One fine Saturday, I came home from dropping Edie off at a slumber party to discover our across the street neighbor Charles had wandered over with a lovely bottle of merlot in hand, to share with us. It seems he had been given this bottle, and knowing it was a quality wine, immediately thought he had to skip across the street to share with me.
I really do have the best neighbors.
The bottle in question was a 2010 Merlot from Freemark Abbey winery in the Napa Valley. While merlot has gotten a bad rap over the years, I’m a fan of it. Okay, so it’s pretty well known that I’m an equal opportunity drinker, bringing myself to drinking even my non-favorite Chardonnay from time to time. I shun no wine.
This wine was lovely – smooth and well rounded, with just the right touch of fruit. I love a nice wine that you can sit and contemplate life over, that doesn’t require you to pair it with food, one you can just sit with. This is one of those wines. Thank you for sharing Charles and I hope to repay the favor soon.
Speaking of wine and food pairing, let me introduce the next wine in this edition, Troublemaker.
Currently on the by-the-glass list at l’etoile, the back label enticed me.
Troublemaker is blend of not just varietals, but vintages – 50% Syrah, 20% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre, 10% Zinfandel and 10% Petite Sirah from both 2010 and 2011 harvests. It’s big and slightly rough around the edges. I find I prefer it when it’s had some time to breath as well as with food – preferably with a nice hunk of red meat. (And no, I’m not a big red meat eater, but this wine makes me crave it.) I did not particularly care for this wine when I first had it, which may be in part due to the fact that it is a big wine and as I was tasting it at the end of summer, my palate was still adjusting from the crisp whites I prefer in warm weather. I have found as the season drifted from summer to autumn, this wine grew on me. I still think this wine might be more interesting in another year or so, after it’s had more time to mellow. The beauty of wine and our individual palates is that while I think this, I’ve had tables that have really taken to this wine. Even though the Zin is listed as only being 10% of this wine, it comes through quite strongly. For fans of big Zinfandel, this is for you.
Last but not least is a recently discovered local wine. I spent a good bit of time last spring raving about Cardinal Point Winery’s “Green”. Now I’ve been given this “Cab F. & Vio.”, which is 93% Cabernet Franc blended with 7% Viognier. Both are grapes that the Virginia wine industry does extremely well, so I was curious about this blend.
The resulting wine is fruity, slightly dry and medium bodied. It is very reminiscent of a Beaujolais Nouveau, with a bit more heft to it. I enjoyed it immensely and am now so intrigued by the wines coming out of that winery, I’ve decided my next mommy playdate that involves winery visits is going to include Cardinal Point. So who’s in?