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WTN: A few recent reds


Jean Brislance
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Catching up on a few recent red wines...

2002 Red Car “Some Like It Red” – This blend is different than the Cab Franc dominated 2001 bottling. The 2002 is a seemingly unusual blend of 75% Syrah, 22% Pinot Noir, and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. The color is an inky dark red. The nose shows plenty of dark fruit, with some strawberry-rhubarb jam, vanilla, and a little heat. Flavors are of dark fruit, blueberry, strawberry, licorice, and just a wee bit of coffee. The texture is initially smooth and viscous. Then some tannins make their presence known on the finish, as does some alcoholic heat. Seems like it is a little wild, untamed, and out of balance right now with the heat being distracting, and may need some time to settle down. Overall, I do like this better than the 2001, though.

2001 La Casenove "La Garrigue" Cotes du Roussillon - Recently I made a chicken fricassee dish from a Patricia Wells cookbook. She suggested pairing it with a "fruity Beaujolais." Since I have none of that, I thought I would at least go with something rustic and French! I've had this one a couple of times before, and it pretty much mimics what I have said in the past. The nose is really beautiful, with dusty, floral, perfumed berry characteristic. Black cherry, berry, spice, and some dusty notes on the palate. Very flavorful, and it holds my interest. Soft tannins, decent acidity, and paired quite nicely with the chicken dish. This wine and the '02 Planeta La Segreta Rosso are easily my favorite bargain choices of the year. Just perfect as a daily drinker. The "La Garrigue" is a blend of 35% Grenache, 35% Carignan, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre.

2001 Murphy-Goode Zinfandel “Liar’s Dice” – Consumed last Thursday night while getting yelled at by Dickie V during the NBA Draft. Dark purple-red in color. Nose of jammy berry, vanilla, and some white pepper. Flavors are extremely ripe, showing a medley of wild berries, some dark fruit, vanilla, and spice. The texture is initially quite smooth with fine tannins, and then the tannins show a little bit of grip towards the finish. The finish itself is long and flavorful with plenty of fruit and spice. A fairly primary Zinfandel, but still a tasty one that would be a crowd-pleaser at a party.

All the best,

Jean

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