Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by CLE_Greg, Nov 6, 2017.
10-4. Wine is cheap here. Gas not so much. lol
Okay, I'll give Vivino a try. Since my data connections are highly suspect, I'll likely do most of the work at home, also.
Love Barrister. Almost stopped there on our move, but they don't open until noon and that would have put us hitting I-5 at 5. That's a no-go, literally.
We came back with several mixed cases from Spokane/eastern Washington: Barrister, Lake Roosevelt, Cougar Crest, Three Rivers. Good diversion from our usuals. Pretty easy to get swept up into a place when you live in that place.
P.S. You're a westerner now. It's "the 5." lol
"The 5" might not have gravitated this far north. Maybe it's stuck in traffic. Whatever one calls it, WSDOT wants ten bucks to use the left lane in some places, and people pay.
Let's open this and see if it breathes: They're making the serious reds quite tannic in many places out here these days. I wish the label would say that; that tannins (as opposed to malic/lactic) could be easily quantified and made known. I am not good at predicting which wines will age well and when they will be ready. If you open one and it's too tannic, how can you tell if its bin buddies will develop or just fade? In the plus column, sometimes a winery seems to dump something at a bargain price just as it's getting good, possibly because they need the space. I have lucked into that phenom several times, gone back and snapped up a case or two. And I have kept some wines quite successfully, more by luck than any other factor. But these are overbalanced by wines I have kept for years that never improved.
The last time we visited Woodinville, we did a tasting at Gorman, a super premium acid stand. Probably some or maybe all of the wines I tasted will be great someday, and other tasters were making a fuss about this and that, but to me they all tasted unpleasant with perhaps slight hints of better days to come. Paying 75 bucks and waiting 7-10 years didn't seem like a good play, especially not at my age.
Talk of tannin reminds me of Justice Stewart's quip on porn.
Tannin really comes down to from which side of the red spectrum we choose to drink. I don't know if our preference tends to run more toward the Rhone and Burgundy -- but we certainly don't shun Cab or Nebb, for instance -- for the restrained tannins or for the fruit and structure. And folks pushing tannin with powdered extracts ... turn in your wine card. Let. It. Happen. Or not. If nature doesn't provide you still can have a good or even great wine, just not what your head wanted in advance. (In fact, doesn't a good bit of the old world laugh at America's fixation with clones and of trying too much science, trying to force end results, in a realm of immense artistry?)
Aging is a funny animal. How can it be done here in the new world where a few of the things that are key to aging -- low al and high sugar -- are anathema to so many winemakers? I think there is a cachet to aging that afflicts the nodes of wine snobs and wine noobs; the thought coming through pop culture that old dusty bottles are the bomb. And that a wine can sit for a while doesn't mean it by default gets "better." One of the most acclaimed winemakers here in the hills really pushes drinking his Pinots young young young, and I don't believe that is a marketing ploy simply to sell more wine. This isn't scientific but for us, three to six years on a Pinot is about right. We have some going back to the '0xs that are drinking beautifully, and it is time to move them to the front of the cellar, so to say. Rhones and Italian varietals from the inland can step out a bit longer, but it's not essential. One winery has recently released a bunch of its flagship Sangio from the library and dropped the price because they are very upfront that it isn't going to get any better at this point. I admire that in a commercial outfit.
We have a Thursday dinner group, and most folks bring wine. Two of the participants happen to be the largest buyers of wines in our group, and they seem to have the most lax storage regimens. They pop in at times with these wines deep in taint or they're just flat tired and flabby, and go out of their way to highlight the vintage. Their wines mostly sit on the table (it's a bring-and-share group). Again, old can be amazing; old does not by default mean superiority or even good.
We had a 70+-year-old Sauterne at Craftsteak last year. There was quite a flutter around our table when it arrived. The wine was shit. I wasn't just that a few of our palates don't trend that way -- I am not a Sauterne fan -- it had gone around the bend.
Disappointing. Tart, discoloration -- just not what we've come to expect from Fiddlehead. But someone brought this over a while back during a dinner party so we can't attest to how it was cellared up to then.
Interesting. Vivino gives it 4/5 and good reviews. Maybe you just had one that was a bit off/oxygenated.
Some of the other services had it from 3.5-4. But I only know that because the bottle went out with the cleanup and I needed to raid a photo. Ratings are fun, they can be guiding ... then again, you can find at least one auto-rating service or survey that waxes poetic o'er Fiat Chrysler. lol
Six years isn't a lifetime, but ...
It wasn't taint. The color says oxygenation, maybe the tannin balance was off, maybe someone stored it in the garage. Fiddlehead is a noted house. Shit happens. That's why we pop 'em and drink 'em, 'cause you just don't know when a bottle is just resting on its side.
Pinot is a quirky animal. I suppose the lighter the brew, the easier to notice defects. I have not tried laying any down for that reason. I haven't even tasted an old one.
Perhaps those older wines I mentioned were discounted not for the cellar space, but because as you said they weren't going to get any better. I have stared at any number of bottles and wondered the same thing. I got my answers when we drank them all prior to moving out here.
About wines stored in the garage- I lost my 60 degree basement when we moved, so now I'm limited to two small wine fridges. Another reason for care in selection.
There's another name for what your "big buyer" friends are doing. It's called dumping. They opened another one at home and know it's salad dressing, but it gets them in. Still, it beats what some of my friends do. They bring their latest $7.99 "find" to my house, unbidden, and it sits in the bin until I need something to use in a recipe. Were I to open it, the other guests would be subjected to it as well, and that isn't a way to treat guests. Sometimes I just pour it out and recycle the bottle.
Pinot is temperamental, for sure. But as to "the lighter the brew" -- it's easier for natural and unnatural things to occur in an alcohol/residual sugar bomb. I guess with Pinot it is harder to hide flaws, though.
Funny comment on dumping. Maybe it's a positive consequence of living here that no one really tries to pass off a dud or an unknown. When we have a party and someone says, "I'm sorry, but we brought cookies/flowers/a cookbook because we just don't know wine," we give them a big hug. We had that very thing happen with last night's little dinner soiree. It's OK, people, really; I don't give Jordan Spieth putting tips.
Why not? You know enough about the knobby greens at our little pinball parlor to avoid them entirely. Very well informed, I'd say.
Although it is a mountain range away from the action, Pierce County probably has a subculture of informed wine drinkers and gracious, generous hosts and guests. Unfortunately, my invitation got lost in the mail, so I'm squeezing what I can out of this bunch. But oh God, not another cookbook!
Go out to Woodinville. Stand by the turnaround with a sign, "Will cook for wine." Include your address.
2011 was a challenging vintage in Oregon, typified by high acid and low ripeness (note the 13.3 ABV on this wine). Harvest was unusually late that year with a heat spell in October saving it for some. Those that did not wait to harvest late did not get the maturity they wanted. From your description, it sounds to me like this may have been the case, typical quality of Fiddlehead notwithstanding. i suspect this was purchased fruit as i don't think Kathy has vineyard land in OR.
Glad to see you're still around!!
The level of pretentiousness in that little town where no wine grows makes one loath to hazard "the 5". What did I think of the CMS at CSM? Hell, who can recall? I am never sure if C is Cab Sauv or Cab Franc, M is Merlot or Mourvedre, and S is Syrah or Sangiovese. Or maybe something else. Then once they have you neck deep in the acid bath, they pummel your head with "Rhone Blend" and "Classic Bordeaux", and you know they are thinking,"This moron can't tell his Left Bank from his Right." I much prefer one-to-one in a barn amidst the bare vines. Woodinville, around the Hollywood circle in particular, seems to be always in season and always performing. That said, have passport will sample.
Now GSM I get!
We attended two winery pick-up parties yesterday. Such events spike the LADouchebaggery meter in these here parts.
We had a fun lunch here with some friends beforehand. Split pea soup, little gems salad, and grilled asiago, pear and prosciutto sandwiches. The wines for that ...
We had a Seven Twenty Eight and an Alloro tonight.
Sounds like '11 here. A wash out for so many but a few really nailed it.
GSM is better known than CMS but the joke doesn't work. G is always Grenache up here and GSM has no winery anagram far as I know. One of the twentysomethings didn't realize GSM and Rhone Blend can be the same thing. He probably has it down by now. I am hoping that as time passes, more and more of the Woodinville set will acquire the grace that comes with proper aging.
I made a Grenache once from lugs of Cal grapes. That and a Zin. Lugs were made of wood in those days. It taught me a lot. Mostly it taught me to enjoy the fresh juice and leave winemaking to the pros.
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