Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Bottles - Grosset Gaia 1998

The holidays began quite well, thank you. Christmas Eve dinner was a small affair here before we move on today and throughout the weekend to some family gatherings and parties.

After an appetizer of some large shrimp in the late afternoon we pan seared some thick lamb chops from free range Colorado lamb.  They were crusted with fresh rosemary, thyme and garlic all finely chopped.  There was a baked potato,popped open on the top and finished with sweet butter and black truffle salt, the smell alone enough to send my appetite into over drive.

From the cellar we pulled a bottle that was resting there for about eight years, a Grosset Gaia from the 1998 vintage in the Clare Valley of Australia.  The wine was 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec and checked in at 14% alcohol by volume.  The wine was decanted for about 40 minutes, though a sniff and sip were almost immediate.

The nose was about dark fruit, cassis and blackberries, with just a hint of some herbs.  The taste and the mouth feel were remarkable.  The wine was perfectly balanced with acid, fruit, and tannin and everything was together and singing some great harmony.  The fruit was softly there but not aggressive, the acid was the same.  The wood and grape tannins held everything together and were only noticeable on their own at the very end.  There was a small burst of fruit alongside the tannins and some cinnamon to clear the palate.

There's a word I rarely use when talking about Australian wines, but this wine qualifies.  The wine was "elegant."  While a little more fruit driven than a well aged Bordeaux, it was a more than worthy companion for those wines.   I'm certain that the eleven years of bottle age did this wine proud.  There was a fair amount of sediment clinging to the sides of the bottle so the wine had definitely changed since bottling.  Sadly, this was the last bottle of three of this wine that I purchased for $30 each.  One was consumed immediately and another about five years ago. This was by far the best of the three.

The photo is a stylized rendition of the real item.

No comments: