Thursday, March 17, 2005

2001 'Le Clos du Caillou' unfiltered Cotes du Rhone

I just got off work. It's St. Patty's day; my husband is out with whatever male companionship he's gathered, and I'm on my own, thank god; after all day in a retail megastore, all I want is near silence, a nice bottle, and my laptop. Maybe a young Asian masseuse, all hairless and lithe, too. And maybe a joint.
In lieu of the latter two, I'll settle for the company of my cats, as a married woman should, and settle in for a nice blog.

The Clos du Caillou was suggested to me...oh, wait...hold on, I'll get to this one in a minute. Dear God, I'm so far behind! At the risk of sounding like a total lush, I have to run down the ten wines I managed to experience over my four day weekend. Let's see if I can remember them now...

1) Oh shit, it was a Cote du Rhone, about ten dollars...Kermit Lynch...crap. I'll look it up. It was light, pretty cherry and river rock stony...just the perfect bottle to share with my husband after the marriage of his cousin out in Weatherford. And by the way, the reception to this wedding was dry. Dry! Not a drop of even the shittiest Chardonnay. I don't get this. Why have a dry reception? Ever since the first human found himself loopy on fermented berries, we've known that moderate amounts of alchohol at weddings makes for a better time. People who might normally park themselves in a corner can be found gleefully chatting with other guests. People laugh and dance more, amuse others with rediculous but heartfelt toasts, and find the courage to make amends with long estranged relatives. What's so wrong with that?
Sigh. Damned Southern Baptists.

2) 'Santola' Rose
The blushing sister of everyone's favorite Vinho Verde was a lovely apertif for my girlfriends and I while we nibbled cheese before dinner. Frizzante, light and dry, and it retails for six bucks. And with dinner....

3) 2001 Two Hands 'Gnarly Dudes' Shiraz, Barossa Valley
Ooooh, yesss...my menu was rack of lamb with black raspberry/rosemary reduction, roasted blue fingerling potatoes and haricots verts with sunburst squashlets. The fat, mouthfilling dark berry attack of this shiraz was a knockout with it. Beautiful structure held up the big fruit like a steel frame. A little bit of spice....oh, man. Long, classy, cool finish. Such personality! This is not some mindless fruit bomb, and I am a new devotee, to be sure. If you are into shiraz, please check out this or any of the Two Hands offerings. Gorgeous stuff. Whew. Hand me a towel.

4) 2003 Hoya de Cadenas Tempranillo
As is proper, the lesser wine after the greater, but at ten bucks, nothing to dismiss. I used this wine in my berry reduction, and we polished it off after dinner. Smooth, bright red fruit, great for quaffing. While quaffing this wine, we listened to a voice mail left by a misdirected male friend of Carmie's, and laughed our asses off.

5)Forgettable Domestic Pinot Grigio

6) 2002 Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache
After the forgrettable Pinot Grigio, I struck up a conversation with the bartender about wine, and he pulled this out of the 'off the list' corner. Thank God, I was about to have to resort to a Bass Ale. It was just lovely. Big, dense, spicy, kinda smoky. Very nice. I was suprised, because their low end shiraz is for shite.

7) 2002 El Chapparal Old Vines Grenache, Navarra
Caught this one at a wine bar in Dallas called 'The Wine Therapist'. He was showing a flight of Spanish, and this is the one I liked the best. Sucker for Grenache, what can I say? This was much less dense then the Grenache from Aussieland, with bright red fruit and black pepper spice. A touch of licorice on the finish. Tasty.

8)2001 La Crema Pinot Noir
After a long lovely day of touring the Dallas Blooms garden and flirting with bartenders and wine merchants, we were in the mood for great big hunks of animal flesh. Of to Tejas De Brazil Chiarascuria, where our waiter turned out to be the thick-accented sommelier. For our first round, he brought us a 375 of this one, and it did not fight with any of the salads, cheeses or soups we tried before the meat came. Nice black cherry fruit, decent structure, a little smoke on the nose.

The problem with having tasted so many wines in one day is, of course, lack of judgement, and also a sense that one has an unlimited budget, and that, because one is on a 'vacation', one is entitled to spend at will. And so we have:

9)1998 Poggio Salvi Brunello Di Montalcino
Okay. I was a little lightheaded. I can't even blame it on the sommelier; he wanted to show us a Chianti Classico. But noooo, I had to be Little Mrs. Bigspender, didn't I?
But I was not disappointed.
Oh, jeez...after twenty minutes in the decanter (I had him pour only half the bottle) this Brunello is already rich with promise. Deep black pepper over layer upon layer of roasted fruit. Made the meat on my plate beg for mercy, saying: "Please, let us bask in the seductive waves of gorgeous flavor before you swallow!"
Okay, that's over the top. But I haven't even gotten to the desert wine...

10)1999 Far Niente Dolce
When reason has left the building, and one is too full for mischief, the time is right for the wine they call 'Liquid Gold'. Oh, sweet Botrytis. So ugly, yet so divine. It seems pointless to sit here and write 'apricots, honey, white flowers...' You just have to try it yourself. If the Lord Above said, "Damn, I'm really in the mood for something sweet," this is what the cherubim would scramble for.

So there you are, a four day binge's worth of wine.

Oh, yeah, the Cotes Du Rhone I'm drinking now. It's very good. The man who vinted it died recently in a car crash, this was his last vintage, and those "in the know", I'm told, are trying to get a hold of a bottle.

Life is short. Drink only good wine.

Cheers.

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