Wine Tasting October 9 ’10

It is interesting how some dates just stick in your mind, and then you write it out, not thinking at all about its store of meanings until there it is in front of you, and reading it, the connections get made. All you need to know is that Pat and I were once married to other people (Don and Karen) who just happen to have the same birthday, October 8– I mean, how likely is that? And no, I am not making this up. So each year we like to take this opportunity to wish them both a very Happy Birthday! Confetti! Noisemakers!  Huzzah! Hoist yer glasses, mates!

Last week was one of our most interesting wine tastings, in that every wine (well, three out of four) was BOTH someone’s favorite and someone else’s least favorite. And as if that isn’t strange enough, the fourth wine ( Waterbrook Reserve Merlot ’07), that everyone liked, some more than others, received diametrically opposing reviews from Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate, the two Bibles of Imbibilation, if I may coin a word. WA gave it 86 points (about a “C”…let’s just say we won’t carry wine that bad, though it is 90% of your supermarket shelves), saying “adequate depth and ample savory fruit” (damn by faint praise!) better drink it soon (if you can’t afford to, you know, pour it down the sink). On the other hand, WS gave it 92 points (an A+), saying “Ripe, pure, focused and beguiling.”

Always the diplomat, our friend John (Judy’s steadying anchor on Reality) thought we should split the difference, which probably came pretty close. My own take, upon reflection (yes, I am drinking wine while I write this) is that when there is that much disparity, the lower rating was either a bad bottle (it happens) or some kind of wine Politics (where there’s $$, there’s politics). On a good day, at the right temperature, with enough decanting, I could imagine this wine delivering a 92-point performance. As it was, it was entirely satisfying, so in this case I think we mark one in favor of WS.

We forgot the camera last week, but Anne had hers and took this of charming couple (Bryan and    ) celebrating their third anniversary with a weekend at the Willows and an afternoon with us. We wish them many more!

This Week’s wines:

Kurt Angerer Gruner Veltliner Spies  07  (Austria)  $20: WA 91 pts (believe it!)
Sauvignon-like notes of lime, caraway, and honeydew melon on the nose lead to a juicy, glossy, satisfying palate of cooling melon fruit, with lingering finish of rich nut oils, caraway, white pepper, and
wet stone.

Townshend Red Table  (Washington)   $12
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah blend; aromas of black cherry, blackberry, strawberry, cedar and a hint of orange zest fill your glass and then your mouth with lingering pepper & tobacco . A definite winner!

Sorenson Malbec ‘07 Washington $18
Discovered this little winery in Port Townsend recently, and this was my favorite wine. Complex aromas of bright black cherry, juniper, and smoke lead to a satisfying palate with intriguing layers of fruit, berry, and spice flavors.

Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes Hermitage ‘06  France    $23 WA & WS 90 pts
WA: “Boasts a deep ruby/purple hue as well as notes of licorice, camphor, spring flowers, and black currants, supple tannins, medium to full body, a lovely texture, beautiful concentration, and outstanding purity and length.” WS: “A lacy, mineral-driven style, with iron and hot stone notes fronting for dark cherry and plum fruit. Long, slightly taut finish.”

Wine Tasting

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