Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Plant That Could

After five days of nearly continuous rain in this area the slow moving front is finally to the east.  The rain stopped just before noon today.  It's much worse to the south and the rain was needed here, but five days was more than enough.

The resident canine and I ventured out to the Great Miami river late this morning and discovered this solitary sunflower growing on the remains of an old bridge piling in the middle of the river.  The only soil there is river mud and sand and the piling is far enough from shore that it has to be a volunteer plant.  The seed had to have been left sometime this spring by a bird who obtained it from a well stocked, backyard feeding station in the area. I'm sure it comes as a surprise to the river gulls who frequent the piling.  Given a chance - life takes hold. 

The other two photos are a wildflower on the shore and a shot looking north along the river.  Five days of heavy rain and things look like spring again.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Day Two

The second half of the bottle of Staglin (see the post below) only lasted a day under vacuum seal.  There was a roast chicken and the wine was just too good to ignore.

There was only a slight degradation from the first day and the wine was still delightful.  The only thing different was the tannins were a wee bit softer and that was probably a good thing with the chicken.   Just an outstanding wine.  

Sunday, August 7, 2016

1996 - 2006 - 2016

A small piece of beef grilled over oak wood was the perfect foil for a 1996 Staglin Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford in the Napa Valley. 1996 was a vintage preceding the heralded 1997 vintage in Napa and gets overlooked, but it is hard to overlook this wine. 

In 2006 I attended a retrospective tasting at a local merchant who bought a substantial amount of Napa cabernets from the 1996 vintage.  They held the wines for ten years in perfect conditions and then offered them to the folks attending the tasting at the original  offering price.  For the Staglin that was $65.  I purchased my allotted two and brought them home.  Yesterday was a beautiful evening following a long stretch of high temperatures and high humidity in this area.  It was time for good, red wine.

The cork was not in the best of shape, but came out in two pieces with minimal crumbling, though the wine was poured through a strainer to remove some of the floating small bits.  The color was a medium garnet, showing some fading at the edges.  It was crystal clear and beautiful.  The bouquet was beautiful, a bit of fruit, a bit of oak and a bit of mint.  One sip was all it took to decide the wine was at a perfect point and was a perfect mix of dark cherries with highlight of red cherries.  The tannin were soft and enveloping and gave the wine its structure.  The finish was long and mellow and at the very end was bone dry.  This wine was a pleasure to drink.

1996 Staglin Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.  13.8% alcohol.  I was unable to find an auction price for this vintage but the current vintage price is above $200. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016


The best thing about this bottle of 2015 Vega Sindoa Garnacha Rose was the label.  It's a one dimensional wine that was flat and sweet.  Thank heaven it was only $10 wasted.  Previous vintages of this wine have been modest and drinkable.  This one wasn't. 

That said it was a hit with the part of the crowd that likes fruity soft drinks. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

August Sunrise

After the sunset (pictured below) comes the sunrise (pictured above).  One is all orange and fiery and the other is soft and pink.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2016