2007 Snoqualmie Whistle Stop Red Cabernet Merlot: Blackberry nose, tannic texture, overall somewhat stiff
as for the specifics, i thought it had lemon flavors with smooth and creamy textures, mixed with a slight crispiness. greg really liked its fruity nose, while the flavor was, to him, a bit citrusy and sweet. we both, obviously, liked it very much. we think this is a wine we should share with our neighbors for dinner in january.
UPDATE: second night. we'd forgotten to pressurize it last night and so just screwed on the cap this morning hoping it wouldn't make a difference. (nothing against screwtops, either. i think there are more and more screwtops that are on the better side of good these days.) apparently our mistake was an improvement: this time, paired with a pork loin, steamed broccoli and potato perogies, it was tannic and the sourness had disappeared. so, however, had the flavors. this was like eating paper. a definite wallflower cab; drink if you don't want an accompanying personality.
by the way, we had a really good time in bloomington seeing greg's family for the woodward christmas on saturday, and then a brunch with fred, nancy, deanie, bob and chris today. the weekend was also notable because i got to experience first-hand the effects of fred's wine aerator. we tried it on a 2007 sola fred we had bought for fred at sahara mart the last time we were both in bloomington, and on an apothic red we had given him as a gift for christmas. it really made a difference for both of those wines, which we had thought were good even before the aerator entered the picture ... the sola was fruitier, and the apothic became lighter and even more flavorful. i was also really impressed by how quickly it processed the wine: you poured the wine into a small filter and it immediately sent it into the glass below. hardly any delay at all, with a very big boost in flavor.
dec. 13, 2010: i talked to my sister this morning. she's in italy now, traveling with sean on a break from their stay in gap, france, and that got me thinking about my aunt and uncles and second-cousins and the like who are living their lives in the old world. so i decided i'd try my second-cousin jean-paul le damany's calvados, which greg thinks is from 1996 or 1997. it's been hanging out in our basement for the past four years, since my father gave it to greg as a gift. jean-paul's version of calvados is a bit rough and has a good burn to it. but the flavor is definite apple, which is as it should be. the color is very clear, almost like water. i think i remember having an older vintage of calvados in normandy this past fall that was more of a yellow or bronze color. this is the perfect thing to have on an icy, 11-degree night, though to be honest, it's packing such a strong punch that i doubt i'll finish the glass.
valued at about $30-35 (depending on which site you visit online), this bottle, i realized a bit too late, was definitely not a wine you open without a great deal of patience. meaning: i opened it around 10 p.m., tasted it (some barnyard to the nose, sharp edges and tannins) and let it decant for about 30 minutes. then tasted it again (this time the fruits were starting to stand out, though there were still some rough edges), and let it sit for another 10 minutes. i poured a glass for greg (who wasn't that impressed), watched a really bad snl, and then contented myself with a bill murray film and a few sips throughout.
this wine got somewhat better, but it wasn't fantastic. so i let it decant overnight and, i hesitate to say, took a very small sip sunday morning ... just to see what about 11 hours can do to the flavor of a wine bottled in 2003. the verdict? at 9:30 a.m., the flavors were much the same as they were later sunday night, when i prepared three braised cornish hens in a dry white wine reduction (see next post). the fruits that i had tasted within 40 minutes of its opening on saturday were gone, replaced by a mildness that was neither rough nor exquisite. that night, we finished off what was left in the decanter, and greg liked it a lot better than he had the night before, saying it had opened up nicely, was softer, with not much of a nose but a fruitier flavor. as for me, this wasn't the best bordeaux i've had, but it does seem to be one more example of a french wine that's both fickle and hard to place in terms of flavors. 13 percent alcohol. gifts.
http://www.vintagepointcellars.ewinerysolutions.com/) but i find it odd that no one mentioned the bitterness. don't get me wrong: we like it. this is definitely a fruity wine, and it's got enough tannins to make it slightly rough against your tongue. but this is a malbec? whoa, whoa, whoa. wait a minute here. maybe it's because we've had a memorable layer cake shiraz, but this, to me, isn't rough enough to be a malbec, at least not in the categories of a montes, or an xplorador. is this the new malbec: dark fruit and thin lines of bitterness? if so, it tastes like a mclaren vale shiraz ... from mendoza, argentina. about $14. winetree. 14.9 percent alcohol.
dec. 3, 2010: received a useful gift in my inbox today from my alma mater: a red lentil recipe. it sounded good, and all i had to do was buy some celery (with the leaves still on) and the lentils since we had all the other ingredients.