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Daily Glass: Monday Night Escapades

October 17, 2017 3 comments

Is there a special wine fitting every day of the week? I would guess that for many, Friday and Saturday are considered special nights, as it’s the weekend, and people think of drinking something better (higher end). Sunday is still the weekend, so the higher calling might still be in order.

But what about Monday? Does your choice of wine for Monday depend on your general outlook on life? “I love Mondays” … said not that many people, but isn’t it great that it is the first day of the week and we have the whole new week ahead of us, with lots of things to do, places to visit and people to meet? I guess one’s personal take on Mondays does depend on one’s take on life, so I will leave it for you to ponder at and if you have any words of wisdom to share, please do so after the beep  … err in the comments section below.

I have two wine-related experiences from Monday which I want to share. First, I finally got to open the Field Recording’s Can Club shipment. What’s a big deal, you ask?

Field Recordings is one of the most innovative wineries I know. Small winery in Paso Robles, California, a brainchild of Andrew Jones, a vigneron, who started his career as a grape grower, first and foremost. Ever since I tried his Fiction Red, I became a passionate fan and I’m religiously following everything Filed Recordings does.

A few years ago, Field Recordings started experimenting with the wine in the can. Going beyond just the wine in the can, they also finishing their wines with the beer hops which creates truly a different experience. As soon as the “Can Club” was opened, I joined it. The wines were always good, but the shipments themselves went through a number of changes in the format, and pretty much every shipment had some little (and different) issues associated with them. Until now.

Once I opened the box, my very first reaction was “wow”. In my humble opinion, Field Recordings, under their Alloy Works brand, achieved perfection in the packaging of the canned wine. Simple, elegant, sturdy, economical, easy to handle – unpacking this shipment was absolutely a delightful experience. Ask any oenophile, the first thing which gets everyone excited is the opening of those boxes. With this delivery, Field Recordings Can Club achieved shipping nirvana – I hope they will continue it moving forward.

I can’t tell you much about the wines, as they needed to get chilled and went straight into the fridge;  I can only mention that this shipment included 2 cans each of Weissland, sparkling dry hopped Chardonnay; Martian Galaxy – a dry-hopped, sparkling rose, a blend of Gamay and Mourvedre Martian Vineyard in Los Alamos; and Sangria, a blend of freshest, cold-pressed juice cocktail of cranberry, blood orange and lemon from Yes Cocktail Company mixed with Zinfandel from Old Potrero Vineyard. I don’t know about you, but I’m very excited to try these wines – and will report on the experience afterward.

2011 Turley The Label Cabernet Sauvignon Napa ValleyNow, let’s talk about that Monday night wine. Outside of special events, I never know in advance what am I going to open. Deciding on the bottle of wine is somewhat of a frustrating experience (first world problems, I know). Numerous bottles get touched and looked at, then rejected for a myriad of reasons. Finally, one is pulled out – usually for no other reason than “oh well, maybe this will do”. This time around the bottle happened to be Turley Cabernet Sauvignon called The Label.

Turley is not known as the Cabernet Sauvignon powerhouse – it is a coveted and well sought-after Zinfandel producer for the most. A few years ago, Turley finally got into the Cabernet Sauvignon wines and produced the wine which was called “The Label” – named after the words of Larry Turley, the proprietor at Turley Winery, who always said that Cabernet Sauvignon drinkers simply “drink the label”.

I  don’t know if this should be considered funny or strange, but it appears that 2011 Turley The Label already was my choice of Monday wine – almost 4 years ago, in January of 2014 (here is the post). I really loved the wine then, but it evolved much further this time around. From the get-go, this 2011 Turley The Label Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (13.4% ABV) showed a beautiful medley of the succulent berries, both on the nose and the palate – blackberries, blueberries, and black currant, tastefully accompanied by mint and eucalyptus and supported by clean acidity (Drinkability: 9-). It was reminiscent of a perfect Turley Zinfandel, fresh and playful – with a character of its own. Last time I said I want to taste this wine in 10 years. After almost four we are going in the right direction – I should have one more bottle somewhere so I will have to be careful to avoid any Monday blues prompts to open this wine until its due time.

What is your perfect Monday wine? Cheers!

Turley The Label Cabernet Sauvignon: Don’t Judge a Wine by its Bottle

December 8, 2012 5 comments

Turley The Label - LabelAs promised, the bottle of 2010 Turley The Label Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley ($40, 14.5% ABV) was open today, and here are my notes – almost live, as I still have some wine left in the glass. For those who just run into this post, it is pretty much a sequel to my rant about the bottle, which is extremely indiscreet, and the post answering that rant and explaining that the bottle looks that way by design.

Now let’s go past the bottle itself, and let’s talk about the content – i. e., the wine. Considering that I started from the rant, I wanted to give this bottle a proper evaluation, so here we go, step by step. We even reached out for the Reidel Cabernet glasses, which are only used for the special occasions.

Color: Dark garnet color. You can’t read through the glass, so the wine definitely needs more time.

Rim variation: absent, it is a young wine. But – rim is pretty wide, which suggests high alcohol content.

Smell: Blueberries, hint of tobacco, earthiness, a touch of barnyard (which I personally like) – on the nose, this wine resembled Dunn Cabernet.

Taste: earthy, with touch of green notes which disappeared after ten minutes in the glass, alcohol initially noticeable, but as wine continued to breathe, it became well integrated. Tobacco and dark chocolate notes, touch of eucalyptus, fresh plums, black currant  and more blueberries – but restrained, no blueberry jam of any kind.

Legs: Very visible, also carrying some color – suggesting that this is full-bodied wine.

Finish: Long. Tannins only started showing up after about 30 seconds, and then they lingered for probably another minute.

Conclusion: This is one beautiful wine. This wine was described by the winemakers as an attempt to recreate Napa Cabernet as it was in 60th and 70th, more of restrained and down to earth type – I think this attempt was very successful. The wine was very balanced, with fruit, acidity and tannins being in a complete harmony. Drinkability: 9-

I’m not going to recite my learned lessons again (I already recouped them in the previous post), but yes – don’t judge a wine by its bottle, at least I will try not to. Cheers!

 

 

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