Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday Night Wine Review

Had a few interesting wines tonight, from an old stand-by Cotes du Rhone, to a new Spanish Navarra, to a nice reserve Syrah from Washington.

2007 Paul Jaboulet Aine Parallele 45 Cotes du Rhone ($13)
I've been drinking this stuff for almost two decades now and it still offers a lot of value considering the price has crept up from about $8 to $13 during that time, certainly less than the price of a gallon of gas, or for that matter health insurance. It's a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah with brambly blackberry, camphor, pine needle and black pepper aromas and taut blackberry, cherry and tar flavors with great freshness and crispness. Not as generous as some, but a nice example of Cotes du Rhone, and easy to find. 86 pts.

2000 Senor de Cascante Gran Reserva Navarra ($7) I know this is presented as a value proposition, but all it really represents is a total failure to adapt to modern farming and winemaking techniques, which I would gladly pay more for. Here's a wine that supposedly costs $7 NINE years after it was harvested. Unfortunately it is a thin, cedary, mushroomy, oxidized mess that arguably should never have been bottled in the first place and is certainly way past its weak prime. If you see a wine for sale that's nine years old for seven bucks, that might be a cause for concern. PASS

2006 Columbia Crest Reserve Syrah, Columbia Valley, Washington State ($20)
This brand has always been a value proposition, and it still is, even at the Reserve level. Syrah does really well in Washington, and this is a great example, with cranberry, raspberry and boysenberry fruit in the nose, a bit of grilled meat and dried herbs, then cocoa, leather, berries and licorice in the mouth, finishing supple and long. Nice and complex for the money. 88-89 pts.

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