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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Burden’

Back in Vermont again. My parents are chugging down to Florida, so I once again have the place to myself for another lonely fall and winter. Just me, my .45, and Ken, my old Gibson, surrounded by the deep, dark forest.

Anyway, the seclusion allows me to play some raunchy acoustic. It got me thinking about a song from my youth:

This used to be my own personal theme song—I practically thought it was written for me. Or maybe even by me unknowingly. But now I see the absurdity of that statement. My childhood was neither chaotic or disorganized. My parents were shockingly normal and nurturing, so any teenage angst on my part must have been fleeting and certainly unfounded. Well, there you have it: I’m a fraud.

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{Update: I have since purchased a vintage Clue game, but I’m too scared to play it, lest I want to pick through Eli’s boonies for ropes and revolvers.}

Yeah! Look what Rob got me!

[Vintage Chutes and Ladders game… the original version I had as a kid.]

Now watch this and see how our first game went.

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A few weeks ago, after striking a cold-ball zinger, the surface of my vintage, hollow-core Kadima paddle cracked.

The next thing I knew, a package arrived at our doorstep with 6 replacement paddles. “Maybe we can have a tournament, and I got 2 sets of Pro Kadima paddles, I think we’ll have better ball control, and they’ll be less noisy.” What can I say, Carey digs the Kadima lifestyle. It’s cheaper than golf and less committal, so I’m not complaining.

[Click to enlarge to see flying balls.]

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Sidewalk seating is in full effect, and Maestro’s was the place to be last Saturday night. I was so excited for our first outdoor dinner that I even selected our wine from the Maestro’s website before we left the house. I have a tendency to get lost in the pages of those leather bound books, causing a undo amount of stress and performance anxiety while I run processes of elimination through my head, ignoring my pretty wife all the while.

This one was easy though, the 2004 Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains, a slightly old world Cabernet blend with great vegetal notes and a better acidity than you might expect.

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Meet Team Corks + Caftans.

With nonstop rounds peaking at 63 back and forths, the team was in top form today, diving for shots and running for backward smashes under a beating sun. Roberto in red, exhibiting some stellar short-shot rebounds; Bearess in blue, reigning in rogue, wild hot potatoes with smooth, sound strokes. The chemistry was palpable; the teamwork like forged steel. (more…)

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This is so awesome and also hilarious:

We were fortunate enough to run into the most amazing, energetic, and hilarious girl from BeautifulStranger.tv before we bailed on the Chictopia conference. (Sorry, dudes.) She did a quick interview, asked us what we were wearing, inquired what our must-haves were for Spring (real quick: can you imagine Rob answering a question about his fashion “must have” for Spring? Neither can we, which is why we’re cracking up), and took a quick picture of us outside in the whipping, freezing air. We had all but forgotten about it!

Thanks, BeautifulStranger! We’re so excited and quite humbled. You guys are awesome.

-Carey + Rob

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[Photo courtesy Zofia Photography.]

Happy Birthday, Bobo. Carey loves.

-C

p.s. I would post pictures of the incredible breakfast-in-bed I made Rob this morning, but later realized a. his hair was a little wonky, b. the waffles were just Eggos, thus making me look like a total amateur, and c. the mug had something controversial printed on it! haha.

[Shameless pimp: to see more from our day on Z’s photoblog, click here.]

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After attending the reading at Lange Vineyards, we drove back down from the Dundee Hills and got to squeeze in a few more hours with new friends. Farm to Fork in Dundee, OR is an outstanding restaurant with a killer wine list and sweet, sweet escargot—boogers of the gods, I say. (more…)

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[There’s my girl: Jancis Robinson on the cover of her amazing book, Confessions of a Wine Lover.]

I could never have guessed that a simple—although not really simple at all—book about wine could cause such icy waves to crash on the tender shores of my young marriage. Carey often acts like an infant, or my beloved late Dachshund Oliver—perfectly content without my attention so long as I am not doing anything that looks too personally enjoyable. Otherwise, I feel eyes! (more…)

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I was spotting Rob on the bench press today at the gym and kept noticing this rank, powerful cologne floating in the air. I even consciously looked around a few times during his 3 sets, trying to located the steak who had actually put cologne on for the gym. Gross.

It kept hitting me in waves while I was trying to concentrate on Rob below me—when suddenly I remembered something.

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Ohhh, right… I pranked Rob by spraying cologne on his belly button when he wasn’t paying attention—with some crap sample I found in the bathroom drawer—while he was gargling with mouthwash earlier.

Ha, ha!

I’m awesome.

-Carey

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Robert Burden Eli burden

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A typical weekday night at the C+C East coast office (ignore the silly dishtowel!)—besides the reduced pay (as in none) and increased wine consumption, it’s not all that different from any other job we’ve had in the past. With new designs and web layouts in the works, another multi-part, self-imposed fashion challenge for Carey, and an awesome lineup of new wines for the fall, things are going to get exciting over the next few months at C+C. Stay tuned!

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Carey watches "Planet Unicorn" while I apply for an ACORN grant to fund Bordeaux futures.

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Carey engaged in the tedious task of taking dictation.

-Rob

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Chiseled limestone, dark cherry cabinetry, rough hewn timbers, copper countertops, tobacco-colored leather, and low lighting—a fairly typical mental picture of an atypical luxury: the tasting room. That is what struck me about this particular cellar and tasting room. Light, and white, and only in Vegas.

Wine cellars have become so much more than simple, cooled places to store wine. These spaces have fully embraced the wine lifestyle to reflect the personal tastes and state of mind for the (more fortunate) wine drinker to immerse him or herself in.

I found this picture from the upcoming 2010 Las Vegas Builders Show. What a perfect, and dangerously stainable way to visually embrace the contents of your glass—by providing the wine’s rich color with a stark white backdrop.

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Unconventional, but impeccably designed to reflect a relaxed, modern style. And that’s the beauty of it; it reflects an ideal.

-Rob

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I did some brief calculations this morning and concluded that if the temperature continues to trend downward at its current pace, then by February we will all be dead. This is very scary.

Eli’s instincts are sharp, and as you will see, he is conserving body heat in front of the fireplace.

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I wish I was in that little airplane flying to somewhere warm.

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Temperature confirmation farther along into Local on the 8's.

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Carey documenting the deep concern on my face and premature, January-grade, chapped lips.

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Move over Eli, I'm heading in.


-Rob

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Regret, meet irony. Irony, meet sadness. Readers, meat the Isosceles Reserve club.

Two summers have passed since I became a Justin Wine Society member and began receiving my biannual shipments of everything red Justin has to offer—almost everything. On the same winter night I became a Wine Society member I also put my name on the Isosceles Reserve waiting list. This is not an easy wine to come by, so I’d dreamt of the day my own wooden case would arrive. Well, today I got my golden ticket—my personalized Isosceles Reserve Annual Purchase Certificate printed on heavy, ivory-colored card stock:

THE BEARER OF THIS individually numbered Annual Purchase Certificate shall be entitled to purchase at the current price for that vintage one wooden case (6) 750ml bottles of JUSTIN ISOSCELES Reserve from each vintage produced.

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Well, so much for the “10 year” vertical tasting party in 2020, because just this week I regretfully terminated my Society membership. Work has slowed for me in the few months, and with few glimmers of hope in the building industry, I am tightening my belt and trimming discretionary spending—and wine clubs, despite my efforts to change public opinion, remain discretionary to this day. So, you can imagine my pain when the Reserve packet finally arrived in the mail after over two years of waiting.

In the words of Alanis Morissette, I got a black fly in my chardonnay, or my Bordeaux-style blend I will never drink.

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U.N.-inspired fashion.

A Corks & Caftans role reversal is at hand.

To celebrate the presence of our supreme Libyan leader and father, Colonel Moamer Kadhafi, I pulled my favorite vintage tee from the stack:

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Carey was at work so I had to replicate myself for the picture. Unfortunately my wedding ring blends into the carpet.

-Rob

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Petite Petit from Michael & David, is the 4th entry from this winery along with 7 Deadly ZinsIncognito, and 6th Sense Syrah. 85% Petite Syrah/15% Petit Verdot, this red blend is a prime example of contemporary Lodi winemaking—colossal fruit, layers of secondary flavors and nuances, and textual ease.

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Showing intense ruby and plum colors, Petite Petit appears polished—both youthful and alive. With a spin the wine lines the inside of the glass leaving a rose colored tint. Right out of the bottle, Petite Petit really shows its size. An initial alcohol burn-off and a husky quality of the fruit settles and softens quickly in the glass—no need to decant.

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The aroma profile is warm and booming, boasting strong plum and red and black cherry fruit. Vanilla extract and rich caramel aromas please the nose with a soft, dessert-like sweetness—a perfect backdrop for the signature spice box, earth and black pepper undertones I have come to recognize. This wine continues to display the winemaker’s unique fingerprint, and even exhibits detectable smokey barbecue qualities—described by the winemaker as their signature “smokehouse” aromas.

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Petite Petit is a richly layered textural behemoth, packing immense amounts fruit, smooth spice, earth, smoke, and floral notes in its virtually boarder-less full body.  Between the squat Pinot-esque bottle, manic circus label, and red and white awning capsule, the bottle presentation succeeds in thoroughly setting-up the buyer, daring wine snobs not to take it seriously. But, in reality, Michael & David put together a deliciously elephantine blend, worthy of serious reflection, conversation and, if possible, a few bottles set aside for the maturing touch of age.

DSC03726$17 Enjoy!

-Rob

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As one installment of the FL trip recap…

We got to meet up with one of my oldest friends, Shaara Pajcic, while we were home. We stopped in the Palm Valley Fish Camp for an unreal late lunch, some wine, and a view of the Intracoastal waterway. Not too shabby.

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It’s also a real fish market. Stop in and grab some slabs of fish for dinner…

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They had a nasty good wine list. Shaara and I tore through a bottle of Third Wife chardonnay… the last bottle they had in stock. It was delicious…

The food was also incredible, which was to be expected from the owners of Marker 32 restaurant also in Jacksonville.

I had a pan-fried fish sandwich with Old Bay fries and turnip slaw, Shaara had a shrimp roll, and Rob cleared the shrimp and avocado sandwich off his plate before I’d even sealed the deal with my fries.

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[Catching up.]

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[Girl talk.]

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Most of all, I loved the interior. So sunny and crisp, cool light fixtures, and drop-dead views. A friend who saw my photos said, “It looks so… easy. Like you’re at somebody’s house!” And when you’re just looking to spend an hour or two laughing with old friends, their incredibly kind and helpful staff, approachable food, and deliriously beautiful sunlit dining room make for the perfect venue.

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The Palm Valley Fish Camp is located at 229 North Roscoe Blvd, Palm Valley, FL. (904.285.3200)

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If I wasn’t happily married and didn’t love looking at trains, I may have scooted through the “lights only” crossing just before a 1/4-mile-long freight train heading south with a full load of limestone slurry passed by at tortoise speed. So I sat back and listened to a little Cat Country crackling on the radio and waited for the last car to pass.

A few miles down the road, I approached the Limestone Slurry Express on a straightaway, steadily increasing from tortoise to hare speed, when I pulled out my camera. Unfortunately, I was a few cars short of making the next crossing in time and the same routine ensued, only with a different song on the radio.

The next time you enjoy a limestone slurry, don’t forget to think about those who sacrificed for your freedom to do so!

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-Rob

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I’ve been told that in Australia, winemaker Chris Ringland is famous like a rock star, something like Wolfgang Puck, Francis Ford Coppola, and Robert Mondavi all rolled up into one. -Gwendolyn Alley, “Chris Ringland’s Ebenezer Shiras 2006: rich but not a tightwad” June 23, 2008 from Art Predator

2006 Chris Ringland Ebenezer Shiraz Barossa Valley Australia Robert Burden

Chris Ringland. One winemaker, two signature wines—one $400, one $20. Last Thursday, Carey and I were fortunate enough to be invited to share one of these two bottles with a friend. Had I not known in advance which bottle we were opening, had it been a blind tasting of one of his two wines, I would have been in a very confusing situation. How could this possibly be? How could there really be any question? I’ll explain.

Within seconds of the cap coming off, I was grabbed by the aromas of savory cedar, touched black fruit, and pipe smoke. A piercingly seductive encounter, as carnal an experience as possible from something you pull a cork out of or unscrew the top off of. These are the moments every wine lover lives for: a rare harmonizing of the senses, like a momentary breeze carrying a mystery person’s perfume through a crowd tangling your reality. If I were a winemaker, this is what I would demand of a bottle I put my name on alongside a $400 price tag. But for $20? It just doesn’t seem possible. There are grocery stores with top shelves full of alarm-tagged $20 bottles that are not even worth pumping the air out of after two glasses.

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I’m not embarrassed to admit that I have never had a $400 bottle of wine—not even a $200 bottle of wine. Perhaps the most expensive bottle I’ve had (which wasn’t even a bottle, just a few sips), was Insignia at Joseph Phelps with Carey on our honeymoon. So in this case, I don’t really have anything for comparison. On the other hand, I have had quite a few $20 bottles, none of which—maybe with the exception of one or two—combined this textural and flavor breakdown.

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The most pronounced aroma and flavor characteristic in the Ebenezer Shiraz—the consummate workhorse—is cedar. Fleecy in texture and slightly vanillin in sweetness, this underlying woodsy trademark lived and thrived in the marrow of this wine—present in continually recurring form. It was beyond delicious, and the only instance where I have used cedar to describe the heart of a wine. But this wine was by no means one-dimensional— semi-sweet dark chocolate, pipe tobacco, plum, blueberry, and black cherry, rounded out this full-bodied Shiraz. It was not jammy or candied, other than in appearance, showing vibrant garnet colors that clung to the walls of the glass after a swirl, timid to rejoin the rest of the group.

The CR Ebenezer Shiraz is, without a doubt, the best Australian wine I have ever had. A personal top 10 wine? Definitely. Top 5? Quite possibly. I have no doubt that there are winemakers selling in the $100 price range that would kill to swap juice with Chris Ringland.

After an hour of poking around online I found plenty of wine merchants who are proudly advertising Ebenezer, but unfortunately they don’t actually have any bottles. It looks like I will probably never try this wine again—but when a new vintage is released I will be ready to pounce. I’ll keep you posted.

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Because we had such a special wine, a delicious dinner was in order. We decided on two flatbreads—the first was gorgonzola, sun-dried tomatoes, and walnuts; the second, fig, rosemary, and prosciutto. Carey and I have been making these flatbreads, along with other variants, for the last year or so and successfully pairing them with our favorite Zinfandels and Syrahs.

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Fig & Prosciutto Flatbread

You will need: 1 12 oz ball pizza dough, flour, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 garlic clove, salt/pepper, 1 tsp minced rosemary, 1/2 cup fig jam, 1/4 lb. crumbled gorgonzola, 3 oz sliced prosciutto, 1 scallion, thiny sliced.

With which you will: Preheat oven to 400. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough 13″ round. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with garlic & rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Dollop fig jam all over, leaving 1″ border for crust. Scatter cheese and prosciutto*, bake until puffed and golden brown. Garnish with scallion.

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*We add the proscuitto after baking, because we’re proscuitto junkies and like the cool, soft texture on the warm flatbread.

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Cline ancient vines Carignane Robert Burden

This is an important post. I have always made a point of reviewing and sharing wines that represent what I love and drink. Well, if this is true, which it certainly is, then I am guilty of a grave oversight. The oversight being Cline Cellars from Sonoma, Califonia—and that’s why, in this review, I’m including a number of great nights and meals that the folks at Cline produced memorable wine for.

Not only do I believe that Cline is capable of producing stellar wine from wonderful, lesser-known grape varieties, but they have achieved this while maintaining an easy price point with unparalleled accessibility. As a big fan of Zinfandel, I consider the Cline Ancient Vines* to be a benchmark by which I have judged many wines against. I have probably served more of the Ancient Vines Zin to guests than almost any other wine.

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On the evening of October 25th, 2008, Carey and I were at our rehearsal dinner at The Company of the Cauldron on the island of Nantucket. My mother spent weeks planning this one small event for our 40 closest friends and family. My only task, on the other hand, was very easy—the wine we will be serving with dinner: the 2006 Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel. Even with overage anticipated, we still came in about 6 bottles short. Wine drinkers loved it and wine lovers appreciated it—I couldn’t have asked for more.

At Bistro AIX, an amazing contemporary bistro on San Marco Boulevard in Jacksonville, Florida while dining with my wife and both sets of parents, I was put in charge of an incredible wine list. With 50 different wines by the glass and a 250+ bottle selection, I had my work cut out for me. Time to deliver. Under-promise, over-deliver, and shock all when the bill arrives. The perfect balance was a 2006 Cline “Cool Climate” Syrah out of Sonoma. Only $34—it was a total hit. Incredible to drink, great with food, and we didn’t deviate the whole night.

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“As rare as the goats in the Gobi Desert, this silky rich blend is a special treat.” This is how the winemakers at Cline describe the Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre blend they call Cashmere. My local wine store had this Cline offering on special for about 6 months and I was immediately intrigued by the blend and silky textural precision—not to mention the $25,000 that Cline donates to breast cancer prevention from the proceeds. To this day, Cashmere is still one of my favorite mid-priced Grenache blends out of California.

One of my favorite experiences with an aged Zinfandel came from a 2001 Live Oak Zinfandel I purchased on Winebid.com. Zinfandels can get a little “raisiny” and hot after they have rolled over their peaks, and this often doesn’t take more than a handful of years. I have dumped a lot of good Zinfandel down the drain well within a decade of bottling. But the winemaker’s notes stated that the Live Oak was good to cellar for 7 to 10 years—and they were right. No baked plum, no raisins, no astringent linger—just complex and well integrated layers of spice, herbs, fruit, and mocha.

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This brings me to tonight. The 2007 Cline Carignane (Karen-yawn), along with a number of other offerings from Cline, was just put on the shelves at the Grapevine Fine Wines just outside Saratoga Springs.  A shock of ruby and plum colors in the glass, the Carignane, in the vein of the Cline family, is extremely smooth in the nose and mouth. Texturally supple, cool in the back of the throat and made elegant by semi-sweet chocolate and cinnamon.

Enjoy!

-Rob

* The “Ancient Vines” line of wines from Cline includes a Zinfandel, Carignane, and Mourvèdre. I consider these to be the mid-range line of Cline wines (range $16-$20). All the Ancient Vines wines have an identical label design.

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As you know, I am a fan of wine closets. Currently, I am in the process of building a custom wine closet at my parents’ house in Vermont. It all started with our love of red wine and one shallow but wide hall closet that wasn’t doing a whole lot. Over the last two weeks we designed a stack of floor-to-ceiling wine bins, a functional liquor cabinet, and a custom stemware holder in the vein of the bent metal wine bottle racks I designed and built for my sister’s house. Combined with a French door wine/beverage cooler, an earthy plum-colored slate backsplash, chipped limestone counters, and a distressed wainscot ceiling—the result should be pretty stunning (hopefully)! I am excited to have my own contribution featured in a WCW.

Until then, check out these two great designs:

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The Stone Creek Furniture Wine Closet, courtesy of the Stone Creek Furniture website

Georgetown Wine closet

The Georgetown Wine Closet, courtesy of the Cadence Custom Homes website

-Rob

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This is a great little wine. And by “little” I mean light and elegant. Don’t be deceived by the brooding, nearly opaque, purple-rimmed bark this wine flaunts in the glass, it has far less bite. If I was coloring by numbers I would expect bright, transparent, mixed red tones. So far I am confused—we are off to a good start.

The nose is soft and indecisive. Welcoming with uncertainty, rather than bold and predicable. Smoke and blueberries with just a hint of something soft and sweet like maple or cream—that is about as far as I am willing to venture. Why complicate an entirely uncomplicated scent? Its like perfume rubbed off on a pillow, rather than on the neck from the night before. Both are great, so you decide.

This Tempranillo is distincly soft and velvety; purple velvet, that is. The flesh is pure and perfectly thin—structural fat rather than flavor packed—surrounded by simple blackberries and cedar. Violets don’t seem to escape the nose while blueberries, cream, and light tannins have no intentions of fading off the tongue for minutes after the last swirl and sip.

This is a mood wine, and it’s to be shared—but, with no more than one. It is sleepy and sensual and could be sipped with cheese and cured meat to start, or before bed—with chocolate, … or not. Let this wine drag long into the night—you’ll understand what I mean.

-Rob

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The 2007 Super Tuscan arrived in my first shipment as a new member of D.E.W.N. (distinctive esoteric wine network), or the Bonny Doon wine club, and I was immediately intrigued. I have always been drawn to wineries and winemakers that bypass the tired Chardonnay/Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon love triangle and use grapes that may not be as easily recognized on the shelves at grocery stores.

Not having much experience with Super Tuscan wines, I saw an opportunity to evaluate my new Doon wine from a few different angles. I searched the racks at my local stores until I found the 2005 Piaggia Il Sasso from the small Carmignano region in Tuscany where winemaker Mauro Vannucci has built a solid reputation at his relatively young winery. My goal was to find a nicely regarded, competitively priced Super Tuscan blend to throw right at my latest Bonny Doon acquisition.

I have grown to trust the ability of American winemakers to compete with, and often best, even the most established European producers. Hundreds and even thousands of years of establishing vineyards older than our country, and refining the winemaking process, is often in full view—both in the wines and egos alike. But Americans have been know for closing gaps, and where our European friends are strangled in a web of regional restrictions, we take pride in innovation—we don’t settle.

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Il Sasso: 70% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot. Bonny Doon: 52% Sangiovese, 33% Syrah, and 15% Cinsault

My father helped me with this tasting, providing the house, the dinner, 4 glasses, and most importantly, a tasting partner. We decanted both wines in 4 glasses for a half hour before tasting. Surprisingly, both wines opened with incredibly similar aroma profiles, light- to medium-bodied and bright, far more delicate than we were expecting. We started tasting with Il Sasso and after a few sips, and without saying anything, switched to the Doon. After a moment to reflect we were both happy to agree that we were enjoying two great wines. With as much ease, I confidently said I had a clear favorite at this point, my father also agreeing: the Bonny Doon Super Tuscan was off to a strong start.

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Boony Doon: "The Syrah adds balance and complexity, but it's the Sangiovese that makes this blend truly Italian." -Randall Grahm

Il Sasso,  grippingly tannic at the open, presented unusual aromas of astringent pine—almost reminiscent of turpentine—which had my father and I baffled. An eclectic array of ripe red and black fruit flavors, including raisins, blueberry, cranberry, and cassis, unfolded at will and varying in intensity, also followed by a tannic attack.

Doon’s Super Tuscan was far more bright and juicy, propped up by round tannins, and far less brawny than Il Sasso. I enjoyed the Doon’s warm ruby-brick colors, sparkling transparency, and easy fresh vibrancy in the nose and mouth.

Both wines worked very well with dinner, if even in vastly different ways. Where Il Sasso continued to grow at a surprising rate—showing great depths of robust fruit, licorice and chocolate—the Doon, using a softer hand, was harmonious, blending tart red berries and a varied spice rack to absolutely sing with our homestyle Italian meal.

The Bonny Doon combines acidity and tartness with a wonderful juiciness to provide its structural bones, while the Il Sasso combines heavier tannins and rich fruit for its strength.

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Il Sasso: "Ripe and attractive on the nose, with raisin, spices and plum. Full-bodied, with loads of rich fruit and a chocolate, berry and grape aftertaste. Best after 2011." - Wine Spectator, 91 points

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"Its not even close which wine is better with food"- my father on Doon's Super Tuscan.

After a great night, a great meal, and two strong showings from very capable wines, my father and I made the call with ease that Bonny Doon’s Super Tuscan edged out Il Sasso. When I think about Italian wine, it is almost always within the context of great food, and that is where Doon really excelled. There is no need to say more!

Enjoy!

-Rob

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After a spectacular showing from Luigi Bosca’s Single Vineyard D.O.C., an exquisite $20 Argentinean Malbec, I have been itching to repeat another Argentine in this price point. Since the D.O.C. tasting, I have been unable to shake the thought that the combination of $20+Argentina+Malbec could be a true underexposed sweet spot.

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My preparation for this review found me once again at Purdy’s, my local wine treasure trove, scanning the racks of Argentinean and Chilean red wine. One of the last bottles my eyes settled on was the 2004 Graffigna Grand Reserve Malbec. With the exception of the display bottle, the remaining ten bottles were sleeping soundly under a decent layer of dust, removing any doubt in my mind that this Malbec is a hot seller.

I was sold. Hidden in plain sight, the Graffigna has probably remained virtually untouched in a sea of cut-case specials since it made its way to our shores. I am starting to wonder if it is far easier to sell a good $30 California Cabernet than a great $20 Argentinean Malbec.

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Wine has the ability to reveal itself through color, clarity, transparency, and vibrancy, often telling volumes as it sits in a glass. It was easy to let the excitement build while I sloshed this Malbec into a big Riedel Cabernet glass. Deep blood red and ruby, the intensity of the wine that poured from this bottle was profound. With a deep impenetrable core, the sparkle and vibrancy was happily confined to the rim.

The aromas were masterful, after only 20 minutes of breathing. After tonight, I’ll have to use the word “seductive” when describing aroma with more discretion… Strawberry, coffee, and chocolate combine with a floral medley to tickle the sinuses perfectly.

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The ease and approachability of this wine is very unusual. The fruit is neither tart, jammy, or juicy and can only be described as velvety. It is soft, but complete, fleshy, and ripe. There was a flavor component that jabbed at me for about an hour that finally resonated as a memory of eating TastyKake Butterscotch Krimpets about 10 years ago. I know this sounds absurd so if I break it down I would describe maple/butterscotch/cream components, so soft that it could simply be called dessert-like. A slight bitterness, like semi-sweet dark chocolate or fresh coffee lingers just under the surface adding a great structural component, especially necessary considering the minimal tannic influence.

Enjoy!

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-Rob

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