From the Cellar

Weird Group of Wines with Ribs and Friends (New Zealand / France / California / Ontario)

12 Dec 2017

(September 18, 2016) ... Here's an interesting night full of friends, interesting wines and a plate of home smoked ribs.

We kicked things off with a bottle of bubbles: Mount Riley 2006 Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc that someone brought over - I am Mt Riley 2006 Sparkling SBsure this was a cellar find that someone was trying to rid themselves of - and what better place to bring it, you know at least it will be tasted. First off the bottle claimed the wine to be 14% alcohol, that seems a little high and out of balance for both a sparkling and Sauv Blanc. The results in the glass with charred green pepper and grilled grapefruit ... it was interesting, but not something we could really get fully behind; but it is good to know what 10 year old sparkling Savvy B becomes.

Lailey 2008 ChardonnayTo clear our palates a bottle of 8 year old Lailey 2008 Brickyard Chardonnay materialized from my wine fridge. The nose had some really interesting elements: toasty oak, candy corn, and spiced lemon; the palate proved to be better than what the nose let on, sure it was toasty with good acidity but also added spiced-lemon and vanilla to a very long finish. It also developed a welcome creaminess with time in glass.

Before moving on to more recent reds I pulled a bottle of 2000 Les Vignerons d'Estézargues Côtes du Rhône Terra Vitis ... someone in attendance described it as tasting like an old Pinot Noir: light but still retaining fruit elements with good acidity while dried red fruit and cedar dominated.  Fun to taste but not a show stopper.

Marc Kreydenweis 2005I remember once purchasing 6 bottles of this bargain Rhone red: Marc Kreydenweiss 2005 Barbabelle, this is my last bottle and now 11 years from vintage date: tarry and leathery with dried cherry and blackberry plus plenty of smoky and woodsy notes all leading to a spicy finish. It didn't start off too keenly but it was worth the wait to drink it.

Villa Mt EdenA 12 year old Villa Mt Eden 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, Grand Reserve from Napa was next on the agenda and it brought about some raised eyebrows, there was an elegance here with dark fruit and red plum notes along with mocha, anise and drying tannins on the finish. Not fresh but certainly far from dead.

Estencia ZinIt would not be a rib night without me being able to pull out a Zinfandel, and this Estancia 2008 Zinfandel, Paso Robles, Keyes Canyon Ranches was tonight's guest star: plum and black cherry led things off while the wine still shows a lovely freshness with good acidity and spice ... the alcohol seemed a little low for a Zin at only 13.5%, but I'll gladly take a balanced Zin over something over-blown with alcohol and jammy fruit - and it paired beautifully with those ribs.

 

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