When you shoot the guy, who was going to shoot the guy, you’re dying to see dead, all bets are off. Metaphorically speaking, I mean. Confrontation can be a barrel of fun or a pain in the bunghole – just depends whether your glass is half full or half empty. Pause; pour some more. Barons V, 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and elegant, tangled up in black cherry and black currant, which wrestles gracefully with straps of smoke and leather. This dark red juice knows the rules and the ones it needs to break to get where it’s going; the first rule of Fight Club is you DO NOT talk about Fight Club.
Seriously, who doesn’t know that!
Posted by Teri Citterman
On the red side of exotic, Belmonte Cellars (formerly Pandora) 2009 Connor’s Blend is a made-for-TV animal. It’s equal parts Petit Verdot and Malbec with a dash of Cabernet Sauvignon to ruffle it up. A ribbon of spice and midnight swirl through the goodness of dark cherry and blueberry, while even tannins switch and swap in a conjecture of a good time not yet had by all. Super exotic? Not exactly. But it is a sexy blend that cocktails the wine up just enough to be sipped naked in a hot tub with strangers. Enjoy!
Rolling on in my fantasy of wanting to be a advice columnist…
Dear Teri: I have a 19-month-old and a 34-month-old. Our family was invited to the childless home of our friends, and when we arrived, I scurried around childproofing. I moved their expensive items up out of reach, but my friends insisted on putting everything back. When an expensive piece of art was dropped, they were peeved. I felt I did my best in policing the children but still feel I should offer to pay the insurance deductible. My husband says to let it go because they asked for it.
Wow, where do I start? First, unless your kid just popped out of your womb or you’re describing wine in barrel, there’s no legitimate reason to use months as a measure of age. Your kids are 1 and almost 3. Only really annoying people force a listener to do the math. Second, if you hit my house like a tornado, I’d be miffed. And lastly, a babysitter would have been cheaper than the deductible, and yes you should pay it. (Your husband is a doorknob.) Now, should I tell you what I would drink if I had annoying friends like you? Or should I tell you the best bottle to give as a gift if you want to save what’s left of this friendship. Turns out they’re one in the same: Thorny Rose 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, is dark and dense (oh, you can relate?) with blackberry and cherry rolled into dirty bits of dark chocolate. It’s straightforward and uncomplicated — with a ‘leave your kids at home’ finish. Trust me, you’ll make the right decision next time — if there is a next time.
Nothing says wake the f**k up like three of Seattle’s finest at my door with assault rifles. That was 4:20am this morning (yes, I get the irony.) A neighbor believed he heard gunshots fired in my condo and called the boys in. It’s not an unlikely scenario, but no shots were fired from my flat (this time.) Nonetheless, cops with big guns are either jarring or pleasant — or jarringly pleasant if you’re lucky. Christmas is comin’ early and Barrister Winery’s “Rough Justice” delivers the gifts. This wine breathes with a hard nose and structured stamina. Black plum and black lace beg to be subdued, while graham cracker pie crust swirls through shocks of blackberry pie filling. Rich and jammy, this wine does a little more than suggest you pay attention. Silky tannins and a drawn out finish make me pretty damn eager to cooperate. Where are your handcuffs now, Mr. Officer?
PS Looking for a stellar burlesque name? Rough Justice is a pretty great one. Just sayin’
Photo: Cellar Tracker
Posted by Teri Citterman
Schlein Vineyard is another of our Napa favorite wine producers. I met owner Phil Schlein and Ira Zuckerman when I was in Napa two years ago for the wine writers symposium at Meadowood. Two guys with big hearts, making wine for all the right reasons. And like Phil and Ira, their wines skip the overdone fanfare that some Napa wines thrive on, instead showing straightforward, no agenda unadulterated beauty. Named for property manager Emilio Perez as a salute to he and his fellow workers, Emilio’s Terrace, 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is a sturdy blast of red fruit, ripe raspberry with a critically acclaimed, Broadway finish. It’s the wine you keep talking about well-after the curtain comes down. Then, there’s the Moon Schlein, 2002, Merlot with a soft, matinee finish. Unfolding with smokey darkness, chocolate-covered bright blueberry against the density of my mom’s homemade matzoth balls and the crispicity of latkes made with, you guessed it, extra de-virginized canola oil. Marvelous!
Prayers go out to a very special Ira for new strength everyday.
I wanted to be a Madame. Yes, it IS what you’re thinking. Seems I have a knack for pairing people with pleasure — or marriage anyway. Instead (mostly for legal reasons) I became an unofficial matchmaker which means I don’t get paid to pimp my hot friends; I do it for free.
My most recent matchmaking triumph – pairing a close friend with a guy I used to date — or did I pimp the guy I used to date to a really close friend? Either way – it worked out, and that’s a long way of saying my last trip to Napa (2 weeks ago) with the German, was for their wedding at Auberge Du Soleil and reception at Hall Winery. I wish I could tell you how much I loved Hall’s wines, but I was too wrapped up in the absolute magic of two good friends getting married (a.k.a. drank too much to remember). As for the wines, what I do know is they are award-winning, and I hope to be more focused on them the next time I’m in Napa. Sorry Hall Winery. And if you missed it, Hall’s power couple owners, were featured in the New York Times.
Napa – II of III
What does perfection look like? I suppose it has something to do with a non-wavering blend of quality, integrity and performance — super-human, maybe and the Opus One embodiment. Stepping up to the tee-box, it’s Opus One 2006 Napa Valley Red Wine, folks. This wine is untouchable, liquid gold in our mere-mortal eyes. Vanilla spice and sugar-plum mesmerize the crowd, followed by a hush of licorice and black coffee density. Here’s the set up: feet outside shoulders, knees pinched in, hands positioned on the right inner thigh…. and the backswing –blueberry and tight, bright cherry uncoil with the power of a chest and legs working in unison. Strong tannins and solid structure escalate the trajectory of yet another perfect drive straight down the fairway headed toward the green. Earth and brown spice meld into a smoky, leather serenity that taps the tongue gently offering an unspoken “get in line, or else”. This is the pedestal wine, and from that view, it’s a loooong way down. Can the fame last forever? Might the shiny, clean character ever be flawed? Are those tannins strong enough to ward off the urges of a cocktail waitress turned reality TV contestant – the impulses of a Las Vegas model or a marketing manager of a Las Vegas nightclub?
Pressure! Oh the pressure! But then…it is Opus One we’re talking about, isn’t it?
Note: $200 for a bottle/$30 for a glass in the tasting room.