The Official Wine Thread

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by audiophilia, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. Dragon

    Dragon Senior member

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    As to the question of merlots, it's hard to put my finger on it. A good merlot has an amzingly smooth, velvetty feel to it. But the flavor is a little lacking. I either want the jammy, spicy, zesty punch you in the face flavor of a Shiraz, Zin or Cab, or I want a subtle and nuanced Pinot. Merlot falls in between these two and doesn't do much for me.

    I will say this. I don't touch the French wines much as I just don't know much about them. I can spend the rest of my life drinking nothing but Californian and Australian wines and never regret it. The Frenches seem almost overwhelming of an undertaking to learn. Maybe I just don't want to step out of my comfort zone or I'm intimidated. I did have a great French recently. Domaine La Garrigue - Vacqueyras Red Rhone. About $22/bottle here in St. Louis and paired perfectly with the grilled meatloaf I did. Yeah, I grill just about everything (Chicken Cordon Bleu, Crostinis, Romaine Lettuce, among others, along with old stand bys of steak, ribs, brisket, etc).

    Back to the wine. This stuff was amazing:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And yes my kitchen table does have grape vines custom stenciled onto it.

    I was actually looking for a merlot to pair with the meat loaf as I felt a Shiraz/Zin/Cab might over power it and it would overpower a Pinot. This is what was recommended to me and I enjoyed it. But I don't normally go this route.


    You described my reason for not being a big fan of CA and AUS wines. They tend to be 100% of a certain grape (Carbernet, Merlot, etc.) which makes the wines less balanced or less complex than French wines in my opinion.

    If you feel the flavor is a little lacking in merlot wines, French wines from Pomerol and St. Emilion (mentioned earlier) are perfect. Unlike New World style, the French wines are just "based" on merlot, but are blended with other grapes to give them more character. You can get anything from light/easy drinking to bold/character style merlots. Also, I think merlot is a convenient wine to pair with certain dishes. It is a fairly versatile wine.
     
  2. audiophilia

    audiophilia Senior member

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    You described my reason for not being a big fan of CA and AUS wines. They tend to be 100% of a certain grape (Carbernet, Merlot, etc.) which makes the wines less balanced or less complex than French wines in my opinion.

    Really? I thought few CA Cabs were 100% Cab, Shafer Hillside notwithstanding.
     
  3. audiophilia

    audiophilia Senior member

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    Tonight, Etude 2006 Pinot Noir, Carneros ~ Estate.

    Probably the best PN I've had since the Merry Edwards at the last SF in SF meetup. It started off nicely, but after an hour in the decant it started opening up nicely and after two hours it's really, really good.


    Heard good things about Etude. Nice bottle...
     
  4. Jbreen1

    Jbreen1 Senior member

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    Really? I thought few CA Cabs were 100% Cab, Shafer Hillside notwithstanding.

    You are correct, few varietals are 100% of their labeled grape. By law, the wine must have 75% of the grape listed.
     
  5. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    right, wines are usually not one straight varietal even if labeled as such. 75% or 85% are the usual minimums depending on the AVA in the US.

    but it doesn't end there. For instance, a bottle of pinot noir may have 4-6 different clones of the pinot noir grape, each adding something different to the winemaker's final blend. There was a very interesting episode on this a few months ago on WL.
     
  6. PandArts

    PandArts Senior member

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    I always pick up things that seem unusual or something I wouldn't normally try. This stuff is awesome and should definitely be picked up if you guys can find it in your area.
    http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w...1/1040293x.jpg


    I'm really starting to love patagonian wines! The Picada P-15 I posted a few pages back was just awesome! I think it has a lot to do with the climate in which these grapes are grown: annual rain fall 197mm/yr., temp range 20c., Intense winds. Desert terrain and so on, making the grapes really struggle to produce low yields of very lush grapes.

    I will have to keep an eye out for that one or see if my wine buyer can get it.
     
  7. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    the Patagonia episode of Man vs. Wild was epic.
     
  8. GrillinFool

    GrillinFool Senior member

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    You described my reason for not being a big fan of CA and AUS wines. They tend to be 100% of a certain grape (Carbernet, Merlot, etc.) which makes the wines less balanced or less complex than French wines in my opinion.

    If you feel the flavor is a little lacking in merlot wines, French wines from Pomerol and St. Emilion (mentioned earlier) are perfect. Unlike New World style, the French wines are just "based" on merlot, but are blended with other grapes to give them more character. You can get anything from light/easy drinking to bold/character style merlots. Also, I think merlot is a convenient wine to pair with certain dishes. It is a fairly versatile wine.


    I understand that the French Merlots are much better than the new world merlots, but like I said, picking up the French wines is a bit overwhelming to me. I've just avoided them because of that. I have had a bottle or two based on a recommendation, but I don't find myself taking a flyer on a random bottle of French like I do with American or Australians. I know the regions that produce the wines I enjoy from those countries, where France is a complete mystery to me. Maybe I need to do more research and take the plunge and start sampling some stuff. What's the worst that can happen? I drink more wine?!?! [​IMG]
     
  9. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    France isn't too bad to learn at all. It's easy to focus on only a few key areas (Bordeaux, Rhone, Burgundy, Loire, and Alsace). The variety from these 5 regions is massive. Furthermore, most tend to use familiar grape varietals such as cab, merlot, pinot noir, chardonnay, syrah, sauv. blanc, riesling, etc. All it takes is a little bit of study to realize that a Sancerre from the Loire Valley is going to be sauv. blanc, or that a Chablis from Burgundy is chardonnay.

    Italy, on the other hand, is a beast to figure out.
     
  10. GrillinFool

    GrillinFool Senior member

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    France isn't too bad to learn at all. It's easy to focus on only a few key areas (Bordeaux, Rhone, Burgundy, Loire, and Alsace). The variety from these 5 regions is massive. Furthermore, most tend to use familiar grape varietals such as cab, merlot, pinot noir, chardonnay, syrah, sauv. blanc, riesling, etc. All it takes is a little bit of study to realize that a Sancerre from the Loire Valley is going to be sauv. blanc, or that a Chablis from Burgundy is chardonnay.

    Italy, on the other hand, is a beast to figure out.


    This is what I am talking about.

    I will say that I totally forgot that I do dabble a bit in the Frenches in terms of Reislings from Alsace. I can't stand sweet wines anymore. But the Alsace Reislings are the shit. Crisp and citrusy rather than white grape Kool Aid.
     
  11. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    I didn't mean massive as in overwhelming, but rather you can find wines that are bold and massive (Bordeaux, Rhone) or wines that are subtle and hauntingly complex (Burgundy) to wines that are crisp and fragrant (Loire). Plenty of stylistic variety for the palate.
     
  12. blofeld

    blofeld Senior member

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    Really cool thread - just found it. My first of what I hope to be many future contributions [​IMG]

    Last night:

    2004 Honig Bartolucci Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
    I picked a few of these about 2 years ago at the Honig winery in Napa. Most known for their white, I think their regular cab is one of the great Napa Cab values. Anyway, not sure if this is for sale outside the winery or restaurants, but this wine is drinking perfectly right now. 100% Cabernet from the Bartolucci Vineyard at the base of Spring Mountain. Beautiful color, with a nose is toasty oak and cherry. Feels like Hermes silk in the mouth, very smooth tannins and a nicely balanced and very long black currant-black cherry finish. Three \t[​IMG]\t[​IMG]\t[​IMG] for sure.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Dragon

    Dragon Senior member

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    Really? I thought few CA Cabs were 100% Cab, Shafer Hillside notwithstanding.

    aha, I didn`t know that. I guess I always assumed they were 100% because of the taste.

    Maybe the information is somewhere if I look, but I don`t think the percentage of blend is readily available for view like French wines.
     
  14. audiophilia

    audiophilia Senior member

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    Really cool thread - just found it. My first of what I hope to be many future contributions [​IMG]

    Last night:

    2004 Honig Bartolucci Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
    I picked a few of these about 2 years ago at the Honig winery in Napa. Most known for their white, I think their regular cab is one of the great Napa Cab values. Anyway, not sure if this is for sale outside the winery or restaurants, but this wine is drinking perfectly right now. 100% Cabernet from the Bartolucci Vineyard at the base of Spring Mountain. Beautiful color, with a nose is toasty oak and cherry. Feels like Hermes silk in the mouth, very smooth tannins and a nicely balanced and very long black currant-black cherry finish. Three \t[​IMG]\t[​IMG]\t[​IMG] for sure.

    [​IMG]


    Great stuff.

    I may do a Vox-like update post with all the recs, varietal-specific, from time to time. It should keep us up to date on all our fav recs.

    Cheers, a
     
  15. audiophilia

    audiophilia Senior member

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    2007 Kenwood Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

    Had this last night at son's 19th dinner party. No decant at the restaurant and was tasted after a pretty strong martini and no food all day. A mistake. I did not enjoy it. It's an inexpensive wine (CAD$21.00), but I have enjoyed it many times, 2006, I think.

    So, the wine is too young. Needs a solid decant. I tasted way too much alcohol and not enough fruit, which is not the norm with this wine. Wasn't corked, just too young, I think. I'll try another well decanted 07 soon and relay info to you. Oh well.

    82/100 [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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