Thursday, March 30, 2006
Because of the hot 2003 vintage, I expected this wine to have slightly lower acidity than typical Sancerres, and that was indeed the case. Bright greenish-tinged pale gold. Spritely nose of lemon-lime, ripe grapes, and sea shells. Round mouthfeel, medium-full body, with apple/pear and herb flavors. Good length, though there was a little pepperiness on the finish. Got it at Spec's on Smith. 87. Drink over the next year or two.
Bright yellow gold with greenish glints. Gorgeous nose of white peaches, smoky minerals, and talcum powder. Soft, rich fruit in the mouth, with lingering minerally flavors in the long, low acid finish. Soft, friendly, and accessible. Drink before the year is up. 87. Was $13.22 at Spec's on Holcombe (and I've seen it at other Spec's too.)
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Here's an excerpt from the e-mail:
An Official Announcement from Sherry-Lehmann Wine & Spirits
WE ARE SORRY, BUT WE CAN NO LONGER SHIP TO TEXAS
In spite of a recent Supreme Court ruling (Granholm v. Heald) in favor of free trade, the state of Texas has passed new, anti-consumer legislation forbidding out-of-state retailers and auction houses from shipping wine to their customers in Texas.
Sherry-Lehmann has just received a formal cease-and-desist letter from the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission. The letter states that if we continue to ship wine into Texas, we will be subject to criminal prosecution.
This law violates the United State's Supreme Court's ruling that practices permitted for in-state wine businesses must also be extended to out-of-state wine businesses.
It is unconstitutional to permit in-state wine retailers the right to ship wine, but to prohibit the practice for out-of-state retailers.
What a colossal waste of my Texas taxes. Threatening hoidy-toidy, high-end wine retailers who sell what must be miniscule amounts of classified growth Bordeaux and snooty Burgundies to a few Texas connoisseurs is ridiculous.
While Sherry-Lehmann says this is contrary to the US Supreme Court's 2005 decision in Granholm v. Heald, I don't know if that's right. Granholm says that a state can't treat out-of-state wineries worse than in-state wineries by allowing the in-state ones to ship out but not the out-of-state ones to ship in. I don't know if Texas liquor stores can ship out-of-state, so I don't know if Granholm applies to the Texas scheme. Be that as it may, the point is: THIS IS A STUPID RULE. What is the cost to benefit ratio here?? By going after Sherry-Lehmann, and probably others, Texas is essentially saying, "Oh my God, we need to stop this influx of Premier Cru Cotes de Nuits from leading to the decay of the moral fiber of the state! Whatever will we do if too many people get their lips on a glasses of limited production Brunellos or single vineyard "garagiste" Pomerols? Heavens to Betsy!"
Get a grip. Doesn't the state have better ways to spend its money?
(UPDATE): And another thing. Even as protectionism, this fails. I don't order wines from out of state retailers unless I CAN'T get it from the several Houston (and sometimes Austin) retailers I patronize. I mean, why have to pay the expensive additional shipping if you can get it at your local retailers? Extrapolating from my own experience and using common sense, does the sporadic ordering by wine collectors from out-of-state retailers REALLY have any economic effect on Texas wine retailers??? The answer is pretty obviously NO.
Monday, March 27, 2006
The last bottle of this I had was about a year ago, and it's held up really nicely since then. Almost fully saturated black ruby color (more like a Shiraz than a Grenache). Beautiful nose of smoky balsa wood, raspberry liqueur, and minerals. Rich, soft, concentrated mouthfeel, with flavors of salty raspberry extract and a hint of iodine. Long, intense finish. This would blow away most Chateauneuf-du-Papes (the most famous Grenache-based wine) costing 3 times as much. 90. Was about $12 at Spec's on Westheimer (near Fogo de Chao) when I got this about a year ago.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Medium ruby-garnet color. Bright cherry-strawberry aromas in the nose, with crusty bread in the background. Vibrant cherry and mineral flavors, with medium body, good acidity, and a fairly long finish. A great value at $4.20 at Spec's. Reminiscent of a good entry level Chianti, but at 1/2 to 1/3 the price. 85.
So I opened a bottle to see what was up. Crap. It was indeed astringent and harsh.
Deep, yet dullish black ruby color (I've noticed that many 2003s from the Southern Rhone, Provence, and the Languedoc have dull color). Nose of scorched earth and graphite, with some simple blackberry fruit in the background. Fairly full-bodied, with straightforward black fruit and peppery charcoal flavors. Rough tannin and astringency are the main components of the finish. Rustic and simple, this wine is not in any way identifiable as a Chateauneuf -- tastes like a generic and pedestrian Cotes du Rhone instead. 79.
I'm going to let the second bottle sit for a year or so and see if anything changes for the better, but I doubt it will.