1999 Brunello De Montalcino

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I’m still getting tomatoes and peppers from my garden so the other night I made a sauce from them, adding into it towards the end of it’s simmer, some heavy cream and cayenne pepper. I also found some black olives in the fridge, left over from a salad, so I diced those up and added them into the mix. The fresh and lovely sauce stuck to the pasta without being thick, and so when I opened this bottle of wine that I’d pulled from the cellar earlier in the day, any and all burdens had been lightened.
The wine aged nicely, not giving up any of it’s boldness or strength. In addition to those qualities it became mellow and gentle. Sophisticated.
When you give certain wines time and proper temperature considerations, when you let them rest, the pay-off is big. This wine was a prime example of such an equation.

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2004 Vincent Girardin, Bourgogne, Cuvee Saint-Vincent, Pinot Noir

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This wine is an old favorite of mine. Practically any of the Vincent Girardin Burgundies are old favorites of mine! I opened this the other night to have with the “Filet Mignon With Stilton and Port Reduction” and it held up nicely with the rich food flavors.
This is just a nice little Burgundy with a reasonable price attached to it….well worth keeping a few bottles of it in the cellar.

2010 Ransom Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon

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Anyone who knows me, knows I love French burgundies. My pinot noir is always French. But recently my wine supplier, Carl, from Central Liquors, suggested I try this wine.
Now…..I won’t say I never stray, I rarely stray. Yet with this wine, my head was turned and I am interested! And it’s not French….it’s American. So, if like me, you enjoy a scrumptious French burgundy…..give this wine a taste. I really doubt you’ll be disappointed.
I’ll quote from the back of the bottle and be done with this post:
“This bottle is meant to heighten the sense of delight and fulfillment found in gathering to eat and drink. It is the function of wine and food to enhance fellowship, discussion and the exchange of ideas. So visit the market, invite over some friends, and raise a toast to health and happiness through good meals, conversation and socializing.”
Salud!

2010 Santa Julia Magna, Mendoza Argentina

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As I’ve originally stated, I won’t be influenced by outside forces when it comes to reviewing a wine. Well, this wine was $10.99 per bottle, and being willing, once again, to dig through the masses and try all that seemed worthwhile, I belive I found a little gem. Semi-precious….not a diamond!
This is not a high roller, but it’s a great everyday wine. It offers everything you’d need to pair it with spicy foods, burgers, and foods with intense flavors, yet surprisingly, it doesn’t insult your palate.
Many times, at this price, what you get is grape jelly runoff.
Deep dark cherries, smoke and cocoa are it’s main accents. The tannins are medium, alcohol is 14%. I suppose the wine would score around an 89.
I put a case of it in the cellar for an “everyday” and gift wine. Can’t go wrong.

2007 Casima, ZanZibar Cellars, Columbia Valley

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Last night there were eight of us for dinner at our home. Two of our guests, Dennis and Janet, brought a bottle of wine from the Columbia Valley that was outstanding. It's just the style of wine I love. Deep red and inky and displaying very intense flavors. In return, I brought a bottle of Robert Foley "The Griffin" up from the cellar for them to taste. We then uncorked both The Griffin and Casima. Wow! Casima went toe to toe with The Griffin. The bouquet of Casima is peppery. The flavor is dark cherry, blackberry and smoke. The finish is long-lasting. Casima is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc and 15% Sangiovese. Alcohol is 14.8%.
As of this morning….I'm looking to add this wine to my cellar.
It was a lovely evening with old and new friends sharing fine food and great wines!

1997 Borgogno Barolo Classico Riserva

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Today we celebrate 19 years together so last night I went to the cellar and brought out something to take with us tonight when we dine at our favorite local Italian restaurant, Domani Star.
Tommorow I’ll add a review of the wine on to this post and I’ll describe the meal we had with it!
It is 12:38 on a Saturday afternoon right now, I’ve got the Hot Club Of Philadelphia CD playing, the ground is covered with bright white and sparkling snow and it’s best to find something to do indoors. Too cold outside.
It’s taking all of my will-power not to uncork this bottle and give it a try!

TWO DAYS LATER
As I’ve said with other older bottles of wine, I’m always concerned that the wine might not have stored well and that it has become tainted. That’s why I brought an alternate bottle with me to Domani Star. I was not about to eat a meal without a few glasses of wine.
Once more, I had nothing to worry about. My attentiveness to humidity level in the wine cellar paid off.
I brought our servers attention to the age of the wine and warned the cork could be trouble. She peeled off the foil and showed me the top of the cork. It showed some slight mold. Sandy was concerned. I was not.
The cork came out beautifully. The wine had survived and matured nicely.
There were notes of mushrooms and dirt. The wine was smooth with strong, tamed tannins. The wine was awesome!
As for our meal, we started by sharing the polenta with gorganzola sauce (look in our recipe section), then shared a spring greens and sprouts salad with persimmon, strawberries and blueberries, pumpkin seeds and a maple vinegerette, I ordered their spaghetti and meatballs (their meatballs are the best I’ve ever had. They can also be had as an appetizer, served with lemon slices to squeeze on top), Sandy enjoyed shrimp fra diablo over linguine and we finished the meal by sharing a piece of ricotta cheesecake and coffee.
Like I said…..we were not counting calories that night. It was all well worth it.