We seem to be on quite the Healdsburg kick lately. Tonight’s bottle comes from Wilson Winery, which I honestly don’t remember visiting, though C. assures me I was there. He also says it was our first stop that trip, so I can’t blame my forgetfulness on being tipsy. Apparently it has a great view – I kind of do remember the view.

My overall feeling on this bottle is that we should have left it alone for a few more years. It’s tight – very dry and tannic – and I wonder whether it would have opened up some more with time. We discovered over dinner (entirely shopped for and cooked by the lovely and talented C., by the by) that this is not a great food wine; its character was hidden by the flavors of the meal. On its own, it displays cedar, smoke and caramel on the nose, with a Chardonnay-like butteriness and the barest hint of plummy fruit on the palate. The coffee/mocha thing the winery’s tasting notes mention is there too. In sum, not a spectacular wine, and probably not a winery we will go out of our way to visit again.

OK, to be completely random because I don’t want to end on a negative note tonight: We brought a bottle of the Hall 2003 Napa Valley Cabernet to Easter brunch chez PS & EJ last month, and it was a huge hit. If we ever stop obsessing over the Russian River Valley and head back up to Napa, we have to visit Hall again.


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I’m not sure where we picked up this bottle, but it was probably at Whole Foods. I think we decided to try it because we’re enamored of a Syrah rosé that I think is also by Chateau d’Aussières, though I cannot for the life of me find a link. Or maybe we’re completely wrong about that and there is no connection.

Anyway, we opened it tonight to go with a humble meal of leftovers, just the two of us at home with the cats, the type of night on which we’re usually reluctant to open “the good stuff”, or something we’re sentimentally attached to. It’s a Syrah-Grenache-Mourvedre-Carignane blend from the Languedoc-Roussillon region, and deep garnet in color with medium body. My (undereducated) nose is not detecting much in the way of complexity or invitation. The first sip is spicy, tannic and earthy, which I like, but this gives way to a rather unpleasant and overpowering rose-petal potpourri note (I wish I were joking) on the back of the tongue. C. says he gets a yeasty flavor from this, kind of like a Beaujolais Nouveau.

In short, though this wine is far from undrinkable, we probably wouldn’t buy it again. But since someone doesn’t have to be at work until 10 a.m. tomorrow, the lucky SOB, I have a hunch the bottle will get finished.

EDIT: Actually, the bottle didn’t get finished until I finished it the next night. The potpourri-ness was toned down after several hours in a vacuum-stoppered bottle, but I still wouldn’t go out of my way to drink this wine again.


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