Archive for October 29th, 2013

October 29, 2013

Osoyoos Larose, Le Grand Vin, 2006

059From the cellar: The wine literati rarely return to the scene of their crimes, er, predictions.  Perhaps every wine they claim has legs to stay the course should be put in the vault to test the assumption.  This expensive vintage certainly didn’t merit the wait.  The “from the cellar” category on this blog is an attempt to reconcile recommended drinking with recommended wines.  It’s taking years.  With a release review that it could last well into the mid teens, the 06 Larose was a tepid competitor to less costly reds with finer grace and more complexity that we’re corking (or unscrewing) from in and around the same vintage.  Again and again, Spain, the “New World” (i.e., Chile and Argentina) and (with shocking consistency) Washington reds, are trumping the “cellar keeps” we’ve been documenting, opening as per the “advocates” and comparing against original reviews.  Time did not tame the beast.


In truth, it drank decent.  It drank OK.  It drank like a C+, a good red, but lacked even the elemental surprise of what the (often dismal) 05 Bordeaux’s came out into the decanter seven years later.  Liquorice, tobacco, dark fruit, a burnt-Christmas pudding piquant-ish after taste, a whopping 69% Merlot but not a whiff of vanilla left.  To call this wine a keeper is to akin to giving Kissinger the Nobel Peace Prize: He goes down in history as a laureate, but was there no one else in the running more worthy?


NB: Kermit Lynch, one of my wine gurus, had a fitting interview in the New York Times on October 20, 2013 which spelled out all my discontent with this bottle and in fact (although a little cranky) speaks for millions of wine lovers/wine drinkers on price, alcohol content and the overbearing point system.  Essentially, he says it best.  Read it yourself.


Price: A ridiculous $45 in 2008 with a review to keep, keep, keep.


Market Liquidity: Remember when Borg tried a comeback with a wooden racquet?  ‘Nuff said.

October 29, 2013

Sonoma-Cutrer, Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, 2011

060Too much money for not enough wine but wonderful wine nonetheless.  That’s not what you read in wine reviews because reviewers don’t pay after tax dollars for wine but as much as we liked this white—particularly its steely Chablis-ishness and its near-addictive mineral finish—we just couldn’t stomach the $24 USD (which converts to Canadian at $30).


I think it could drink well with Chinese.  I mean that as a compliment.  Would wash down any Asian food a tad on the greasy side.  But it could saddle up nice to salmon or artisanal cheese as you would expect.  If you were thinking Sauv Blanc you could pass this off instead.  As an aperitif, it was lovely.  It has much more flexibility than the regular run of the mill and dominant chards of your everyday California sort, isn’t cloying or drowned in oak-fiber or overflowing in that faux garden potpourri we’ve witnessed in plonk at parties.  But it lacks the refinement and even excitement of, say, the Grgich Hill we had last week and leans toward an acid tang, not the butterscotch lushness of a cru Burgundy.


Price: $24 USD.


Market Liquidity: When second best will do.