One of our guests on Saturday reads my blog and gave me a hard time after my last party when I said I wasn’t able to provide wine reviews. She came to the party with several bottles of wine and a notebook with pink trim :). She thought I could use it to take notes during the meal for the blog. So I dutifully took some notes and here they are.
Carpene Malvolti Prosecco $? This was one of the wines my friend brought over. It was a delightful way to start the evening and brought a lot of citrus, especially pronounced orange and lemon, to the nose. One the palate it is crisp and refreshing with a flavor reminiscent of a creamsicle. For those not familiar, an American frozen confection of orange and cream.
Elizabeth Spencer Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 $? This was yet another bottle my friend brought over. For those not familiar Elizabeth Spencer is a charming little winery whose tasting room is right off the main drag (route 29) of Napa just south of St Helena. Definitely worth a stop if only because their tasting room is open later than most ;). I decanted this wine and later found a nice mixture of kir, cherry, strawberry, and a touch of menthol on the nose. The palate followed the nose with nice red fruit and the tannins which were stiff on opening mellowed with decanting though could still be felt on the inside of the cheeks.
Wind Gap Syrah Coast 2008 $36. Wind Gap is a recent discovery and personal favorite of mine. First, a confession. I was pretty down on Syrah for a long time. It always came across as overly alcoholic, too big, and too gamey for my palate. Then I started finding wineries like Wind Gap and Drew who specialize in cool climate Syrah. This is an entirely different beast. Wind Gap is named after a portion of Sonoma California where the cool wind off the Pacific blasts through the coastal range. Instead of fruit bombs you get balanced wines, especially with the hands of Pax Mahle, Wind Gap’s winemaker. I first heard about them at the Wine and Spirits Top 100 which led to a visit when I was in the hood. To say their Forestville tasting room is not presumptuous would be quite an understatement. When we pulled to the back of the non-descript warehouse in “downtown Forestville” we were greeted by Pax himself and had just a wonderful time tasting their wine. What I find amazing about this Syrah is the distinct aroma of black olives combined with dark cherry and pomegranate , just a wonderful nose. Not the typical California fruit bomb. On the palate the olives, cherry, and pomegranate continue but are joined by a hint of cinnamon and black licorice and finish with something that closely resembles black tea. A great food fine that will match all manner of cuisine. I highly recommend it or at least trying a similar cool climate Syrah if you too had given up on “hot Syrah.”