The guy famous for moving his wine into The Cave in a suitcase recently gave me this book to read, Pick of the Bunch by Harry Waugh. It was published in 1970. Mr. Waugh comes from England to northern California to taste some local fare from that time period and then heads off to France for some more. We get very simple tasting notes in austere paragraphs that nevertheless manage to get the job done.
And because it was the late '60's, you get a smattering of observations on women along the lines of this (click on image to enlarge). Funny stuff!
Reading this book is what got me thinking about the parameters of a legitimate wine. Mr. Waugh was often most impressed by the bigger wines, the Robert Parker of his day? The other thing I liked about this book is I was reading it while I was working on Cliff's locker, and I was reading about labels I was also seeing. This really worked for me and for it I was suddenly grateful for both experiences.
The book is now official Cave property if anyone wants to take it, as soon as Sean brings it back. (It went out with him today.) (Take your time, Sean, no pressure.)
These are the wines of summer, most of them, I lost track of a bottle or two, sorry generous Cave people. Also, they were consumed in this order. Also, they exactly reflect the diversity of wine here, and we all know I dig that.
1998 Fetzer Cab. Old school California cab, what more do you need?
1999 J. Hofstätter Pinot Nero Alto Adige - Südtirol "Barthenau" Vigna S Urbano. I have no idea, I type it into the Google until something I recognize comes up, and then I cut and paste. The wine? Fantastic.
2003 Blackjack Ranch Double-Down Syrah. You know that thing when it's Thanksgiving and you ate too much and you're sitting on the sofa in a coma staring at the TV, unable to move? This is that moment if it were a wine. Satisfied and lazy.
2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Chardonnay, Brosseau Vineyard. Pleasant and easy.
1983 Podere Il Palazzino Chianti Classico Reserva. As consistently well as I've done with the Italian wines at the Austrian border, I've bombed with Chiantis (all of which I attempted to purchase on my own which might explain it). This lovely gift broke that streak. A little tired on day one, it was a calm and pleasant quaff on day two.
1986 Heitz Chardonnay. This is the wine that also made me think about the parameters of a legitimate wine. This stuff was cloudy and poured dark, very dubious!
The two people who tried it were aligned, that it had a bit of a sherry quality but still okay. I've not had sherry so I can't speak to that. What I got from it was that it simply had evolved into a different idea and not necessarily one that was awry. I suspect real wine people, educated wine people, i.e. not me, would think this a wine gone bad. But as it was it was not altogether unpleasant, merely redefined.
(yes, this is how it goes.)
2009 Chateau Poujeaux red Bordeaux blend. It's sitting here on the desk. It's 7:03 p.m. and I'm about to try it. One of so many pleasures at The Cave, closing the door and pouring a glass of wine.
Nice fruity-spicey things. Dark, soft and structured.*
Sean came in today and this was left behind. Just because. Beats me, it's how it goes here. I am a fortunate troglodyte.
(* Day two: this stuff is crazy tasty.)