Birthday Weekend Wines

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?

4 thoughts on “Birthday Weekend Wines

  1. Wine Everyday

    That 2004 Chateau Cos d’Estournel sounds delightful, even in its youth.
    Great article & thanks for taking the time to explain how the wine ‘feels’ not just how it ‘tastes’.
    Cheers!

  2. Brendan P. Riley

    Well all of us birthday kids today thank you for the suggestions. To wit:

    June 9, 1915 – Les Paul, American guitarist, electric guitar inventor, electronics whiz
    June 9, 1929 – Johnny Ace, American singer (d. 1954)
    June 9, 1934 – Jackie Wilson, American singer (d. 1984)
    June 9, 1941 – Jon Lord, organist in Deep Purple
    June 9, 1947 – Mitch Mitchell, drummer for Jimi Hendrix
    June 9, 1954 – George Perez, American comic book artist
    June 9, 1961 – Michael J. Fox, Canadian-born actor
    June 9, 1963 – Johnny Depp, American actor
    June 9, 1981 – Natalie Portman, Israeli-born actress
    June 9, 1981 – Anoushka Shankar, Famous sitarist and daughter of Ravi Shankar (and step-sister of Norah Jones!)

    Pretty good company, eh? And now, what about Cordoniu Brut?

    1. Tom Riley

      If you’d like to buy me a case of vintage Cordoniu, I’ll be graceful and accept it. Thanks!!

      I’ll have to look for the other august members of the June 1 club. You are certainly in good company.

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