As wine connoisseurship evolves, I look toward developing ways to express the aspects of wine I love the most. I recognize that wine is a product of nature and science; my goal is as natural as can be: to help make the connection between joy of taste and the bountiful pleasures of life.”

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

liquid york peppermint patties with Rob Mondavi

Spent the better portion of the evening dining with friends at a newly opened establishment in the fourth ward of Atlanta's east side last night. Rob, soon to be joining hands with Jason Woodbridge of Hundred Acre to collaborate on an Aussie project made his annual pass through playing his rightful part as front man for the Folio Partners portfolio and his personal projects, Spellbound and Medusa.
For this occasion, I brought what I thought would be an appropriate sending off bottle of the highly esteemed 2002 Noon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. A rare find in the domestic market as the Grateful palate (importers) have either not been able to commandeer an allocation or chosen to distribute the wine only to a few states or both. In any case, while the newest release of the Spellbound Reserve Petite Sirah was remarkable, the Noon showed like a mid century carnival freak. When i think about peppermint patties, I think of old breakfast joints that my dad used to take me, or Andes mints, After Eight sandwich cookies or Baskin Robbins …….not expensive cabernet.
Sadly, the noon was nothing like I expected. Without a glimpse of varietal character it was Brooding and sappy on the attack, lifted though with surprising acidity and grace for its size but the fruit profile was utterly dominated by camphor, mint, pine sap, resin, juniper creosote...etc...Call it what you want but if I want mint ill pull an old bottle of Heitz, Marthas Vineyard..right? After some vigorous aeration in a magnum decanter, the mint let go a bit a turned to patchouli, sandalwood and alike almost offensive aromas that remind me of the passing by waft that you might get while walking through the doorway of a Haight Ashbury half surf, half smoke shoppe on a hot autumn afternoon. The kind of wine that would be best to show blind to a bunch of geeks but not a good one for anything but perhaps a well grilled rack of pork ribs with candied rosemary ? what? I dunno, but let me just say that there is a reason that I don’t buy or drink much of this kind of wine anymore. Give me moderation or give me water.

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