Posts Tagged ‘ blackberry

Alright Mondavi, I See What Your Game Is

So, in spite of the so-so $17 bottle of wine-that-isn’t-impressing-anyone from last week, I’m after a merlot that soothes my deep-down need for a fruitbomb to go off in my mouth.

And folks, I think I’m as close as I’m going to get.

Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Merlot 2007

This wine is everything you’d expect at a gay rights parade. It’s young, it’s hot, it’s a little spicy and it’s EXTRA fruity.

The nose really gives off a lot of blueberry and alcohol, but the mouth actually helps to tone the latter down. It’s blueberry, it’s blackberry, it’s all the black fruit you can imagine, but with very little sweetness. The oak is not overdone like you might find in those less expensive Mondavi wines, and everything balances together rather nicely.

This is not a structured Napa cabernet with lots of wood and barnyard; this is a fruit explosion in which the oak is meant to help remind you that you’re not drinking Welch’s grape juice, and the tannins are there to cover your tongue for a while so you aren’t gulping it down in sinful bliss.

From my experience, Mondavi (like a lot of the other big names in Napa) have their various wines on a tiered system: the “private selection” being near the bottom, and this “Napa Valley” likely being the next step up. I’m not sure which other levels their are in the middle, but I know that the top has one of what I like to call my “bucket list” wines (Opus One), which means I’ll likely encounter them on the way.

Hopefully soon my California red obsession will fade away, and I can start turning toward some of the more obscure (read: affordable) wines from around the world which don’t seem to ever get enough review.

The fruit and the fun of this wine make me want to give it a 90, but the high alcohol makes me want to take a point away leaving it at a very healthy (and happy) 89.

-Ryan

Argentina v 2.0

So, I was pretty impressed last night, so I went looking for something in the same vein. I read a little bit about the 2006 vintage and decided I wanted to stick with it, so I headed out to Binny’s.

Boom! Headshot.

2006, Terrazas Reserva. 3,500 feet up in Mendoza, they are aging these grapes in 20% American oak barrels and 80% French oak (same as the Rutini). The result is almost as fabulous as last night. A nose that makes you want to drink the stuff before it opens up, and a color that makes you think you’re an MLD, because nothin’ is as thick as blood, yeah brah? The mouth on this stuff is like walking through a tar pit made of blackberries with blueberries sprinkled in. Seriously, the fruit is great, and the acid and tannins on the tongue are a little more than subtle. The finish is about 15 seconds. Short, but good. My tongue continues to be sapped by the tannins for up to a minute, but there is no residual flavor.

Overall, I think this is damn good Malbec at the $16 price point, and I would definitely get a 6 of this to hang on to for a while if I had a place with viable storage conditions.

omg malbec

So like, it’s Wednesday… time to get wasted, amirite? My roommate recently made a trip to Argentina, and since he knows booze is like crack for me, he was kind enough to return with a bottle of Malbec, wrapped in paper just for me.

“RUTINI”

That’s what it says on the label. Along with “2006″. Oh, and “MALBEC”. There’s more mexican on there but it’s worthless to you. Well, unless you want to know where it was bottled. Which you don’t care about. If you really want to know, it’s a city about 400 miles north and west of where my roommate was on his trip. Feel special because I used a poorly-zoomed google map and my fingers to figure that out for you.

This wine is boss. I’ve been disappointed by so many wines lately. Roughly the last 30 to 40 bottles I’ve had haven’t been exactly what I’ve thought they would be. Oh, they’ve been fine, but they aren’t the delicate blackberry that resonates on my palate, they aren’t the tobacco that sticks to my tongue, they aren’t the leathery fruit that fills my nose. And they CERTAINLY aren’t EVERYTHING THE COLOR SAYS THEY SHOULD BE. This baby is opaque. I haven’t had a wine like this since last spring. I’ve actually been so disappointed by everything I’ve had recently that I took one look at the color and said to myself “this will never be as good as it looks.” The color around the edges looks like the shore of a ruby ocean, with the shallows quickly dropping off into depths unknown. The vapors coming from the ocean were my first hint that this would be a good experience. They were laden with fruit–thick–viscous, even! Dare I say, there was a finish in the bouquet?

So I swirled, I swirled some more, and I finally tasted. Magic! Medium-full body! Good! Red and black fruit! I haven’t tasted it in so long (lies–I’ve been eating raspberries en masse for weeks)! Finish! It finishes like the Nebbiolo I’ve been convincing myself I should be trying in the summer. The tannins are sucking my tongue dry, but only after the fruit delicately fills my mouth–like a wave lapping the shore.

I wish I had a case of this stuff, because it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.

Oh and, as a sidebar, this is AFTER he checked his bag on over 13 hours of flying with this in it.

Legit, this is all I want to write about this wine, because I need to go drink it in tranquility/dancing and spilling it all over my naked body.