Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tonight we're drinking...

In May, we had the opportunity to meet Mike Kuimelis, winemaker/proprietor of Mantra Wines in Dry Creek Valley. He invited us to taste and tour where he makes his wine (the facilities at Mauritson winery) and then have lunch in his vineyards. Such a treat!

Here's Mike getting us a barrel taste of the 2007 Syrah:

We also got to barrel taste the 2008 vintage. It was interesting to smell and taste the smoky qualities of the 2008 vintage due to all the fires during that summer. I wondered if all the lingering smoke would have any effect on the grapes, and apparently in some cases it really did! It wasn't necessarily a bad thing, either. A lot of that smoke will be gone by the time it's bottled, but whatever lingers will probably make it an ideal wine for barbecue food!
Here is a view from where we had lunch:
Not too shabby, right? It was a nice afternoon of cheese, crackers, prosciutto, olives, chocolate, and of course, excellent wine!

We brought home a couple of bottles of the 2006 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon pictured above and decided to open one tonight to have with our barbecue steaks. It was a really good pairing. This wine has a rich, deep color to it. Good legs... clings to the glass. Lots of fruit on the nose... dark cherry, black currant (hey... I pick these things up now that P has stocked the house with all sorts of fruit jams to "develop our palates!"). It's a little tight on the tongue, but without big tannins. Bottle aging will soften that, so we're going to keep the other bottle laying down for at least several years. It was still really good, especially after decanting for awhile. It really opened up and was fruitier smelling and tasting. I can't wait to see how it will have changed when we finally open the next one.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tonight we're drinking...

Justin 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a bottle we bought when we lived in Santa Barbara. This was one of P's first true wine loves! He's been rummaging through our growing collection of wine and pulling out things that are aging and probably need to be opened soon. This is one he decided to drink. It has aged nicely! On the nose I sensed a lot of fruit and chocolate. P said he got more tobacco. We both tasted some tobacco, big tannins (after 10 years, which is AWESOME), and dark fruits. So much good fruit. It's soooo smooth! It tasted really good accompanying pasta in a sausage and tomato sauce. It would have been really good with steak, though! Maybe we'll have to plan to have steak with the 2003 vintage we still have in the cellar (a.k.a. the guest room closet). Ah, Justin... the Justers enjoy your wine!