Saturday, June 17, 2006
Friday Wines V
I know I keep saying this, but BIG format changes are coming. Keep tuning in. On with the show -
White under $20
Non-vintage Brut d'Argent Blanc de Blancs Brut ($9.99)
This is Texas. We all know it's hot. That's not the question. The question is, what do you do about it?? Well, one good answer, I reckon, is to drink more sparkling wine. If you aim to do that, drink this wine.
This has everything you want from a good sparkler. Full, creamy body, rich guava, lychee and lime fruit, toasty, biscuity oak and lots and lots and lots of bubbles. Wanna make Friday video night more elegant? Chill down a Brut d'Argent, pop your best corn and sprinkle with a tiny amount of salt. No butter!
Red under $20
2004 Santa Fe de Arraiolos Vinho Regional Alentejano ($10.99)
Listen up! I can only recommend this red if you drink it properly, so pay attention. I wanna make sure you get this right. If you don't, you won't like it.
You MUST drink this red wine chilled. Not cold, chilled. We tried it both ways and I honestly wouldn't recommend it if you drink it at normal temperature of 55-62 degrees. You have to drink this wine chilled. Have I mentioned that?
How chilled? I'd say about 48 degrees. Take the wine home and pop it in the frigidaire for about 60 to 90 minutes before you drink it. Here's what you will get if you do as you're told.
The aromas of this wine are cherry and strawberry, with a little briery undertone. It's got good aromatics and plenty of ripe fruit. In your mouth, the fruit transforms to red currant and sweet red plums. The wine is light, energetic (don't roll your eyes; you'll get it when you taste it) and acidic. Chilled it will go well by itself, but try it with pasta in olive oil and garlic, chilean sea bass or rosemary pork tenderloin.
White over $20
2004 Stagecoach Vineyard Black Bart’s Bride Napa Valley ($49.99)
Honeyed, creamy and aromatic, Black Bart's Bride is a blend of three grapes: 48% Viognier, 35% Chardonnay and 17% Marsanne. Each of these grapes brings its own gifts to the bridal party here. Viognier brings honeysuckle, peach and ginger. Chardonnay gives the wine weight, depth and notes of fig and lemon. Marsanne adds texture and complexity with its tropical fruit flavors and a touch of almond in the finish. Marriage is a celebration that requires toasting. Grab a glass!
Red over $20
2002 Yalumba Tricentenary Vines Grenache Barossa Valley ($34.99)
Around here, this wine is known as Yalumba "T." The wine comes from vines planted in the past three centuries: 19th, 20th and 21st, thus the tricentenary title.
Yeah, yeah, what's it like?
What I love about Grenache is that you make every kind of wine with it, from simple, fruit-driven wines that cost no more than the two nickels I earn a day to (more about that next week) big, rich, complex, luscious wines. Yalumba T is nothing short of voluptuous.
First, pay attention to the color here. Want a visual? Check out the Mogok Ruby - that's the color of this wine. Aromas of cherry, strawberry and vanilla are the first things you'll notice as you bring the glass to your schnozz. Then, you'll get tones of smoke and grilled meat. Remember these as you'll see them in the wines later. In your mouth, you'll notice velvet. As in whore-red, velvet dress velvety. Then come the flavors - rich, ripe strawberry and Grenache's signature raspberry liqueur. This is followed by grilled meat and wood smoke on the midpalate and crushed rocks in the finish. There's plenty of tannin here, but tannin in top-notch Grenache is seamlessly presented with the grape's earthy flavor, white pepper.
There's a lot going on in Yalumba T, but if you drink it too fast, you'll miss the best part. Make sure you drink this in a leisurely pace, so you can see how well the wine opens.
It's off for more work for me. Perhaps another post tomorrow!