Thursday, November 17, 2011

Off the Wall

Interesting wine the other night, a 200 Humanitas Malbec with a Schlumberger Bench designation in Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley. Since there aren't a tremendous number of Malbec based wine from California this one was worth a shot.

Humanitas is an interesting winery run by the (now) former manager and former winemaker of Michel Schlumberger, hence the Schlumberger Bench designation.  The winery and estate were sold last week and the new owners replaced the wine making team and the management.  A good portion of the profits from the Humanitas wines are donated to charity.

The wine had an interesting brick color to it.  The aromas were pretty much tart, red cherries and raspberries. The first sip was tannic but fruity,  medium weight red fruit with good tannin gripping the sides of the tongue.  Halfway through the first mouthful some vegetable characteristics began to make a statement.  There was a definite green edge to the wine.  While it can be a detriment if there's too much of it, this added to the wine's appeal for me.  It wasn't overly ripe and tasting of jam or jelly.  The vegetable inferences just made the wine a little more complex.  There wasn't tremendous length to the finish, but it was more than suitable for the wine; the same with the acid.

The weather is still holding here so there was a small steak from the grill and some pan roasted potatoes.  The wine and the steak were very good together as the acid and tannin stood up to the flavors of the meat.  Nice combination and a good wine.

$30 and 14.4% alcohol

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