stuck a Ridge í07 in just to see how well we could
find it. I used my best olfactory receptors to recognize commonality with a
wine in the second flight and proceeded to bully the tablemates into agreeing
which was the Ridge. Iíll save the suspense, I wasnít close. In fact I was so
off, I picked a wine from Amador. Who the frig makes robust zins in the Sierra
Foothills? It turns out it is Scott Harvey and the bottle was his Vineyard
1869. Vines dating back 138 years ran about the property and Scott Harvey
recognized potential when purchasing the land in 1984. The flop of the night
for our table was the Klinker Brick ďold VineĒ from Lodi. One person described
it as a thin mint cookie. The nose had a sweet cookie and mint signature that
made that cheese stand-alone.
I like zinfandel and I think it is a great wine to have on
the Thanksgiving Day table. I enjoyed the 1992 Ridge and the Scott Harvey, go
figure. The only problem with a zin tasting is that most border on vodka in
their alcohol content. OK maybe they are closer to port, either way it makes
for a cautious drive home.
Next up, the world of Chateauneuf du Pape! Now thatís
what Iím talking about.
November 3, 2010
So, help me with this... I donít want to sound wine
ignorant, but what do you call the second label of a third growth? Last night
was the sporting event of the year and I sat in front of the tube with a
Bordeaux that was the second label of a third growth. Does that sound douchy or
what? Is it too pedantic to put it that way? Is it a third cousin once
removed, kind of like my cousin Sally? Is it like your cousin thatís only a
cousin by marriage not really making them a cousin but allowing you to call them
Whatever the term, it was a
1996 Marquis de Calon $ 34.95. This
is the second label of Calon Segur and I had high hopes that this was a find in
a back bin at a wine shop unsure of what they had in their possession.
Unfortunately, the wine was over the hill. Unlike its big brother that would
have been coming into its own, the fruit on this one went, left, adios, see ya.
Damn, I was outfoxed by hope. Nonetheless, the results of the night made this
poor wine taste all the more sweet. But last night was an historic event. I
promise a bottle of this wine without a night like last night would not be
I had to rinse the taste out of my mouth from the
astringent fruitless wine so I opened a 2007
Chappellet Mountain Cuvee, $$ (28.00)
Now that's what Iím talkin' about! This five cepages blend brings the cabernet
sauvignon, the merlot, the Malbec, the cabernet franc and the petite verdot.
Nice fruit on the nose and a well-balanced beverage of dark fruit and tannins.
This one is definitely worth grabbing and holding for a few years. It made me
totally forget about the Marquis and had me thinking that today is just a great
overall day. With the ride we are in for over the next two years. I
recommend a bottle of this a month to keep you on an even keel.
November 1, 2010
I am looking forward to tomorrow when this crazy mid-term
election is over. I have steered clear of political talk for a long time and
though I have a books worth of comments, I will have faith that the pendulum
will be swinging back. As it has been a crazy campaign season, and like
baseball it seems the season gets longer each year, even crazier was my
experience with chenin blanc wines yesterday. In a pre-qualifying round, I had
the pleasure of drinking eastward across the Loire with the trailblazing
guidance of a knowledgeable veteran. At this point I am not sure if I could
truly pick a tasting fingerprint for this area as we had some very diverse
examples of offerings.
The Domaine des Baumard 2005 was dessert wine sweet
and I could see it as a complement to the pates. The Chateau de La Roche aux
Moines 2005 had a whiskey flair to it. The Domaine du Close 2006 was
elegant and flint-like with a lingering finish. The other one I much enjoyed
was the Domaine de Belliviere Coteaux du Loire 2007. As a runner up, the
Domaine Huet Clos du Bourg 2008 could be a wine I serve with a dinner.
I have little knowledge of this region so I was excited to
be included in this event. I tend not to venture far off the red wine trail so
I donít see myself becoming a chenin blanc expert. I appreciate it for style
and winemaking technique but see it as something I dabble with on occasion.
October 31, 2010
Last night, we enjoyed a wine dinner at the Tree Tavern
with Eric Baist, featuring the Hope Family Wines. Eric is the regional manager
for the winery and he took time from his weekend to enlighten the crowd with an
understanding of Austin Hopeís philosophy and the structures of the wines from
Paso Robles. The crowd warmed up with the 2008 Treana White, a blend of
Viognier and Marsanne showing flavors of pear and apricot with a subtle hint of
honey on the finish. Dinner was a roasted pork loin and fall harvest veggies.
The two reds were Westside Red Troublemaker and the Candor Zinfandel.
To my surprise, the fruit forward zinfandel was the red of choice. The
Troublemaker is a blend of syrah, grenache and mourvedre but showed a bit more
tannins up front which I think had the crowd leaning towards the zinfandel.
These wines are a great value and, for under twenty dollars each, they
illustrate that California has offerings that wonít break the bank.
For those not familiar with the Hope Family Wines, Liberty
School is their flagship brand. Liberty School cabernet sauvignon was one of
the first wines I was introduced to oh so long ago when Wino John took on the
task of getting me to appreciate the reds over my usual Boddington Cream Ale at
JRís. You might say I cut my teeth on Liberty School and now Iím all growed up
and enjoying a plethora of wines from all around the world.
It was a fun night and educational to boot. If you havenít
had the chance to try any of the Hope Family wines, I strongly suggest you do.
The zinfandel at $12.55 is a great value.
October 22, 2010
Do you have CYP2E1? It seems that the science community
has found 20% of you have this gene. "So what?", you ask? Thatís what I said
at first, until they told me this gene is the anti-alcoholic gene. I am
thinking, thatís a good thing. Reading on, I found out that having this gene
makes you get drunk faster. OK, might not be a bad thing. Then again, if I got
tipsy and pulled the lampshade out with only two glasses of wine in me, I might
be kicked out of the Wine is Not For Wussies Society. Many people see wine as a
soft and simple beverage, thus getting drunk quickly on the juice would seem
less than..., ah... manly. Now we can point to the gene that causes this.
Drugs that enhance the effect of CYP2E1 could in the future
be used to sensitize people to alcohol before an evening's drinking Ė or even
sober them up when they have had one too many, said the researchers. I am all
for sobering up. Now I am seeing some benefits.
As a side note, it appears that five per cent of the
population does not have this gene at all and therefore have a very high
tolerance to alcohol. These individuals were identified in the study as Irish.
More studies are being conducted on mice. Why not, those
little rodent bastards and I have a lot in common. I like cheese. I am a huge
fan of Minnie Mouse. I live in a dank, dark small space. I will not comment on
the tail thing, but I guess genetically I share a great deal with a white lab
So drink up and let me know how many glasses of wine it
takes to get you drunk and I will make up a nomogram to show you where you fit
into the gene pool.
October 8, 2010
This time next year, the Pony for some celebrating, you
know what thatís about, enough said. Hey, I openly admit, you can teach an
old, middle aged slightly graying old dog new tricks. Last night was the
kick off for the 2010-2011 ECWS tasting season. In a major f#&# up on my part,
I came very close to being escorted to the door. Honored with the request for
me to be a pourer, I misunderstood the numbering for the tasting and proceeded
to identify to the other pourers the incorrect sequence. That would land a
player with a first quarter benching and a possible fine in any other league.
Thank God the commissioner of the tasting society simply made me sit with a
dunce cap in the corner of the room. Let me just say there were some ruffled
feathers from the tried and true old guard.
Now to the new trick, old Riojaís. Stupidly, this old dog
considered tempranillo not that age worthy. I stand before you, humbled. We
tasted the wines of Lopez de Heredia, two whites, a rose and six reds.
I donít drink a great deal of white, never mind Rioja
white, never mind old Rioja white wine. Light bulb moment, donít
be closed-minded. All the wines were Gran Reservas so I state it here:
The whites flared a discussion on maderized wines. Second
trick, go to Oz Clarkís book and look up definition.
Maderization (per Mr. Clark) - a
form of oxidation in white wines caused by heating, usually over a period of
time. It takes its name from Madeira, which is the epitome of the style.
Unintentional maderization in a white wine is considered a fault.
Maderized or not, I found the 1981 interesting with a
nutty, slightly sweet flavor on the initial palate.
We then proceeded to two flights of red from Lopezís two
vineyards of the same years. We started with Tondonia and then moved to
Bosconia. One would say we had horizontal and vertical exposure, or length and
width, or height and girthÖ
First impression of the 1991 Tondonia was the cider, spice
nose. I learned that these wines age for 8 or 9 years in old barrels. Lopezís
wine making process has impressed me with the age worthiness of their wines.
The pedant in me thought the cabernets of Penedes or the Priorats were the only
old wines worth tasting. An old dog hit on the snout with newspaper no longer
licks himself in public.
My personal favorite was the 1973 Tondonia Red Gran
Reserva. I found the fruit deep and rich as black cherry and raspberry offered
a smooth and balanced liquid. Many in the crowd found the 1976 of both
vineyards the complete package. This, my friends, is why I need to stay in good
standing. I would never have had the opportunity, nor the thought to taste old
Note to the Grand Taster, the trading deadline for pourers
is October 20th. I will understand if you relegate me to the 'meet
and greet' squad for the betterment of the teamís chances to win the superbowl
of wine tasting. If Randy Moss could go three games into a season, so might I.
Next up, Ridge/ big ass zins from good ole California, US
Bobís scale combining cost and
$- under 20
$$- 20-50 dollars
$$$$-75 to 100
$$$$$-100+ ( not
in the budget)
I will use an icon, ,
to rate my wines. The more icons, the better I liked it and would love
to share this bottle with some good food and my rat friends. WinoBob
Editor's Note: A while back, Bob went off on a
tangent and changed his icon to .
He does this just to make me crazy!!!.