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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Eating my words has never been so much fun....


Pavillon Rouge '03, the second wine of Chateau Margaux, I've had on numerous occasions and never once did it disappoint. Post a 6 hour decant-a-thon, the nose snuck in w/ sensual, soft & alluring Margaux aromatics of fresh flowers enveloped in sweet cherry cordial juice, sweet tobacco & toasty vanilla bean. Palate characterised by seamless integration of acidity, ripe tannin and a lovely, caressing body that coats the palate in pillow-like fashion. The beauty of severe selection in sun-drenched vintages is evident, and will probably survive another 2 decades. 92-93 points. Carruades is still my favorite bench warmer of the vintage.

The Alban Grenache 2001 made me eat yet another humble pie. The days of "I'll never get a cell phone," "corporate jobs are for sell-outs," "only suckers get married" and of course...high alcohol wines can't be balanced, nuanced or versatile w/ food- yikes. Not only did I scarf down that humble pie, but I washed it down w/a 16% alcohol beauty.

Tribeca Grill's wine list has an inordinate volume of southern Rhone, and Rhone-ranger alternatives for very reasonable prices. The deal of the century was John Alban's Edna Valley rendition for a 50 dollar price tag (already pushing 130 plus on wine-searcher), so I couldn't resist. It had been forever, and a tad of a palate revolution, since I'd tried one of John's big boy rhone-a-likes- so it was time to see if the shoe fit my new 'alcohol naive feet.'

Probably one of the darkest (irrespective of the lighting) red wines I'd seen since the likes of Mollydooker's line-up. Black as the sky on a moonless night, w/ no traces of the feared diesel fuel on the nasal approach. Plenty of baked herbs, pork fat, plum pudding and new leather grew stronger and stronger as the young pup sat in the glass. The body was uncompromisingly plush, effortless doses of strawberry preserve, game, wild berry and touches of black pepper glid through the mid-palate to a beautifully balanced crescendo. No heat, and a surprisingly beautifully focused Grenache that was all class all the way. This wine lived up to the hype, and boy did it mesh w/ the duck appetizer (w/ dried currant) and lavender crusted lamb chops! Heaven forbid it's culinary versatility at such an astronomical level of booze...granted I was tipsy at the end of the bottle, but those are the enjoyable spoils from wine aren't they?

Dare I slap on a 94 point score, oh yes, I dare!

Alright alright, I'll quit obsessing over the (mostly incorrect) quantitative alcohol content on the label and just dive right into the juice. We can all swallow our pride as long as it allows enjoyment to walk through the door, right?

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