Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Decisions, decisions...

As is the case almost any time we open up a bottle of wine, there's always the question "Which one? What are you in the mood for?"  Doug has labeled me the "wine warden" - & he's right - because I don't always want to open up a special bottle on, oh, a Wednesday night. 

Not that I'm hating on Wednesdays, mind you, but I'm sure you get my drift.

It's gotten to the point in our house that we have a bit of a challenge.  We have quite a bit of wine - if I were to guess how much, I'd say about 80-90 bottles.  Not a tremendous amount, but for 2 people, I'd say that's a decent amount.  The challenge is that we have a lot of really great bottles, some that would be good for 3rd or 4th (or 5th, 6th...) bottles when we have company, & very few bottles that are perfect for a regular Wednesday night.  You know, those go-to under $20 bottles that you really like, can get plenty of anytime, & won't be tragic if the bottle isn't finished at the end of the night. (This rarely happens.)  I know, I know...quite a predicament, & we're going to work on that.

We also have quite a few bottles that have been signed by the winemaker, & I'm sort of a geek with them.  I tend to hang on to them like an 8-year old boy hangs on to a baseball card.  Really.  Which leads us to tonight...

A few months ago, we went to this absolutely fantastic blind tasting "class" with Siduri/Novy winemaker Adam Lee at the St. Louis Wine Market.  I loved every second of this thing (if you don't count the woman that doused herself in perfume & insisted on flitting about the entire room), & perhaps one day I'll get around to writing about it before I forget it.  But not tonight.  Anyway, we bought a bottle of wine that night - the very rare - as in only 94 cases made - 2009 Novy Family Winery Zinfandel - Carlisle Vineyard from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma -  & had Adam sign it...which means that Doug had to guilt me into opening it with "What, he signed it, so now we'll never, ever drink this wine?"

Point taken.  Bottle opened.

Let me summarize by saying this: WOW.  But I'll go into a little more detail.

Did you know that there's a full 1% leeway on alcohol content? Yep, it's true.  So, the label says this Zin clocks in at 15.3%, which is pretty damn high.  Let's not even think about the possibility that it could be 16.3...not that I'm scared.  From the initial nose on this wine, I'd say that it's at least 15.3 - it was pretty hot at first.  But as it usually does with a good bottle of wine, this blows off & you get it.  In this case, the alcohol gave way to very lovely baking spice-filled aromas. 

On the palate, this wine screams luscious dark fruit with cinnamon, & an almost chocolate-like finish. The alcohol, while high, is very well-integrated, in my opinion.  A great Zin, but not necessarily an in-your-face one.  I'd venture to say that it's somewhat restrained.  Just somewhat.  I'm just really digging this wine.  And it just keeps getting better as time goes on.  This is a fairly young wine, & while I would've loved to have held on to it for a bit longer (say, 2-3 years),  I'm glad I'm drinking it now. 

Well, except that I can't run out & get another bottle.  They're probably all sold.  I could get really bummed out about that, but why?  I still have some left in the bottle, & it's not yet bedtime.


UGA Wino said...

Yep. Totally understand. The daily drinkers tend to get consumed quickly and before you know it, you're stuck with the the high dollar stuff that you just can't bear to open with burgers or a pizza. The agony! :-)

NHwineman said...

Claire, I enjoyed this post so much!
I tend to love Russian River wines, and it seems to me that I had a very nice Rodney Strong RR Zin that was very good too.
I'm getting that drink now "quality" wine thing too.
I have a few signed bottles, and like you guys I don't want to open them.

Danny said...

RRV wines are great! I am a huge fan of the Pinots(Gris and Noir) from that area. The Zins, especially from Chalk Hill sub AVA, are really good wines. Chalk Hill also makes some pretty good Chardonnay in the Burgundian style.