Sunday, September 30, 2007

oenophilia, pt. 1

[posting from Mclean, VA, on my cousin's new iMac. Color me jealous; the keyboard and screen are beautiful on this machine.]

Thirteen years ago, I put together a mixed-case of wines for my cousin's wedding. Over the years, through a divorce and remarriage, through at least three states, a few of these wines have traveled with her. I discovered this a few years ago when I first came to visit them in Alexandria. Since then, we've talked about the weekend when I'd be able to stay over again and taste these last couple of bottles. This was the weekend.

There may be other bottles involved down the line, but the two that came out this weekend were a Dickerson Ruby Cabernet 1990 and a Renwood Old Vines Zin 1991.

The Dickerson was toast, sad to say. The cork disintegrated when I tried to pull it, and though I had hope that it could be drinkable, it was long-gone.

The Renwood, on the other hand, had a cork in good condition. It split during the pull, but only a little bit was left to push into the bottle. We poured a bit, let it breathe, and tasted it. In 2001, Tom Hill described it as
Med.dark color; fairly strong pungent/smokey dusty/old vine some blackberry/briary some licorice/pungent rather complex nose; slightly sweetish/ripe tarry/licorice/blackberry/briary/jammy very ripe flavor; long tarry/jammy ripe/blackberry/briary/Amador sweetish finish w/ modest tannins; really drinking nicely w/ a sweet fruit character; nicely developed complex Amador Zin.
Even at 16 years old or so, this description hits most of the flavor notes. What's most interesting, however, is that the character of the wine has become almost like a young Port. It has all of the above flavors, but with the sweetness of a nice port or sherry slipping in.

It was a very nice wine to sip after the kids were asleep; that's what is most important here. We rarely get that chance since the kids are always around and/or Banana and I have to hightail it back to Richmond. So, good wine and good conversation. What more could you ask for?

*Update: Should have saved the link on that one, but I forgot. Oops.