Monday, March 29, 2010

Two more wines from the cellar down

Over the weekend, I once again learned the importance of drinking wines at the right time. I had two very different experiences, though much of it can probably be explained by the quality of wines I started with. I'll start with the good.

2001 Martinelli Bondi Ranch "Water Trough Vineyard" Pinot Noir. A trek through a forest floor after a good rainstorm. Hints of mushrooms, game, and wet wood (I want to say decaying, but that sounds bad and it's really an amazing quality in pinots) intermingled spectacularly with wild berries (and a hint of cherry) and vibrant acidity. A great example of what can be done in California with Pinot when in the hands of skilled winemakers.

1999 Clos du Bois Marlstone Cabernet. Although only two years older, the fruit and acid had disappeared. The mature flavors I expect broke through a bit, but the wine lacked balance and ended up being flabby and a bit boozy. I suspect that I needed to open this 3-4 years ago to get the best benefit, but I expect more from the top bottlings of well known producers. I still like Clos du Bois more than some of my friends, but I'll probably stick to their value wines. But, alas, the value wines I used to enjoy have tilted away from value.

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