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TN: More wine notes

Florida Jim

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2000 Constant, Cabernet Sauvignon:

This maker got big props from Jim Laube prior to the release of its first wine and then little reception from the Napa cab-aholics once it was available. Well, it ain’t bad. I’m not rushing out to buy it but aside from a little toast it’s a pretty cab/cab franc/merlot nose with enough nuance to make me want to taste it. On the palate it’s balanced and not overly alcoholic, a touch closed, moderate in both intensity and concentration and finishes pretty grippy. 14.1% alcohol and showing a bit young but not the horror that I’d been told nor the second coming as per Laube. If you’re pouring, I’ll have another glass, please.

2001 Bouchard, Volnay Caillerets Cuvée Ancien blah, blah . . .:

There is good fruit here; nothing that says Caillerets but solid stuff – and an avalanche of oak. It starts with just some on the nose and a bit on the palate but the longer this was open the worse it got. By the third day, completely undrinkable and DNPIM. The wood obscures the fruit, overwhelms the palate and dries out the finish. Bad winemaking.

2007 Edmunds St. John, Bone Jolly Gamay Witters Vnyd.:

Turn laughter into liquid; add a dash of raspberry juice and a splash of tonic water; bottle it and serve slightly chilled. Yummy!

2007 Arca Nova, Vinho Verde:

A lovely drop, this. Smells of river rocks, unripe pears and a lightly herbaceous tone (nothing green – more like fresh picked marjoram); a delicate spritz, quite dry, gentle flavors that follow the nose and a clean, medium length finish. 10.5% alcohol, $8 and exactly what I want from this DOC. Drink now.

2005 Pieropan, Soave Calvarino:

Diane made a dish of white beans, broth, chard, onions, garlic, bacon and red pepper flakes and served it with fococcia – I thought this had the backbone and stuffing to pair. Very good, indeed, and certainly my benchmark for fine garganega.

1999 Paitin, Barbaresco Sori’ Paitin VV:

Smells of nebbiolo, chocolate and insecticide (in a good way); rich and tannic in the mouth, quite primary but plusher than I’d have expected so it wasn’t harsh but simply undeveloped; tannic finish. Great pizza wine (I realize that “pizza wine” is usually saved for quaffers but I rather like my very best bottles with pizza). Of course, I was warned off this wine as late as last week by folks in the know, but that didn’t stop me. Yes, it could use a decade or two but I enjoyed it, Diane asked for more and it went great with dinner. Hence my pronouncement (in my humble attempt to catch the wave), “drink or hold.”

Best, Jim


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