Saturday, March 15, 2008

The results...

Last night, I opened a 1/2 bottle of Franciscan Oakville Estates 'Magnificat' 2002. I decided to let it sit in the bottle and try it again today. You can see the last entry for more details if you are interested.

Still has a beautiful nose today. I also just poured part of it into my decanter, so we'll see how that holds up.

This wine has really opened up and evened out. Still has a dusty tannic character, but the fruit and other flavors are able to show through. It is a much easier wine to drink now. It really still needs a medium rare ribeye, though. Lots of spice on the finish, which is still very long.

Rating: I'll probably Love It in about 5 years.

Is it magnificent???

Tonight, I opened a 375ml bottle of 2002 Franciscan Oakville Estate 'Magnificat' from Napa Valley. Named after Bach's vocal composition, which takes it's text from the Gospel of Luke, the canticle of Mary. This wine is a Meritage blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec.

Nice red with a brick-colored tint. Very earthy on the nose. Starting to pick up a little vegetable on the nose. BIG tannins! I mean Shaquille O'Neil big. Definitely should have decanted this one. I really wish I had a nice ribeye to tone this one down. I also have a 2003 bottle of this wine. I'm not even going to try it for at least 3-4 more years +. I am picking up nice fruit and a huge finish. 1-2 minutes and then some. Way at the end, it starts get almost pine-y tasting to me. The tanins up front on this one are so overpowering, I really can't deduce much more. I'm going to let this one sit and try it again tomorrow.

Rating:????? Stay tuned!

As I sat here tonight typing this, the glass is probably 18" away from my face and this wine smells incredible! I think it should mellow out well. I can't wait for tomorrow!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

OK, now this is different...

I love finding new wines that are unique, almost esoteric. That would be today's case. One of my vendors brought me a wine today that I had neither seen nor heard of. The wine is made by Zonte's Footstep, a winery in Australia, located just southeast of Adelaide in Southern Australia. This is Australia's oldest wine growing region, and was long an area known for currants. Anyway, this Langhorne Creek concoction is a blend of Shiraz/Viognier. I honestly don't remember if it was a 2006 or 2007. I don't have the botle any longer. So...Shiraz=Red Wine, Viognier=White Wine. How do you think this is going to work out? They ferment the varietals separately, so the Viognier finishes first. Then they take the skins of the Viognier and toss them onto the Shiraz that is still working. The result really comes out in the nose and the taste of the wine.

Ruby Red in color. If you were blindfolded and smelled the wine, you would swear that it was a white wine. The nose is so powerful that direction. Very fruity on the front end-big fruit. Then, as if someone flipped a switch and the Shiraz says, "Don't mess around with this white wine! I'm coming through!" Then you get the peppery shiraz finish. It really rips fruit on the front then backs off, but not all the way, and actually comes through with a long, pleasant finish.

Rating: Love It (probably because it is so unique...and I'm into that.)

"Sparkling Muscatel. One of the finest wines of Idaho."
Waiter in The Muppet Movie(1979)



Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Power Players from Down Under

We had some regulars in for dinner tonight, so I cracked open a couple of nice bottles for them to try. Of course, I had to taste them myself as well, and I thought, "I should post these on the wine blog!" So here we are. My 'Assistant Wine Tasters' tonight are Sarah (bartender/server-aka "The Better Sarah"...), Crystal (server/bartender-look for her coming to a baseball stadium near you this summer!), and Adam (King of the Kitchen). So here we go:

Tir Na N'og is Gaelic for "Land of the Youth". You could describe this wine as the United Nations of Wine--It is an Australian wine made by an Irish wine maker, in a traditional European style.

Inky, plum-ish red. Fruity nose. Nice balance. Peppery on the end of a long finish. This was the favorite of Crystal and Sarah. Adam felt it was good but a little generic. This was after Crystal finally stopped whining and got a glass to taste with... How long has she worked here?

Rating: Love it!!!

2004 Rosemount Show Reserve GSM (Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre)
Rosemount is a large Australian producer that typically does a nice job across the board on their wines. One of my top wine values of all time is their Diamond Label Shiraz. It's hard to beat for the money and has appeal across the board. Anyway, back to the GSM...

Nice deep red color (dark red brick). Picking up a little cinnamon on the nose. Very nice...maybe a bit more complex than the Tir Na N'og. A little more 'green' or tart, but very well balanced. Again has some spice on the end that builds as the rest of the flavors fade away fairly quickly. Sarah says that it pairs well with the Six-Pepper Beef we serve and Adam enjoyed it with the Roasted Garlic Chicken (both were cooked on our new Scandinavian grills-check out the myspace page for more details) Adam commented on the clean finish. Crystal liked it (after she stopped whining about not having a glass...).

Rating: Love It!!!

If you get a chance to come in to Simply Fondue, ask about our new Scandinavian Grill cooking style. It's a little heathier and very flavorful!

Programing note: I have found what I believe may be one of the coolest video blogs on the web. It's called Wine Library TV. Hosted by a guy named Gary Vaynerchuk, it is a straightforward approach to wine tasting. He does 5 shows per week and there is a link on the right side of this blog. He has been on Conan O'Brien, Ellen, and Nightline. This dude has a palette like you wouldn't believe. Check him out if you get the chance!

"Wine improves with age. The older I get, the better I like it."