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WTN: A few from the weekend

Jean Brislance

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Just a few notes from the holiday weekend up at Mom and Dad’s. As always, we had some really good food to go along with these. It goes without saying that all of the wines were probably opened sooner than they should have been, but we were celebrating my birthday this weekend, and I wanted to open them, dammit! :biggrin:

1999 Lewis Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley - Really dark in color, with a nose that screams of Cabernet to me. Lots of dark fruit and cedar. Flavors of currant, dark berry, cedar, chocolate, and a fair amount of oak. But, the oak is really balanced out by the bold fruit. A long and juicy finish. The tannins are still very firm and mouth coating. This still has a lot of life ahead of it, and I am happy to have another bottle on hand. A really nice textbook California Cab, and possibly the best ‘99 I have had. Very good, and perfect with grilled NY strip steaks!

2001 Brancaia “Il Blu” Rosso Toscana - A dark black-purple in color. Nose of blackberry and vanilla, smelling very New World in style. Flavors also of blackberry and vanilla, with some additional notes of coffee, oak, and some minerals. Tannins were really woolly and velvety in the mouth. A little bit of acidity on the finish (more than I thought there would be, actually), along with some really nice fruit flavors. A wine that could no doubt use more cellar time, but was still delicious with a duck ragu over liguini, and a grilled tri-tip.

2000 Numanthia-Termes Toro “Numanthia” - This is the $40 wine with the big gold “N” on the bottle for people (like me :wacko: ) who are really confused by their naming conventions! Really dark, almost entirely black. Nose shows a lot of blackberry, but also some very pretty floral perfume. I am excited because I can use a new flavor descriptor here…thimbleberry (I realize that is obscure, but it was a recent revelation to me…think along the lines of a sweet but tart raspberry), also with flavors of blackberry liqueur, licorice, lots of black pepper, and some oak. Tannins are big and mouth coating at the moment, and the finish is long and flavorful. I will let my last bottle rest for awhile so the tannins can soften a bit. Kind of a fun wine, and it worked well with beef stroganoff.

All the best,


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