Sunday, February 16, 2020

2011 Beresan Stone River

Opened this outside Death Valley at a steakhouse. Cab-Syrah. 9 years aging really showed. So smooth. Rich purple robe. Calming purple fruits. Just a pleasure to drink. At $25-ish, it's a huge bargain.
Friends, it's so true-anyone can overpay for takes no skill at all. What's challenging is finding great wines at lower prices.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Grapes of Wrath

This article reports that California saw both (1) more plantings of Cab Sauv and Pinot Noir grapes, but also (2) lower sales of those grapes, which means a surprisingly large amount of Cab Sauv and Pinot Noir went unsold and rotted on the vines.

1. Just because a grape's wine is popular doesn't necessarily mean that it's smart to plant more of it.
2. There are, oh, at least 300 different vinifera winegrapes; why focus on just two? Too many grapegrowers do whatever other growers are doing. Not smart.
3. There are, oh, at least 300 different non-vinifera ("Modern") grape varieties, which ripen earlier, don't need antifungal spray, hang higher yields, have much more cold- and drought-tolerance, and make great-tasting wine, so why not plant those?

Check out modern winegrapes in my book (on Amazon) titled "Modern Grapes for the Pacific Northwest."

(photo credit Purdue University)

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Review of 2009 Reserve de la Comtesse: Well, that was disappointing.

Well, that was disappointing. This is a $49 wine which scored 94-96 points by Wine Enthusiast.

Ten years old, it didn't drink that well at all.  It drank like a mediocre $13 bottle. You could coax a tiny trace of black currant fruit from it, and maybe some plum. The flavors were dark and the whole wine was out of balance. This is the second wine of the famed Super-Second Growth Pichon Lalande, and we can only hope the great Pichon Lalande doesn't age so poorly at this. It's possible that the second wine shouldn't be held for ten years, but the reviews (it gets about 89-90 points on Cellar Tracker) all say it still could use some more aging. I'm not so sure--a Bordeaux should be showing you some impressive flavors by ten years out. And I left half the bottle in the fridge for five days, to watch it and see if all the air time woke it up, but only very slightly.

Bordeaux may be suffering from climate change (which drives to black fruits, whereas I prefer red and purple fruits in my red wines). Or maybe the rater just got it wrong.

Why oh Why do we buy expensive bottles of wine?

Another huge mistake in my wine buying. Tonight, to start the (one-year long) celebration of my wonderful spouse's 60th birthday, we ope...