||And all the usual nonsense from the BloodyPulpit:
Dehlinger Syrah: This struck me as one of the better Dehlinger Syrahs I've
had, more depth and extraction then some in the past. To me, the Dehlinger
Syrah often tastes like a Syrah made by a Pinot producer. This tasted like
a Syrah made by a Syrah producer. Beautiful wine.
Harlequin Syrah: www.harlequinwine.com : This is a tiny operation up in
the Seattle that makes WashState wines and Oregon Pinots. Owned by Elizabeth
Cook and Robert Goodfriend. Robert is one of my special long-time friends
from the days he owned a restaurant in SantaFe; a very talented chef and
obviously an equally talented winemaker. I had this Syrah over a yr ago
and was pretty impressed by it. A years age has made me even more impressed.
A very terroir-driven wine and one that I expect to age very well. His
Cabernet is also most impressive. Elizabeth & Robert's son, Alexander,
as cute a little bug as you'd ever see, is struggling for well over a year
w/ aplastic anemia. Details are at www.geocities.com/alexandernevers.
Chateau Russol: Not a very well-liked wine at this tasting because of the
paucity of fruit it showed. But I found it quite an interesting wine and
very much terroir-driven. It's a good example of making a wine that's huge
& extracted but still not obliterating the terroir. It'll be interesting
to see if it ages into something interesting. When I was growing up (well...
not yet there, but when I was much younger), we had about 10 old black
walnut trees on our property in suburban KansasCity. It was my responsibility
to pick up the walnuts as they fell to the ground. As I was more interested
in shooting hoops down the street, I didn't always show much responsibility
for this chore. So they would often lie on the ground into winter. My Mom
would finally get fed up w/ my dwaddling and make me go out, clad only
in my skivvies, get down on my hands & knees, with a foot of snow on
the ground, and complete the harvest. I'd have these black stains on my
knees and hands from the slimey walnut hulls for months, not to mention
the frostbitten extremities. In the late summer, whilst the walnuts were
still green, us neighborhood kids would get into these brutal walnut fights.
More than once, I'd take a heavy hit to the head... which probably explains
a lot of things. Used to be great fun to sit atop the outhouse, pick the
walnuts off the tree, and heave them at the Utter's goats next door, and
listen to them bray when they'd take a hit. The smell on our hands from
those green walnut oils in the hulls is exactly what this wine smelled
like. You had to have been there to relate.
Durell '97: This is a wine that has set in the distributor's warehouse
for around 3 yrs, plus almost a yr on the shelf at WholeFoods. Though not
a bad wine; it didn't deliver the level of excitement I expest from an
older EdStJ Syrah. I think it probably suffered from its indifferent storage
Durell '91: This wine DID deliver the excitement I expect from an older
EdStJ Syrah. I had dinner w/ Steve Edmunds, Stu Yaniger, and respect spouses
at Baywolf last Friday. I thought I'd take Steve's '91 Durell to see how
it was doing. Turns out, Steve brought exactly the same wine, en magnum
(do great minds think alike or what?). So we used Steve's btl & I schlepped
this btl back home & put it in this tasting. It delivered the goods.
I don't think it showed the same level of fruit that the magnum did, but
it was pretty impressive.
Three Birds: Named after the three graduates of Pomona College (Sage Hens),
Mike, Kendall, and Jay. Knowing Mike Officer's winemaking style, I was
expecting a wine slanted toward the big Alban style of Grenache. It is
not. It is a very polished/well-made Grenache with loads of spicy fruit.
Carlisle Petite: This was the one that got a huge RP score and was very
highly sought. It's a big blockbuster wine but much more fruit than most
PSs. It even reminds me a bit of the Ridge YC PS '71 in its youth. It'll
be fun to watch this evolve. Alas, only one more btl. But there's a fair
amount of other btls here in LosAlamos, so I'll see it from time to time
Getting snookered: Howard knew I would feel the CdP embossing on the bottle
under the sock, so he decanted it into a German Rhine btl. Highly unethical
behavior I thought. No doubt, relying on a subtle visual clue, I identified
it as young German spatburgunder or Alsatian Pinot. Once my mind settled
on that, I was locked into that guess. All the brett should have been a
tipoff on an older Beaucastel. Just goes to show... can't trust them chemists!!
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