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#347635 - 12-14-2008 23:32:25 TN: Weekend Wines
BEB Offline
True Southern Exposure
Crazed Wino

Registered: 01-02-2001 08:00:00
Posts: 5412
Loc: Somewhere in the Great Valley ...
The weekend started off with a serendipitous evening out. It had been a particularly bad week, and a hard day, but the evening helped to turn my perspective around when we stopped in for a late bite and shared dishes of miniature ostrich burgers on cornmeal biscuits, followed by a chestnut crusted roast pork loin. Mighty fine food. We took a flyer on an unknown (to me) wine:

La Bastide Blanche (Rouge) Bandol 2004: A bit of gamey funkiness hit the nose (a good thing in this instance), raspberries, smoke, smoked meats and black olives and a good minerality to boot. A very enjoyable pour that will benefit from some cellar time. The restaurant hit us for $44; not too bad when it appears to retail locally for about $28. Alc. 14.5%

When a good friend calls and offers up some venison loin that he kilt with his own trusty rifle, you know you are in for some fine victuals. When the wine pairing is a twenty year old Opus One, the potential for an extraordinary evening is very real. And so it happened this weekend. (The following wines were all served with venison loin and wine reduction-cocoa sauce. The cook had nailed the venison with a rare cooking temp. The wine reduction sauce made for an interesting pairing.)

Fisher Coach Insignia Napa 2000

The attack and mid-palate run the gamut of candied apple, cherry-leaning-to-kirsch, cassis, deep red fruits and leather. The hefty dose of Merlot accounts for the cherry/kirsch quality as well as the softness and roundness of the mouthfeel. Of all three wines, this has the most chocolate like quality on the finish with a very definable dark chocolate finish. The big, full mouthfeel nevertheless possesses an elegance about it. Another over priced Cali Cab? Probably, but an enjoyable pour if you donít think about the cost (a wine I contributed, so I feel I can say that). 12.13.08. Recommended.

Clos de Marquis St. Julien (2nd label for Leoville Las Cases) 1998

No mistake about this: itís Bordeaux. As the second label for LLC, it possesses a higher merlot percentage than the first label. Nevertheless, Cedar, graphite, leather, black raspberry and other black fruits and cassis fill out the profile. The minerality of the wine is present, but acts as a back note to the richer fruit quality, which I suspect reflects the hand of M. Rolland. Something floral is in the nose, almost like violets, perhaps, but not quite. A distinct mocha note appears on the finish. Well structured and balanced, this is drinking well and should hold its own for several years. The tannins are fine and integrated, yet remind you of the wineís power without being overbearing. This paired particularly well with the venison. 12.13.08. Recommended. My WOTN.

Opus One Napa 1988

Brick from the core to the rim with fading red and increasing brown tint toward the rim. The nose was somewhat muted, but continued to open as the evening wore on: cedar, cassis, spice, leather and cocoa. Despite being from the Rutherford Bench, I really didnít detect the dustiness or ďdusty roseĒ I get from Boche and others vineyards in that same area. The fruit is decidedly faded. No raisining at all, suggesting the bottle has been reasonably well stored. The difficulty of the vintage comes through by way of the mouthfeel; lighter bodied than I expected, and lacked a long or elegant finish. Nevertheless, its an interesting wine that paired well with the venison and wine reduction sauce. I didnít really have an opportunity to see how much sediment it threw, but it appeared to be a fair amount. 12.13.08. Recommended.

Edited by BEB (12-15-2008 14:00:49)
Edit Reason: general editing

"I've wrestled with reality for 35 years and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it." Elwood P. Dowd

#347648 - 12-15-2008 13:49:57 Re: TN: Weekend Wines [Re: BEB]
John Tomasso Offline

a kinder, gentler mod

Registered: 08-19-2003 07:00:00
Posts: 2816
Loc: Buellton, CA
I had a similar Friday, and it turned around just as dramatically, when our friends Ann and Norm stopped by, toting
a NV Ployez-Jacqumart, a 1996 Tattinger Comtes de Champagne, a 1996 Von Kesselstatt Graacher Himmelre Kabinett, and an 07 Domaine du Vissoux Beaujo Cuvee Traditionelle.

Coupled with some tasty snacks, Friday night became a heck of lot more fun than the rest of the day.

Edited by John Tomasso (12-15-2008 13:53:00)
Don't overcook it. You overcook it, it's no good. It defeats its own purpose.
-Robert DeNiro, as boxer Jake LaMotta, offering his wife some culinary advice in "Raging Bull"

#347653 - 12-15-2008 14:26:35 Re: TN: Weekend Wines [Re: John Tomasso]
Noel Offline

Registered: 01-27-2005 01:56:23
Posts: 1947
Loc: Philippines
1996 Tattinger Comtes de Champagne

Excellent bubbly!
My Wine Blog

#347654 - 12-15-2008 14:59:44 Re: TN: Weekend Wines [Re: Noel]
John Tomasso Offline

a kinder, gentler mod

Registered: 08-19-2003 07:00:00
Posts: 2816
Loc: Buellton, CA
It was probably one of the best wines I've had this year.
I'm not a list maker, but if I were, it would be in the top ten for sure.
Don't overcook it. You overcook it, it's no good. It defeats its own purpose.
-Robert DeNiro, as boxer Jake LaMotta, offering his wife some culinary advice in "Raging Bull"


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