“When it rains, it pours.” The Week in Wine, August 14-20, 2017

We spent the last month without rain. I mowed yesterday for the first time in three week, with the blades set high so as not to cut too deeply into my scorched and browning lawn. Then last night, when our guests had gone home and we had bedded down, thunder and lightening brought the promise of moisture to the earth, and this morning we awoke to a soaked and vibrant world. The clouds outside my office window today are for once encouraging. Rain is a good thing.

This week, Dionysus was good to me as well; the god of wine rained down more incredible wines in one short span than I have enjoyed in a very long time. On Thursday night, I attended an industry show and got to sample some really amazing stuff. I hadn’t tried many wines lately, comparative to average weeks in the past, but this week was lush and wet and full of new experiences.  A few of those are featured below.

The sherry on the left was a gift from a friend, with whom I study wine, who knows my Sherry game is lacking. The Montelena Zin was a treat, and one I highly recommend. The Pride Merlot is always a favorite, and the current vintage is killer!

The ’09 Bordeaux was part of a tasting and I really liked it. The Colome’ Malbec is made by a friend of mine, who makes wine for the Hess Collection, and the Ramon Bilbau Rioja was served by one of my favorite Omaha Wine Review (.com) writers, and was surprisingly vibrant and fruity.

I love Witness tree, and you can’t go wrong with Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. The Tamber Bey Cab Sauv brought back good memories. And the Frias red blend reminded me that there are so many wineries I have yet to visit.

Then Sunday came. A great day for wine. After a bit of paperwork in the morning, I hung most of the remaining insulation in my wine cellar (expect a post on that soon). Then I had friends stop by to try some older wines we’d ordered together. The following notes are about those.

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This lineup of formidable reds graced the library tasting at my house this afternoon. The 1987 from the Loire Valley was pure menthol on the nose, but opened up to be a delicate yet balanced wine with plenty left to give. The 1996 Lagrave was, some argued, past prime, while others enjoyed the licorice and dry red flavors. The 1989 left banker, Ladouys, was just killer. Huge plush purple fruits abounded. I thought it stole the show. And, unfortunately, the 1979 Mondavi Cab Sauv, which I thought would be the tour de force, was cooked. We’ll hope for more next time.

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The 1980 Schramsberg cremant demi-sec was drinking really nicely, with toasty notes to accompany a sweeter side and, interestingly, till some bubbles. We all enjoyed it.

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The final wine was a 1982 Sauternes. Honeyed with beautiful fruit flavors, noble rot, hints of pear and more, it was a delightful end to a library tasting we all enjoyed immensely.

So that was my week. Not bad eh? We planned another library tasting already, so keep tuning in. And in the meantime, I’ll try not to drink (or at least write about) swill.
Cheers,

Mark

 

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