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really? on 05 Petite Syrah that is drinkable. Most PS I've had are so heavy that you feel they'll turn your teeth purple if they aren't at least 5 years old. My favorite purple tooth wine was Marty Barrett's Big Red from Hop Kiln Winery -- not sure they still do it.


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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2004 Avalon Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, $10

This is an absolute steal for a Napa Cab. It's in awfully full, complex wine for $10. Has anyone else heard of this one? If it's widely available, I can't imagine that it won't get some press.

I had a good (<$10) Chianti recently, too, but I can't seem to recall the name. I'll post if I can ever figure what the heck it was that I drank.


So you ladies and you gentlemen, pull your bloomers on...

-Joe Henry

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I mentioned the Avalon cab back on page 2. It's my go-to wine when we're invited to someone's house for dinner. That, the inexpensive Rosenblum Zins, and the Mark West Pinots are among my favorite low-dollar, available-at-many-local-stores wines.

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This post probably qualifies as bragging more than anything else.

Tonight we cracked open our last of two '86 Duckhorn Merlots. For some, Duckhorn is the definitive Merlot. We paid $17 for the wine in 1989 and held on to it. $17 back then was a pretty expensive wine for us, and I think even then, $17 was probably a bargain for a Duckhorn -- price is probably double that now for current vintage. We paid corkage and took the first bottle to a prime rib restraurant (Five Crowns, for those who know the OC) a couple years ago. Tonight we just treated ourselves.

Let me say that it wasn't bad for a 20 year old bottle. The cork kept its seal, but it was very soft and the cork screw shreded it, so we had to decant it. Very fruit. Had a bit of clove. But so smooth -- there is a reason red wine is often aged, and drinking something like this teaches you what wine can become with time.


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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Comparing.

Last night for my birthday we went out and took one of our really good wines - Cakebread Chardonnay. I bought it for my wife for Christmas. It is her favorite chard and it is pricey -- but it is also damn good. Even with the $10 corkage, it was great to have this wine.

Then tonight we had a Tin Roof Chardonnay - <$10, screw top (hence the name) that we've had in the past and enjoyed - we gave it an A- given it's price range. But it was such a change from the night before when we had world class stuff.

EDIT: Just read my previous post. For those of you who don't do expensive wines, let me give you a bit of advice. Go out and find a good red that is beyond your price range and stick it in a closet until a big anniversary at least 5 (preferably 10+) years down the road. It will be a great experience to see just what happens to good wine over time.

Edited by Darrel Manson

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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Hi from Hugues in France,

If you ever find a Bordeaux, Pessac Leognan, try it. :)

It's usually not very expensive over here, I don't know for the USA.

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Hi from Hugues in France,

If you ever find a Bordeaux, Pessac Leognan, try it. :)

It's usually not very expensive over here, I don't know for the USA.

Heh heh. Sir, this is not fair. The vast majority of French labels never make it to a port dock. For example, I have a fondness for champagne. I am told that millions of bottles out of Reims and Ipernay are held merely for the continental market outside France and for England. There is much we never see here. and many of the "little guys" serve that segment of the market alone. :cry:

Nevertheless, is Pessac Leognan a name or vintner? Or is it a type of Bordeaux?


"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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Nevertheless, is Pessac Leognan a name or vintner? Or is it a type of Bordeaux?

It appears to be an appellation. It includes Haut Brion. My bottle Chateaux Haut Brion is listed as "Cru classes de Graves" but also says "Appellation Pessac Leognan Controllee". No dooubt the AC produces wines that are inexpensive there. If Chateaux Haut Brion is inexpensive there we should set up some sort of smuggling operation to get it over here.

Edited by Darrel Manson

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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Oops, sorry to be late, I forgot to scroll down here. I wasn't really aware of these market rules, though I should have suspected them. Oh well. :huh:

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Oops, sorry to be late, I forgot to scroll down here. I wasn't really aware of these market rules, though I should have suspected them. Oh well. :huh:

I'm not sure that they are really rules, though sometimes I suspect that in French commerce, there might be a rule for anything. I'll bet that this is more an issue of the convenient and practical. Trade is already established locally and continentally. Even a new kid on the block can take advantage. Continent to continent takes investment and is always a risk (on both sides of the water). I notice that along the east coast, one finds small labels of champagne more readily, but certainly not to the extent one would find in France, or London and Amsterdam for that matter. Out here in the midwest, the bigger names are more common. In fact, Detroit is the biggest market in North America for Moet & Chandon's Nectar Imperial (not the ideal champagne, but it's a fact).


"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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$4

That's what we paid for a Bear's Lair merlot at Trader Joes. Nice woody body. Good fruit. It would be a good buy at twice the price (and still be under $10).


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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For our pre-Valentine's Day dinner (avoiding the rush of the 14th), we had a:

Terrabianca Campaccio, Tuscany, 03(?), $29(half bottle)

This is one of the better wines we've tried in awhile, but is also priced accordingly. It has this amazing earthly flavor, almost a little like mold (but in the best ways). We've really been enjoying some big Italian wines of late, but this wine was at a whole new level of quality.

The entire dinner was a joy, from the appetizer to the espresso. We'd take a bite or sip, stop and stare at each other, and giggle. I highly recommend Spalti if you're in the Palo Alto area. It's an unbeatable value. Where else can you get truly professional service, a real wine list, and still pay $15 for your delicious entree?


So you ladies and you gentlemen, pull your bloomers on...

-Joe Henry

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Darrel with all your Trader Joe's shopping, have you ever tried their Nerello del Bastardo? (A Piedmonte, related to the Barolo, if memory serves). Di Marchesi, is the label. I'm enjoying it a lot (meaning I'm a repeat purchaser.)

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Darrel with all your Trader Joe's shopping, have you ever tried their Nerello del Bastardo? (A Piedmonte, related to the Barolo, if memory serves). Di Marchesi, is the label. I'm enjoying it a lot (meaning I'm a repeat purchaser.)

We've talked about this in the past. Early startup of the thread. Great wine. Just about the best $8 red around. Speaking of cheap reds. Ferrari and Cerano's "Sienna" has had a serious wholesale price cut. This wine isusually marked up to about $36, but the supplier here has gotten it in real cheap, such that Kroger has sale prices it at $17.59 and Meijer (Grand Rapids based "superstore" company that has stores around the Great Lakes) has reduces its "regular price to +/- $15.50. Excellent wine that can be held for years as well as drunk iminently.


"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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For our anniversary dinner Saturday night, we ordered a half bottle of Cheval Brun St. Emilion Grand Cru. I think the vintage was 2004, but as a review of this particular French restaurant reminds me, the wine list doesn't provide the vintages! We went with our waiter's recommendation.

That was a smart move. I was having lamb with an au jus, Sarah was having venison with a black currant sauce. So the wine, which is 80% merlot, 10% cabernet sav., and 10% cab franc, matched the food quite well. It didn't dazzle me on its own, but with the food, it was the right choice.

Which wine would you have gone with?


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Which wine would you have gone with?
The Chateau Haut Brion may be a little young, but I'll take that. You're buying, right?


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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Which wine would you have gone with?
The Chateau Haut Brion may be a little young, but I'll take that. You're buying, right?

You don't mess around, Darrel. Our dinner was not cheap; the $38 half bottle of the Bordeaux was pricey enough for us.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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That was a pricey winelist. And not enough familiar California wines for me to judge their mark up. For a restaurant as fancy as that one seems, it had a very limited selection.


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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That was a pricey winelist. And not enough familiar California wines for me to judge their mark up. For a restaurant as fancy as that one seems, it had a very limited selection.

Yes, but read the linked review. You have to put the wine selection in perspective. The food is unbelievable.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Winelog, I have just discovered, is a social wine-rating website...

Cork'd is another one.

I'm now registered on the site. My recommendations don't amount to much -- most notes amount to a personal diary for my own consultation, and won't be helpful to others seeking objective criteria about various wines. But FWIW, my screen name is "Discman." If any A&Fers register, be sure to sign me up as a buddy. I'll probably benefit more from the relationship than you will, but I hope my opinions there aren't entirely without value.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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It's really not wine (and won't be) but my Zinfandel vine has berries starting.


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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For Easter dinner, which will be honeybaked ham and lamb, I bought the following 2 reds and one white. Need another white:

2004 Von Hovel Estate Riesling, $15 (Germany)

2005 Red Guitar, Navarra, Tempranillo/Grenache (Spain)

2006 Cono Sur, Pinot Noir (Chile)

--I had wanted some Rioja, Washington State Riesling, and Pinot Noir from Tasmania.

As is customary, I went 0-for-3 with my preferences, but came away with some interesting alternatives.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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A wine writer tries to turn movie critic Peter Travers from wine novice to wine connoisseur:

[W]e applaud the entertaining new wine book "Educating Peter" (Scribner, $25), whose subtitle is "How I Taught a Famous Movie Critic the Difference Between Cabernet and Merlot, or How Anybody Can Become an (Almost) Instant Wine Expert." It chronicles author Lettie Teague's Pygmalionesque efforts to transform Rolling Stone magazine film reviewer Peter Travers from a "wine idiot" (according to the book's jacket) into a connoisseur. Travers's confidence is ultimately tested at a wine auction and in a restaurant encounter with an opinionated sommelier.

After completing his wine studies, Travers began doling out 4-star reviews to every crappy wine ever made. [ed.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Since we have a landmark anniversary coming this week, we celebrated with dinner out last night and took our 88 Chateau Haut Brion and paid the corkage. Went to a small restaurant on Balboa Island (probably seats about 20 max). My wife had a filet mignon to go with the wine; I had duck in a blackberry reduction. The wine was very good, but truth be told, I don't know if we could tell this from, say, an $80 bottle.


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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