Friday, September 19, 2008

Back in the Saddle

I am finally back at my computer to talk about wine. We spent two weeks in Tuscany, and had a great time. More about that in a future post. Last night we shared a post blackout grill out with another couple who had meat that needed to be cooked. We had blackberry marinated pork chops, Caesar salad, garlic basil cous cous and mixed vegetables. Now for the wines, we started with a Brut rose from Shramsberg, a 2005 called Querencia (proceeds from this wine go to a fund that supports agricultural land preservation). This is a salmon colored sparkler composed of 82% chardonnay and 18% Pinot noir. It is a refreshing wine with hints of red and green apple and just a touch of citrus. All in all a great way to come down from a hectic day. With our meal we opened first a bottle of Papapietro Perry Russian River Zinfandel 2005. Papapietro is a great bridge producer for my wife and I because they make both great Pinot Noirs and great Zinfandels. The F\first is my favorite grape and the second is my wife's favorite, though even she likes their Pinot Noirs. Back to last night though, this was great Zin, big and bold, with currant and blackberry and hints of smoke and chocolate. It developed nicely in the glass and paired very nicely with the pork chops. One more word about Papapietro, I have found that these wines benefit from at least one additional year in the bottle after release, it is worth the wait, they become more complex and elegant with the additional bottle ageing. We then opened a bottle of Kay Brothers Amery Hillside Shiraz 2000. This one had enough power to follow the Papapietro, it was big and jammy, yet had developed sophistication with age and provided black and blue fruit notes and was surprisingly low in alcohol at 14.1%, very nice. Finally I got carried away and opened a bottle of Beeren Auslese from a producer I was not familiar with called Kafer Munchen from 1999. This was a nice bottle of wine, with a honeyed nuttiness, while not cloyingly sweet. All in all it was a great night with good company and good food and wine.

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