Gorman the Bully cabernet needs more time
I hope all my friends who are veterans are able to set aside the sad memories Monday invoked. For me, Memorial Day is a time of introspection and remembrance. I can recall in photographic memory my friends who were taken, and they always appear as they were, in the flower of their youth. For some reason I generally picture them smiling and in moments of recreation: playing pinochle, ship's party or lounging in berthing, shooting the breeze. I guess it was nature’s way of ameliorating my sadness at their loss. When you are on the cusp of your 20s, death and destruction are very difficult to digest.
Good Chardonnay for $9! Gotcha back. Standing Stone Vineyards 2011 from 40-year-old estate vines is delightful, redolent of pear and ripe melon. On palate, bright fruit, crisp and elegant. Tom and Marti Macinki bought this Seneca Lake vineyard from the old Gold Seal bulker. Careful husbandry and dedication have led to a lovely, inexpensive, cool-climate New York Chard. Buy for $110 case; rate 87 points. They also produce Chardonnay Ice. A pretty icewein, I rate it 88 points for $22/375ml bottle. I’ll bet you haven’t even heard of Jacquiere. This is a varietal grape of which only the cognoscenti are aware. The wine it produces in high alpine meadows is so unknown that even in a great year it sells for very reasonable prices.
At a recent tasting I was able to sample Jean Perrier Savoie Apremont Cuvee Gastronomie 2011, the highest-rated “off” varietal wine in my memory; 91 from WS and 55 on best of 2012. A structured, complex and intense white, featuring white cherry, quince, mineral, beeswax and tarragon flavors with a mild smoky thread in a pleasing finish that exhibits notes of dried basil. Best of all, it cellars; drink now through 2020. You can find a case priced under $165 delivered. I strongly recommend those who are aggressive about trying new, exciting flavor profiles and very food-friendly dry white wine buy into this. If you buy single bottles, the shipping is a price issue. Pay your local wine agent to bring it in for you. Snooth finally steered me wrong. They are recommending Mouton Noir Love Drunk Willamette Valley Rosé 2011, produced by former French Laundry Sommelier Andre Mack. As is so typical of many sommeliers, there is lots of flash and little substance. The wine perfectly captures the ad picture. Take a look. Avoid! Mouton Noir translates Black Sheep. This wine captured on nearly every level. At a recent tasting of white wine priced under $10 the following were winners: The 2011 Oxford Landing Pinot Grigio Australia, $9, consistently wins at tastings over the past several years. The 2012 Zenato PG N. Veneto Italy, $9.97, apple, banana, fig profile. The 2012 Alex Lageder Riff PG, N. Italy, $10; floral with racy acidity. The 2012 New Harbour SB Marl. New Zealand, $9; jalapeno, grass, great, clean persistence. The 2011 Barnard Griffin Fume Blanc, $9. Fume Blanc is the name R. Mondavi coined to sell SB, a nice Washington State SB with the traditional floral nose and racy acidity. An excellent summer food white. The 2012 Valentin Bianchi Elsa Torrontes, best of the bunch, but priced $12; lemony Muscat minerality, floral aromas, perfectly dry finish, another seafood accompaniment gem. Gorman the Bully Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain Washington State 2009 received rave reviews on release, 95 WE and 92 WS; blended 80 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 15 percent Merlot from the Red Mountain District and 5 percent Petit Verdot from the Columbia Valley. This is a huge wine and needs some time, in my opinion. Was suggested for 2014, but I doubt it - 2016 more likely. Dark and juicy, with red berry, black cherry, roast or smoke tones, earthy bouquet. A whole lot of tannins, but the nose, acid, flavors will meld the tannins to incorporate flavors and aromas.
There are hints of chocolate and chili pepper in the finish. If you like huge Cabs and $40 doesn't scare you, this is in your wheelhouse. I rate it 94 points if bought priced under $42/bottle. I believe it will develop into a cellar star; unsure on price appreciation.
Finally, President Obama at the U.S. Naval Academy graduation. The part of the commencement address on abuse was 100 percent on message and I agree thoroughly, no place. However, he was 100 percent wrong on choice of occasion and audience. This issue comes from command, not middies.
Always quick to criticize Delaware legislators when they err, I wish to be equally quick in praise on their successful efforts in passing the growler law, allowing stores to fill 64-ounce containers with draft beer for sale.
A well-done draft using a clean system and proper temperature is far superior to any bottled beer out there. Congrats to Delaware lawmakers for a smart law. Next week I will tell you about the origin of growler and rushing the growler.