The weekend in wine…

2007 Tablas Creek Esprit de BeaucastelMy brother was in town visiting the last weekend and not that I necessarily planned it but we ended up drinking a number of really nice wines. I haven’t formalized my tasting notes but wanted to share while the memory is fresh in my mind.

2006 Belle Glos Weir Vineyard Pinot NoirIt started with the 2007 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel which I picked up as a birthday present for myself late last year. I put this one in the decanter for an hour or so while I cooked up some nice steaks…okay I admit I snuck a glass while cooking and oh boy! This wine was bold, striking and yet refined and elegant. Excellent now, I would love to see what this one is like in another few years. If I could only afford a case!

Next up was the 2006 Belle Glos Weir Vineyard Pinot Noir which was recommended by Rick’s Wine Cellar when I stopped in on my way to the Tavern at Lark Creek for dinner on Saturday night. Rick’s has a free corkage list that applies there and at many other restaurants throughout southern Marin, if you are local be sure to check it out! As for the wine, it was excellent. No tasting notes to report but a perfect complement to my braised pork shank and the evening overall.

1996 Navarro Pinot Noir Methode AlancienneWhich leads us to Easter Sunday when we headed down to my father-in-law’s. He always has some nice wine around and I always get to pick’em. A while a go, after visiting the winery (part of his Swiss connections) he came home with a case of the 2008 Michel-Schlumberger Pinot Blanc. The case is almost gone as this is such an easy choice to start the holidays with. To call it clean and simple sells this short as it delivers much more than that. While the lamb was roasting I headed downstairs to the wine cellar where in addition to his stash I have my wine cellared. I ended up pulling out the 1996 Navarro Pinot Noir Methode Alancienne. I’ve long pondered what to do with this bottling as this is (was) the earliest in my vertical that dates to the present day. Putting those thoughts on hold I brought it upstairs and opened it up. Given it was 2+ hours until dinner I decided to leave it in the bottle. In hindsight I wish I would have put it in the decanter. The wine was certainly still all there, nice fruit and balance but it was tight throughout and the last few sips showed me what it could have been. This wine was drinking at its peak with proper care. Drat! I could use a mulligan on that one. That said it was still super enjoyable.

Well, needless to say, my weekday wines haven’t been all that gratifying the last few days. Thanks for letting me share. How about you? Did you drink anything good this past weekend? If so, I would love to hear about it!

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5 thoughts on “The weekend in wine…

  1. I’m been consistently impressed by Tablas Creek whenever I’ve had their wines. Perhaps not the top of the end wine some people are expecting, but a nice combination of price/quality….value which is what everyone seems to want right now.

  2. Tablas Creek is a fantastic winery to visit to enjoy a tasting and a picnic lunch in their gardens. Their wines, however, are a little too dry and feminine for me–they just don’t speak to me. I have the same problem with Siduri and Novy wines in that they can earn WS 92′s and WA 93′s, but they still don’t taste right to me. Ho-hum

    Getting back on point per Jason’s query, I shared a wonderful 2006 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir from Annapolis Winery (gift from my wife when she recently visited Sea Ranch nearby) with close friends over an Easter dinner of grilled marinated lamb chops, roasted golden beets, spinach and artichoke dip stuffed mushrooms and herb pumpernickel crisps. This terrific wine had vibrant flavors of cinnamon, clove, cherry and toasted oak. Very special and registering an amazingly smooth 15.5 % alcohol.

  3. @Mark I’ve enjoyed the Tablas Creek wines I’ve had as well, only wish they were cheaper as even their entry level offerings are a stretch for my price range. Hard for me to think of them as value wines given that but I can say I have never regretted purchasing them!

    @Danny I’ve never been to Tablas Creek, one of these days! Sorry to hear their style of wines don’t agree with you. As for the Sonoma Coast Pinot I am a big fan of the area. The 15.5% would have made me nervous, glad it came across smooth! Happy drinking this weekend as well…

  4. My brother & I went to the SF Vintner’s Market last Saturday and man, did I overdo it!
    (Next time, more water and rinse & spit)
    4 hours and we still didn’t get to everything

    So many good wines from mostly small producers and some decent values as well, but mostly in the $10-20+ range. The Austrailan wines from Groon Wines and Old Bridge Cellars (retailer) had a lot of yummy flavor without being over-the-top and the South African wines of Cape Ardor were delicious (The Sauvignon Blanc was especially good).

    Probably one of the most interesting wines there was the 2008 Jason-Stephens Estate Chardonnay (!). It was buttery without being oaky, only spending the last 2 months in barrels. Fascinating! This is a Chardonnay I could drink and y’all might like too.
    Can’t believe I liked a Chardonnay ; )

    Being the Wierd White Wine Geek that I am,
    I ended up buying:
    2009 Long Gamma Sonoma County White Wine:
    60% Sauvignon Blanc, 25% Viognier and 15% Gewurtraminer (Show price: $10)
    Bright, yummy and soooo drinkable:

    2009 Y. Rousseau Old Vines Colombard Russian River Valley (30 yr. old vines, show price:$16)
    Classical French in style, smooth & delicious.
    Mr. Rousseau is a lovely man and quite passionate about this wines:

    And recently at Trader Joe’s, no tasting notes to share as things have been a little hectic.
    However, the Petit Reserve San Luis Obispo Viognier($7) came in last night and hopefully we’ll have the Albarino soon. Several new Spanish wines as well as another Malbec should be showing up any day now.
    (Thanks for doing the Freakout)

  5. @Angela I so wanted to go to the SF Vintner’s Market but couldn’t free up my schedule. Sounds like it was great! You did pick up some interesting offerings indeed. I’ve added them to my memory bank for wines to be on the lookout for!

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