02 September 2008

02Sept-It's September. Already? Why? & some wine talk
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Another month gone. This upcoming one will be more unpredictable than the last because of the football games that sweep through the attentions of this town once a week with varying results. Sometimes we'll be swamped with customers on the night of a game and other game nights we'll be teaching ourselves how to juggle using wine corks.
Last Friday was a hell of a thing. Never saw it coming but we got a lot more interest than we were expecting and, therefore, couldn't quite handle it. This was not to be made any easier by some customers who seemed all too eager to be made upset.
Leigh was nice enough to remedy my jangled nerves by arranging an isolated labor day weekend of camping, which was quite nice.

The morale of the story: Chateau Montelena's non-estate 05 Cabernet Sauvignon was somewhat disappointing. I had rather high hopes since I enjoyed their Chardonnay so much. Perhaps their considerably more expensive "Estate" cab is more to my liking but one would assume, like a Bordeaux's second-house, that their less expensive (of two) cabs would at least be somewhat indicative of what to expect. There were some layers to it but I thought the flavors were a little muted and the overall feel of the wine a little too unstructured for me. Something about the tannin texture called to mind a very, very soft apple. And, even though we were camping, I treated it well. Decanter. Properly-shaped wine glasses. Correct temperature. Our wine experiences aren't compromised just because we're sleeping in a tent and eating by the light of a campfire.
To make up for it, upon our return, we had a bottle of 98 Michele Chiarlo Asili Barbaresco, which was on sale for a reasonable price at the Greens on Assembly (it's in their wine cave). This was a wonderful bottle with black cherry, licorice, a touch of something fresh-like mint?-, and dried flowers on the nose. The somewhat tart and brusque tannins that showed just after decanting smoothed out a lot after about an hour, giving us some wonderful cherry and dark berry flavors with a bit of tobacco and earth. The mouthfeel became soft and full. Leigh detected a bit of anise and pepper to the aftertaste. That one was really good times and its sale price was only about $10 more than the Montelena. I'll be looking for that Asili again.


leigh's campfire dinner


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