From the cellar: Another in the big guns we’re pulling out this week. A gift. A gift! I am ready to receive more gifts! I guess that’s what it’s like as staff down at the Wine Advocate, one gift after another. Which is maybe why this scored 95 points? Oh, yes, it was good, darn good. It was mellow not majestic, with a deep and lingering note of beauty. There was a lovely berry nuance on first blush, some leathery, smoky notes, and a woodsy finish. There was also, I think, too much acid. And without knowing beforehand the “expert” opinion, I would rate this in the high 80s, 90 tops, although the Spectator crowd rated it much higher. Really wonderful versatile red. But not the red of your dreams. Not the red you dream Brunello will be. Not the red your pocketbook has budgeted, that’s for sure.
With lamb shanks: Marinated in wine and vegetables and spices overnight; braised in leeks, shallots and carrots in wine and stock; served with sautéed apple and a reduced sauce with dried apricots, raisins, figs and dates. Quite frankly, the dish was beyond the wine. Just over the top good. I hate to say this but I kept thinking Aussie Shiraz, top-heavy California Cab Sauv, one of those spectacular Riojas that make their way to the government liquor system here. In short, the lamb cried out for a little more bang for the buck. Sorry to weigh in on the negative. What’s the old MadTV sketch? Lower Expectations…
Price: As I say, gifted, and I would love a gifted wine cellar, but this was in fact a birthday gift, a one off, although I would imagine close to $80 at BCL.
Market Liquidity: Top tier but not the top.