Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Old Aquaintences and Tuesdays

Today was a personal holiday, meaning that there comes a point where one needs to get away from work and make the day totally your own.

There were zero plans other than one errand and to watch whatever the Olympics had to offer, but that changed with a 10:00 AM phone call informing me that the local market managed to locate a bottle of wine in which I had expressed an interest. The only 'must do' thing on the schedule was to buy dog food to keep Scott and Ellie happy, and since the pet store is nearly next door to the market there was no reasons not to pick up the wine. The wine in question was a 2004 Michel-Schlumberger Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley. More on it in the future. The weather cooperated also as the string of very un-August weather continued with temperatures that finally hit 80 degreees after an overnight low in the mid 50 degree range.

At the market after putting several things in the hand basket I ventured into the wine department. There was a wine distributor there pouring four bottles of wine for the store personnel to sample. I asked one clerk for the bottle I ordered, turned around and immediately recognized that not only was the distributor there, but so was the winery owner. We made eye contact and I asked, "It's Susan, isn't it?"

"Yes, it is," she replied somewhat surprised.

Long story short - a little over two years ago I attended a winemaker's dinner for the Jocelyn Lonen winery from Napa Valley and the owner, Susan Curtis, was there. We drank some wine, ate some decent food and had a nice discussion over the course of an evening. I purchased some of their wine and have added a bottle or two since then.

Once again we got into a nice discussion about wine (and golf) and tasted some very nice wines. My favorite was the regular bottling of the 2005 Cabernet. Good berry and plum fruit, nice tannin and good acid. With a medium weight and a $36 price tag it proved to be a very good wine. The 2004 Founders Reserve ($90) was a very impressive wine and fully flavored, but it was approaching over extraction and near a weight that I find less pleasing. Well made and delicious, but I preferred the regular bottling.

The reverse was true of the two Chardonnays they were pouring. The regular bottling ($25) was a little too buttery, almost bordering on butterscotch. It was from the Carneros region of southern Napa and Sonoma Valleys. The Russian River Valley Reserve ($45) was much more restrained and a much better wine. Sharp and tart and refreshing, it was a wine I liked.

That only left dinner, and that was a small, three rib rack of pork with Italian spices done on the grill. I added a Risotto Milanese with peas and saffron and some roasted carrots. The wine was a Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon. Light and refreshing and not to be taken too seriously. Just a good simple red. It was a good day. And since the Olympics are in progress and seem to be about records I'll just note that this is the 100th post for this blog.

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