Recently I have been preoccupied with enhancing The Wine Forum from a simple blog to a real website with more features for you to learn and experience more about wine. I am not tech-savvy so it's been a work in progress just to understand what I can reasonably do and who to work with in achieving this goal. I have a layout and idea of what I want it to look like, but no theme yet to work out of Wordpress. I even bought a url from Go Daddy. I just finished drawing up a prototype of the main page, now all I need is a logo. For the logo I am trying to go simple, yet powerful: utilitarian. Ideally the logo would be easy to recognize and work easily in the website or marketing materials. The log could be the symbol of the wine enterprise I am ultimately planning to assemble to provide my later years of life with enjoyment and of course employment. That is a big work in progress however. For now I am just a student, collector, drinker, teacher and consultant....oh and for the time being also a web designer.
Before we get to the wines, I have some great news I'd like to share. Recently friends of mine put me up for auction to raise money for a good cause. I agreed to do a wine tasting for a group of people to raise money for the Manhattan School for Children. It turns out the folks at MSC took it to the next level, they teamed me up with a professional cook and we will be creating a wine and food pairing for a party of 8. The bidding was fierce and the item was able to raise a nice sum of money for the great kids and faculty at MSC. I will be repeating this same donation for another friend of mine and their children's school the Park Avenue Synagogue. Auctions are such a great idea to raise money for the schools and I am so happy that I am able to make a difference in children's lives.
I have not been attending any wine events besides the wine bar stop last week at Vintry so I only have some notes to share with you at this time and a great value wine from one of my favorite winemakers Bob Foley of Robert Foley Vineyards. The Wine Forum will be getting an upgrade this year, but in the meantime we will all have to make due with this site.
2007 Robert Foley Griffin - about $30
Napa Valley, Spring Mountain District
43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Petite Sirah, 22% Merlot
The Griffin is made by Robert Foley, or simply Bob as he is known by his many loyal fans and many peers in the wine business. For me this is my first serious Bordeaux varietal bottle of 2007 Napa Valley wine. It is a little young to drink this now, but I have plenty of these on their sides so I do not feel bad opening one of these on the early side. If you too can't hold back the temptation, decant for maybe 30 minutes or pour slowly from the bottle.
I tasted through all of Bob's 2007 wines this past December when we were in Napa on a quick weekend getaway. I bought a few wines of all that he makes except the Petite Sirah, and went deep on the Griffin. After tasting the 2007 Foley Merlot the first thing I uttered to complete agreement with the Foley people showing and pouring for us was "Man Bob is so damn good with Merlot!" The Griffin as no slouch and at $32 list from the winery a great deal as you get a lot in the bottle at this price. It is the all around is the all around value out if the Foley portfolio.
This style of wine is all the rage right now, mixing Zinfandel or in this case Petite Sirah with Cabernet and Merlot. The Prisoner comes to mind as a popular wine in this category, though I think this one is a little more to my taste as Bob makes the Cabernet and Merlot the focus of the wine. As I mentioned earlier, Bob makes a great Merlot. So good I would dare say he also probably makes in my opinion the best Merlot year in and year out for his winery Robert Foley Vineyards, as well as in the past for Pride and currently Hourglass and Switchback Ridge, two blockbuster "cult" wines.
Rock sold wine for the money. Great QPR from Napa. Youthful, needs time but with air this is drinking great right now.
Color: Dark, seductive rich hues of red and purples flashes
Nose: Some vanilla, blackberry and flowers, and some mocha powder
Palate: Medium to full bodied. Creme de cassis, blackberry, black cherry, tea, and tobacco create a complex palate, while fresh acidity and semi-firm tannins balance the wine nicely. Secondary flavors of cake batter and spice appear later. Awesome stuff!
2001 Del Dotto Cabernet Sauvignon Connoisseurs' Missouri American Oak 27 Month - $ not available
Napa Valley, Rutherford
A little woody for my taste these days, but not bad overall and still hanging in there. If it were only the normal 18-22 months of oak for a Cabernet Varietal, this would probably show a little better as the fruit is hanging in there still, even with 27 months on wood!
Color: Purple with some red, ruby edges.
Nose: Big nose of fruit and oak you can smell a few paces away...great wine to sniff and analyze
Palate: Blackberry, cherry and spicy currants. Some cedar and acid finish the wine...finish tapers off a little and is dampened by the oak.
2008 Herman Story Tomboy - about $30
California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
84% Viognier, 7% Marsanne, 7% Roussane
Awesome, Russell From's best white Rhone yet.
Color: Dark, orange gold and deep.
Nose: Lychee and sweet flowers, spice and minerality.
Palate: Orange blossom, lychee, citrus oil, flowers and a great mineral streak. I love white Rhones because they always have that EXTRA texture...oily and sometimes waxy, this has both with great overall balance. Well done!
2003 Viña Almaviva S.A. Almaviva - $65-100
Chile, Central Valley, Maipo Valley, Puente Alto
Cabernet Sauvignon: 73%, Carmenère: 24%, Cabernet Franc: 3%
Nose & Palate: Complex aromas of flowers, graphite, raspberry and currants, tobacco, and coffee bean. Black raspberry and currant fruit continue on, great minerality, some sweet cigar tobacco. Big, but balanced tannins and acidity with this cornucopia of aromas and flavors. Wonderful wine!
2001 Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve - $65-80
Leonardini Vineyard, St. Helena, Napa Valley
Morisoli Vineyard, Rutherford, Napa Valley
Color: Deep red core with red edges.
Nose: Blackberry and bing cherry, a touch of toasty oak and pencil shavings
Palate: Solid from start to finish. Coffee, crushed summer cherries, some of those shavings and spice. Medium to full bodied, supple tannins excellent Napa Cabernet! Fresh long finish.Drank a 2001 Napa Cabernet from another very reputable producer last night that I expected big things, it could not touch this.