Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January, Week #2

Shane’s Notes

We are continuing with our P.E.P. (Pinot Extraction Program). Jen loves Burgundy so we decided to try a sampling of American Pinot. We added our name to a few mailing lists and built up a collection of Sea Smoke, Roar, Benovia and Williams Selyem. Alas, with the exception of the Roar vineyard designates, we didn’t like any of them. Now, Jen is opening them during the week to have by herself while I down my Charambas (an inexpensive Douro blend). This week, she opened the Selyem 2006 Sonoma County Pinot (I think cost us between $30 to $35). I tried it and had to keep my gag reflex in check – it tasted like melted vanilla ice cream. Why would someone do that to a Pinot? Would the vanilla (it must be from the oak) wear off with bottle age? Unfortunately, we can’t wait to find out as our aging capability is as limited as our capacity. Jen was a brave soul and drank it over the next few nights. I would have poured it down the drain.

I bought some medium priced bottles with my Christmas bonus, and we tried one the other night – the 2005 Moulin de la Gardette Cuvee Tradition, Gigondas ($23). I always cringe when we open bottles that cost more than 20 bucks. Yes, there are plenty of magnificent wines in the over 20 dollar range, but there are also many duds. For me, 20 dollars is a lot of money to spend on a wine that I don’t enjoy. Anyway, this wine was not spectacular, but it was quite good. It was fairly concentrated with flavors of blackberry, spices and dust. Our only complaint is that the finish seemed a bit clipped.

On Sunday, we went with a low alcohol wine – a 2003 Dr. Loosen Spatlese, Erdener Treppchen, Mosel barely tipping the scales at 8% ($15). Jen wanted to knit and I wanted to read, so a wine with about half the alcohol of a Napa bruiser was the perfect choice. This Dr. Loosen was simple but pleasant with sweet flavors of Apricot and Nectarine. There was initially a pronounced stoniness that receded with time. This wine would make a great aperitif and it was enjoyable way to end the weekend.


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