Some folks celebrate their birthday on a single day, which is certainly appropriate. This year I had some smart friends and relatives encourage me, because my birthday fell on a Friday, to make it a full weekend. I’m a pleaser by nature so I agreed. Reluctantly, of course. Here are a few of the wines we enjoyed last weekend. (You don’t think this was the entire line-up, do you? Please.)
RED 6/1/12 2004 Chateau Cos d’Estournel, St. Estephe, Bordeaux (13.5% abv., $110 (gift), Du Vin Fine Wines; birthday wine): Deep, rich ruby to garnet in the glass, with a dusty rim, but no real signs of any age. Decanted for three hours, but aromas of cassis and cedar still a bit muted. While still opening up, this is a big wine, with all the components to suggest years of aging ahead of it (well, not for this one). Very long finish. Substantial without being heavy or jammy; balanced, rich, and graceful. Conclusion: A developing wine, still on the young side, and good for easily 10-15 more. This is a wine that explains, without speaking, why people fall in love with the wines of Bordeaux. A reserved elegance with power and depth of flavor that just goes on and on. And this wasn’t even supposed to be that great of a vintage. Go figure. Thanks, Mary!
RED 6/2/12 2009 Hanzell Vineyards Pinot Noir, Sonoma County (14.5% abv., $95 (gift), Hanzell Vineyards winery): Brilliant ruby core with a rose rim, this is an intense, youthful pinot, the nose filled with aromas of sweet black cherry and damp moss, which are joined in the mouth by strawberry, minerals, and a hint of herbs. Long, soft finish. Conclusion: this is a powerful, elegant, age-worthy wine, luxurious and balanced. Thanks, Duff!
WHITE 6/3/12 2009 Hanzell Vineyards Chardonnay, Sonoma County (13.5% abv., $75, Hanzell Vineyards winery): Brilliant pale gold, like sunshine and lemons in a glass, this wine gives off a rich aroma of apples and pears and a bit of tropical fruit. Crisp, mouth-watering acidity and minerality balance a touch of oak to create a beautiful, well-integrated chardonnay. Conclusion: refreshing, lively wine that will make a chardonnay lover out of any wine drinker. Can’t wait to see what this is like a few years down the road. Excellent!
I should probably start thinking about the wisdom of celebrating half- and quarter-birthdays. I mean, it make sense, right?