Wine of the Week
2005 Mount Veeder Reserve Napa Valley Red Wine ($80). There's a lot of full-fruit stuffing in this wine made of Cabernet Sauvignon (76%), Merlot ($17) and Malbec (7%), mainly dark cherries and other dried fruits laced with creamy mint. It's an excellent food wine - Bordeaux-like in its structure - with the fruit up front and a lean finish with dusty tannins.
Wines of Interest
NV Elyssia Gran Cuvee Brut ($18). I love this cava from the folks at Freixenet. It's one of those cloud-like sparklers with a lot of mousse and flavors of dried herbs, mellow apples and a touch of cream that drift pleasantly into the finish.
2008 Thomas Henry Napa County Pinot Noir ($16). A lightish wine, but a textbook display of West Coast Pinot flavors - light cherries, cola, forest floor, dried spices and roots. A hint of tannins. Nice, easy drinking, but it can easily be over-matched by heavier meats.
2007 Luca Mendoza Beso de Dante (about $45). A Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon blend in almost equal measure, this is a big, slightly meaty wine that is nevertheless quite smooth and creamy. My sole complaint is that the oak imparts a little too much caramel for my tastes, although it lessens (or you get used to it) as the wine in the bottle diminishes.
2008 Saarstein Mosel Pinot Blanc (about $18). Quite pleasurable and reasonably dry with floral orange and lemon flavors and a touch of tonic water spritz.
2008 Susana Balbo Mendoza Malbec ($13). Cherry-currant upfront fruit that is quite nice, but I find the tannic, Bakers chocolate and coffee finish a bit harsh and tight.
2007 Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($28). A very nice wine, especially for the price, with dark cherry flavors and a granular texture.
2009 Wild Rock Hawke's Bay Rose' ($14). Merlot, Malbec and Syrah. This is a better food wine - substantial and assertive - than a sipping wine, as the finish becomes a bit tiresome with solo ingestion. Pure strawberries with a touch of cream.
2009 Dancing Coyote Clarksburg Gewurztraminer ($11). A little on the sweet side, but very true Gewurz flavors with the requisite spiciness.
Until next time...